The Hornets beat the Timberwolves
Woohoo, the Hornets won! Chris Paul is back to his old self, Tyson Chandler is forward to his new self, and the P-word seems realistic again. That is, at least until the next inexplicable loss.
The Hornets take their inconsistent show on the road today to play the Rockets down in Houston. Methinks I'll do the whole crazy review/preview combo thing in this single post. Don't worry, I've done it before and nothing bad happened.
So, first thing being first, let's skip back over the win yesterday…
- Final score was 90-83. The eusocial wasp-themed dudes scored the 90 points, while the canis lupus lycaon-themed dudes scored the 83. Modern mathematics tells us that 90 is greater than 83, hence the Hornets were declared the winners of the 48-minute basketball game.
- Linkage: box | recap | video | photos | standings
- As mentioned, Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler were impressive last night. CP scored 24 points (9-13 FGs) and dished 8 assists, including one uber-funky dime to Chandler midway through the second quarter.
- That assist resulted in two of Tyson's 16 points, one short of his season-high. He knocked down 8-of-9 field goals, swatted four shots and grabbed 18 boards, tying his season high. Dude's my fucking hero right now.
- Kevin Garnett, named as an All-Star starter earlier in the week, finished with 17 points (8-16 FGs) and 13 rebounds.
- The win gives the Hornets a 2-1 lead over Minnesota in the season series, which is of course important if Playoff seedings come down to a tie-breaker. These teams will meet once more in April in Minneapolis.
- Mark Blount turned out to be the Wolves' best offensive weapon, knocking down a bunch of jumpers for 21 points.
- A number of guys were off the mark for the Hornets. Desmond Mason scored 12 points and David West had 10, but they were 6-of-14 and 4-of-11 shooting respectively. Devin Brown's reappearance in the starting lineup saw him shoot 2-of-8 from the field for 5 points. Bobby Jackson continued his piss-poor shooting of late by missing nine of his ten field goals, finishing with 2 points in 22 minutes. Rasual Butler missed all five of his field goals off the bench.
- In fact, beyond the big guy and the little guy, Jannero Pargo was about the only other straight shooter for the Hornets. He connected on 5-of-11 for 13 points, two of those field goals coming at crucial moments in the crunch.
- Rasual has made just 14-of-53 (26.4%) field goals in the last five games combined. I think he should shoot more accurately, because if he does that, he'll hit more shots, no question.
- Looks like anyone in the same building as the Hornets this season is liable to pick up the injury bug. As Steve Aschburner tells us in today's Star Tribune, an usher and a photographer hit the floor at the game yesterday.
- The Hornets managed 21 trips to the line in this one, but sank just 14 of those attempts. They were 5-of-8 against Philly on Wednesday. Minnesota were 13-of-15 from the stripe. Garnett didn't shoot a free throw.
- The Timberwolves seem to be having a lot of the same problems the Hornets are having this season, apart from a billion injuries that is. Check this quote from KG after the game…
"We've got to be a lot more aggressive. We've got to figure out a way to get to the rim. I don't know if it's fatigue, or if guys are tired or whatever. I'm pretty sure it starts with myself. I've got to figure out a way to do that."
I'm sure I've heard something similar from a number of our guys this season.
- John Rohde comments on the billion different backcout combinations Byron Scott used against the Timberwolves.
- Wolves Watch don't think the Randy Wittman era is going very well.
All in all, not a bad game. A whole bunch of guys played like dogs, and we still came out with a W. I find that encouraging, yet I'm discouraged by the fact that I find it encouraging. Know what I mean?
The Rockets are a pretty good team right now. They're currently fifth in the West with a 29-16 record. Since Yao Ming went down with that knee injury in December, they've somehow won 13 of 18. Tracy McGrady has been carrying the scoring load as usual, averaging 30ppg over the past month. Dikembe Mutombo has seen plenty of burn at the pivot, averaging a Chandleresque 12 boards per game in Yao's absence. Rafer Alston, Shane Battier and Juwan Howard have also all seen their minutes and production increase as the season has gone on, while Luther Head has been pretty solid all along. Bonzi Wells is still getting it together.
The Rocks are riding a four-game winning streak coming into this one. They're 16-5 at home. They last played on Wednesday, beating the visiting Sonics 112-102. T-Mac had 36 points and 9 assists. The Hornets met the Rockets just once already this season, back in November down in New Orleans. Good memories.
No doubt, this is going to be a tough game for the Hornets, a big test for them right now and especially tough given that it's a segababa (second game of a back-to-back … credit due). A repeat of last night's effort won't be enough to get it done.
Anyways, I'm all finished here. Tip tonight is at 7:30pm Central. If you're going to the game, get there early for your amazing Shane Battier bobblehead. Clicking the links below will magically transport you to other websites with more information on the Rockets. Try it, it's awesome.