The Kings beat the Hornets

Published: November 30, 2009

The Hornets got down early in this one, and kept making surges to try and break through but the Kings answered every surge with one of their own, and at the end executed while the Hornets took more and more risky shots and finished with a blow out.  It would have been nice to get one more win with a showdown with the Lakers looming.

Observations from the loss:

  • West mostly eschewed the mid-range jumper tonight, only letting fly from the baseline twice and one top of the key shot.  Instead, he focused on man-handling Kenny Thomas and Jason Thompson en route to the basket.  He had some great success at that.  However, he was consistently wrestled out of position on the defensive glass in the second half by the massive Jon Brockman and Thompson, and he was unable to corral the boards as they bounced out to Kings perimeter players.  Still, it was nice to see West working the interior like a champ.  One thing to note: Okafor and West are starting to develop a pretty solid game in the paint where West works the interior, draws both bigs, and finds Okafor for an easy flush.
  • Tyreke Evans couldn’t handle Collison’s defense to save his life.  If Evans tried to drive, Collison bothered his dribble and made him pick up the ball.  If Evans tried to post him, Collison managed to be so energetic that Evans had to fade out to catch the ball, putting him in position to once again be forced to face up and drive.  When the Hornets erased the big halftime deficit it was because Evans consistently wasted 14 seconds of the shot clock being harassed by Collison.

  • On the flip side, Collison couldn’t score on Evans either.  His pull up wasn’t working, and his drives were consistently harassed by Evans length.
  • Beno Udrih and Sergio Rodriguez crushed the Hornets.  As Collison fought over picks trying to track them, the bigs – usually Posey or West – didn’t hedge out far enough, and they’d simply pop a shot off – and they always seemed to hit.  They changed the game when the got on the floor and took over ball-handling duties for the Kings. 
  • Rodriguez and Thompson ran the pick and roll very well.  The Hornets didn’t defend it so well.
  • Thornton fell in love with the three ball early, and took some early in the shot-clock I wish he hadn’t.  His drives were also usually against Tyreke Evans, and like Darren Collison, he struggled getting them over the top of the big rookie.  Not a good game for Thornton.
  • Posey played 42 minutes, and was mostly invisible out there.  Peja may run hot and cold shooting nowadays, but you know when he’s playing because he actually works and runs to get open on offense.  Posey shuffles.  It makes a big difference.  Peja would have helped a lot tonight.  Hopefully all is well.
  • Emeka Okafor was a monster out there.  He played solid defense, worked the boards and finished strong.
  • There was a Julian Wright sighting.  It went as well as you’d expect.

Have a good night.

UPDATE: Check out Mr. Kennedy’s post-game Journal report, and some video highlights from the game…

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