New Found Power

By:
Published: January 13, 2013
Mess With Texas

Cleansing yourself of the past
Learn from mistakes and move on
Conquering new ground at last
Unite and become twice as strong

It’s time to rip the chain from your neck
Let go the past as you purge
Free now from everything weighing you down
Open the floodgates and surge with
New found power

— Damageplan, New Found Power

Sports

A 3-0 week extends the New Orleans Hornets’ winning streak to 4, a feat matched only once in nearly two years. Their record is now 11-25, leaving them with the worst record in the West, but lying only a half-game behind Phoenix, and the fourth record in the NBA. This is not a change in rank, but they are within striking distance of considerably more teams than they were last week.

The week-sweep of the NBA’s entire Texas delegation was completed Wednesday after the Hornets defeated the Spurs and Rockets after Saturday’s overtime win over Dallas. The Hornets also beat the Timberwolves for good measure.

Extending the streak via the looming game against the Knicks may be a tall order, however. If it happens, it will be the first winning streak longer than 4 game since Chris Paul and David West had Emeka Okafor’s last truly good run to help them on the court, which was alluded to above.

The Hornets face a tough test in the coming games, with the following road and home streaks: 3R-2H-1R-1H-5R-1H-3R-2H. Some of the teams are in the NBA-cellar, but the cellar doesn’t contain 18 teams. In short, we’re about to see if the Hornets really are a different team with Eric Gordon or if other teams just need to adjust to the new look.

The team may be playing better with Eric Gordon, but it’s fun to think about how they’ll play with an even better Eric Gordon. He scored 45 points on 50 shots this week, converted just one of thirteen three-point attempts. Going 10 of 12 from the line was really the only thing keeping a label as positive as “poor” on the shooting performance.

Anthony Davis has improved from his recent slump, scoring 32 points on 24 shots. He did only go 2 of 4 from the line . . . for the week. The conversion rate is too noisy to be meaningful, but his attempts per 36m (he played 68:23) are in the bottom 20% of NBA players with at least 200m who play at least 24 mpg.

News

The Hornets signed Donald Sloan to a 10-day contract. Sloan has recorded 1 assist and one turnover in just over 5 minutes of action in 3 games.

Lance Thomas and Brian Roberts’ contracts are now guaranteed for the season.

Recently-waived Hornet Dominic McGuire is currently on a 10-day contract that began January 7th. He has played a total of 7 minutes in a single game (Bobcats), snagging 1 rebound of each flavor and missing all three shot attempts.

Lifestyle

While not official Hornets news, a fan contest to come up with a Pelicans logo recently completed. The winning design is nice, but so are many of the submissions. Like Pelicans or not, check out the work of your fellow fans, and maybe you’ll end up with a different perspective on what Pelicans has to offer. Thanks to 99designs for running this.

Around the Site

Both podcasts this week celebrate wins. First, Gerry V joins Mike and Ryan to talk about how the team looks going into January. Then, the guys discuss the winning streak and if it is sustainable.

Also, Ryan had a post analyzing how the teams’ few games with Gordon back look different statistically from the ones without him.

`Voices’ of the People

I like substituting the third quarter meltdown for the first. It gives us time to get momentum and close the game. Aminu did great tonight. Smith did awesome. Gordon was great while running point. Mason’s hot hand carried over from last game. What i really pray happens is one game where we are blowing a team out, bring rivers in and tell him to attack and shoot the rest of the game. Maybe he makes a few when the game isn’t on the line. Just a thought. Great comeback and fantastic ball movement. 4 straight. Keep it up pelcs.

loudlikepat

Maybe Aminu has been working out with Rivers. Seriously though, if all you gathered from that game is Aminu’s air ball and TO’s, you should re-watch the game. Aminu gets every rebound (which gets discredited in this article) and he played very good defense. I don’t understand how a young player in Aminu doesn’t get the opportunity to learn and get better under Monty (in the eyes of the fans) but Rivers has been given years to learn. From the eye test, Aminu contributes to the team in areas of need ie. rebounding and defense. Once we get a pg, he’ll fill another need which is fast break points. On a different note, I really think Eric Gordon should be our future PG. he’s a small SG so we should let him slide over to PG and get a SG in free agency or the draft.

UptownFuz504

now this is what you called team basketball….everybody knows their role and everybody is willing to step up if the others is having an off night….were down at the 1st….but the never say die attitude is there and that results to a win…geaux hornets

mojart

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42 Sense

For a number of years, Hornets fans have been crying for a faster pace, pointing the team’s low pace as a evidence of the need to `improve’.

First, there is no meaningful correlation between winning percentage and pace. So far this season (not including Saturday’s games) is 0.112, which is in no way significant.

For those that do not like bulk statistics, the Rockets, Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks, and Nuggets lead the NBA in pace. These teams are all over the map on wins and losses. At the other end of the spectrum lie the Hornets, Nets, Grizzlies, Pacers, and Raptors. Again, all over the place. What about the middle of the NBA? Suns, Kings, Cavaliers, Magic, and Heat. That seemed like the extremes were the only place to be, but then the Heat pop up there.

What about last season? Same story in terms of correlation, and the Heat were right in the middle again (15th).

Youth is assumed to be associated with running and a faster pace, but the Hornets are quite slow and are the second youngest team in the NBA. The Heat are the second oldest team and are mid-pack. The Spurs and Lakers are among the oldest teams and have a fast pace, while the Rockets are the youngest and have the fastest pace. The Hornets are the second youngest team and are the slowest pace. Again, no pattern. (These numbers do not take into account the minutes played by the players of the various ages; an effective age may give a different result).

The truth is that Pace as presented here is about the number of possessions expected in a game, and this has to do with shot attempts and makes, rebounds, and turnovers. Pace can be increased by not trying to rebound on offense (e.g. Spurs) or by rebounding strongly of defense (e.g. Rockets). Turning the ball over increases pace (e.g. Pacers), and it can be slowed by not causing turnovers (e.g. Hornets). Making shots increases pace (e.g. Spurs), while missing them slows it (e.g. Pacers).

How much clock is burned is explicitly a factor, and this is in part affected by the running people seem to crave and fast breaks, but there are a number of other factors that affect Pace.

So the connection between Pace and winning is complicated, explaining the lack of correlation. Strong offensive rebounding slows pace while increasing a team’s chance of winning, which strong defensive rebounding quickens pace while decreasing a team’s chance of winning, for example.

So, wishing for a faster Pace is a distraction. Wishing for the Hornets to take better care of the ball while getting more turnovers is not.

It’s not the number of possessions, but how the end: with or without points . . . and for whom.

Wishing for fun fast breaks (by the Hornets) is perfectly fine, of course. Hopefully, these lead to points for the good guys, though.

20 comments
voopster
voopster

Is a faster pace proportionate to increased ticket sales?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Winning is, both current and, even more so, prior season's wins. There are other factors. Pace does not seem to be one of them.

loudlikepat
loudlikepat

Thanks for posting my comment, guys. This is my favorite website besides ign.com lol. I look foward to every article and feel honored that you guys threw my comment in. Wow!

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Thanks for the comments. Each and every week readers say better things than the writers do, and this is just a small way to say thanks and encourage this. There's not much else we can do other than keep peddling.

loudlikepat
loudlikepat

Ha! Well, I will make sure to put my two cents in as much as possible! On a side note, I'm from Shreveport and always make it to at least one home game a year. Last year was the clippers game we won and the year before was the game 4 playoff game against the Lakers. This year my bro and I are going to the heat hornets game. Any chance we can hang with you guys around town?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Seems like I'll be in town. Be in touch.

mateor
mateor

I have basically come around on the Pelicans. It is distinctive and if pandering, at least only pandering to the state of Louisiana. And even then not so much. Definitely beats the trending rebrands based on warlocks and weather patterns.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Pelicans are found around the world. I was driving along the Pacific Coast Highway near Laguna Beach this week and saw one. They aren't heavily embraced in most places, and Pelicans proponents overstate how much locals mean to people here. It makes a little more sense than a random name (e.g. Thunder), so it's got an edge. I think many people, once the reaction to the proposed change has passed, feel neutral-to-positive about the name.

mateor
mateor

I have almost no idea what you are saying, I guess. You disagree with what? That people in Louisiana think of Pelicans as something of a local symbol? Benson is on record as wanting a name that resonates locally. I think that many people would say Pelicans accomplish that. What are you trying to debate here? All I have said is that I have come to be okay with the new name since I find it less objectionable than Raptors (Jurrasic Park piggy-back) or the various Disney ties. I am more than willing to concede that there are Pelicans in other states and that the people who live there may/may not be fond of them. I am not sure I can find something in the post for you to disagree with, since it is nothing but one fan's opinion, with the only declarative statement that I find the Pelican name "distinctive".

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

"the marketing appeal is at least targeted at locals, as opposed to the Magic or Raptors or Mighty Ducks. Which are commercials for things that supposedly have appeal nationwide." Appealing to locals does not mean it does not appeal to others. Et cetera.

mateor
mateor

My point wasn't so much that Pelicans are so specifically local as much as that the marketing appeal is at least targeted at locals, as opposed to the Magic or Raptors or Mighty Ducks. Which are commercials for things that supposedly have appeal nationwide.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I disagree. Pelicans are in a number of states. Appealing to Louisiana does not mean unappealing to elsewhere. See: Saints, Mardi Gras. Raptors appeal which nation? Magic is then pure corporate nonsense?

RonJohn
RonJohn

That could easily apply to any place. Also, Golden Hurricane isn’t random? Know any native Oklahomans?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

My wife. My In-Laws. Hurricanes was substituted for Tornadoes because Golden Tornadoes was taken by G Tech. It also seems Tulsa also called themselves the yellow jackets, which is an odd coincidence. http://www.tulsahurricane.com/trads/tuls-trads.html Sounds random to me, especially considering the one is a tropical event, can be outrun on a bike, you get days warning for, and has hundreds of affected miles. The other gives little warning, is compact, can happen anywhere (though there are hot spots), and some tornadoes travel faster than legal speeds on interstates. Both are storms. Everywhere has storms. The connections reminds me of the one between gumbo and skyline chili. Thoughts?

RonJohn
RonJohn

a random name (e.g. Thunder) I always thought it was a reference to the bad storms that roll over the plains. Also to the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

That could easily apply to any place. Also, Golden Hurricane isn't random? Correlated randomness is random.

RonJohn
RonJohn

So "Pelicans" is definitely next year's name?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

In the way two plus two definitely equals four? No. But not much in business is. In the the way that I will definitely eat my leftovers for lunch? Yes. Something could change it, but this is the plan, no obstacles are present, I've dismissed options some consider superior in some respect, but it's possible it won't happen.

lsucpolk
lsucpolk

The winning submission is pretty much the worst one. I really hope that is not the concept that Benson decides to go with. There were some really good submissions.

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