The Jazz Beat the Hornets

Published: February 22, 2009

I don’t have a lot I want to say about this game.  I remember repeating a lot to myself “Anyone want to guard Okur?”, particularly when Melvin Ely was in the game for his brief stint.  The guys didn’t lay down and die, but thet pretty much lived on long jumpers – which both killed and boosted them at various points.

Paul ended up trying to do too much, but I can’t blame him.  No one else was accomplishing much with their efforts.

The Jazz bumped a pushed a lot – and the Hornets looked a little tired, especially late, and threw the ball away more than is characteristic.  By the end of the third, Paul was pretty sick of the constant hand checks and started slapping people’s hands away.

I’m not going to do a list of observations tonight, instead I’m going to focus on one thing:

I’m sick to death of the lack of footspeed on this team. 

When Paul pushes the break, the only player we see near him is Rasual Butler – and though Butler runs, he’s not a greyhound at all.  West has never been a fast break guy.  Tyson can, but he’s not around.  Peja has grown concrete shoes over the summer, and rarely even makes it to his spot on the wing anymore.  The rest of the team are pretty slow.  It kills our abilities in the open floor.

Defensively it showed all night too.  Simple curls and down picks repeatedly(repeatedly!) freed the Jazz wing players for open mid-range shots, which they stuck with regularity.  Our wings were typically three to four steps behind – and particularly in Peja’s case, pretty much out of the picture.  Every time the Jazz drove, our wings couldn’t stay in front.  Brewer in particular had a highway to the basket going either baseline or through the paint.

Oh, and why does Tyson have more fouls this year than last year?  That highway.

Anyways, the Hornets move on to their final game of this road-trip in Sacramento on Monday.  Tyson is going to try to be back for that game, but I hope he doesn’t if his ankle is at all in bad shape.  We need him back 100%, not re-injuring it trying to come back against a poor team.

Have a good night.

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