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Game On: Thunder @ Hornets »
The Hornets beat the Thunder
Well, that felt good. Blowing out an opponent for the first time this season was nice, even if it was the lowly Thunder. The Hornets won by 25, and none of our starters played more than 29 minutes. Bullety goodness:
- I don’t think Chris Paul broke a sweat tonight. Not once did he put on the jets, and he pretty much dribbled wherever he wanted, and he knew they couldn’t stop him. He had a big grin on his face for most of the game, and got so cocky he got a few stupid fouls over-pressuring guys on defense. He played 27 minutes, and landed 17 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and three steals.
- West had it easy and pretty much scored however he wanted. He shot well, got to the stripe a lot, and even somehow managed 4 blocks. I remember one pretty nice one, but don’t remember the other three really.
- Russell Westbrook took fourteen shots and hit five of them. That actually increases his shooting percentage. At least he can dunk.
- The Hornets forced 25 turnovers. Nice. The Hornets gave up 14. I won’t complain because the second unit was in for a lot of the game, and you should to expect that.
- Hours after me calling HiltonWatch stillborn, he pulls through with aggressive moves in the post that netted him 13 points on 6-7 shooting. Somehow, though, he still managed to turn the ball over 3 times. I only remember one. I’m beginning to think all the stat guys got together before the season and said “let’s make some guy set a record for turnovers this year” and then settled on Hilton.
- Devin Brown clearly decided that he was going to the freaking hole, and if anyone got in his way, he was still going to run into them and throw the ball at the basket. It was nice to see a guard not named Paul penetrating and being aggressive. He went 6-10 with four free throws. Bravo Devin. I’m so glad he replaced Mike James.
- Peja still had more cold stretches than hot ones, but his deep shooting was on as he hit 3-6. I have faith he’ll work it out.
- Tyson had a bunch of crappy fouls and only played 22 minutes. He didn’t try a shot, and pulled 6 rebounds. Let’s see what he does tomorrow night.
- Butler’s shot is slowly coming back down to earth from the incredible numbers he had to start the season. Still, he was active, aggressive, and his defense, as always, was stellar. Durant couldn’t ever shake free of him.
- Speaking of Durant – he pushed the ball in transition twice during the game and got a bucket and some free throws. Otherwise he was absolutely terrible. Contested long two after long two. So far, to me he looks like a third scorer on a good team.
- Bowen played and he knocked down a 16-foot jumpshot on the pick and pop. He also managed 3 rebounds and 1 steal. I really think Byron should find a way to play him for 5 minutes every game – just to get that jolt of frenetic energy.
- Julian Wright is so scattered. Half the time you can still tell he doesn’t know what he wants to do: drive, shoot, pull up, assist, so he does some half-assed thing in the middle and ends up turning it over or passing the ball after gaining no advantage. However, when he makes a decisive move, he’s extremely effective. Let’s hope he figures it out and starts getting decisive. He’ll be nasty when he does. He stuffed the stat sheet with 3-6 shooting, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and his inevitable 2 turnovers.
- Not much for me to say about the Thunder. Collison was solid, the rest of the team varied between serviceable and awful. I still wish we had made a play for Collison in the off-season.
Hopefully, we’ll be doing this again Saturday night. Until then.