The Hive Five: Game Fifty-Seven

WORDS: || AP (through NBA.com) || Five Observations ||

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

VIDEOS: || ESPN || NBA.com || Yahoo! ||

“When you play against the best, it brings out the best in you,” Paul said. Apparently Steve Nash, and Jason Kidd didn’t get that memo for their Hornets games.

 

“When I was your age, there was no three point line!”

Getting revenge against the Jazz was sweet, but with the way we’ve played this season, this win was obviously coming. After having two horrible games against his good friend DeRON Williams, Chris Paul bounced back in a big way with yet another 20/15 game. And while D-Will responded with pretty nice numbers himself, the rest of the Hornets were too much for Utah too handle. Before this game, I considered Utah to be far and away the one team I wouldn’t want to see in the playoffs. After all, we’re 4-0 against Phoenix (Shaq or no Shaq, their core is the same), I love our chances against Dallas, and we stomped San Antonio on their home floor. Today’s game allayed some fears as to our inability to even come near beating Utah; jumping out to that 27 point lead was fantastic. Obviously, it would’ve been nice to have coasted all the way, but as Wells and James become more in tune with the second unit, that’ll come. By the way, does anyone know if Ely is still sick? He did get off the bench against Phoenix, and I hate seeing him not come off the pine on a night we definitely could have used his rebounding (see the factors for more). As far as the individual matchup that doesn’t get the ink Paul-Williams does, West totally annihilated Boozer. D-X was just unstoppable, going for 25, 13, 3; I expect to see teams double him almost on any touch as long as he stays this hot. Of course, that means Mo-Pete had better be ready; he did do his part with 2 triples tonight. And what can you say about Peja? All the naysayers that called him a “bust” 10 games into this season have disappeared. Being first in the league in 3’s Made (p/g) and 4th in 3P% has a way of doing that.

 

 

Pace

Eff

eFG

FT/FG

OREB%

TOr

UTH

89.0

110.1

51.3%

24.7

30.8

15.7

NOR

 

123.6

53.2%

34.6

17.5

7.9

1. Shooting () New O continued to top the 50% mark by a good mark. We played great defense in the first quarter, sort of fell apart in the middle, but came back together at the end. And Andrei Kirilenko is still in the air after going for that nasty Peja pump fake.

2. Turnovers () This is exactly what Paul and Co. were looking for. Yeah, we got back on track with a win against a great Phoenix team, but we hadn’t had a dominating ball-control game in quite a while. The bench didn’t have a turnover, and the Hornets had just 6, yeah 6- turns all night. Boozer and Deron combined to outdo that themselves, finishing with 7 of the Jazz’s not too shabby 14.

3. Offensive Rebounding (X) Say what you want about Okur being soft- and I know I do all the time- but the guy was a beast on the boards. Picking up 13 boards (11 D) against the likes of Tyson Chandler is no easy feat, especially on a night that David West was being a board monster himself. To put it bluntly, Utah crushed us on the O-glass. Granted, they are the 7th best offensive boarding team in the league, and that probably had a little something to do with it.

4. Free Throws (*) The highly sought after, but never achieved blue asterisk! I never thought this day would come! A 34.6 FT/FG rate? Are you kidding me? And not only that, 87.1% of those free throw attempts were converted. Good job Hornets, although I must make note of one caveat- Utah does lead the league in fouling, and are quite a large margin above league average.

5. Pace (89) After running with Phoenix, it was time for New Orleans to settle things down a little bit. Utah, obviously, was a prime opponent to do that against, mainly because they don’t play too fast a brand of basketball themselves. Some ending notes: if you’re a Jazz fan, this game hurts, regardless of whether or not you were down 27. Fact is, Utah shot a solid 51.3%, totally pounded us on the O-Glass, and took great care of the ball. But at the end of the day, we took even better care of the rock, shot slightly better, and drained free throws till they cried (depicted above visually). Also, Chris Paul debuted his sick shoes (check the linked ESPN video above or below for a good look). I’m gonna be buying mine either tomorrow or at latest in two days, so stay tuned for performance updates. And last but not least, our next five games are against… drumroll… Washington, New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, and the deChinese’d Rockets. Seven game win streak? You heard it here first.

 

WORDS: || AP (through NBA.com) || Five Observations ||

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

VIDEOS: || ESPN || NBA.com || Yahoo! ||

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