The Hive Five: Game Seventy-Six

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

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

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

This was a win we had to have since it reestablished our home court presence (squeaking by the Knicks has a way of reducing that),

And Another Three Point PowerShotTM

I want to start with the crowd, which was flat out amazing. The CP34MVP shirts were awesome (black was a good idea), and ABC even featured all the giveaway items the Hornets were handing out at the Hive. Baron Davis was relentlessly boo’d every time he sniffed the ball. At one point in the third quarter, Harrington faked a pass to Davis, and the crowd began to boo, anticipating Davis getting the ball. Now that’s what you call hounding the ball carrier. Finally, the MVP chants were in full force, after oddly going missing for the New York game; they were every bit deserved with Chris Paul posting a triple double and playing great D on B-Diddy down the stretch. All this being said, we have to keep in mind how poorly Golden State shot the three. They missed a ton of looks (albeit most were well guarded), that could drop come playoff time. And what is with these awful starts? Not getting up for the New York Knicks and Miami Heat is one thing. Not getting up for the Golden State Warriors at home after they beat you there last time? Not getting up for the point guard this franchise has so much bad blood with? Golden State did a great job anticipating paths and drawing charges. Of all the offensive fouls that were called on us in the first half (1 Chandler, 1 Armstrong, 2 West), only one was a debatable call. JP played some amazing ball this afternoon. The guy looked crazy sleepy when he checked in, but, oh man, he wasn’t nearly as sleepy as it looked. He, Wells, and Wright are going to have to be sharp against Utah and Los Angeles. Wright hasn’t gotten involved offensively or defensively for a few games now, so I expect to see more out of him against a large Utah roster. The more I see it, the more I realize Peja has one of the best post-three point poses in the game. He doesn’t possess Bobby Jackson’s powerful stare-down, but the right angle between his arm and his upright body makes him look bizarre.

Pace

Eff

eFG

FT/FG

OREB%

TOr

GSW

99.0

97.0

46.8%

7.4

29.2

17.2

NOR

109.1

55.7%

12.6

25.6

18.2

1. Shooting () We outshot ‘em by almost 10 eFG%, accounting for the difference in this game. As I mentioned earlier, Golden State shot 3-29 (10%) from three point range, while we hit 9-23 (39%). Therein lies a key difference in these two teams’ styles; when Golden State struggles from deep, it forces the issue and continues to take those same shots. On nights we struggle from three, we often switch it up by playing for closer buckets.

2. Turnovers (X) CP had 5 turns, and Chandler 4. But this was more of a “tip your hat to ‘em” game than a “stop making stupid passes” one. Golden State ranks 4th in the league in opponent’s Tor (forcing turnovers), and while we rank 2nd in taking care of the ball, they won that battle.

3. Offensive Rebounding (X) Terrific effort by Andris Biedrins against Tyson Chandler. I think Biedrins is more comparable to Chandler than any other player in the L. Both have long, lanky frames without much weight to show for it, neither is terrifically skilled offensively, both put up great efforts on the glass every night, and both are horrendous from the charity stripe. You have to appreciate how strong David West finished his night on the glass as well.

4. Free Throws () There was a large disconnect between number of foul shots, and number of fouls in this game. Each team drew 17 fouls but combined for just 24 FT’s. Also, what is up with Bonzi Well’s free throw shooting? The guy’s a sub-70% career foul shooter, but he’s been almost at 80% with the Hornets…

5. Pace (99) Byron Scott decided to let the guys come out and run against Golden State. The offense was very free flowing with numerous passes, but the high pace certainly contributed to the turnover issues. More than anything, this game was a sort of “feeler” for the playoffs. Golden State could easily be the first round matchup, and so far we’ve played them three times at three different paces- 87, 93 and 99. 87, of course, is close to our own pace, but we lost that game by 13. 93 is a compromise between our tempo and theirs, and we defeated them by 12 in that game. Finally, 99 is easily their pace, and yet we beat them by 12 again. All this could point to a faster than expected first round series if we were to meet them. And how about Chris Paul’s coast-to-coast layup. I don’t think Monta Ellis (who, by the way, is outstanding) could’ve done it faster.

I talked about ABC’s coverage before, and I’ll do so again- it was awesome. My only gripe against them was their insistence on cutting away to Phoenix-Dallas previews every 10 seconds. But I can forgive them, given that I’ve probably been guilty of excessive self-promotion at some point in my storied blogging career. Not only did they feature the Hornets’ giveaways, they did a segment on Peja’s “Fave 5” long-range shooters at halftime (Bird, Miller, Allen, Dirk… and himself). They did a second halftime feature on David West and his boyhood days in Teaneck, NJ. That one, albeit short, was also really cool. Finally, their WIRED segments captured some awesome stuff, courtesy of CP3: “Come on Coach, please, if I need one I’ll take myself out, please coach, I swear I’ll take myself out” and “Come on David! Coach! David and Peja, why’re they on the bench? They’re in zone, we need shooters.” Of course, that second bit of coaching was followed by David West going 9 for 9 from the floor, and Peja hitting the game-sealing triple from the corner. Hey, it isn’t possible for Chris Paul to win MVP and Coach of the Year, is it?

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

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

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

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2 Responses

  1. Great game. Another one where we slugged it out with them all game, going back and forth, until lo and behold, we have a ten point lead and there’s three minutes left. Sweet.

  2. Our closing ability has just been uncanny. Regardless of if we’re playing the New Yorks or the Los Angeles’es of the world, we execute to perfection down the stretch.

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