Hornets’ win streak comes to an end in New York via 100-87 loss to Knicks
Despite trailing by just four points after three quarters of play, New York jumped out to a 13-2 run to start the 4th quarter and never looked back.
The winning streak was bound to come to an end at some point; all things considered, having it happen on the road against a top-tier Eastern Conference opponent is probably one of the most tolerable ways for it to happen. Had the Hornets been able to replicate their 3-point shooting from these two teams’ first meeting (when they made 8 out of 18 from beyond the arc), they may have been able to get to five in a row; instead, they converted on just four of their twenty-three 3-point attempts and couldn’t keep up with New York in the final period of play. Long range shortcomings aside, let’s look at my three keys to the game and see how New Orleans fared in those areas.
- Find a way to create easy looks. The premise behind this key was to prevent the Knicks from maintaining such a low turnover rate and such a high defensive rebound rate, allowing for easy second chance or transition points. Yeah, not so much. New York turned the ball over just 9 times, leading to only 10 points off of turnovers for New Orleans. Additionally, the Hornets only grabbed twelve offensive rebounds from their 49 missed shots, leading to just 10 second-chance points and a defensive rebound rate for the Knicks which is right in line with their season average of almost 75%. For comparison’s sake, the Hornets averaged 14.8 points off of turnovers and 14.0 second chance points per game before today’s game. These two stat categories are a large part of why New York is so good this season, and New Orleans was unable to limit their effectiveness in these areas.
- Close out on the perimeter. The Knicks per-game average from beyond the arc heading into the game today was about 12-29, which they nearly matched by going 11-30 against the Hornets. This comes out to 36.7%, an average that would still be good for top-10 in the NBA this year, and comes out to an eFG% of 55%. New Orleans didn’t do a terrible job of defending from long range, but they certainly weren’t great, either.
- Protect the basketball. The Hornets committed 16 total turnovers in the game, including three shot clock violations, leading to 24 points off of those turnovers for the Knicks. For a point of reference, the Clippers lead the league in points off of turnovers this season with 21.3, well below New York’s total. Vasquez’s assist/turnover ratio was particularly low, dishing out just six dimes and coughing the ball up four times. Suffice it to say that the Hornets struggled in this area as well.
- The Hornets held Knicks star Carmelo Anthony reasonably in check; though he scored 27 points, it took him 25 shots to get it. Unfortunately, doing so allowed another Knicks forward, Chris Copeland, to go off. As Michael noted, New Orleans consistently helped off of Copeland to contain Melo, and the results were less than ideal, as New York’s rookie wing totaled 22 points on just 15 shots despite not attempting a single free throw (9-15 from the field, 4-8 from 3-point range).
- In typical Hornets road fashion, New Orleans won quarters 1 and 3 by a combined score of 54-44, but lost quarters 2 and 4 56-33, mainly thanks to (again, go figure) a 27-12 deficit in the second quarter. After finally winning a home third quarter against Minnesota on Friday night, the Hornets fell back into their usual pattern today.
- Robin Lopez made under 50% of his shots (5-14 for just 10 points), a rare sight this season. Tyson Chandler is a tough match-up for most NBA centers, though, so it shouldn’t come as a total shock. What was even worse was his mere two defensive rebounds in 28 1/2 minutes of action.
- Al-Farouq Aminu’s stat line in this game is probably my favorite since the first week of the season. He took only one shot (and made it!), and only turned the ball over once. Add that to a team-high 11 rebounds and two blocks, and he did exactly what I want to see from him on a nightly basis. Excellent discipline from the Chief today.
- Rough shooting day for Anderson, making just 3 of 12 shots and 1 of 8 from long range. Roberts and Mason helped to pick up the slack to an extent, but the bench as a group finished with 29 points on 30 shots.
- Austin Rivers played just four minutes tonight, contributing nothing from a box score perspective apart from two turnovers. With Eric Gordon back and playing regular minutes, I’m finally coming around to the idea of sending Rivers to the D-League. I don’t necessarily think the league develops talent particularly well, but it could just help him remember what parts of his game got him to this point and what he really needs to work on. His development simply isn’t being helped with his current role, though that is not to say that role isn’t deserved at this point.
The Hornets continue their road trip in Philadelphia on Tuesday night against the 76ers. Hopefully, the game will be more entertaining than the first time these two teams met in New Orleans.
I totally agree about Rivers. Nothing good is being achieved by leaving him with the team. He is simply not ready to play in the NBA. It seems as though Monty's close relationship with the family may be impairing his objectivity where Rivers is concerned.
link related to your point above: http://bostonherald.com/sports/celtics_nba/boston_celtics/2013/01/austin_rivers_new_ordeal