The Jazz beat the Hornets

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Published: January 8, 2009

I was worried about the Hornets coming out flat against the Jazz after last night’s game.  They didn’t come out flat at all, with Paul and West picking up where they left off last night and jumping out to a nice lead.

Then the Hornets ran off the bridge, and the game was over in the third.  The first blowout we didn’t even make a run in to try and get back in it.

Some bullets:

  • Paul Millsap outworked the entire Hornets team tonight.  I love the guy.  He rebounded like a machine, scored repeatedly right around the basket, and hit several nice foul line jumpers.  He’s smart, extremely strong, and knows how to use his lower center of gravity to push bigger players away from the basket or clear space for himself.  This off-season the Jazz have to decide whether to keep Boozer or Millsap.  No question in my mind, take Millsap.
  • The Hornets have no third option right now.  Paul and West will reliably give you something, but every game Byron is ending up searching for that third scorer to help out.  Sometimes it’s been Peja, sometimes Posey, sometimes Rasual.  It’s very hard to score consistently, however, if you have to spend half the game figuring out who else is on.  Byron is catching a lot of crap about his rotations, but I honestly haven’t seen a damn thing out of any of our other perimeter players or big men that make me excited to see them enter the game.  I’d be experimenting too.
  • The Hornets were outrebounded 26 to 55.  The Jazz more than doubled the Hornets rebounding.  The only word I can apply to that is pathetic.

  • The Hornets are normally not foul machines.  The Jazz shot 44 foul shots.  The Hornets shot 21.  A large percentage of those foul shots were generated by pure hustle – something the Hornets didn’t display any of.  I’ve pretty much reached the point that I realize that the Hornets don’t hustle.  Paul, yes, Posey sometimes.  Everyone else?  No.  Just think if West actually went hard after those loose balls.
  • Everything the Hornets do is predicated on having guys who can space the floor and knock down the three.  Peja was awful tonight.  Usually you can see that his shots are riiiight there, even when they aren’t sinking.  Tonight, he wasn’t even close.  He wasn’t even on line tonight, with his shots flying off the side of the basket, or clanking hard off the heel of the rim.  Sadly, all of those shots weren’t contested.  What’s worse is that three of his errant shots were long rebounds that turned into fast break buckets.
  • Butler wasn’t much better.  He started off strong, but fizzled with the rest of the team from there.
  • Korver and Okur are the best two three point shooters on their team – even better than Deron.  The Hornets let them shoot five uncontested threes.  They sank five.
  • Hilton is definitely developing some offensive moves, but he still doesn’t ever, ever rebound.  Zero rebounds in 14 minutes.  Zero.

Ugly game.   The boys need to get their rest, the next game comes Friday.  At least it’s against the Clippers.  I’m not really upset about the Hornets going 2-2 on that road trip either.

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