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Hornacek, Clifford get their chances

Two coaching positions were filled on Memorial Day, helping clear the immediate picture of two teams that finished near the bottom of their respective conferences last season.

The Suns have hired Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek to take over for Lindsey Hunter after the team opted not to retain the interim head coach. Hornacek has spent the last few seasons on Tyrone Corbin's staff after a 14-year career with Phoenix, Philadelphia and (most famously) Utah.

Even though Hornacek was shipped to Phialdelphia as part of the Charles Barkley trade, he remained a fan favorite in Phoenix. Now he will be the one that will get the first real crack at rebuilding the Suns post-Steve Nash. Hopefully Phoenix is patient with him as the team has a roster full of some veterans and some big contracts to deal with.

Whatever Hornacek does this year with a core of Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley, Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola could be a miracle. There is just not a lot of room to make changes from a roster that finished the season 25-57 last season.

Hornacek has his work cut out for him, but he should have fans' backing. Hornacek was a fan favorite for the Suns in the mid-80s as the team began a rebuilding effort after some unsavory characters dominated the headlines in Phoenix. Now he is the front man for another reclamation project.

Don't expect anything instant.

Getty Images/Pro Basketball TalkThe same should be said for Bobcats fans waiting for an answer to the question of: What the hell are we doing?

For now the Bobcats have hired Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford to replace Mike Dunlap. Clifford will make it five coaches in four years. The Bobcats have dropped to the bottom of the league after making their only Playoff appearance in 2010, winning 62 games and posting a .270 win percentage.

That is not very good at all. Nowhere near good actually. The Bobcats set the NBA record for worst win percentage during the lockout year in 2012 and did not fare much better in 2013.

That is the mess Steve Clifford finds himself in for his first head coaching job.

Clifford is a longtime assistant who worked with Stan Van Gundy in Orlando and Jeff Van Gundy in Houston. He has been an assistant coach in the league for 13 years and is well-known for his defensive acumen. That is something the Bobcats could sure use right about now.

It is hard to predict where either of these coaches will go. Any sign of improvement considering the rosters their organizations currently have should be considered a plus. But time will tell if these hires are good.

Hopefully they get the time to prove themselves.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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