The Knicks beat the Hornets

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Published: November 3, 2009

I missed most of the first half of the game, since League Pass has yet to play a game on the channel it says its going to play it on – making life hard on TiVO and me.  Anyways, I still had some observations, and if you feel anything is missing, Mr. Kennedy’s started producing his own Game Recaps in the Journal Section. Take a gander.

On to the bullets:

  • The defeat tonight can be laid at the feet of the Hornets defense once more.  Believe it or not, but in general it takes longer for a good defense to gel than a good offense to gel.  So far, however, its hard to even see the makings of a good defense.  Though the perimeter is hardly a stout bastion of defense, its been the interior defense that has killed the Hornets this season.  Time and again, the Knicks ran a simple delayed pick and roll, and over and over the big man who should be coming over to help didn’t materialize.  The result – a layup line.  West and Okafor just aren’t communicating and aren’t covering each other, and they made David Lee look like David Robinson.
  • Paul’s shooting has been crazy to start the season.  It’s a shame it’s been wasted.  I know some people won’t like it, but I also like the way he’s been managing the game.  For the first half, he tries to get the rest of the team going, after the half, he goes nuts.  Right now, that might cause growing pains, but I think it will pay off in the long run.
  • Bold prediction:  Darren Collison will see minutes next game.  I have nothing to base this on but hope and another poor showing from Bobby Brown and Devin Brown that saw Byron curtail their minutes.

  • Peja continues to throw flame from the perimeter, going 3-6 from deep.  The worries during the pre-season seem long gone now.  Of course, the worries during the pre-season were kinda silly to begin with.  Peja was rehabbing all summer, and didn’t pick up a basketball until training camp began.  That’s bound to put some rust on your jumper – even if you are a crazy good jumpshooter.  It probably also doesn’t hurt that he says he’s free of anti-inflammatory medicine and painkillers for the first time in years.
  • I don’t think Songaila is being used to his strengths.  To me he seems to be the sort of player you get the ball to in the high post and send cutters.  Instead he’s being given the ball at the three-point line and cutters are sent.  He’s not a threat to shoot from there, so the guy guarding him simply steps back and impedes the passing lanes.
  • West needs to box out and get his hands on some boards.  He also needs to rotate faster.  I’m one of the biggest West apologists around – because I think his defense is no where near as bad as its claimed, but he’s hurting the Hornets on the interior right now.

That’s about it.  Next game is the Mavericks coming to visit.  Hopefully we’ll see some improvement in the interior defense and boardwork.

UPDATE: Video highlights from NBA.com:

More video highlights of Chris Paul’s performance:

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