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

  1. 42

    November 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Andersen was projected to join the team in Portland. Will he not make it?

    I’m not saying or suggesting he should dress, as I’m not sure what he could pick up about the system from the team visit to Voodoo Doughnut or McMenamin’s. Just wondering.

  2. jtshoopsblog

    November 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    The Hornets have an edge bench wise as the players have been playing very well of late. Jarrett Jack is more suited for a backup role I believe. He will flourish as he can play behind Chris Paul or even along side him if the team decides to go small.

    Portland has been a let down so far. Greg Oden is done for the year. No telling when Brandon Roy will come back. I still see the as a middle of the pack team going nowhere.

  3. Forever504

    November 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I freakin HATE west coast games

  4. NOLABanks96

    November 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Monty… PLAY MARCUS!

  5. Joe P

    November 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Portland is a team I have my eye on to fall out of the playoff race. It’s too bad about injuries, but there’s going to be two or so good teams left out of the playoffs in the West again this year. Let’s hope the Hornets team does its part and gets the W tonight. Against other playoff contenders, these games are like two wins or losses.

  6. brazilian hornet

    November 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Our use of FT has me worried enough. Free throw can win or lose games, in which case only the Hornets, it has emerged in defeat. And it hurts just to think that our best player in this regard was sent to the cold of Canada. Ariza at the free throw line scares me a lot …

    • Stefan

      November 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      Peja doesn’t draw free throws, so it doesn’t really matter unless it’s a late game situation.

  7. Michael McNamara

    November 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Actually feeling better about this game than I was about the Clippers game and I am definately more confident than I was before the Utah game.

    Portland has had several days off and Roy and/or Pryz might play but I think our guys will be ready to play harder than they have since Dallas.

    Portland has a distinct home court advantage, but I just have a good feeling.

  8. peronas

    November 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Excited for this one I’ll be there to cheer the guys on. Lets hope its not in vain. GEAUX HORNETS!!!!

  9. hewhorocks

    November 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    As someone who perhaps shows some of the love for Batum I agree hes not a star but better than Ariza. That said Ariza will have a good game….the swami says so!

  10. RobertM320

    November 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I was wondering if anyone else saw that the Thunder sent Cole Aldrich to the D-League the other day. Was it lack of playing time, or not playing well enough? Does anyone know?

    As far as tonight’s game, we HAVE to get better ball movement than the last few games. I watched the Jazz game on Wed, but also saw the Kings and Clippers games on atdhe.net. We were just standing around waiting for Chris to either shoot or pass to DWest. That’s not how we got off to our 8-0 start.

    • 42

      November 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      We had a news article up, but it didn’t include a reason.

      Joe Alexander is a D-League guy now as well.

  11. Forever504

    November 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    anyone have a link to a stream

    • Hornet

      November 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      atdhe.net and firstrow.net will have streams. Game doesn’t start for another 30 minutes though.

  12. NOH Domination

    November 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    GEAUX HORNETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Forever504

    November 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    game time hornets

  14. QueenBee

    November 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Has Andersen joined the team?

  15. QueenBee

    November 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Portland is a tough place to play in. I don’t even know if I feel like watching. I’m just listening to Sean and V right now. If I do watch I know putting the Blazers commentators on mute will be a must.

  16. QueenBee

    November 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Whistle on Hornets already. SMH.

  17. Hornet

    November 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Blazers announcers are really awful.

    • QueenBee

      November 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      I already know. LOL!

  18. Hornet

    November 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm

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

    smh

    • QueenBee

      November 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      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

        November 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm

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

  19. mbdtf

    November 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Okafor is straight up garbage… just got stuffed by Marks

  20. hewhorocks

    November 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    slow start defensively.

  21. Forever504

    November 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    blocked by marks WTF

  22. Hornet

    November 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm

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

    • hewhorocks

      November 26, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      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.

  23. Stew

    November 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm

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

  24. Schmide234

    November 26, 2010 at 9:35 pm

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

  25. James Grayson

    November 26, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    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.

  26. Stew

    November 26, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Free throw shooting MUST improve.

  27. mbdtf

    November 26, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    blazers shooting something like 68% after 1

  28. hewhorocks

    November 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    thats not his wrist

    • mbdtf

      November 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      nor his stomach

  29. Hornet

    November 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    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.

  30. MaxALM

    November 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Rudy looks to be in pain. That makes me happy

    • 42

      November 26, 2010 at 9:59 pm

      I HATE Rudy Fernandez.

  31. Stew

    November 26, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    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

  32. Downtowndave78

    November 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I like how the Portland mic picks up their coach.

    Good to see the ball movement on offense again- Geaux Hornets!

  33. Go Blue

    November 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm

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

  34. hewhorocks

    November 26, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Paul has “very little minicus?”

    • 42

      November 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      Probably a jaded ex spreading that jive . . .

  35. mbdtf

    November 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm

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

  36. Go Blue

    November 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Yay! J. Smith for buzzer beater.

  37. Hornet

    November 26, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    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.

  38. hewhorocks

    November 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

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

  39. ollie

    November 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    did anybody else see trevor on that nice stepback

    ignorin the pass into a double david west that was never gonna work

  40. hewhorocks

    November 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm

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

  41. Downtowndave78

    November 26, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    AEHDE is streaming again,,,

  42. Downtowndave78

    November 26, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    ATDHE….SORRY

  43. hewhorocks

    November 26, 2010 at 11:00 pm

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

    • 42

      November 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm

      Can Rudy be the one that explodes?

  44. James Grayson

    November 26, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Why do we pay Emeka? Because he isn’t that tenacious on the rebounds…

  45. Go Blue

    November 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm

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

  46. CharmedHive

    November 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm

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

  47. Schmide234

    November 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    DAVID WEST FOR TTTHHHRREEEEEE!!!!!

  48. Go Blue

    November 26, 2010 at 11:22 pm

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

  49. mbdtf

    November 26, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Defense wins games

  50. 42

    November 26, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Spurs lost . . . too bad it was against the Mavericks.

    Rockets racked up a loss.

    Memphis won.

    • 42

      November 26, 2010 at 11:27 pm

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

  51. QueenBee

    November 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Hallelujah!!!

  52. Schmide234

    November 26, 2010 at 11:25 pm

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

  53. QueenBee

    November 26, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I must be in the Hive on Sunday!!

  54. JaeAmazin

    November 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

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

    • CharmedHive

      November 27, 2010 at 12:41 am

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

  55. ollie

    November 27, 2010 at 10:49 am

    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

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