The Hornets beat the Clippers

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Published: November 25, 2008

The Hornets handled the short-handed LA Clippers in Los Angeles, surging ahead in the third quarter, which finally allowed West and Paul to play less than 40 minutes for once.  Despite strong shooting by the Clipper’s rookie Eric Gordon, the rest of their team couldn’t keep pace and weren’t able to get back in it after that.  Bullets:

  • Chris Paul got himself one steal, keeping himself in the running to get that 105-games with a steal record away from Alvin Robertson.  He also got himself a triple double.  I think he’s just trying to piss off Jason Kidd by showing him that it’s really not all that impressive.
  • Our two biggest defensive weaknesses this season were in effect again.  The Hornets gave away the ball fifteen times, including five turnovers from CP3.  They also gave up 22 free throws while only earning 16.  Still waiting for that to tighten up.
  • Like I said in the game preview, Camby couldn’t guard David West to save his life.  After getting smoked in the first half, he was switched to Chandler, and Kaman got the job of being wrecked by West instead.  Of course, that put Camby against Chandler in the battle for rebounds, and he was effectively battled to a draw from that point.  West finished 12-21 for 27 points.  I was pleased to see him get the ball closer to the elbow more this game.  He’s a lot more effective when he’s the one deciding whether to drive, shoot or go into the post, instead of simply posting him and making him try to score.
  • Devin Brown is a shot in the arm for this team.  No, he’s not a playmaker, but he’s an aggressive slasher, and seems to like crashing towards the hoop – kinda like Dwayne Wade except not able to jump.  Or run fast.  Or dominate a game.  Okay, maybe not like Dwayne Wade.  Still!  He’s a great primary offensive option for a second unit, and I love the way he battles hard on the boards.  I counted no less than three of Paul’s rebounds coming from Devin battling for the rebound and tipping it loose so Paul could dart in and corral it.  Good deal.
  • Julian is bizarre.  He passed up four open threes so he could do a crossover dribble, advance the ball three to four feet, and take a long two.  And he sank them.  And he’s been doing it all season.  I had a lot of ideas of what I could expect from Julian – but a midrange jumpshooter was not one of them.
  • You know, I like Posey.  I like his timely threes.  However, every game he commits two flat out stupid fouls.  What’s up with that?

  • Give it up to the guys.  After being destroyed on the boards in the first half and giving up no less than 11 offensive rebounds, they controlled the boards from that point on, turning things around and ending with an 11 rebound advantage.  Posey and Peja came up big in that department.
  • There is one thing I continue to hate about the Hornets game plan.  In the fourth, if they have a lead of five points or more, they go into something I call the “Prevent Offense”.  In Football – it’s a defense that’s supposedly supposed to deny long hail mary strikes while giving up short yardage.  It’s supposed to stop a team from coming back from a deficit.  That’s what our offense becomes as we wait for the clock to reach 8-9, and then we run a High Pick and Roll.  I hate it.  Hate it.  Why not just run our half-court offense?  It’s not like we run a blazing quick attack.  We typically shoot with only 5-10 seconds left on the shot clock anyways, and the shots generated from our normal sets are infinitely better because you can cycle through more than one or two options.
  • Kaman ended up getting pretty testy in the second half, got a technical, and then started throwing his weight around and trying to be intimidating.  He fouled Tyson pretty hard for no real reason, and then talked smack at Paul after Paul drove past him for a layup.  Paul smirked, and I swear it looked like he said “You know you’re losing, right?”
  • Hey, look.  Hilton had a turnover.
  • Speaking of Peja, tonight was probably the most physical I’ve ever seen him play.  Tonight he got nothing easy, being bodied and bumped, and he still hit some nice shots in the first half.  In fact, he missed his four easiest shots of the game, when he was left open in the fourth.  You can also credit him for keeping Camby and Kaman off the weakside rebounds, and also for holding Al Thornton to 5-18 shooting.  Peja played off, forced him to help, and let him take the 20-foot jumper.  Good plan.
  • Tyson had some foul trouble, but rolled to the rim for several nasty alley-oops during the game.  Best wishes to him as he goes in at 5 AM to have a new baby.

That’s it for me.  We don’t play again until Thursday, when we face the Nuggets.

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