Game On: Thunder @ Hornets

By:
Published: December 10, 2010

Matchup: Hornets(14-7) @ Thunder(15-8)

First off, you asked and we (finally) delivered. The first Hornets247 watch party of the year is on for Monday, December 13th against the Miami Heat. The game is at 6:30 CT, and will be shown at Extreme Sports Bar and Grille on 535 Tchoupitoulas St. I know this is rather short notice, but it’s going to be a rocking party and you should definitely come. Free Beer, prizes (including tickets), friends, and good times. Also, check out the Save Our Hornets Foundation.

As for tonight’s game…

Off Efficiency: Hornets 106.2(20th), Thunder 106.6 (12th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 99.1 (5th), Thunder 105.2(17th)

Pace: Hornets 92.9 (27th), Thunder 95.9 (13th)

The Hornets will be looking to avenge an earlier loss this season to the Thunder when the teams play tonight at 7:00 ct.

New Orleans will need to attack the basket, which they failed at doing last time. They are a jump shooting team, but in a game against the Thunder it’s essential that they pound the rock inside. David West is the best big man on the floor and will need to have a big game if the Hornets are to prevail. Let’s just hope that if Scott Brooks switches Durant on him, West won’t shoot on 5/6 possessions late in the fourth quarter. That didn’t work out so well last time.

Injuries:

Hornets:
Thunder:

Positional Analysis (From Ryan’s Earlier Preview)

PG: Russell Westbrook v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Among all the young point guards in the league like Rose and Well, it is Westbrook who is the most impressive.  He draws 9 free throws a game as he attacks from the perimeter, which is a huge number for any NBA player, much less a point guard.  This allows him to score at a highly efficient rate despite poor shooting ability.  Scoring, however, is not his best attribute any longer, as it had been in the past.  He has cut his turnovers while upping his assists, and now posts a respectable assist to turnover rate.  He rebounds well.  He can be a lock-down defender.  This should be a fantastic battle tonight, because it’s not a huge edge in favor of CP3.

SG: Thabo Sefolosha v Marco Belinelli
Advantage: Hornets
Thabo plays good defense, and finishes enough layups in transition to make him useful, while contributing to the boardwork.  Still, he’s a guy you can cheat off of regularly defensively and not be stung by it.  Marco may have trouble getting easy open shots, but he should still be more effective than Thabo.

SF: Kevin Durant v Trevor Ariza
Advantage: Thunder
Durant is having a poor shooting season so far.  It doesn’t matter.  He still draws lots of free throws and knocks them down, keeping his scoring at an efficient level.  He’s also been a bit one-dimensional, serving up few assists and rebounds this season, but he’s a threat to be worried about.  Ariza will have his hands full and might see long minutes if he can avoid foul trouble.  I cringe to think about who might be guarding Durant when/if Ariza has to take a break.  Pondexter?  Willie Green?  Yikes.

PF: Jeff Green v David West
Advantage: Hornets
Jeff Green is averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds a game, and is scoring at the most efficient rate of his career.  I’m still here to tell you he’s not helping the Thunder.  Every year, he posts the worst +/- for his team.  He does very little at an above average rate.  David West typically punishes him in the post – and Green responds by shooting lots from deep – something he’s not actually that good at.  Usually, the Thunder put Nick Collison in pretty quickly against West – which help them tremendously.

C: Nenad Krstic v Emeka Okafor
Advantage: Okafor

Bench
Nick Collison, DJ White, Eric Maynor, and James Harden
Jason Smith, Jarrett Jack, Willie Green, Marcus Thornton
Advantage: Thunder
With Ibaka coming off the pine, this bench is great.  Harden, who can’t finish a shot at the rim, has re-discovered his shot from deep, Maynor is a low-mistake backup, and Nick Collison defends hard and does a good job on the boards.  DJ White is serviceable in small minutes.

I’ll be on the ESPN Daily Dime Chat throughout the game, and will be at the arena before hand with some updates.

If you missed it, Topherprice wrote an open letter to Morris Bart, and Morris responded. Always nice to see potential investors who are really involved.

And check out our friends at DailyThunder

42 Comments

  1. clutch19

    December 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I’m expecting the Hornets to win by 8. The bench will come up big in this one and in front of 16,000. See you at the Hive….

  2. rm

    December 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Yehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Awesome banner. Go Pops (If you get the chance)

    • Michael McNamara

      December 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      Pops getting his time to shine on Hornets247.com!

    • CarnbY

      December 10, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      @Jim_Eichenhofer: Monty said Pops Mensah-Bonsu is expected to miss 2 to 3 weeks with right elbow infection

    • TopherPrice

      December 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      Yeah Pops has been David Lee’d. Taken down by the tooth to the elbow curse. I still want to know who’s part of a tooth was left in his elbow before he had it removed.

      • Ryan Schwan

        December 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm

        Wait, he had his elbow removed?

  3. JCS

    December 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Going to a church party with ol’ girl. I’ll try my best to start a group prayer for a righteous beat down of Team Durant.

    GEUX NOLA!!!

  4. HiMyNameisSteven

    December 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    These matchup descriptions sound very similar to the last game… and pretty sure i commented on the fact that green killed us. I think u under-rate him

  5. TopherPrice

    December 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Just wanted to point you guys to the Open Letter I wrote to Mo Bart in the Journals. He replied, and there are a few note-worthy pieces of his reply. Go check it out.

  6. Adzs-London bee

    December 10, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Gonna stay up to watch this one hopefully its worth the lack of sleep….Its a pity if what you say about pops is true but to me he was just an added point of interest/perk for the season anyway ;P

    • CarnbY

      December 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      I’m staying up too, got my hopes up for a good one tonight!

  7. peronas

    December 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Team looks good in the alternate unis

  8. edbballin504

    December 10, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Is it me, or are these defensive 3 second calls on the Hornets some bad calls?

  9. James Grayson

    December 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Hopefully a bigger crowd get’s in there, looks like a 11,000-12,000 one.

    • 42

      December 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm

      It’s filling in a little, and there is some odd clumps of folks, but my fear is the same as yours. A 14k would be a treat.

      • James Grayson

        December 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm

        Seems to be trickling in a lot of people must be coming for the burbs?

  10. edbballin504

    December 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Jack is playing awesome tonight. If he keeps this up, the Peja and Bayless trade will look like another steal by Demps. Good job Jack!

    • James Grayson

      December 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      Only one game, but he’s looked incredibly good tonight, being himself and not trying to force things, playing within the game.

      Has to keep it up for a few more.

    • edbballin504

      December 10, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      Yeah he does. Wow that was a nice defensive hustle by him just now. I really hope he can keep up this play. This is really refreshing to see after seeing him struggle so much before tonight.

  11. Hornet Seantonio

    December 10, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Check out that PONDEXTER D! man this dude is hustlin and im diggin it

    • James Grayson

      December 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      Love his potential. He’s known as a bit of a scorer too so he can contribute on both ends. A steal in the draft.

    • pschafer

      December 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      Pondexter is really starting to impress me. Did you seem him handle the middle lane of a fast-break in the mid-second? He’s got some real talent.

  12. pschafer

    December 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    This might be the best half of basketball the Hornets have played all season.

    • edbballin504

      December 10, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      I agree! I love the way we are playing like we really want this one. Everyone’s on the attack and I love that intensity. Its fun to watch and it shows we have heart, which was missing in the last few games.

      • pschafer

        December 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm

        You nailed it, man. They are really intense. I hope it’s the beginning of a fierce bunker mentality as a reaction to the crazy news of the NBA taking over the team.

  13. Mark

    December 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    As soon as I turn it on, CP passes it to a semi-open Ariza, who puts his head down and drives and turns it over. I appreciate a defensive stopper, but he NEEDS to realize he’s a low priority offensive option.

    Read: Dennis Rodman.

    • QueenBee

      December 10, 2010 at 11:29 pm

      Not only does Ariza need to realize it but so does MONTY.

  14. James Grayson

    December 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Turnovers are a killer, but nice resiliency but the Hornets to stay in touch.

  15. hewhorocks

    December 10, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Ugly 3rd. Watching from home… gave my seats to the neighbors.

  16. Hornet Seantonio

    December 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    man trevor will miss every shot he takes in the game but as soon as you need him for a clutch three hes like oh whats up…. dont understand it but i love it

  17. James Grayson

    December 10, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Attendance 14,442: Nice!

    • 42

      December 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

      Agreed!

      Grayson, you are a stand up bloke.

  18. James Grayson

    December 10, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Missed free throws will cost us this game…far out…5 missed in a row…

  19. thekeymaster

    December 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    if the hornets lose free throws will be the reason, i don’t understand how you can be that bad at FTs when that is your job. it’s like a world renown who happens to be illiterate

  20. thekeymaster

    December 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    wow how was that a foul on CP?

  21. Hornet Seantonio

    December 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    poopsicles damn free throws. and im with you keymaster where was the foul on cp

  22. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    December 10, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Monty better make them shoot 5000000000 free throws each we should have had this game

  23. Bywas2001hornet4ever

    December 10, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    back to good ole new orleans saints football on sunday. love watchin them a lot more than da hornets and im a basketball person. startin to dislike da nba and its officiating and i also like the lakers so u know sumthing is wrong and they get just as many calls as okc. im nearly done with NBA. maybe ill watch another basketball league hmmmm….

  24. edbballin504

    December 10, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I think we need another trade…I’m tired of losing! We need some scoring and better back up bigs. Lets get Camby and Iggy for anyone not named CP3 and D West!

  25. Go Blue

    December 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I’m getting sick of watching the Hornets blow leads and lose….Freakin-eh.

    • JCS

      December 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      cosign

    • 42

      December 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      Go Blue: Last season we couldn’t even get the leads to blow. It’s a process. It’s frustrating, but give it time. We are not going to win a title this year. We are not going to dominate. We are going to get better, just like we have already gotten better.

      As an educator and academic, I hold this to be true: Learning comes from pain. Not knuckle-rapping pain, necessarily, but long hours, making mistakes, yada yada yada. Pain is what we and the team are feeling. We are improving though. We are better than average teams and worse than good teams. Why can’t this, and a 14-8 record, give comfort?

      If we were 14-8, having gone 3 of 8 then 11-1 you would feel better right? If so, then what’s bothering you is not what’s happening, but rather, I suspect, the dear we can’t win more. Well, this week is going to be tough. We may go 1-3.

      In either of the above cases, would going 1-3 this week feel any different? The answer is no for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.