« In the NO Podcast Episode 10: Not Trying
Orlando Magic @ New Orleans Hornets »
Game On: Magic @ Hornets
Matchup: Magic (25-12) @ Hornets (22-16)
Off Efficiency: Magic 105.9 (10th), Hornets 102.6 (19th)
Def Efficiency: Magic 98.9 (4th), Hornets 100.0 (6th)
Pace: Magic 93.9 (18th), Hornets 91.7 (28th)
The Orlando Magic come to New Orleans tonight for a game as important in the stands as it is on the court. With five games remaining in January, the team has to average 14,933 fans per home game in order to trigger a lease extension. Of the remaining games, there are three against fairly big name teams (Orlando, San Antonio, OKC), and each one of them needs to draw big crowds. If you havenâ€™t bought tickets, do it now. This game is going to be a good one.
The Magic have won 10 (edit-9)straight games and quite literally on fire since the trade that brought Hedo Turkoglo and Jason Richardson into town. The two teams split their season series last year with each team winning at home. Also, both teams are defensive minded squads who play at a slow pace. This one might be a very low scoring affair.
Magic: Malik Allen is questionable with a sprained left ankle while Daniel Orton (left knee surgery) and Jason Williams (arthritis in feet) remain out indefinitely.
PG: Chris Paul vs Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson remains one of the most underrated point guards in the league today, mostly because of how good everyone else has been. Donâ€™t be fooled by his exclusion from every single best PG in the game debates, because the guy can play. His numbers arenâ€™t phenomenal, but he gets it done. He shoots 45/41/82, and puts up 14- 6.6- 3 boards- 1 steal in about 30 a game. Heâ€™s outperformed his opposition all year long by a PER of about 1.3. He scores .93 points per possession, and gives up only .82 to his mark. Still, heâ€™s not Chris Paul.
SG: Marco Belinelli vs Jason Richardson
Although Marco has been playing well of late (50/56/90 shooting in his last five), Richardson is a much more complete player than Belinelli. He rebounds nearly twice as often, and scores more points at a higher efficiency.
SF: Trevor Ariza vs Hedo Turkoglu
Advantage: As has been documented many times, Ariza is having an awful season, and Hedo has been reborn in Orlando. Perhaps he should be called the Phoenix. He racked up 17 assists the other night, and is just meshing beautifully with the team. Heâ€™s a big reason they have won 10 in a row.
PF: David West vs Brandon Bass
David West takes this one in just about every way, even though Brandon Bass is having his best season ever as a result of increased efficiency, and an all time high in minutes played per game. That said, heâ€™s too small and West needs to take advantage of that all night long. Bass can be coerced into making mistakes, and considering how smart West is, I think heâ€™s going to make Bass pay when he does.
C: Emeka Okafor vs Dwight Howard
There was a time when it wasnâ€™t clear who would be the better player. Emeka is having one of his best years ever, but the debate has long been settled. Typically Dwight dominates Dominates DOMINATES DOMINATES Okafor, so we might be seeing a lot of Aaron Gray (who played very well against Dwight last year).
Bench: Magic: Lots of guys
Hornets: Not many
Even though the Magic are thin up front after sending Rashard Lewis and Marcin Gortat packing, they still dominate Jason Smith and DJ Mbenga/Aaron Gray. At the other three positions, the Magic have the advantage, although I firmly believe that Jarett Jack will make believers out of us soon.
Notes From the Arena
- Marcus has played only 24 minutes in the past five games. The Hornets are 12-8 when he plays 10 minutes or more.
- The Hornets have the 8th best home record in the NBA (14-5)
- Blast from the past- Aaron Gray’s big game.
Glad we won this one. Okafor did a great job against Superman, but he could have used some help. We need to cut Gray ASAP and get someone who doesn't make a donut collection on stat sheets. Francisco Elson anyone?
gotta say ariza has been looking great lately, looks like he got his confidence back, and hopefully he's going to be more active in making cuts towards the basket now. if we get that kind of game out of ariza every night we'd probably win 70% of the time.
As much as I criticize Marcus Thornton at times ... I have to admit .... I'm very proud of this guy's performance tonight! It's not as if I don't want this guy to play well. The better he plays, the better the Hornets are. Why would I wish for him not to succeed? Any of us who have been critical of him have been waiting for this performance / opportunity ... especially against an elite team not named San Antonio! Now that Belinelli will be out for a while the stage is set for Marcus to prove that he can do this on a good team, night-in-and-night-out! I like Marco but, the Hornets do not win 'this game' if Belinelli plays his regular minutes! L_REAZY
THORTON IS CLUTCH!!! good to see he could hit the shots when jameer nelson essentially shut paul down. also Bass played great d on West...
great game all around everyone stepped up when they needed to especially thornton, although he was a bit of a chucker tonight but it worked out for the best
not that i wish injury to anyone but this might be a good thing to get thornton some mins. when he gets mins he performs, i could care less about how stats say he's not good haha.
Hornets needed this win at home because chances are the Magic will beat the Hornets when they go to Orlando. Good win Hornets! Good win!
Come on Hornets. You've been playing well all game. Don't lose it now. CP3, come through in the clutch man. All Hornets, come through in the clutch. PLEASE! Shot clock violation on the Magic. Good defense!! Double technicals? Here go the refs. Double T's on Paul and Bass.
y not???? is it cus of the amazing 3 he made in overtime? the 18 points he has tonight? the 9 rebounds he had? what is it homie? cus hes had an amazing night
Damn it! Overtime. And I still don't like Trevor inbounding the ball. Especially not in crunch time. Damn Hornets! My heart can't stand overtime.