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Hornets top Mavericks in overtime

Published: January 6, 2013

Only 33 games into the season, and Hornets fans get to see what might have been.

Tonight we saw a team that is better than the sum of its parts.  Aminu is flawed – but when he can concentrate on rebounding, defense, and running the floor, he’s good.  Vasquez is slow, but when he can attack thin guards or guards with his same footspeed (Mayo) then he can muscle them around and dominate.  Lopez has athletic limits, but when he can play short minutes and concentrate on defense and rebounding and not being the primary offensive option, he’s solid.

Guys got to play to their strengths.  It’s something we hadn’t been able to see a lot of this season.

First, we got to talk MVP of the game.

Greivis Vasquez
Another 25-7-9 for Vasquez – and this time with a single turnover.  The Mavericks didn’t have a guard who could guard him tonight, as he simply plowed his way to the basket versus Collison or Beaubois, and used clever ball handling to get around Mayo.  Throughout the fourth quarter, it was Vasquez that carried the Hornets as other options broke down and the Mavericks tried to make a run.  Monty was so pleased with him, he called the final offensive play of regulation.  No, it turned out poorly, but Vasquez was having that sort of game.  He calmly stepped into some cold-blooded threes earlier in the quarter.  And you know they were going in.

Eric Gordon

When the Mavericks really dug in and started running two players at Vasquez, the Hornets turned to Eric Gordon.  That’s why he gets paid.  After struggling all night with some awful outside shooting and several close misses we normally see him make, he had reached overtime having gone 1-9 from the field.  Four shots, a miss, two free throws and an and-one later, and the Hornets walked out with the win.  He gutted the Mavericks – and made Cuban mewl like a baby.

Anthony Davis

For the third game in a row, Davis struggled mightily.  Novitzki worked him over, and the Mavericks did a great jump screening him on dives to the basket for pick and rolls.  It made him nearly useless out there, and he clearly had no idea how to impose his will on the game.   When Jason Smith came in and was playing phenomenal energetic defense and spacing the floor and hitting, Davis didn’t get back out there.  And that was the right decision by Monty.

Other observations

  • Monty tried Eric Gordon at point guard for about two minutes in the second – putting him next to Roger Mason.  It was a bit of a disaster.  Gordon went to his spot, waited for the play to move, then tossed the ball.  If the play broke down, he stood and watched.  He wasn’t doing anything to make Dallas think he might take matters into his own hands at all.  He just stood there, upright, surveying.  It was a short experiment
  • When Rivers gets to play against back-ups, he looks much better.   Still can’t buy a bucket at a gardening store, but his defense was decent and passing is still good.
  • Aminu was great.  Having more than one playmaker on the court takes a lot of the pressure off of him to make something happen.  10 points on 6 shots, 13 rebonds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul.  If he gave me similar numbers to that every night, I’d be happy with it.
  • Can’t say enough about Jason Smith tonight.  Energy, Energy and Hustle.  Even when he was getting torched by Brand in the second, he wasn’t giving up easy shots, Brand was just shooting really well.  Midway through the fourth, there was a defensive play that he completely failed to help out on, which literally shocked me.  I was hoping he wasn’t hurt again.  Monty called time out and pulled him.  Enter Lopez for four minutes.  Then Smith was out there for the game end and overtime.  Key breather.
  • I really like the Mavericks Announcers.
  • Ryan Anderson was starting to break free from the Mavs – and then Carlisle did what you should do.  He put a small forward (Vince Carter) on Anderson and had him stick to the Hornets big man.  Open shots dried up.  This is part of the reason I’m not really comfortable about the idea of Ryan Anderson playing minutes at the three.

It’s nice to get a win.  Let’s hope it continues.  Next game Monday, at home, to San Antonio.

Nothing is ever easy in the NBA.


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