The Hornets built on a solid first game tonight, with a great game both offensively and defensively. They followed a 14 point win in the opener with a 20 point win tonight. Here’s a look at the five factors that led to Portland’s demise.
1. Shooting (√) The Hornets put put a 63.5% figure tonight- absolutely brilliant; is that number going to continue? Of course not, but they’ll take it nonetheless. A large part of that figure was based on how open the jumpshots they got were.
2. Turnovers (√) Very good job taking care of the ball tonight. The Hornets didn’t force a lot of turnovers on the other end, but by not giving it away, they took advantage of some hot shooting.
3. Offensive Rebounding (√) The combination of West and Chandler underneath has started off pretty dominantly. 27.6 was the % tonight, down from 29% in the opener, but the real story again was the Hornets’ ability to keep Portland off the O-glass, by coming down with the big defensive boards.
4. Free Throws (√) Portland was held to 8.4% FT/FG, just a great number for the Hornets. Again, the Hornets did a decent job getting to the line, but through two games, it’s the defense that has really established itself more than anything.
5. Pace (88) An average pace of 90.5 after two games has the Hornets in the lower quartet as far as pace goes, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. A low pace has been a hallmark of almost every great defensive team in history, and if this start is any indication, this Hornets squad may be more built for defense than offense this year (shocking as that may seem).
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