Suns at Hornets: 3-on-3

Published: December 30, 2011

In the first of our two game-day previews (something we’ll be doing all year long for home games), we’ll be using ESPN’s 3-on-3 format to get three perspectives on three different questions relating to the game. Today we welcome Mason Ginsberg to the show.

1. What should the Hornets have learned from the game these two teams played just four nights ago?

Michael McNamara: That Robin Lopez’s 2010-11 season was just an aberration. Apparently he was playing injured all year and it showed, but the guy is healthy now and as a result, the Suns have one of the top 1-2 combo of centers in the league. The Hornets have to make him a focal point of their defense and keep him from killing them down low.

Mason Ginsberg: That every player on the court needs to make a concerted effort to rebound the basketball. With the amount of three point shots that Phoenix takes, there are lots of long rebound opportunities, which makes it important that even guards do their part on the glass. In Monday night’s game, seven Hornets players grabbed at least 4 rebounds, and that’s the kind of team effort that it will take to beat the Suns.

Joe Gerrity: They should have realized that they have the potential to win games this year even if they don’t play very well. If anyone should have been ready for a short season, it’s probably the veteran led Suns. Beating them in their home opener in front of a sellout crowd was a huge confidence booster for the Hornets after a hectic preseason.

2. Would it be crazy to say that the Hornets have the advantage at PG in this match-up?

MM: Honestly… No. I have watched both games Steve Nash has played this year, and except for one four minutes stretch in the opener, he has been awful. He is basically 1:1 on his assist to turnover ratio and his defense is as bad as it has ever been. The Hornets definitely have an advantage at backup point guard, and I dare to say that I would take Jack over Nash right now as my starter.

MG: Definitely not crazy, but I still don’t believe it. Nash has struggled to start the season, but part of that has to be due to a lack of a legitimate supporting cast. As a scorer, I’ll take Jack at this point, but as a facilitator, I’m still taking Nash; the problem for him is that the guys who he’s setting up have struggled mightily thus far.

Joe: Crazy? No. Likely wrong? Yes. While Nash has been less than stellar so far, it’s hard to believe that all of a sudden his game just fell off so drastically. Jack played well last game, and I expect him to continue playing well, but it’s a little early to be considering him a superior point guard to Steve Nash. Check back in 15 games and I may change my answer.

3. What is tonight’s key to victory for the Hornets?

MM: Getting to the line and converting. The Hornets settled for too many jumpers and bad shots in the first game, and they need to be more aggressive tonight. You can get any shot you want against Phoenix, and if you take the ball to the rim, they will foul you. But that is just half the battle- the Hornets have to also convert, something they didn’t do in the first game, as they went just 13-21.

MG: Just like the Hornets were able to do on Monday night, they have to keep Phoenix from getting hot from long range. The Suns have no real interior offensive presence apart from Gortat (Robin Lopez got most of his points from mid-range jumpers), so the key to their success is knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Nash, Dudley, and Frye can all shoot it, but if the Hornets can keep the Suns around the same 3-point percentage as they did four days ago, they can absolutely win this game, even without their own top scorer.

Joe: Winning the battle up top. While Gortat, Frye and Lopez is certainly a formidable trio, the Hornets have the advantage in the big man department. With Gordon out and the Suns hungry for a win, it’s crucial that the Hornets bigs win the rebounding battle and don’t allow easy buckets inside.


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  2. Andres

    December 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Any word on the status of Gordon tonight. Still think we have a good shot at the win without him, jack is playing great, but it wouldn’t hurt at all to have Gordon out there.

    • ImSorryMonty

      December 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      He’s 100% OUT tonight.

  3. EJ

    December 30, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Jarrett jack will constantly beat nash and drive into the lane where he will either draw fouls or kick it out to the open man behind the arc. Also, the hornets keep up their stellar defense and win this game by double digits.

  4. Diane

    December 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I am so sad, NBA TV is blocking Hornets games in OKC again this year. League Pass is trying to real in business by going on line first to registrar, I’m not sure if that turns on the game on your TV or you can watch it on line. I really don’t like watching the game on my computer.
    I am looking forward to getting to the Hornets game when in OKC and getting a good look at the new team.

  5. sundance

    December 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Hornets doubled, even triple teamed KG whenever he got the ball in the post. I doubt they try to do that with Rolo because he’s much less of an offensive threat. Jarrett will make Nash work on defense, much like he did against Rondo, but I expect the Suns to play alot of zone. If the Suns concentrate on containing Jarrett and guarding the interior, I think that plays into Trevor’s hands who will be quick enough to take advantage and will be key to tonight’s game.

  6. Jason Calmes

    December 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Anyone want a pair of balcony tickets late?

  7. Carpo

    December 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    My key. Keep the ball out of Ariza’s hands.

  8. Pingback: Game On: Suns at Hornets | New Orleans Hornets |

  9. Jason

    December 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    You guys need to stop hating on Ariza. Sure his shot selection isn’t the best, but he’s still an offensive threat. He’s athletic, can slash, and can shoot the 3 (sometimes). Even if he’s not on, he’s putting pressure on the defense and drawing fouls. His defense more than makes up for his occasional offensive struggles. Plainly stated, we are a better team with him on the court than with him off the court.

    • Jo D

      December 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      He is an offensive weapon only when left unguarded… I’m fine with him if he just sticks to spotting up in the corner for three and making back door cuts… But his lack of ball handling and body control when attacking the rim are atrocious… He should study Bruce Bowen tapes and become a tall version of him…
      On another note, I have a very strong opinion forming of Aminu. In his very short time with the Hornets, he has shown nothing… I know he is young, raw, and oozing with potential… But it looks like someone just put him on the basketball court because of his size and athleticism… Ball handling is non existent… Basketball IQ is severely lacking…
      Keep in mind, I’m only focusing on his few games in teal… Not his season last year or anything… But Monty def has his hands full trying to develop this kid

      • Joe P

        December 31, 2011 at 2:01 am

        Agree agree. Aminu doesn’t seem to have the fire or talent; just potential. Ariza doesn’t deserve the criticism because he is an elite defender. BUT defense wasn’t the problem tonight, it was buckets, and Ariza is below average in the scoring dept. This is the kind of game where I’d rather depend on team D and Oak and all that and have one more at least average scorer on the floor sometimes. Maybe go small with Jack, Nien Nunb(Gordon), and Belli, or go slower with Landry or Smith at the 3… for a few minutes to get some points up. BTW, would anyone else like to see an Oak + Sabertooth front line tried out?

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