Mini Game Preview: Nets @ Hornets

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Published: January 8, 2010

Matchup: Nets(3-30) @ Hornets(17-16)

Off Efficiency: Nets 94.3(30th), Hornets 103.0(21st)
Def Efficiency: Nets 107.1(23rd), Hornets 105.6(20th)

Injuries:

Nets: Jarvis Hayes is Day-to-Day
Hornets: Ike Diogu, Sean Marks

The Nets are terrible.  Yeah, I know that’s a bit of a “duh” statement since their record stands at 3-30.  Their offense, however, is more than just terrible.  Over the last five years, offensive rules changes has made scoring much easier, and not a single team has ended the season with an efficiency below 100.  The Nets trail that mark by 5.7.  I guess that’s what happens when you consciously trade away your best players for picks and cap space – and then hold all that cap space for the future.

Oddly, the Nets do have a few efficient scorers on their team.  Yi Jianlin and Brook Lopez both average over 1.3 points per shot – and Devin Harris is posting a decent David West-like 1.23.  The problem, however, is their other players.  Chris Douglas-Roberts, Courtney Lee, and the recently waived Rafer Alston took a combined 33 shots a game – and produced 35.  That’s awful.  Again, it would be like us running our offense through Devin Brown.  Last year’s Devin Brown.  Oh, and he’d have to take as many shots as Kobe does.  Yeah.  It’s that bad.

So, for the Hornets to take out the Nets, the key is to let the guards shoot.  Pressure Lopez, stay on Yi, and ask Courtney Lee and Douglas-Roberts to fire away from the perimeter, please.

OR they Hornets could win by crashing the boards, because the Nets ignore the glass, giving up a 6-rebound advantage to opposing teams.  Lopez isn’t a bad rebounder, but Yi is weak on that end, and none of their guards bother with the boards in any meaningful sense.  In fact, Peja Stojakovic produces more rebounds per minute than every one of their swingmen and point guards – except Douglas Roberts, who exactly equals him.  That’s pretty tough, considering I turn up my nose at Peja’s rebounding efforts.

So – there are a lot of ways to beat this team.  Let’s hope the Hornets take advantage of one of them.

Enjoy the game.

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