New Orleans Hornets Beat Philadelphia 76ers 111-89

Published: January 15, 2013

The New Orleans Hornets are now 12-5 with Eric Gordon playing over the past two seasons. In tonight’s game against Philadelphia New Orleans came out cookin’ scoring 35 in the first quarter. For a few games this season they haven’t even done that in an entire half!

The Hornets received contributions from just about everyone not named Austin Rivers tonight as both starters and bench played well. It was odd seeing fast break points as well with New Orleans have 22 of them.

After starting off well things cooled off in the second quarter and beginning of the third. However, things reverted back to earlier in the game with the bench play of Xavier Henry providing a much needed boost.

The fourth quarter was a tale of Nick Young almost single handedly bringing the ‘6ers back into the game. He hit just about every single shot before bricking a 30-foot three then trying to pass to a team-mate underneath the basket then promptly turning it over.

I said on Twitter that a mark of a good team is how you deal with a comeback like Philadelphia was putting together. New Orleans held their stuff together and closed out the game as Greivis Vasquez bombed in a long three off a Jason Smith kick-out to all but seal the game.

The Good

  • Greivis Vasquez once again was a dynamo on offense scoring 23 points on 18 shots (didn’t get to the FT line), had 9 assists but most importantly closed the game out. His defense on Jrue Holiday wasn’t all bad, though Holiday did score 29 points.
  • A welcome surprise tonight, Xavier Henry showed some of his value tonight scoring 11 points off the bench. He had an excellent steal that led to an easy fast-break as well as consistently crashing the boards. Stringing together some solid nights will be necessary before considering him an effective rotation player, but it is a start.
  • It’s very strange that Monty Williams has reduced Anthony Davis‘ role of late, but the talk is that it’s because his conditioning isn’t up to par. No surprises there as most rookies have been having these issues even Rookie of the Year leader Damian Lillard. In tonight’s game Davis received 21 minutes but played spectacularly in those. He scored 10 points on 6 shots, had 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks and numerous plays that almost led to second opportunities for the team.
  • Roger Mason is lighting it up recently so you go with the hot hand. Not only that but it has been surprising to witness Mason give the team some defensive intensity as well. Tonight he had 7 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and a blocked shot.

The Bad

  • Giving up a 20 point lead heading into the 4th quarter would have been awful. It was due in large part to Nick Young and his ridiculousness but it still isn’t pleasing to go through that knowing that the Hornets have played for the majority of the game as the better team.

The Ugly

  • I can’t fathom how much psychological stress Austin Rivers is going through right now. He’s not playing well and hasn’t the entire season. To say he’s going through a slump is laughable because he is yet to string together 3 consecutive games of solid play. Watching film it becomes clear that teams are giving him opportunities to attack, he just doesn’t take them. The left-hand dribble drive is always there for him, but he doesn’t take it either because he is just that bad or that he isn’t confident.

Out of college Rivers was a guard who played with no conscience, now he’s a guard who plays with his conscience right next to him on the floor. The only way he breaks out of this slump is if he’s smart and if he’s aggressive.

Next Up: Boston Celtics, Tomorrow 7pm CST — Fox Sports New Orleans

Final Word: Unconscious


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