Game On: Timberwolves @ Hornets (With Live Chat!)

Matchup: Timberwolves(11-39) @ Hornets(32-20)

Off Efficiency: Timberwolves 101.8(23rd), Hornets 103.4(17th)
Def Efficiency: Timberwolves 108.1(26th), Hornets 99.8(4th)

As usual, thanks to Dariusz for his wonderful gameday banners!

If the Wolves could have picked a time to take on the Hornets, this would be it.  After just a few games without Okafor, the Hornets defense has already slipped to 4th and their rebound rates has fallen three spots to 5th.  Minnesota’s best attributes all season long has been their rebounding, spearheaded by Love, and their mid-range defense.  Their weaknesses are defending the three point line and at the rim.

Without Okafor, the Hornets have struggled onthe boards and they’ve never been great from three.  In the past few games, they are also shooting a larger percentage of their shots from mid-range.  The highly inefficient mid-range.  Sigh.

Anyways, here’s to hoping that Belinelli is hitting shots, Thornton makes it to the basket to give us some shots at the rim, and Aaron Gray sits on Kevin Love.


Timberwolves: Martell Webster is out with back Spasms, Ricky Rubio is out with an injured desire to play for the Timberwolves.
Hornets: Okafor and Ariza are out.  Nothing yet on whether Jason Smith will play.

Positional Analysis

PG: Jonny Flynn v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Yugo, Ferrari.  Ferrari, Yugo.

Okay – I won’t leave it there.  Most of you probably have no idea how badly Jonny Flynn is playing.  He has the 13th worst True Shooting percentage of any player in the league.(that’s out of 331 players)  He has the 14th worst turnover rate in the league, and second worst among point guards.  He makes Sebastian Telfair look like a good option at the point.  Now, yes, he’s coming back from injury, but it’s been 25 games, and things aren’t improving much.

SG: Corey Brewer v Marco Belinelli
Advantage: Even
Brewer can’t shoot, and Belinelli can, but both earn about the same number points per shot due to Brewer getting free throws.  Both are solid defenders.

SF: Michael Beasley v Quincy Pondexter
Advantage: Timberwolves
Beasley is a classic volume shooter who gets his points by taking lots of shots.  To give you an idea of his inefficiency, Beasley earns 1.157 points per shot he takes.  Marco Belinelli, who we blast all the time for his offensive problems, earns 1.161 points per shot.  Except for the Wolves, Beasley takes 17.3 shots – more shots than any other player.  Essentially, he’s streaky like Belinelli, and the Wolves hope from night to night that he gets hot.  As for Quincy, despite his energy and all the signs that he could become a rotation player, his production has been abysmal.  At least his defense is solid.  Would anyone be surprised if Pavlovic started here?  I wouldn’t.

PF: Kevin Love v David West
Advantage: Timberwolves
I’ll get blasted for this – but Kevin Love grabs almost twice as many rebounds as West – and that’s using rebound rate, not raw rebounds per game, so you can’t argue with me and say Love just gets more rebounds because there are so many missed shots created by his team.  Do I think West is a better defender?  Yes.  I just have a hard time ignoring the fact that Love earns 1.42 points per shot to David West’s 1.26.  Love is good.

C: Darko Milicic v Aaron Gray?
Advantage: Even
Milicic is overrated at this point.  Yes, he blocks shots.  Yes, he’s scoring more than he ever has.  It doesn’t matter.  He had a hot streak, but now he’s settled back to his expected numbers – and they are awful.  He rebounds at a worse rate than David West, he’s extremely inefficient, posting sub-Trevor Ariza scoring numbers despite being 3 feet from the basket, and he anchors the 26th worst defense in the league.  I don’t think it much matters which of our reserves takes him on – they’ll match him . . . or better him.

Anthony Tolliver, Sebastian Telfair, Wesley Johnson, Nikola Perovic
David Andersen, Marcus Thornton, Jarrett Jack, Sasha Pavlovic
Advantage: Hornets
Hey look – a bench that’s worse than the Hornets!  New Orleans did dodge a little bullet here, because Martell Webster has actually provided efficient offense for this group when he’s playing, but he’s out, making this bunch a sad, sad group.  Wesley Johnson burned the Hornets last time they played him, but he’s broken 20 points exactly zero times since that game.  I think we can call it a fluke.

Enjoy the game!  Talk it up in the comments.

62 responses to “Game On: Timberwolves @ Hornets (With Live Chat!)”

  1. Well, for the sake of shooting for that 4th playoff seed, the Hornets need to beat a losing team like the T-wolves. If they win, it would make this injured streak less painful. How’s Paul’s health? Should he sit out a couple, absorb a couple of losses, but get back to being able to finish at the rim in traffic? It’s so tough; Williams is clearly good at his job, and any pro coach has better judgement than me. Like I said, this is a “should win” game. Maybe sit Paul against the Lakers? A loss is a loss. Against a contender with 2 or 3 starters missing play Thornton, Andersen, Pondexter, and “non-vets,” get them some experience. I guess play a 50% Paul against the Wolves to make sure the win is in the bag.

    Here’s to hoping the role players can find some improvement and chemistry: Belly, Q-pon, Andersen, Gray

      • Paul might not know what is best for him and the team. That killer attitude is what makes him great, but in the first round away games in OKC all that bluster against teh Lakers won’t matter. Finishing at the rim while being fouled will matter.

  2. For some unknown reason, this is the type of game that the Hornets seem to fail to take seriously. Earlier in the season they turned into losses, but lately they have mostly been close wins. I wish we would get a little more of the third quarter of the last San Antonio game, and a little less of the third quarter of the Lakers game.

    • I’m hoping the Hornets know they owe these guys one. Letting that rookie go off from the 3pt line like that was inexcusable.

  3. By the way, great banner picture. Maybe when we play the Cavs you can have Monty pointing at a sullen, staring Byron Scott.

  4. Love is as good of a rebounder as you will ever see. Best in the generation, liked him since he was drafted, like him until now. if he ever becomes a hornet, by some magic or voodoo crap Demps boils up, then we have a Love to counter their Gasol/Bynum. Sadly, that’s not gonna happen. Love is not fit for the culture we’re building.

    anyway, must win game. Predicting Gray goes for another double double. 10 and 10. hope im right.

  5. put d west on the t wolves and he average 28 and 10…. its tough to evaluate a player who is on arguable the 2nd worst team in the nba

  6. Forget about numbers- if you put D West on Minnesota instead of Love, do they have more wins, less wins, or the same? That is the question, and for me, the answer is obvious.

    Looking forward to our in-game chat tonight.

  7. It’s going to be “Attack of the Bigs” tonight! Gray, MBenga, Smith, and Anderson are going to be some kind of poor man’s version of Phi Slamma Jamma! And it’ll be awesome!
    I also look for Jack-Jack to break out of his slump tonight.


  8. When is someone going to write an article questioning how the 2nd, 3rd and 4th string Hornet big men can play so well, especially their scoring offense, when starting or playing with the starters and play so poorly off of the bench and with the second team? Could it be that Jarrett Jack is way too much of a shoot first PG and Marcus is way too much of a shoot only guard?

  9. ALSO, not to add any more pressure on how important it is for a win tonight but IF we lose tonight….that’d be 0-2 in games where we had a Chat! Just sayin’, hope there’s not a “Chat Curse” haha

  10. Does anyone know where else to watch the game on line…. I have league pass, but it’s on NBA TV and I’m away from home. does not have the game listed

  11. I really hope the Hornets can turn it around. But to the tell you truth I really see the T-Wolves pulling off an upset. It’s going to be close let’s hope Pondexter steps up. A lot of people overrated him. He went 0-3 and I was hearing how many expected him to do anything.

    • Not a hater but i feel its hard to really say someone is fitting when hes only had like 10 minutes on the court but im loving what ive seen

  12. OHHH anderson’s my boy. if we could just get him to rebound he could be a solid option off the bench. i want thornton tho, i feel we could us his energy

  13. Results of his coaching. How about run plays for Anderson and not Belli or Pav. That would be a great improvment over what he has done.

      • Now, now . . .

        Disliking the team is acceptable. He’s statings his reasons, which is more than the comment-and-run guys do.

      • You’re right, CP3nBrees, perhaps we should just pretend that the coaching effort we saw tonight was acceptable! As was the Laker’s Game, which we should have won, this effort by coach was unacceptable…PERIOD!

  14. i cant believe the officiating recently. i mean cmon beasley Anderson in the back and the reffs just turn the other cheek

  15. I don’t dislike the team. I’ve had season tix for 4 years, I just believe this coach is worse than B Scott and he proves it every game.

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