The Hive Five: Game Seventy-Eight

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

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

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

This is officially the best team in the history of the Hornet franchise.

Peja successfully appeases the Basketball Gods with his Spalding Sacrifice.

New O is now 14-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, which ranks among the most impressive feats they’ve accomplished this year. Granted, it took quite some time for the Hornets to pull away from a hot-shooting Wolves squad tonight, but eventually it happened. For me, the biggest aspect of this game was Peja snapping his long-range shooting slump. He’s been struggling from deep ever since the Hornets left for Indiana, but he connected on 5 of 8 triples in this contest. That’s a very positive sign heading into Friday’s marquee matchup with the Lakers; against a team as defensively skilled as Los Angeles, every last bit of floor spacing will be a necessity. One thing we hadn’t seen in a while made its return today- the Peja transition three. For the first few months, that was a staple of the Hornets’ fast break, but for whatever reason the team got away from utilizing it. While Peja is thought of as a traditional set shooter, he has proven he can stop on a dime during a break to hit that shot. Again, that will prevent the Lakers from collapsing to the hoop on fast breaks come Friday. David West had a couple opportunities today to make crisp passes from his back to the basket stance. Along that same vein, cutting to the hoop has become a bigger part of our offense these last three games. All in all, this should be a great confidence booster ahead of the Staples showdown.

Pace

Eff

eFG

FT/FG

OREB%

TOr

NOR

87.0

140.2

62.5%

20.2

28.2

5.7

MIN

103.4

55.4%

10.8

21.6

20.7

1. Shooting () Way to respond to the Utah debacle. The Hornets scored 74 second half points after putting up just 66 a day ago, and the defense picked up after a lackluster opening quarter. Every starter shot better than 50% from the floor, and every starter but Mo-Pete was easily in double digits.

2. Turnovers () We turned it over just 5 times… but what did you expect? Former Hornet Kirk Snyder nearly out-turnovered (yeah, that’s a word!) the Hornets all by himself. The thing I liked most: the bench didn’t turn it over a single time despite getting a lot more burn than normal.

3. Offensive Rebounding () The glass work could have been better, but honestly, there weren’t that many misses to get on the offensive boards. The Giraffe Calf picked up 7 boards off the bench in 20 energy crazed minutes. Seriously, somebody needs to make an energy drink called the Giraffe Calf. It’ll be the new age Red Bull.

4. Free Throws () You have to appreciate the Hornets taking it to the hoop hard, understanding why they lost yesterday. Also, Minnesota committed some really awful fouls. Why did they hack Bowen on that one fast break? Did someone on the team seriously think Ryan Bowen could make a double clutch reverse layup? Everybody on the Hornets’ bench was laughing at that one.

5. Pace (87) Though the tempo was slow, this game had some crispness to it when the starters were in. A lot of this was due to our 21 fast break points off 18 Timberwolf turnovers. Is it just me, or has Peja suddenly become really good at finishing? Yesterday, he threw down for the first time in ages, and tonight he took a hard foul while completing a layup, and also flipped in a sick reverse. The alley-oop count in this game was absurd; I didn’t add up how many there were total, but Paul had something like 5 midway through the second. From what I saw, Minnesota has some really capable pieces on the roster. Al Jefferson is the guy everybody knows, but Craig Smith had a solid 5 boards off the bench. The same goes for Chris Richard, who picked up 6 in just 2 more minutes than Smith. Rashad McCants, one of my favorites when he was in college, showed some big time potential. I kept waiting for Gerald Green to come off the bench and throw down a sick dunk… until the closing minutes, when I realized he now plays for Houston.

Other cool things/numbers/number-things: every available Hornet save the Birdman got off the bench tonight. The closer we get to the playoffs, the less I’m sure who Byron will carry on his playoff roster. Right when it seemed Hilton was gaining something of an upper hand over Birdman and Ely, he only played 13 minutes against a Western Conference bottom-feeder. Of course, Minnesota doesn’t have that much size, so it’s quite possible that Byron simply didn’t see a need for Hilton. While Pargo had another off night from the field, he was dialed in from deep, going 3 of 5. I don’t know what everyone else thought of this, but it seemed like the Hornets were unnecessarily pouring it on in taking numerous threes at the end. Finally, Ryan Bowen (5 points in 10 minutes!!) is the man.

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

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

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

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10 Responses

  1. I’ve noticed that before too. When Pargo is playing in garbage time with us up big, he never lets up. He pushes, pushes, pushes. And Wright and Bowen follow along happily.

  2. Haha, seeing Wright and Bowen out there at the same time is so fun. Though I feel sorry for poor old Melvin Ely dragging his veteran legs up and down, only to see Pargo keep firing away.

  3. Whatever happened to the colors on the Hive Five checkmarks? It’s harder to see now. ;P

    Have you seen the new Yahoo Sports article? http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Avjw4prhsv6rromIqobblLW8vLYF?slug=aw-bryantformvp040908&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    That’s such BS. They’re saying Kobe should be MVP now because Chris will win it again anyways later. Wow.

  4. Yeah, ticktock just posted about that article on our blog. It’s crazy. He starts off saying it’s not a lifetime achievement award, and then goes on to say in the past few years Kobe’s proven he’s the best and CP hasn’t. In past years. Not this year. Ditto wow.

  5. That’s weird. I always thought that Wojnaroski dude liked the Hornets. Wasn’t he the one who did the David West/CP/Skip Prosser article and then another Hornets thing like one day lateR?

  6. Hitley and I were talking last night during the game, and we were tossing around the idea of Ju Ju playing the 1 when the reserves are in the game, thus allowing Pargo to do what he like to do, which is shoot almost as often as AI. We also kicked around the idea of a Ju Ju / Mo Pete defensive backcourt if we needed some size with our guards. What do you guys think about that??

  7. I think it would be a great idea to trry. You’re right about Pargo, and he’s also so good coming off those curls (he seems to hit that curl fade jumper off the baseline inbounds play every time, doesn’t he?) Also, I think Pargo pulls up a little too often for jumpers in transition than I’d like. Julian might be more open to looking for difficult passing lanes to get layups. Remember that touch pass to Bonzi last week? The guy can definitely thread the needle.

  8. Well jujus a point forward as it is. That guy has more handles than anyone on the roster and I’m counting the mvp. Why do you like mo over bonzi in the backcourt though, or do you mean Bonzi will start instead of Mo?

  9. Well you could flip flop Mo Pete and Donatello (You cannot tell me that Bonzi doesn’t look just like a Ninja Turtle with that purple headband on) if you wanted. I think Mo Pete has better lateral movement and is a better perimeter defender. Bonzi is a much better post defender, however he may be more versatile. Good point DX.

  10. This makes me miss the “Banding Together” playoff run.

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