The Hive Five: Game Thirty-Seven

Okay first things first. As you might have noticed, I couldn’t put up a game preview for this one. Stupid early Sunday games… by the time I realized there was a game on, it was well into the second quarter. In the end, it was all good as the Hornets beat a red-hot Rocket squad. Although if this picture is any indication, Houston had best look into some sort of strength training program.


“It’s… too.. heavy…”

Even though we’ve beaten them so many times these last three years, the Rockets are a team that always scares me. I have to admit, Yao has developed into a beast, especially when you compare his skills now to his skills as a rook. Don’t know if that play both Adelman and Yao complained about was actually a foul on Chandler, but other than that, New O still did a great job on him defensively. He did go for 30 and 16, but he shot below 50% from the floor and turned it over 6 times. TC definitely held his own on the low block, battling for rebounding position. The Inconsistency of Peja Chronicles continued this afternoon, with Stojakovic (how does this guy not have a nickname yet?) scoring all his 2 points at the line. His last 4 games? 2, 15, 9, 23. But at least he’s scoring; after going for 22 at Phoenix, Mo-Pete has poured in an amazing 0, 3, and 5 over the last 3. I guess the only real positive you can take away from those numbers is that they’re both still connecting on pretty high clips from the floor; Byron Scott just hasn’t been drawing up many plays for them. Okay, too much talk, here are the factors. Actually, one more thing: why is the schedule so messed up? Why do we play Houston for the first time nearly a month after playing Memphis for the 3rd time? Weird.






















1. Shooting () Hey, you’re not going to shoot 70% every day. Solid job defensively by the Hornets in limiting Houston to a 45.2 eFG. Yao hasn’t had his greatest season shooting from the floor (nearly 20 points lower than his career average), but the Hornets made him work for all of his 30 points. David West took a season high 27 shots, hitting only 12 of them; that influenced the low team shooting more than anything. Now, I don’t bring this up to make you panic, but David West ranks a lowly 31st among PF’s in True Shooting Percentage (a stat very similar to eFG%). Which means there’s some work to be done.

2. Turnovers () I give the Hornets the coveted green checkmark here, but really CP3 should get the dreaded X. I expected something of a bounce back game in terms of ball control after his 5 turnover night against Miami. Houston is middle of the pack when it comes to forcing turnovers (opponents average 14.1 turns a game against them), and Rafer Alston isn’t exactly the greatest defender in the world (he did make those AndOne videos after all). But Paul lost it a season high 6 times tonight. Now I’m really expecting a bounce back game against Seattle. CP mentioned his own turnovers during his post game interview, so you know it’s gotta be gnawing at him.

3. Offensive Rebounding () New Orleans kept a very good rebounding team off the glass effectively in this one. It was great seeing DX pull down double digit boards for the second straight game. TC, as expected, did his share.

4. Free Throws (X) I was tempted to give the Hornets a here purely for CP’s clutch free throws down the stretch. But in reality, if you take away those intentional fouls in the last minute, the Hornets attempted 7 free throws as opposed to Houston’s 22. When a backup point guard (Aaron Brooks) goes to the line more times (5) than the guy who should be starting the All-Star game in New Orleans, something is seriously wrong.

5. Pace (89) Both these teams have very similar styles of play, tempo wise. Houston had an average pace of 90 coming into the game, with the Hornets at 89. Both teams were obviously comfortable playing this pace. By the way, did you know the Southwest division probably plays the slowest basketball in the NBA? With New Orleans at 89, Houston at 90, Dallas at 89, and San Antonio at a Western Conference low 88, this division seems to have a penchant for slow, grind-it-out basketball. The fastest division? Has to be the Pacific, with the high octane Warriors (3rd fastest), Suns (4th), and Lakers (5th) along with the surprisingly high paced Clips (10th), and Kings (11th).

WORDS: || AP (through || Five Observations ||

NUMBERS: || Box Score || Shot Chart || Play-by-Play ||

VIDEOS: || ESPN || Yahoo! || ||


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