The Hive Five: Game Seventy-One

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

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

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

Amazingly, I’m not the least bit chagrined right now. An off shooting night, in the midst of a tough East trip, to end a nice win streak, at the hands of the best team in the league. Hats off to New O for a fantastic March (where everyone predicted they would suck.)

 

You wouldn’t know it from Peja’s expression, but the ball was only on fire when Boston played offense.

This is the most positive recap of a 20 point loss you’ll ever find. But I’ll start with the bad stuff: one word can describe this game: forcing. Pargo forced up ugly shots, West forced his shoulder into his defender’s chests (and got called for it even if they weren’t set), and I never thought I would say this, but Chris Paul forced up some bad looks too. I was really hoping David West could take home player of the week, but he just wasn’t himself tonight, and kind of took himself out of the running. On the other hand, Kevin Garnett was a force on the boards, and Paul Pierce was a force from the stripe (13-13). Byron Scott tried to force as much energy out of his team as possible, but the guys looked flat out tired. Bonzi Wells got beat time and time again by Pierce, after we saw him effectively guard so many other forwards. All in all, we played the best possible game you can play whilst losing by 20. Now that sounds snarky, but as the factors below show, we played better than or equal to Boston in every measure except for shooting (and tangentially, defensive intensity). We’ve shown we can bring that defensive intensity, but minus energy, that’s tough to muster. We had our best defensive rebounding game of the year which I find highly impressive. Simply put, Boston came out with tremendous energy in the second half, and you have to credit them for that. As much as I hated Garnett’s histrionics of lying on the floor against West (after which West proceeded to blow by him), you have to respect the measures he’d take to fire up his team. And, though we’ve beaten them, this game confirmed to me that Boston is the team to beat in this year’s Finals. The Factors:

 

 

Pace

Eff

eFG

FT/FG

OREB%

TOr

NOR

88.0

104.5

49.4%

19.2

15.6

9.1

BOS

 

127.3

62.2%

27.0

8.3

9.1

1. Shooting (X) Rotations were slow, guys didn’t get up and down the court, and minus Chris Andersen jumping madly at layups, most short rangers were hardly contested. The opposite was true when were on offense, as Boston defenders were draped all over the Hornets. Normally, I might use our missing of many, many wide open threes (15 misses) as an excuse. I feel dirty doing that when Boston shot 25% from three on equally good looks.

2. Turnovers () If this was a Finals preview, this year’s championship round will be as clean as any involving the Spurs. Take away 3 offensive fouls, and the Hornets had just 4 (!) ball-handling turns. Boston starters had just 3 turnovers.

3. Offensive Rebounding (X) I’m tempted to give the Hornets a green check, based on how they kept The Kid and Ko. Off the boards. (We got 92% of all misses… pretty amazing). Honestly, though, a few more OREBS and we might have stayed in this game before it got out of hand. Offensive rebounding is one of the first thing to go when tiredness sets in, and that much was visible tonight.

4. Free Throws (X) As I mentioned earlier, Pierce getting to the line was far more integral to the game than you might think. eFG% was reason 1AAAA why Boston one, but FT/FG ended up playing a bigger role in this game than turnovers and offensive rebounding combined.  

5. Pace (88) Exactly the pace you might expect. I shudder to think what this game would’ve been like against a fast team, since we were so tired. Then again, no fast team plays nearly the defense Boston does. Closing notes: I was looking forward to having “good” commentating following debacles on FSN Ohio, and FSN Indiana; I was expecting the refreshingly awesome commentating NBA TV routinely provides (okay not really, but they don’t suck a la most of the FSN’s). Instead what do we get? THE BOSTON CELTICS COMMENTATORS FROM THE BOSTON CELTICS’ TV STATION. I cannot stress this enough- a national broadcast which ostensibly has “nonbiased” coverage selects the commentators of one of the teams playing to commentate? Really? Some of the highlights: calling for a referee to be removed from the league permanently for calling a semi-debatable blocking foul on Leon Powe. Seriously?”Banned from the league?” For calling a blocking foul on your guy? Hearing those guys gloat over the Celts pretty much became unbearable somewhere around the first TV timeout, at which point their vocal chords were deprived of ability via my remote. I’m hoping DX can have a bounceback game against the Magic; he’s had a great two months of avoiding offensive fouls, and I really hope he doesn’t fall into the pattern that characterized his first few months. Finally, Mo-Pete not playing is making me sad 😦

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. Yeah dude why didn’t Mo Pete play? Injury?

  2. If by “blow by him”, you mean “put up an off-balance shot after traveling”, then yes, West blew by Garnett.

  3. Tough loss. But going crazy over the end of the 1st half, it looked like they had weathered great shooting by their opponent and being forced into tough shots and making them. But their adjustments at halftime weren’t there. They continued to struggle on the offensive set and let the Celtics pretty much penetrate at will. I would’ve liked to see a bit of a closer game here, but the Celtics really showed an intensity I wasn’t sure we’d see from a team that has little more to prove. But I guess they didn’t want the black mark on their record of not beating the Hornets this year. They wanted it bad. Bastards.

  4. Mo Pete did play. Just didn’t get a lot of minutes. He had 16 minutes and Bonzi had 25. Mo was 2-6, 1-3 from 3 point range. Bonzi was 6-10 and 1-2 from 3 point range. Methinks that’s why.

  5. @ Shine and Sarah

    Yup, Mo-Pete did play, just did his usual thing of starting the two halves and then not getting much time thereafter.

    @ ehoo15

    By “blow by him”, I was referring to the fact that David West made a layup on that play. As far as traveling, I didn’t notice it, but you may well be right. I didn’t mean to give the impression that West was effective against Garnett overall… KG really went to work on him on D. He was fired up after West hung 37 on him last Saturday, and props to him for that.

    @ mW

    Yeah, you said it exactly right- intensity. Celts just took theirs to another level. I don’t know why we couldn’t- I attribute it to tiredness, but it wasn’t like we were on the second of a back to back or something.

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