The Hive Five: Game Sixty-Nine

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

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

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

Just seemed like we could never put away Indiana until the final buzzer, but a solid start to our road trip nonetheless.

Enter Birdman

A lot of storylines in this game: we saw the return of the Birdman (who was extremely active), we saw Mo-Pete take a hard foul from Foster and then stare him down (and apparently sustain a “sore shoulder”), and we saw David West yelling at the young giraffe, Julian Wright with an anger he usually saves for the refs. You have to hand it to the Pacers for fighting all the way- CP said it best after the game: “We withheld a storm.” We were outrebounded despite Foster sitting much of the game, but the real negative of this game was bench play, where we were outscored 41-17. I think their bench was a little lucky in having all those shots drop- all in all, they settled for way too many perimeter looks. Pargo really did nothing, and Wright struggled from the floor (1-5) whilst drawing the ire of his teammate for that last turnover. I have to say I’m really excited for Chris Andersen- he was awesomely active on both ends of the floor, And tonight was Exhibit A on why I’m not too hot on the +/- stat, at least as it indicates individual game performance. Andersen scored a “-8” when he was on the floor, but his minutes just happened to coincide with a crazy Indiana three point spree. The play I liked best from him was when he ran- no, sprinted- all the way up the floor at top speed, on a totally busted play. (I’ll try to video capture that later and put it up). Bonzi Wells was excellent on both sides of the ball again, but I really don’t like his post-up fall-away move. I haven’t seen it fall once, and it’s always ridiculously short. At the end, let’s just continue to say David West and Chris Paul are amazing. David West was equally as big a factor on offense as Paul; KG couldn’t guard him on Sunday, and nobody stood a chance tonight either. Isn’t it crazy that we’re starting to take for granted a 31 point, 14 assist night from a PG?

 

Pace

Eff

eFG

FT/FG

OREB%

TOr

NOR

97.0

117.5

53.2%

38.0

20.5

10.3

IND

 

109.3

51.7%

17.0

27.5

15.5

1. Shooting () We got terrific looks all night long, as opposed to last time around. Indiana seemed to hit an abnormally high percentage of their jumpers. Maybe they do this all the time, and a 20-footer is a “good” shot for them? I don’t know. But credit guys like Granger and Williams.

2. Turnovers () I was looking forward to bragging about Paul having a 0 turnover night, but then he had that weird one to Diener in the last minute. Still, 14 assists and 1 turnover? That’s okay by me. The rest of the team had just 9 turnovers, while coming up with 11 steals.

3. Offensive Rebounding (X) Jeff Foster is a beast on the O-Glass. 7 Offensive Rebounds in 17 minutes of work? Against Tyson Chandler? Now, that’s just awesome stuff. David West was pretty good too, picking up the rebounding slack for Chandler, and finishing with 16 boards in all.

4. Free Throws () The FT/FG figure for this game was amazing, primarily because David Harrison and Co. kept committing really odd fouls on the perimeter. We got in the bonus early in the fourth, and never relented. Why exactly did Harrison randomly pick Paul up off the ground on that one play? Do they know each other? Is this something the Hornets can send into the league office for further revision? And Paul wasn’t even trying to come down, being held at least a foot off the ground…

5. Pace (97) The Hornets did a poor job establishing tempo on the road, for the first time in a while. Indiana played at the pace they wanted, continually pushing up and down the court, and taking the first available shot (however questionable). Obviously the Hornets are well suited to play a fast style, given that Chandler and other bigs get up and down the court with ease, but it would’ve been to our advantage to force Indy into a slow style (where we also excel). Last but not least, I had to watch the Indiana broadcast of this game, and let me just say, I’ve developed a hatred for their color commentator. He seemed extraordinarily bitter about us having Peja. For example, after a clean block on which Peja was whistled for a foul anyway: “Peja’s not a guy that wants to play defense. He’s just going to foul.” What do you possibly base that off? Sure, he’s not the greatest defender in the league, but I think he’s done an admirable job this season given his lack of athleticism. After commenting on a “flash of turquoise” the commentator said he saw, he followed up with this gem: “By the way, turquoise is one of the Hornets’ official colors.” I don’t really care that he got it wrong the first time; just the fact he comes back two minutes later and definitively confirms it as though he looked it up rankles me. And finally, the clincher: “Chris Paul’s made himself a contender [for the MVP]. But I would vote for Kobe. I think he’s had a larger body of work, he’s had many great seasons, while Paul is a young guy.” Look, I’m all ears in regard to other guys’ MVP arguments; this year is one of the closest we’ve had in a while. It would be stupid to put your guy out in front, and throw away all other arguments. But when you say Kobe Bryant should win the 2008 MVP because he was amazing from 2000-2007, something doesn’t add up.

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

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

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

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3 Responses

  1. From all reports, a lot of questions have landed in the Hornets lap lately about when Birdman would play, and now that he has, the questions are sure to fly about how he did or what the other players thought. While I don’t want to take focus off of the other players, I think it’s an interesting discussion because he’s an unknown. Hornets fans and pundits alike don’t really know what to expect. While Chris might have been a little overeager tonight, I thought he did a great job getting up and down the floor and being aggressive on defense, though he seemed not a factor on the offensive end. And while it appears he only had 1 block officially, I thought he had at least three. So that means that maybe he didn’t get a piece of those other shots, but he certainly affected them, causing misses. And that’s good defense. I think, like Byron, I’m eager to see what he can add to the team. Like Melvin and Hilton, he’ll probably get his chance to earn playing time, and he’ll be evaluated on how he performs in that span. No matter how he performs in that time, and what if any playing time he gets down the stretch, I’m glad he’s gotten a chance at least to try. So far so good. And at the end of the day, it’s a Hornets victory, and that’s always cause to smile.

  2. From all reports, a lot of questions have landed in the Hornets lap lately about when Birdman would play, and now that he has, the questions are sure to fly about how he did or what the other players thought. While I don’t want to take focus off of the other players, I think it’s an interesting discussion because he’s an unknown. Hornets fans and pundits alike don’t really know what to expect. While Chris might have been a little overeager tonight, I thought he did a great job getting up and down the floor and being aggressive on defense, though he seemed not a factor on the offensive end. And while it appears he only had 1 block officially, I thought he had at least three. So that means that maybe he didn’t get a piece of those other shots, but he certainly affected them, causing misses. And that’s good defense. I think, like Byron, I’m eager to see what he can add to the team. Like Melvin and Hilton, he’ll probably get his chance to earn playing time, and he’ll be evaluated on how he performs in that span. No matter how he performs in that time, and what if any playing time he gets down the stretch, I’m glad he’s gotten a chance at least to try. So far so good. And at the end of the day, it’s a Hornets victory, and that’s always cause to smile. On to tomorrow.

  3. Good points you make. I wouldn’t mind if Chris Andersen is overeager the rest of the season, because his being overeager will lead to, at worst, some stupid fouls. As long as he doesn’t hinder the offense- like that moving charge call today- he should be fine. And from the looks of it, he can still really sky. At the end, I think he’ll be a much better option than Hilton overall, and better than Ely defensively. Melvin brings that offensive potential though, so I really don’t see him being left off the playoff roster. If I had to guess right now, I would say Hilton’s a lock to be left off, especially if Birdman gets similar minutes through this road trip. Also, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Mike James in the playoffs either with Julian and Bonzi both able to play the guard.

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