Game On: Pistons @ Hornets

Published: December 8, 2010

Matchup: Pistons(7-15) @ Hornets(13-7)

Off Efficiency: Pistons 100.8(24th), Hornets 102.5(21st)
Def Efficiency: Pistons 107.8(23rd), Hornets 99.7(6th)

As I said in the Podcast, if the Hornets were looking for a team to get back on track against, it would be the Pistons.  One of the common threads between the Hornets wins is that Emeka Okafor generally played a solid game.  Happily, he gets to go against the Piston’s frontcourt of Old Ben Wallace, Charlie Villaneuva, Greg Monroe, Austin Daye and Jason Maxiell.  Other than Wallace, none of them are particularly effective defending the paint or rebounding.

So, let’s hope the Hornets use tonights game to get back on track and settle all the jitters some of us have over this 2-6 slide.  I don’t need a blowout, I just need a game that they win by a good half dozen points and that they handle capably.


Pistons: McGrady is back and playing, and Villaneuva should be back after missing a game for personal reasons.
Hornets: None

Positional Analysis

PG: Chris Paul v Rodney Stuckey
Advantage: Hornets
Stuckey is having a bit of a renaissance as a scorer this year, producing more per shot than he ever has.  That is based, almost purely, on his ability to get to the free throw line.  The rest of his game, however, isn’t that wonderful, and as a shooter he leaves much to be desired.  He may get as many points tonight as Paul – but Paul will dominate this matchup.

SG: Marco Belinelli v Richard Hamilton
Advantage: Even
Hamilton’s shooting touch is failing badly as he enters the twilight of his career. No, he’s not bad, but for a guy whose entire value was based on efficient scoring, he’s quickly becoming a liability since he does nothing else.  Of the seven Pistons that get the most minutes, only Ben Wallace produces less points per shot than Hamilton.  So why is this advantage Pistons?  Lucky for Hamilton, Belinelli is in a bit of a shooting slump himself.  Though maybe he’ll be able to get it going again versus a porous Detroit Defense.

SF: Trevor Ariza v Tayshaun Prince
Advantage: Even
This is a prime example of looking at the whole package for efficiency ratings.  Prince’s shooting numbers are great-looking. 50% from the field and 47% from three.  Ariza is good for 40% and 30%.  Yet Ariza produces almost the same number of points per shot.  Why?  Because Ariza makes more threes and gets nearly twice the number of free throws.  Free throws and made threes can cover a myriad of deficiences.  Other than that, of course, these two guys are pretty similar.  Ariza’s defense is probably better at this point, but not tremendously so.

PF: David West v Jason Maxiell
Advantage: Hornets
The Pistons have been rotating players through this spot regularly.  Right now, It’s Maxiell’s turn, as the undersized energy guy gets a shot at West.  He’ll probably irritate fluffy by getting into his legs and fighting him, but West should keep this matchup well in hand.

C: Emeka Okafor v Ben Wallace
Advantage: Hornets
I still love Wallace, but I think his talents have finally decline enough that he’s not enough of a defensive force to make up for his offensive failures.  He’s barely scoring a point per shot this year, and Okafor should be able to outplay him – even if he’s bound to be blocked at least twice by Wallace.

Ben Gordon, Tracy McGrady, Chris Wilcox, Greg Monroe, Austin Daye, Charlie Villaneuva
Willie Green, Jason Smith, Jarrett Jack, Quincy Pondexter
Advantage: Pistons
There is a ton of money tied up in the Pistons bench with Gordon and Villanueva.  That may be a problem as a whole for the team, but it does make this team have a pretty potent bench.  Gordon has been finding his rhythm and stroke, and Villaneuva has been a good three-point shooter for the Pistons.  I expect this group to make the Hornets reserves struggle.  I also worry about Villaneuva on the perimeter.  Someone needs to take Jason Smith aside and tell him to stay home on Villaneuva five or six times, because otherwise, we might see Matt Bonner, Part 2.0.

Enjoy the game.  Talk it up!


  1. edbballin504

    December 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Welcome home Greg Monroe! Please try to do too much so you hurt your team. Thanks! lol

  2. m_W

    December 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    If you haven’t already, go buy your tickets for the game!

    • TopherPrice

      December 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

      Interesting, you cant get past the captcha on ticketmaster for buying any upperbowl tickets below $33.00. Has anyone else tried this and failed, or is it just me? I wonder if this is a standard Hornets procedure or maybe some company or the state just gobbled up all available seats in the upper bowl.

      Im going with computer glitch until I hear others are having the same issue.

      • 42

        December 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm

        Call the team directly?

      • TopherPrice

        December 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm

        ok, it is because they are not available online a few hours before the event. It now doesn’t even allow you to see the seating map for available seats.

        Good to know for the future.

      • thechosenuno

        December 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm

        Whenever I buy game day tickets, I buy them at the box office at the arena. Other than MIA, there haven’t been sellouts, and you don’t have to pay all of those ticketmaster fees…or if you’re at the arena for a gam eand want to buy tickets for a future game, you can get those at the box office. Ticketmaster fees are ridiculous.

      • TopherPrice

        December 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm

        I can’t attend, I was just going to drop 25 bucks on two ticks that were going to rot in will-call. Been too busy today to grab a couple. Good to know the time limit. It is INSANE that those $12.50 tickets are actually just $8.00 to the Hornets and 4 mother funking .50 to ticketmaster. That is just dumb. If not for the fees, we could buy 3 for the price of 2. Asshole Ticketmaster!

  3. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    December 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    If we don’t win tonite I will ebter into a sports depression, chris paul better have a monster game

  4. Michael McNamara

    December 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Man you hate Rip dont you Ryan? Belly and Rip even???

    I think you were placed here as a program from the Machine World to disagree with me on everything.

    Nice move Architect!

    • Ryan Schwan

      December 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      If he’s not scoring efficiently, he provides jack diddly. He’s also become an awful defender, where he he used to be adequate.

      So yes, not a Rip fan.

      • BeesGivingEffort

        December 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

        Fun fact, Richard Hamilton is a better rebounder than Belinelli by a decent chunk!

  5. chris

    December 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    hey guys there are still 5200 seats available for the game. lets show our support tonight. we need to meet those benchmarks.

  6. Stew

    December 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Got my ticket. Will be there.

  7. thechosenuno

    December 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I’m going to be there, and I’m hoping the 2 days off and the practice we’ve been able to get in is going to get us back on track.

    For fantasy reasons and other reasons, I hope Beli gets out of his shooting funk!!

    We’ll also be able to see if this ownership situation is really going to affect play on the court. I’m encouraged that the NBA now has a financial stake in this. If we play like crap, if we don’t get good pieces, if D West and CP3 leave us, the NBA is going to lose a ton of money because it’s “asset” isn’t going to be worth what they paid for it. With some of the NBA’s skin in the game, it now has a direct financial interest in the team playing well — and CP3 and DWest staying!

    • Juncti

      December 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      I’m actually worried the ownership thing by the NBA could create a conflict of interest. They could pillage the small market team and offload all the stars to large markets for chump change ensuring dominant teams in large markets where the league makes more money by having them on TV more often.

      • Michael McNamara

        December 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm

        A move like that would do more long term harm than good for the NBA’s image and credibility.

        As far as moves go, I expect Sperling and the NBA to mostly stay out of it as long as any moves are reasonable. I don’t think Hugh and Dell will have the ability to do anything they want the way Pritchard did back in the day with Paul Allen’s money or the way Dallas throws it around, but I do think that any reasonable move will be able to go through without a hitch.

        Example of an approved deal:

        Ariza, Marco, and Banks for Iggy

        Example of a deal that might not be approved:

        Ariza, Marco, Banks, Anderson and TPE for Iggy and Brand

        Example of a deal Sperling wouldn’t allow:

        Expirings, TPE, and Ariza for Gilbert Arenas

        Pretty sizeable difference, but for the most part any legit deal that was in play prior to this week is still in play.

      • Joe P

        December 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm

        Large market teams make pleanty of money whether they have good players or not. See the Knicks for the last decade or so. The league needs small market teams to be good so they can make money too. See the late 90s Kings and the Spurs. Just ’cause Memphis gave the Lakers Gasol doesn’t mean the NBA needs good big market teams and thus bad small market teams.

      • thechosenuno

        December 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm

        I really don’t see the NBA doing this. Much more economic hard would be done directly to an asset they own than would theoretically be gained by trading an All Star to another team. The NBA would then have to hope that the benefit would “trickle down” from, or out of, that team to the NBA level.

    • 42

      December 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Anyone think it was affecting us before the weekend?

  8. ChrisTrewdotCom

    December 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Totally doing my part. I bought tickets for the game and gave them away on Facebook.

    • 42

      December 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

      Shinn just got some cash . . . maybe he should buy a set . . .

    • Michael McNamara

      December 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm


      Good man.

  9. whodat504

    December 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Hamilton IS NOT going to play tonight. They r giving him the night off.

    • MaxJD_Nola2NYC

      December 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      Is this true? Can someone verify this? That would seal the deal lol

  10. ppellico

    December 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    do we actually know who is active for tonight?

  11. QueenBee

    December 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    “A few national media writers here tonight, including’s Marc Stein. Hornets-Pistons is always a huge matchup. jk
    21 minutes ago via web”

  12. peronas

    December 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Been moving for about the last 5 days so I’ve been out of the loop a bit on things but hopefully the guys can get back on track tonight, they’d better. An hopefully the whole ownership shenanigans wont distract anyone.

  13. JCS

    December 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Is it me or does CP’s left leg look mummified?

    • peronas

      December 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      It does look to be fully wrapped lol

    • 42

      December 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm

      Yeah, kinda funny really…

  14. Forever504

    December 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    O wait since the NBA owns us does that mean the refs work for US :>:>:>

  15. JCS

    December 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I haven’t played competitive basketball in years, but I must say I don’t understand the purpose of Emeka’s volleyball taps. When I played basketball we used to grab rebounds and then put it back up or pass to the open man. We never played volleyball. Is this new school fundamentals or what?

  16. Michael McNamara

    December 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Like I said- Marco >>> Rip

  17. ollie

    December 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I am sorta lovin this Jack, Willie, Q-Pon, J Smith and Andersen lineup right now. All of them are playin wit determination and hustle something we have been lacking in the past few games.

    Never know could convince our starters to do so as well

  18. ppellico

    December 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I give up.
    Absolutely unbelievable.
    If Gray is inactive against THIS team, he is done.
    This coach don’t want him.

    So, coach, I say you suck.
    Your rotations suck as well as the eprsonnel moves.
    Don’t talk about beating this team, this ain’t nuthin.
    I feel I make everybody upset with my bad feelings/rantings about the way this team is being coached.
    So enjoy the rest of the season… Sorry, fellow NOH.
    But I gotta learn to separate myself from this pain and pull back.

    • ollie

      December 8, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      i hope thats not jus because 275 lbs of uselesness isnt active

  19. Go Blue

    December 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    @STEIN_LINE_HQ Hornets led DET by 16 entering fourth quarter in first game since NBA took over team. That’s the good news. The bad: Attendance is 10,823 13 minutes ago

    >_< if only I lived closer

  20. Go Blue

    December 8, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I want to say good win, but they should be beat teams like this. It’s good to see the Hornets playing their style again, and they better continue playing this way.

  21. George

    December 8, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Good win. The focus the coaches put on offensive movement and extra passes tonight was obvious, and it paid off. Still worried about this team however once they start to beat teams with solid and athletic frontcourts my faith in them will be restored no doubt. But I think we still have a hole in the frontcourt that is only exposed against the more elite teams. Oh, and Pondexter, please don’t blow a dunk like that again.

  22. 42

    December 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm


    The Headlines… Ugh… Thanks…

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