The Hive Five: Game Sixty-Seven

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

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

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

Bonzi Wells, it’s good to have you.

Why did we have to trade you? Why?

Bonzi in the 4th quarter: 20, Houston in the 4th: 10. Yet another sell out at the Arena led to another really intense game, one in which we out-defended the best defensive team in the conference. Hard to imagine a game that started so poorly could end so well. My favorite part was Alston’s melt down towards the end… when he yelled at Bonzi, got absolutely no reaction, and then got T’d up for it. Major props to Wells for his offense tonight. His offense really kept us afloat on a terrible shooting night to start things. If he can be a 10-12 point guy off the bench, with 4-5 boards, the B-Jax trade will have been worth it, regardless of what happens to Mike James. Speaking of James… he must be in Byron’s doghouse; Pargo has been going through a rough stretch, but James just can’t get any real time. The physical nature of Wells’ offense is something only Ely provided off the bench, and it’s a great offsetter to bad shooting nights. Props are also due to JuJu for his defense. The rookie is really proving his defensive prowess; shutting down McGrady was just the next step he’s taken in his development as an all around player. He has great positioning one on one, realizes when to foul, and has great anticipation in the passing lanes…. In other words, he’s what we thought Mo-Pete would be (with mad hops). West struggled from the floor in his return, but he was still all over the boards and did a great job getting to the line. Oh, and by the way, we’re first in the West!

 

Pace

Eff

eFG

FT/FG

OREB%

TOr

HOU

91.0

75.8

35.4%

13.4

25.5

20.9

NOR

 

98.9

47.4%

23.7

19.6

13.2

1. Shooting () A 1-8 start to the 1st half, and even worse start at the 2nd half, and we still managed to shoot 47%. But the real story is obviously Houston’s eFG%. 35%? This is the defense we know the Hornets can play, that they haven’t played recently, and that they’ll have to play for us to make some noise in the playoffs. McGrady ended up shooting tough fadeaways, every Houston layup was contested, and no Rocket got a clean look through the 4th quarter. Absolutely dominating performance by New O.

2. Turnovers () Paul had his worst ball control game in a while, turning it over 5 times. Nevertheless, he rebounded well with just 1 turn in the second half. The impressive number here is 4: how many times the rest of the Hornets lost the ball. On a slightly related note, has anyone else every seen somebody get a technical after a half has ended? That’s the second time I’ve seen Paul do it this year, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it before this season.

3. Offensive Rebounding (X) How Dikembe Mutumbo still managed to play (effectively) befuddled me all season and through this last 22 game Rocket winning streak. But then I saw the answer tonight, as he held Tyson to one (!!!) offensive rebound. The dude pushes off more than any center I’ve seen this year- he’ll have absolutely no position, and still give a random push to a defensive rebounder, while pretending to concede the board. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the guy for playing with guys half his age, but come on. The only way Tyson comes up with 1 OREB against a seriously undersized team is if he’s playing Marcus Camby or if certain extra curricular activities are going on.

4. Free Throws () Two thumbs up, David West. On a 6-18 night, he forced his way to the hoop, and forced the refs to tweet away. A deciding factor in this game was how quickly Houston got into the bonus in the fourth, and David West was an integral part of that.

5. Pace (91) I loved the rhythm of this game throughout- the defensive rhythm, that is. Neither offense got in a groove until New O put it in gear late in the fourth. When was the last time you saw a 6-0 scoring run last over 5 minutes? This was defense at its finest- you won’t see Detroit and San Antonio do a better job of it against each other. Which brings me to another point: it appears more and more that the top Western Conference teams are also among the top defensive teams. You have New O, Houston, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Dallas all among the top 10 teams in the league. This is certainly an interesting trend when you consider that many teams were looking to emulate the Phoenix Suns’ style of play over the last two seasons. The two most successful implementers of high paced, low defense basketball- the Warriors and the Nuggets- are now duking it out for the final playoff spot, while the more defensive teams sit comfortably above. The schedule doesn’t get easier from here, though- Saturday we take on the best defensive team in the land (Boston) before playing them again next Friday. That makes next week’s two Eastern conference games (Indiana and Cleveland) really, really important for us to win.

 

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

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

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

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5 Responses

  1. […] Continue Reading […]

  2. extra curricular activities? 😛

    Nice recap, Bonzi is playing really well now same with JuJu.

  3. Yeah, JuJu’s just been incredible ever since Byron started giving him minutes. I remember Hornets.com did an interview earlier with Tim Legler (?) who said Julian would pretty much be a non-factor this season. Instead, he’s supplanted Ryan Bowen in the rotation! Who would’ve predicted that…

    As for Bonzi, obviously he isn’t going to put up 20+ every night or even 15. I’ll be happy if he just gets in, draws some fouls and some contact, and generally lets the other team know that the Hornets are going to continue being very physical throughout the night. I’ll take that every time over B-Jax coming in and taking fadeaway threes at a 30% clip.

  4. I was one of those against the B-Jax/Adam trade for Bonzi and Mike James. But I think it’s now pretty obvious that trade was brilliant. Bonzi can guard the 2-4 position and is a constant scoring threat. Hot damn.

  5. Haha, yup. Bonzi + JuJu = We have one of the better defensive second units in the league.

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