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Well, we got off to a rocky start at 5-5 but we’ve gone 4-1 in our last 5 games giving us a record of 9-6 (7th West, 2nd Southwest).
Hornets’ last 5 games (4-1):
- at Oklahoma City, W 105-80
- vs. Oklahoma City, W 109-97
- at Los Angeles Clippers, W 99-87
- at Denver, W 105-101
- at Portland, L 86-101
Even though the first 3 games of that stretch were against 2 teams that had 2 wins at the time, a win is a win. I think the games that you’re “supposed” to win are just as important as the games against the top dogs of the league. Basically every game is important. The most important thing is that we’ve shown improvement over the stretch.
A few good things that stood out to me is that we seem to be slowly getting better defensively, Devin Brown has played well in his backup PG role, Peja apparently has gotten his shot back, and Tyson’s wife had their baby (CONGRATS!!) so hopefully he’ll get his groove back too. However, I’ve also seen a few things with the team and individual players that I didn’t like: We’re the worst rebounding team in the league, we still have wayyy too many wasted possessions, David played well against OKC and LAC but scored a combined 25 points at Den and Por, our guys won’t shut the f#ck up and stop complaining to the refs, and the movement on offense is still nonexistent. As far as David West goes, he’s becoming “that guy” for me. There’s a “that guy” on every team but in our case we have two with David and Peja.
- That guy- A guy who is a great offensive talent but is almost completely useless if he’s not producing offensively.
I know people are game planning to stop David and so far, its working. He’s gotten his fair share of attention this year but hasn’t handled it well and hasn’t given any indication (so far) that he’ll be able to handle it. It’s only been 15 games so he’s got plenty of time to handle the attention better but I guess if he’s not scoring, he’s not rebounding. His rebounding is down from almost 9 per game last year to a little over 6 this year. That wouldn’t be a horrible stat if our 6’0″ (supposedly) PG wasn’t averaging almost 6 per game. I won’t even scare you with a description of how horrid his passing out of double teams and his defense has been. David needs to get to work.
Hornets’ next 5 games:
- vs. Phoenix- Always a great game when we play against Phoenix (11-7). I don’t know what it is but we’ve really liked playing them these past 2 years. We’re 5-0 against them going back to last season and I really don’t expect that to change in this game. Phoenix has a lot of scoring punch with Nash, Stoudemire, and Shaq but we just match up really well with the Suns. I think it stays close until the 4th quarter, but the Hornets win by at least 5.
- vs. Memphis- The Grizzlies (4-13) have two guys who can really score (Mayo and Gay). Pau’s little brother has played well. It’s those 3 and not much else for the Grizz. Hornets should win this one by at least 10.
- vs. Charlotte- Charlotte has been surprisingly competitive this year. Rookie DJ Augustin, Felton, and Richardson are all playing really well right now. Last time we played Charlotte, we lost 92-89 in Charlotte when we had 17 turnovers. As competitive as they have been, I don’t expect any of what happened in Charlotte to happen in New Orleans. Hornets should take this one by at least 5.
- at Boston- Big game. Tough place to play. The Lakers were the measuring stick to see how much better we need to get to win the West and the Celtics (17-2) are the measuring stick to see how much better we have to be to win an NBA title. Celtics have played great as of late, especially Rajon Rondo. This one can go either way. One thing I know is that if we play the way we did against the Lakers (the best team we’ll have played until this game) earlier in the season, we’ll get our ass*s kicked right off the floor.
- at Toronto- The Raps (8-8) started the season well but it’s been down hill from there. Chris Bosh is the best PF in the league right now but he’s not getting a lot of help from his teammates other than Jose Calderon. Hopefully, that continues when they play us. I think the Hornets win this one by 10.
Now, on to Phoenix!! Well, the game is in New Orleans but you know what I mean..