« New Orleans Hornets 2011-12 Power Rankings, V.1
3-on-3: Previewing Hornets at Nuggets
Kalen Deremo joins us to preview tonight’s game against the Nuggets.
1. Which matchup most favors the Nuggets?
Ryan Schwan - I’ll go with Power Forward here. Nene had a tough outing against the Hornets previously, but he’s essentially Carl Landry, if Landry was gifted with the actual size of a power forward. Efficient scorer, nice offensive rebounder, athletic.
Kalen Deremo (Roundball Mining Company) - The home court matchup. The Nuggets are already 4-0 at Pepsi Center and won’t relinquish this unblemished record against the Hornets easily, especially coming off a full day of much-needed rest. The Nuggets “Holy Trinity,” as I’ve deemed it, consists of youth, depth and altitude, which coalesce into quite the knockout blow at times. The Trinity should be in full effect come Monday, and if this is the case, the Hornets could be in trouble.
Joe Gerrity - Perimeter play. Jack, Belinelli and Aminu aren’t exactly a fair match against Afflalo, Lawson, and Gallinari, Brewer, Miller, and Fernandez.
2. Which matchup most favors the Hornets?
Ryan Schwan - Center. Mozgov is a pretty poor center. Back-up Kosta Koufus isn’t bad though. Still, Okafor should eat Mozgov’s Borcht.
Kalen Deremo (Roundball Mining Company) - Defense. Through eight games of the 2011-12 season the Hornets are one of the better defensive teams in the league. New Orleans is currently tied for ninth in both opponents’ points per game and 3-point field goal percentage, as well as ranking 12th in opponents’ overall field goal percentage. Additionally, the Hornets currently rank fourth overall in rebounds per game. Bottom line: If the Hornets play defense like they have been lately and keep the Nuggets from running by getting back in transition, they’ll give themselves a great chance to win.
Joe Gerrity - The Hornets are at their best in this matchup when shots don’t fall. They can really dominate on the boards, and will need to if they are to have any chance of getting a W.
Ryan Schwan - Last time these teams played together, the Nuggets didn’t take the Hornets seriously until the second half. This time, they will, and the Hornets will still be missing key pieces. It’ll be ugly.
Kalen Deremo (Roundball Mining Company) - At home, while fully healthy and rested, it’s hard for anyone to come in to Denver and defeat the Nuggets. I foresee the Hornets dominating the glass and playing solid defense which should lead to a good amount of extra possessions, but the Nuggets have proven to be a decent defensive team as well and could just as easily nullify those opportunities. If Gordon were to play, this would likely be a totally different contest, but without him, the I fear the Hornets will struggle to score which will heavily play in Denver’s fast-paced favor. In the end, Nuggets 106, Hornets 95.
Joe Gerrity - Both Johnson’s will get a lot of playing time, as will Vasquez, Aminu and Ayon. Catch my drift?