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Game On: Rockets @ Hornets
Houston Rockets (41-37) @ New Orleans Hornets (44-33)
Pace: Rockets 97.0 (7th), Hornets 90.8 (29th)
Offensive Efficiency: Rockets 108.2 (5th), Hornets 104.1 (18th)
Defensive Efficiency: Rockets 106.7 (21st), Hornets 101.9 (7th)
I am become death, destroyer of seasons.
Cue throat stomp.
The Hornets can pretty much end any hope the Rockets have of making the postseason, and ensure their own advancement as well with a win tonight. After losing last night to Sacramento (Thanks Marcus Thornton!), the Rockets desperately need a win to keep their thin playoff hopes alive, while a Hornets victory would bump the into the 6th seed. If Houston loses, they would have to win their final three games and Memphis would have to lose its remaining four for the Rockets to get the final playoff spot.
In all likelihood, though, the Rockets will miss the playoffs regardless of what happens tonight. Hollingerâ€™s playoff odds now put the Hornets at 99.2%, the Grizzlies at 97.4%, and the Rockets at a mere 3.4%.
The following is from Red94–
As you may have heard by now, as word does get around quickly, the Houston Rocketsâ€™ season ended last night with a loss to the Sacramento Kings. Â The good guys made a run of it, but in the end, could not overcome their prior futility, a state of events very much reflective of their season as a whole.
There will be months to ponder the ramifications of the season as a whole and as many to anticipate the next; barring intervention the scale of the divine, there will be no postseason for the Houston Rockets.
The Hornets, on the other hand, are still very much in control of their own destiny. They own the season series tie-breaker against Portland, and with a win tonight they would tie them in the standings for the 6-seed. Thatâ€™s a very important place for the Hornets to be, as a first round playoff series with LA would be less than desirable.
The Actual Game
Scola vs Landry is going to be the most interesting matchup of the night to watch, as the two are former teammates. Itâ€™s important that Landry can slow down Scola, who typically is on the receiving end of a statistical beat-down from David West when these two teams meet. On the glass is where Landry really needs to focus his attention, as that is where he has struggled the most in replacing West’s production.
His defensive rebounding struggles especially are a bit hard to understand, since he’s obviously athletic. He was a solid rebounder his first two years in the league, but things have just gotten progressively worse ever since then.
Monty Williams needs to continue to emphasize rebounding to Landry, since his numbers in New Orleans are actually worse than they were in Sac-town. He’s averaging only 6.1 rebounds per 40 since getting to the Crescent City, the lowest number of any Hornets big man.
Michael noted last time that the Hornets have a hard time with unconventional offenses that donâ€™t allow them to set up their D. Thatâ€™s exactly what the Rockets will try to do, and itâ€™s up to Monty Williams to make sure that they Hornets donâ€™t get into a shootout with a team unsuited for that kind of game.
The keys for the Hornets are to play at a nice slow tempo, avoid turnovers, limit Houstonâ€™s transition buckets, and stop Kevin Martin (who went for 33 points on 15 shots last time) from a being too deadly. They donâ€™t really have the personnel to stop Martin if he’s shooting well(who does?), but limiting the easy ones would be nice.
Do I need to say this? Is this really what the world has come to? This physically pains me.
Chris Paul needs to hold his own against Kyle Lowry.
Notes From The Arena
- If the Hornets win tonight, they will have made the postseason three of the last four, and six of the last nine seasons.
- Crazy traffic getting here if you’re coming from uptown on St. Charles. A tractor-trailer carrying a giant concrete pole got stuck in the middle of the intersection, and it’s unclear if the city of New Orleans will ever get it out. There were five people standing around scratching their heads (literally) when I finally got by. If the crowd looks sparse early on, this could be a reason why. What is normally a 10-15 minute trip for me took 45-50 minutes.
- The mood is rather tense in both locker rooms, as it’s clear this is a huge game for both squads. If the crowd shows up…
- There is a free show at Lafayette Square (aka Wednesday at the Square) where Trombone Shorty (among others) is playing. Oh yeah, there is free beer, too. That’s about half a mile away from the Arena. Still, anything less than a sellout would be disappointing considering the magnitude of this game.
- I will be on ESPN’s Daily Dime chat throughout the game.
Talk it up!
Just one more rebound.... ahhh. oh well. Too see CP3 excited like that at the end was the best part. PLAYOFFS BABY!!!!
especially that kevin martin, something about his face, just makes me want to punch him right in the kisser. how can a jumper that ugly be so effective. btw did any1 else realise rick adelman is the closest human relative to the ape. everytime the camera zoomed in on him, he would pick his hair then eat whatever he picked. i reckon they were flies
That was a great game, it's amazing watching CP3 play like that. But come on CP3 you couldn't get 1 more rebound for the triple double!! Bye bye Rockets!!!
Well they got it back to a close game, gotta come out with the same energy and not have one of their 3rd quarter lulls
Please tell me that Monty didn't put Jack on Martin. Is Jack defending Martin? Does Monty have eyes?
Wow Scola's natural reaction is just to fall over when anyone bumps him... not sure how paul behind him knocks him sliding...
Monty, how many times do you have to see Kevin Martin score to understand that JACK CAN'T GUARD HIM?! Three games aren't enough? And put Gray on Hayes and Landry on Scola.
Rockets have to be my least favorite team in the league. when they play us they hit ALL of their ridiculous shots...
Hornets to grab those rebounds, keep them off the 3point line and don't send Kevin Martin's skinny arse to the free throw line all night long. I'll be keeping my eye on Derrick Stafford. He nearly gave our last game against Phoenix away. :? CP telling official he missed foul call and out of bounds call... official told him "I saw it." And that ended the conversation. 11:19 PM Mar 25th via web I'd be willing to put money down that that conversation was with Stafford.
Thanks Marcus Thornton? He was the one guy who got killed by his opponent last night. Martin duped him for 30. Key was Evans.
James, you have no grounds to back that up. I'm sorry but you're an idiot. Marcus Thornton: 9-16 FG for 21 points (efficient) Kevin Martin: 12-25 for 30 points. (not) He needed 25 shots to get 30. Is that your definition of efficient? Anyone can get 30 in the NBA if they take enough shots. Get real.
Sure. Martin went for 30 in 245646515648785431 shots. Who scored 7 points in a row for the kings late in the fourth while the rockets were closer and closer and the other guys failed to score? Who forced a Martin's turnover while hitting amazing fadeaways?
Caption: "I eat elbows for breakfast, and they want me to rebound?!" Tonight is one of those stay up late nights here in the UK, I want to see the Hornets secure that play-off birth.
I'm still shooting for that 5th playoff spot (look out Denver)! I'm going to head down to Wednesday in the Square, get hammered, rally some people to the Hornets game, and then head to the Hive. Hornets better be coming out like a house on fire! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FK0j20RfAg
Even if Lowery has his way on the offensive end, I'm not too upset. But I want to see Paul score. Not just facilitate and "lead." I want him to put up points. Take it to the rim for a finish or make some foul shots. Hit threes. If Paul can't be a go-to scorer as well as a QB, the Hornets will never be contenders. Max contract players need to do better than 4-10 or whatever. And I hope Williams tells Ariza it's the post season so he needs to catch and shoot or catch and pass. No more "aggressiveness."
Trevor is going to pee on his former squad's playoff dream. All a part of Dell's master plan, you see...
caption: carl landry talking to a reporter "We're talking about rebounds man. (laughter from the media crowd) We're talking about rebounds. We're talking about rebounds. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about rebounds. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you've seen me play right, you've seen me give everything I've got, but we're talking about rebounds right now. (more laughter)"