Game On: Hornets @ Trailblazers

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Published: November 26, 2010

Matchup: Hornets(11-3) @ Trailblazers(8-6)

Off Efficiency: Hornets 103.7(16th), Trailblazers 105.2(12th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 98.5(4th), Trailblazers 103.8(15th)

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

As the Hornet’s offense continues to choke and sputter on bad shooting from deep and an over-reliance on isolations, the New Orleans defense continues to chug along, keeping them in games in ugly fashion.  Still, the offensive woes have been a major concern.  Over the last week, the team has been so poor at generating points that it’s offensive efficiency has fallen 8 spots.  Of course, that means they’ve been sucking hard to pull so high a number so low so quickly.  To make it even more worrisome, the average defensive ranking of those three teams is 21.  World beater defensive teams they weren’t.

Making shots should clear all ills.  Over the last three games the Hornets are 27% from deep and barely 41% from the floor as they do their best Imperial Stormtrooper impression.    They are getting the free throws, they are keeping down the turnovers, they just need to generate some open shots and knock them down.

The Trailblazers come in off of a loss to the Jazz themselves, but that was way back on November 20th.  They’ve had a nice long stretch of rest.  Or Rust.  We’ll see tonight.

The Simulation

As always, the NBA 2K11 Simulation has the Hornets losing tonight 108-96.  I don’t think I’ve done a preview where it predicts a win.  Trevor Ariza improbably goes off for 29 points and David West manages 10.  Roy puts down 23 points and 11 assists.

Injuries:

Hornets: David Andersen has an injured work Visa.
Trailblazers: Roy is day-to-day but reported Wednesday he feels like he may play tonight.  Przybilla has not yet returned but is getting close.  Oden is done for the year.

Positional Analysis

PG: Andre Miller v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Andre Miller continues to play a fairly efficient game as a savvy point guard reliant more on smarts and strength than speed at this point.  Most of his posessions result in a hard drive to the post, a jump-step, pump-fake, and if that doesn’t get his defender off his feet, a “second option” up-and under or fade to try to squeeze off a shot.  Paul typically doesn’t buy the pump-fake, so we’ll see if Miller’s second option is falling tonight.  Paul, on the other hand, hasn’t looked like himself for four straight games.  He’s not doing his paint weave to create open shots – he’s not exploding on the pick and roll – and he’s not getting to the basket.  Some of that is defenses keying on him and switching and going under every pick, but it’s still disconcerting to all of us who worry about his knee.

SG: Wesley Matthews v Marco Belinelli
Advantage: Even
Wesley Matthews has been giving the Trailblazers production at a pretty similar level to what Marco gives the Hornets.  Matthews is maybe 5% more productive, but I’m such a fan of Marco’s defense, I think this is a push.

SF: Nicolas Batum v Trevor Ariza
Advantage: Blazers
There is a lot of Batum love in the world and on this site.  I don’t buy it.  Yes, he’s better than an average small forward.  Slightly.  Yes, he’s better than Ariza.  Is he a star?  No.  Middling shooting numbers and no free throws to speak of.  Few turnovers, but few assists.  Solid defense.  He gives the Blazers an edge here, but not a decisive one.

PF: LaMarcus Aldridge v David West
Advantage: Hornets
It’s freakish over the last few years how similar the production of these two forwards have been.  Particularly when you look at them and see the slender, super-long Aldridge next to the squat, muscular West.  In the end, West has been more efficient and is tougher than Aldridge and usually makes LaMarcus take longer and longer shots as the game goes on.

Plus, Aldridge has started off the season pretty weakly, only scoring 1.137 points per shot.  That’s Trevor Ariza territory.

C: Marcus Camby v Emeka Okafor
Advantage: Even
As always, Camby’s rail-thin frain and ass-backwards shooting form results in him being dismissed.  He shouldn’t be.  He blocks shots and cleans the glass better than all but a few of the league’s centers.  Is he a defensive monster?  No.  But he’s as solid as Okafor, who doesn’t rebound like him and has been struggling mightily over the past two weeks without Paul’s penetration to play off of and get easy shots.

Bench
Dante Cunningham, Rudy Fernandez, Armon Johnson, Luke Babbit
Jarrett Jack, Willie Green, Quincy Pondexter, Jason Smith, DJ Mbenga
Advantage: Push
Willie Green has his moments, both good and bad.  Jack is still settling in, Jason Smith’s amazing mid-range shooting is showing it’s ordinary character, and Mbenga and Pondexter aren’t having a real impact.

Armon Johnson is playing very very efficiently in short minutes, but Rudy, Dante and Luke are all struggling mightily.  If Matthews is pushed to the bench, the Trailblazers get an advantage here, but neither of these teams have much in the way of a crack bench squad.

Enjoy the game.  Talk it up!

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68 comments
ollie
ollie

5 scorers in double digits. which is rare for many nba teams, and even rarer considerin the lowest scorers in doubles both had 14 not 10. encouraging signs and good to see the effort tonight even when we were up by 10 we played hard

JaeAmazin
JaeAmazin

Everyone who can make it Better be in the hive this Sunday

CharmedHive
CharmedHive

I'll be there supporting my Bees as they take on the Spurs... >:( <---that's a mad face, hehe.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I must be in the Hive on Sunday!!

Schmide234
Schmide234

its nice to play a game where CP and DWest combine for 28 points, but we win by 19. im loving it

42
42

Spurs lost . . . too bad it was against the Mavericks. Rockets racked up a loss. Memphis won.

42
42

Lakers lost to Jazz. If we beat the Spurs, we're back on top of the NBA for at least a minute.

mbdtf
mbdtf

Defense wins games

Go Blue
Go Blue

David West for three!! Great game, hornets out rebounded them by 20.

Schmide234
Schmide234

DAVID WEST FOR TTTHHHRREEEEEE!!!!!

CharmedHive
CharmedHive

It seems like every three-pointer that Bellinelli throws up....GOES IN!! Hornets looking good with about 3 minutes left in the final quarter.

Go Blue
Go Blue

I know we're up, but where is Trevor?

James Grayson
James Grayson

Why do we pay Emeka? Because he isn't that tenacious on the rebounds...

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

When watching Portland I cant help but think of Spinal Tap's drummer.

42
42

Can Rudy be the one that explodes?

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

yeah Ariza is gonna be good for a couple of both of those per game....Okafor has 4 Offensive boards?!!

ollie
ollie

did anybody else see trevor on that nice stepback ignorin the pass into a double david west that was never gonna work

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

neither Charles or Kenny has Hornets as a top 5 team.....in the west!

Hornet
Hornet

15 pts in the 2nd quarter for Blazers - awesome. Willie Green and Trevor having their best offensive games of the year so far. 13 pts in 11 mins for Willie and 14 pts in 15 minutes for Trevor. Looking good.

Go Blue
Go Blue

Yay! J. Smith for buzzer beater.

mbdtf
mbdtf

Bench did a great job. Ariza is actually making some shots! Defense stepped up towards the end of the quarter.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Paul has "very little minicus?"

42
42

Probably a jaded ex spreading that jive . . .

Go Blue
Go Blue

10-0 run for the Hornets! good job so far......

Downtowndave78
Downtowndave78

I like how the Portland mic picks up their coach. Good to see the ball movement on offense again- Geaux Hornets!

Stew
Stew

Man, I really hate CST for not broadcasting these games. I watching on some freakin' Al Jazeera muslim online stream or something right now. Feels so creepy. I'm waiting for the FBI to bust in my door. lol

MaxALM
MaxALM

Rudy looks to be in pain. That makes me happy

42
42

I HATE Rudy Fernandez.

Hornet
Hornet

TrailBlazers have the worst luck with injuries in the league by far. 2 players already with some type of injury. Roy playing really well for them. Once we slow him down we should be able to get the lead.

mbdtf
mbdtf

blazers shooting something like 68% after 1

Stew
Stew

Free throw shooting MUST improve.

James Grayson
James Grayson

Hornets usually start off nice offensively in the first quarter then disappear. Also our defense has seriously regressed, although we were playing insane defense the first 10 games, I didn't expect it to last.

Schmide234
Schmide234

ok so whats happened to the hornets defensive foundation??? the last three games the teams have opened shooting well over 50%

Stew
Stew

Okafor putting up rushed hook shots, Ariza throwing 3 point airballs, and Portland raining 3s. This one could...likely will...get ugly.

Hornet
Hornet

Why do we run plays for Okafor? He has no offensive game.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Okafor has one the lowest usage rates for all starting centers and a TS% (56.7) that isn't to shabby. Its not like they are running lots of isolation for him. But to answer specifically : investing a couple possessions in having the defensive centers mindful to the possibility helps slows down rotations.

mbdtf
mbdtf

Okafor is straight up garbage... just got stuffed by Marks

Hornet
Hornet

Apparently according to Blazers announcers Collison averaged 24ppg for us last year. smh

QueenBee
QueenBee

They don't know anything. LOL! And their commentators aren't silly and goofy like the Hornets commentators. They are biased in a special kind of way.

Hornet
Hornet

I've heard them before. Always seem bitter about things. Also they're just flat out dull.

Hornet
Hornet

Blazers announcers are really awful.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Whistle on Hornets already. SMH.