The Hornets beat the Grizzlies

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Published: December 17, 2008

The Comments section of the game thread was smoking tonight as the Hornets held off the Grizzlies in the fourth and pulled out a seven point win.  The Hornets put together a stink fest from anywhere within the three point line offensively, but Butler, Posey and at the end, Peja, dropped enough threes to sink the young Grizzlies.

Oh – and I figured I’ll say this before anyone’s head explodes over the fact we didn’t simply dismantle the Grizzlies.  Remember last year?  The Hornets best season ever?  The Hornets went to overtime with the Grizzlies last year.  Twice.  No NBA team can be completely discounted.  Well, unless they’re the Thunder.

Observations:

  • Last game, Gay didn’t care if Peja caught, dribbled, ate a Serbian treat, dribbled some more, set his feet, surveyed the court, and then took a shot, he wasn’t going to close out on him.  Tonight, he humped the hell out of Peja, refusing to let him get open and generally taking him out of the game.  There were 12 plays with Peja as a primary or secondary option, but he only got the ball twice, because he never had seperation.  Yuck. Peja managed seven shots by the end of the game, sinking two to go with three free throws for nine points.  Even the huge corner three he stuck at the end of the game was contested despite his best footwork.  Maybe we can give him a few more post-ups, please?  He’s actually not bad at that, despite being scared of contact.
  • Quite simply, Mayo’s on a roll.  If you add Peja does that make a chicken sandwich?
  • No worries about the steals record, Paul got two steals he shouldn’t have, two that were silly and didn’t matter,(coming with just a couple seconds left in their quarters) and one that he earned.  I’ll have more about this accomplishment tomorrow before my Spurs preview.

  • I like Antonio Daniels.  I don’t like Sean Marks.  I definitely don’t have the aversion to Devin Brown that some of you have, though he’s only so-so in my book.
  • I know no one wants to, but credit Darko Milicic and Marc Gasol for a lot of our missed shots this game.  Throughout the game, contact was being allowed, and Marc and Darko bodied the hell out of West, forcing him into missing shots he usually doesn’t, and both contested drives to the baskets vigorously.  They were very effective.
  • What can you say about Butler and Posey?  They played excellent defense and stuck their threes.  Very nice.  That last drive by Mayo that he left short was caused by Posey.  Mayo was looking for a foul, but the choice there was a charge, or the miss.  Posey was waiting for him for so long he had enough time to brush AND floss his teeth to remove the clumps of Rudy flesh still clinging to them after he had forced a turnover the previous possession.
  • Paul and West both missed some shots they usually hit, but both made up for it by doubling their usual number of free throws and getting to the line, where they sunk 19-20.  Despite shooting 8-26 between them, they still managed 36 points on those 26 shots, which is actually pretty solid efficiency.  Efficient, but ugly.
  • I don’t know if the roadtrip had anything to do with it, but West’s jumper was flat all game, and drawing front iron.  Typically he gets a nice arc on it.  Flat and short typically means tired.  I hope he gets a good night sleep – we play tomorrow.
  • Tyson had a rough game, and it feels like I’m always saying that.  The Hornet’s need him to get back in the groove, and not just to help out the offense.  A team must have a good defensive big man to be a good defensive team.  The Hornet’s big man has struggled, and unsurprisingly, their defense has struggled as well.  Come back to us, Tyson.
  • Psst.  Hilton Armstrong’s turnovers and fouls outnumbered his combined points, rebounds, shots, assists, blocks and steals 7 to 6.
  • Did you notice the game finally turned around when Paul decided to go Nash on the Grizzlies?  He just took the ball into the paint and drove around in circles three or four times until the Grizzlies were so dizzy the gave up an open shot.  Good times.

The Hornets play again tomorrow as they returned home from their odd road trip and get to welcome the San Antonio Spurs.  Looks to be a good one.

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