The Hive Five: Game Four

New Orleans (4-0) looked absolutely brilliant tonight, pushing the pace at will against a lackluster looking Lakers squad. After being forced into a fast paced game two nights ago in Denver, the Hornets pushed the tempo hard and looked great doing it. A look at the five factors:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
NOR 99.0

           
         
119.2 55.1% 22.5 20.9 12.1
DEN
105.9
51.6 8.6 24.4 16.2

1. Shooting (√) The shooting touch returned in a big way tonight, with Peja hitting a franchise record 10 from beyond. Hornets’ players have to attribute a large part of their shooting success tonight to CP3, who was all over the court, getting everyone open looks. What will be overlooked is that the Lakers shot a great percent from the floor, the first time a Hornets’ opponent can claim to have done that this year.

2. Turnovers (√) The Hornets limited the turnovers greatly tonight, exemplified by Chris Paul who had just 2 turns to go with his 21 assists. The Lakers turned it over an average 16.2 per 100 possessions; perhaps the Hornets’ ability to force the turnover is not as good as CP3’s steal numbers might suggest.

3. Offensive Rebounding (X) Huge red flag. As noted in Denver, the Hornets OREB% seem to be declining, and that trend continued in a big way tonight, with the Hornets finishing at barely above 20% (opposed to an almost 30% figure opening night). Andrew Bynum got 11 boards off the bench, and was a huge contributor to the Hornets’ inability to clean up missed shots tonight. Hopefully Chandler and West can pick it up moving forward as OREB% didn’t turn out to be that important today, given the hot shooting.

4. Free Throws (√) New Orleans did an average job getting to the line, but the big story is how few times LA ended up going to the line. Any time you hold Kobe to 4 free throws, you know you’ve done an outstanding job. A hat’s off to Mo-Pete.

5. Pace (99) Two nights ago, it was Denver that pushed the pace to a 99 figure; tonight it was New Orleans that did it to a flat LA squad. The Hornets proved they can play fast tonight, but how will two straight games at 99 affect the Hornets’ fatigue in the next few games?

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