Anyone Want a Bobcat Pelt?

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Published: November 7, 2008

I was torn this off-season when Jannero Pargo flew of to Moscow.  There were parts about his game that I hated, and there were parts of his game that I loved.  In the end, I talked myself into thinking it was okay that he left, since he had more bad nights than good last year.  Last game against the Hawks, however, we did miss him.  Without Jannero, the Hornets only have two players, West and Paul, who can realiably create a shot.  Any shot, even if it was a bad Jannero 20-footer, could have helped.  The Hawks had two guys custom built to give David West a hard time, and they jammed the paint against Paul, forcing us to rely on kick-out threes for our points.

Sometimes, living by the three point shot can be intensely exciting.  Sometimes, it simply makes me grumpy.

I’m still hoping that Devin Brown will get in a little better shape and show some his slashing ability again – or Julian Wright will get some floor time and show some talent there.  One thing is for certain though – Mike James has shown over the last 4 games that he’s too slow and can’t get any penetration at all.  He hasn’t made it more than a couple feet past the three point line without being cut off in any of the games.  Not once.  Ugh.

On to the game.

New Orleans Hornets(3-1) @ Charlotte Bobcats(1-3)

I’m going to reintroduce the Efficiency section to my game previews.  This season’s games are still a tiny sample size, but the numbers are at least interesting now.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, I will be giving the offensive and defensive efficiencies of each team, and where they rank in the league. 

All efficiency numbers are given for 100 posessions – so if the Hornets offensive efficiency is 110, that means they score 110 points for every 100 times they have the ball.  A defensive efficiency of 98 would mean that they allow 98 points for every 100 times the other team has the ball.

Offensive Efficiency: Hornets 109.7(4th), Bobcats 106.3(12th)
Defensive Efficiency: Hornets 103.7(14th), Bobcats 113.6(27th)
Evil Non-Hornet Blogger: Queen City Hoops (And they traded questions with At the Hive)

The Hornets buzz into their old Haunt last night to take on the Charlotte Bobcats.  The Hornets will probably be a big angry after being worked over by the Hawks at home, and I expect Byron to have them coming out focused for this game.

The Bobcats have had mediocre results so far this season, despite Gerald Wallace coming out of the box on a tear.  Sadly for Gerald, the rest of the team hasn’t matched his fire, and they certainly haven’t picked up the tough defense that is typically a hallmark of Larry Brown-coached teams.  They’ve already had losses of 17 and 18 points to Cleveland and Detroit.

Injuries

Bobcats: Okafor, Felton and Sean May all have had minor injuries.  May probably won’t play, but that’s par for the course for him.  The other two probably will play.
Hornets: Sean Marks

Positional Analysis

Point Guard: Chris Paul v Raymond Felton
Advantage: Hornets
Up until last year, I had always felt that Ray Felton got up for games against Chris Paul, and typically played him pretty well.  Then, of course, Paul exploded to a whole different level, and Felton didn’t – so this isn’t that much of a matchup.  Felton is fast, but his ability to finish near the basket is poor, negating that advantage.  He also is remarkably adept at avoiding free throws, so even if he does drive, he’s not getting any freebies.  That’s tough for a guy with poor shooting.

Shooting Guard: Morris Peterson v Jason Richardson
Advantage: Bobcats
I almost made this even, which made me kinda sad.  Richardson was a crazy athelete with a beautiful stroke, but his defense has always been extremely poor, his ball-handling weak, and in general, he’s always been vastly overrated as he put up big numbers on bad teams.  I always wanted him to take the next step, but he never quite made it.  Still – he can catch fire, and if he does, he’ll leave Morris Peterson as smoking wreckage.

Small Forward: Peja Stojakovic v Gerald Wallace
Advantage: Bobcats
Crash Wallace is up to his old tricks, scoring 19 a game to go with 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block while shooting 52% from the floor and 63% from three – firing off two per game.  He’s also earning 9 free throws per contest.  Last year, he got a bit complacent with his deep shot, but it looks like he’s making an effort going to the rim again this year, and that makes him very dangerous.  I expect him to abuse Peja, since Peja’s got a bad ankle and all.  Hopefully Peja’s shot and passing skills will re-emerge after last games debacle.

Power Forward: David West v Jared Dudley
Advantage: Hornets
Fluffy is going to destroy Jared.  I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to mix the fat bully cousin from Harry Potter with the former fat guy from Subway, but expect him to be embarassed.

Okay – really, Jared wouldn’t be bad – if he was a backup forward.  He’ll play earnest defense but give the Bobcats very little else.  Here’s one question for you:  Where did David West’s rebounding go?  He hasn’t gotten more than 7 all season, and is averaging 6.5.

Center: Tyson Chandler v Emeka Okafor
Advantage: Hornets
Emeka is an Enigma.  He seems like he should be an excellent big man.  He can block shots and rebound.  He’s shown he can score in the post.  He never produces much – and for a guy with a reputation as a very good defender, he’s never been on a good defensive team.  He is a bit undersized, but not enough to make him this ordinary.  I just don’t get it.  Tyson should be able to handle him.  Hopefully we’ll get an alley-oop breakout game.  I’ve been missing those.

Bench
Advantage: Hornets
Rooke DJ Augustin and Disaster Adam Morrison headline one of the weakest benches in the league.  Shannon Brown is nondescript and bad, Nazr Mohammed limited, and Matt Carroll – someone I thought could be effective in the right system – rarely used by Larry Brown.  James Posey may or may not be able to play 1 on 5 against the Bobcats second unit and win.  Give Posey Julian Wright and it’s no contest.

Hornets by 12.

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