Hornets @ Charlotte

Published: December 29, 2012
Game On Henry

The Return of EJ versus Charlotte hoping to end a 17 game losing streak.  Which team will reign supreme?

We’ve been told all week that Eric Gordon will be back on the court tonight.  I, for one, am very excited at the prospect.  Charlotte, however, has to be feeling somewhat excited about tonight as they get to play another cellar dwellar at home.  Is there a better chance on their schedule to put an end to the losing?  They’ll come out firing tonight to try and get that done.  Hopefully, working Gordon back into the lineup and knocking off the rust won’t make it possible.

The Bobcats were the worst defensive team in the league last year – and they are again this year, posting a Defensive Rating of 111.9.  They allow the second highest effective Field Goal percentage in the league, force the eighth lowest number of turnovers, and are the second worst defensive rebounding team around.  The only thing they don’t do is allow many free throws – but that’s more a function of allowing any shot the other team wants, rather than any sort of disciplined defensive skill.

Offensively, the Bobcats post the 25th ranked offense, and their failures boil down to one thing: making shots.  They rarely turn the ball over, the earn a ton of free throws (4th in the league) and are average at grabbing offensive rebounds.  Their effective field goal percentage, however, is 29th in the league.

Their center is shooting 37% for the year.  Other than Ben Gordon, they don’t have a guard with a true shooting percentage over the league average, and Kidd-Gilchrist  is the only other PLAYER on the team with a TS% above the league average.  No big men getting easy buckets.  No shooting specialists.  That’s tough to sustain.

The Hornets aren’t great, but they should be able to extend the Bobcats losing streak.  Should.

Keys to the Game

  • Protect the ball.  The few easy points the bobcats get are generated off blocks and steals.  MKG gets a good portion of his scoring in transition.  The Hornets need to limit this opportunities – and it’s something they frequently struggle with.
  • Stay home on Ben Gordon.  He wants to shoot threes.  He’s good at it.  Try to make him drive.  He’s okay off the dribble, but he is at his most deadly behind the arc.
  • Clean the Glass.  The Bobcats are ridiculously bad at rebounding on the defensive end.  Crash the boards for easy putback and layups.

Enjoy the game!

Update from the Hornets:

The New Orleans Hornets have placed Eric Gordon on the Active List and moved Darius Miller to the Inactive List prior to tonight’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats, it was announced today by Hornets Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Dell Demps.

Gordon has missed all 29 games this season with a right knee injury. He is expected to play in tonight’s contest.


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