The Hive Five: Game Six

New Orleans (4-2) dropped back-to-back games with the loss to the Spurs today. Tony Parker was just unstoppable, going for 27 (11-20), 8 and 4. CP3 had a “pedestrian” 18-7 line, but the real killer was Tim Duncan’s amazingly effective 11-14 night (good for 24 points). A look at why the Hornets lost tonight, five factors style:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
SAS 86.0

54.5% 16.9 20.0 11.6
45.7 13.6 20.5 10.5

1. Shooting (X) The Spurs’ eFG% was really what did the Hornets in; between Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, San Antonio just shot the ball way too well for New Orleans to have much of a chance. The Hornets have played great defense thus far, but tonight they met up with a team pretty much everybody in the NBA struggles to guard. New Orleans is a team on the rise, but if the eFG% numbers are any indication, San Antonio is still the cream of the West.

2. Turnovers () Three straight nights of 10 TOr! Byron Scott’s got to be pleased with how well the Hornets have taken care of the rock these past few games. CP3 and B. Jackson’s control of the ball was even greater than the Spurs’, a team normally credited for being among the least turnover prone.

3. Offensive Rebounding (X) Simply put, tonight was a game of defensive rebounding. Neither team seemed to send too many guys to the offensive glass, and the offensive rebounding just wasn’t there for either side. Nothing to worry about here, but perhaps a change in strategy to consider- pound the offensive boards more next time?

4. Free Throws (X) This was a game the officials let the players play, especially considering how much Parker was in traffic without a call. Neither team really got to the line, but the Hornets didn’t seem to force the issue at all inside.

5. Pace (86) This game was one thing: a classic Spurs game. Any time the pace factor dips into the mid 80’s range, you know you’ve got a slow, half-court set dominated game on your hands. The Hornets have looked to play in the low 90’s this year, but it was clearly the Spurs who set the tempo tonight. With that point, three strategies to consider next time: first, the aforementioned policy of sending guys to the offensive glass, second, drive into the lane for the contact (and the whistle), and three, push the tempo into the 90’s.

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