Game On: Hornets @ Kings

Published: November 21, 2010

Matchup: Hornets(10-1) @ Kings(4-7)
Off Efficiency: Hornets 107.1(6th), Kings 104.1(15th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 98.3(4th), Kings 109.3(28th)

Thanks to the amazing Dariusz Ejkiewicz for the Game Day Banner.

The Hornets visit Sacramento the day after shipping Peja to the Raptors, depriving his Kings fans from seeing him.  Hopefully there weren’t too many people who bought tickets expressly for that purpose.  After starting the season 3-1, the Kings had a tough six game losing streak, featuring bad losses to the Pistons, Knicks, and Timberwolves.  To say they’ve struggled a bit is an understatement.

No word yet if Jack and Andersen will be able to play tonight.  Both teams will have to have their physicals clear first, so we may see Thornton activated this game if Jack isn’t quite ready.

NBA 2k11 Simulation

According to the 2k11 simulation, the Kings are going to put a beatdown on New Orleans for trading Peja, winning 103 to 83.  Jack scores 11 points, but Paul and West combine for 23 points.

Player Analysis

PG: Tyreke Evans v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Tyreke Evans continues where he left off last year, essentially putting up a 20-5-5.  Of course, he also turns the ball over 3.4 times a game, and has completely forgotten how to draw fouls, something he excelled at last year.  This has tremendously impacted his game and the Kings ability to win,  since he is now only generating 1.11 points per shot.  Among the six most frequent shot-takers on the Kings, that is the worst by far – and he also takes almost twice as many shots as anyone else.  I don’t actually expect this two players to be matched up that much – Evans is a SG, and Monty won’t make Paul guard a guy so much bigger than him.  Still, expect Paul to be more productive and impactful.

On a side note, last year, even with the above information, I’d still have been quaking in my boots at the thought of ‘Reke attacking from the perimeter.  This year?  With Belinelli, Ariza and Green guarding him?  Not so much.

SG: Luther Head v Marco Belinelli
Advantage: Hornets
Luther Head has been the Kings most efficient scorer, due to a large number of free throws.  Still, he almost never takes shots – so that benefit is limited.  He’s also one of the worst rebounders around, and his good, but as infrequent as his shooting.  I’d take Marco any day.  Who knows, though.  Maybe Head will be looking for revenge after the events of this summer.

SF: Donte Greene v Trevor Ariza
Advantage: Hornets
Greene just recently entered the starting line-up as Omri Casspi has fallen out of favor.  He’s been markedly ordinary.  Trevor doesn’t have a showy impact on the game, but he’s been great for the Hornets on the Wing.

PF: Carl Landry v David West
Advantage: Hornets
Landry is exhibit A for how a player looks great in one system and terrible in another.  After setting all kinds of crazy efficiency benchmarks in Houston as a sixth man, he’s been very ordinary in Sacramento, not getting the ball where he needs it or having smart players able to play off of him.  He’s only scoring 1.237 points per shot as a King, which is tops among their most prolific shooters – but to put that in persepective, every Hornets starter not named Trevor is scoring more efficiently than Landry.

C: Samuel Dalembert v Emeka Okafor
Advantage: Hornets
Dalembert has been a very good rebounder and shot blocker so far this season, but like Landry, the inability of the Kings guards to play off of or along with a big man has made him too often work for his own shots.  He was never good at that, and he’s struggled mightily as a King.  Let’s hope he takes lots of shots tonight.

Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia, DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Omri Casspi
Willie Green, Jason Smith, Quincy Pondexter, (Jarrett Jack?  Thornton? Pops? Mbenga?)
Advantage: Kings
Even if Jack is dressed for tonight, it’ll take a little time for this unit to gel, and the Kings have some solid pieces off their bench.  Udrih is a solid backup point guard who finishes well at the cup.  Garcia has been slowly re-finding his stroke and providing some scoring, and Cousins, though he’s been terrible offensively, has been a good rebounder. The same could be said for the foolishly marginalized Jason Thompson.  Omri Casspi has been one of the Kings most effective shooters, but appears to have fallen out of favor in Sacramento.  We’ll see if that rift has closed.  If so, he helps this unit too.

Enjoy the Game.  Talk it up!


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