Why “Playing for 48 Minutes” Is So Important

Published: December 24, 2008

You know what frustrates me to no end; when my beloved Bugs cannot play a complete 48-minute game. Is it just me, or does it seem like every game this season, the Hornets have had what I like to call a “trainwreck”. Some of you know what I’m talking about, especially if you play golf for instance.

Lets say you hit the links on a saturday morning, and things are going splendidly. +1 here, even there, might even hit the occasional birdie. Next up, straight par 4 with no real hazards, easy pickin’s. Not so fast; first your drive goes to the 2nd cut of rough… Then you go squirrel hunting by hitting your golf ball into the forest. When it’s all said and done you record an 8, also known as a “snowman”. That, my friends, is a trainwreck. It puts a damper on your whole scorecard. Have the hornets had moments like this? Why yes, indeed they have. Lets take a look:

For the sake of this story, we’ll call a quarter with 20pts or less a trainwreck.

Date Opponent Qtr Pts Remarks
11/05 vs ATL 4 17 Lost by 8, not finishing bit us in the butt
11/07 @ CHA 2 7 Ouch! Thats Putrid! Definitely cost us this game
11/12 vs LAL 1 17 Yikes, not a good start, but it gets worse.
11/12 vs LAL 2 13 Ugh!
11/14 vs POR 2 20 Not too bad, Portland only scored 25
11/15 @ HOU 2 15 Not too good, must be the 2nd unit….
11/15 @ HOU 3 17 nope, obviously it’s a team issue.
11/19 vs SAC 4 20 Sacremento scored 28, and we lost by 9, yuck
11/21 @ OKC 3 18 This was a blowout, no worries, but worth noting this is the 5th game in a row with a trainwreck
11/27 @ DEN 2 20 Denver only got 24, not so bad
11/28 @ POR 4 17 We just looked out of gas
12/03 vs PHX 2 16 The suns rang up 29pts in the 2nd, basically waking them from the dead in this game
12/06 vs MEM 4 16 Garbage time
12/10 vs CHA 4 17 Garbage time
12/12 @ BOS 2 19 Not horrible, but….
12/12 @ BOS 4 18 Okay, 2 trainwrecks against LAL, HOU, and BOS. So, how good is our offense against the “elite”
12/14 @ TOR 4 19 Held Toronto to 19 as well, we’ll call it concentrated defensive effort
12/16 @ MEM 3 12 This would have been a devestating loss, only the Grizzlies remembered who they were
12/17 vs SAS 1 14 On a positive note, the Spurs only scored 15
12/20 vs SAC 2 17 SAC got 25 in the quarter, getting them back into this game
12/23 vs LAL 2 17 Lakers outscored us 32-17 in the 2nd. Note to Hornets: thats what championship teams do to teams that are struggling. It was never close after that.

So with that, we have 18 games (out of 24) with a trainwreck quarter, and 21 total trainwreck quarters. I made a note in the remarks that we have had two trainwreck quarters against “elite” teams (LAL, HOU, & BOS). Not a good sign. Please remember i didn’t take into account the number of posessions, FT attempts, or personnel rotations. This is straight off the box score.

So next time you hear that cliche “its a 48 minute game” or “we gotta play for 48 minutes”, don’t take it so lightly. Here’s to hoping the Bugs can learn and improve from this.

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