Shifting Gears

By:
Published: January 20, 2013
Gears

No more:
The small one
The weak one
The frightened one
Running from beatings
Deflating

– Pantera, Becoming

Sports

In relatively good week for the New Orleans Hornets, they went 2-2, bringing their record to 13-27. Coming off an undefeated 3-0 streak, following with a 0.500 week may seem like a let down, especially with the losses bookending the wins and going 1-2 with Eric Gordon available (a `subrecord’ that to this point some Hornets fans have been quite interested in), but let’s look at some convenient arbitrary breakdowns of the record.

First 20 games: (5+0)-(13+2)

Second 20 games: (7+1)-(11+1)

Here, the pluses indicate the overtime games.

Refining:

First 10 games: (3+0)-(6+1)

Second 10 games: (2+0)-(7+1)

Third 10 games: (2+0)-(7+1)

Fourth 10 games: (5+1)-(4-0)

Massive improvement in the most recent 10 games is showing now that the talent is not on the shelf. They’ve gotten their first overtime win (now 1-3 in overtime), and they doubled the win total of any other 10 game stretch in the first 30 games.

The guys are playing better across the board, even players who have disappointed regularly such as Al-Farouq Aminu and Austin Rivers.

Eric Gordon is clearly getting his sea-knees, but he’s also clearly not all he can be. He’s played 9 games for the Hornets this season, and his 3P% is 23.8% (10-42), nearly what he put up in his 9 games last season (25%, 10-40). This horrid number is FAR below what he did prior to his injury + surgery + recovery + camp + rehab + 18 of 105 Hornets games (356-949, 37.5%). His shooting from the field apart from this is picking up, however.

Shooting against:

Knicks: 7-9 for 1, 6-8 for 2, 1-6 for 3

76′ers: 3-4 for 1, 5-10 for 2, 2-3 for 3

Celtics: 0-0 for 1, 0-0 for 2, 0-0 for 3

Warriors: 6-7 for 1, 4-9 for 2, 3-7 for 3

Total: 16-20 for 1, 15-27 for 2, 6-16 for 3

That’s pretty good.

The decreased production from 3 combined with some sluggishness on offense, passes and shots that fall short, and the missed Celtics game, it really seems like the knee might not be `there’ yet. This week, Celtics game aside, says he might be on the way. Too bad we really can not just set the Celtics game aside.

As long as the knee is going to `get there’ and `stay there’, this is very, very encouraging.

Very.

News

Eric Gordon played in three games this week, missing the Celtics game, the second of a back-to-back because of a sore knee, according to the team. Monty also indicated that the medical staff still wants to limit him in back-to-backs.

In that Celtics game, Brian Roberts sprained an ankle. He did not return to the game and did not play Saturday against the Warriors.

Lastly, Sloan’s 10-day contract expired and was not renewed. No other 10-day contracts were signed, though Monty indicated they will bring in other players.

Around the Site

A pair of pieces about the recently limited Austin Rivers surfaced. First, Grayson looked at whether the D-League might be more of a help than spending fewer minutes in the NBA for Rivers. Then, Jake looks carefully at what his strengths and weaknesses are by examining game film.

Mason’s power rankings also generated some discussion about the importance of Eric Gordon.

In the podcasts this week, Mike and Ryan enjoy discussing the wins. Besides that, they discuss some trade possibilities in one and the draft in the other.

Also, we are now accepting articles from readers.

Finally, the navigation on the site has been slightly upgraded. Links are added to each post at the top and bottom to the previous post and next post if it exists. In the footer navigation, there are instructions for sending in suggested changes to articles, such as fixing typos, updating facts, or suggestions for clarity. More to come.

`Voices’ of the People

in the last 12 games since eric gordon’s return (even though he didnt play in 2 of those games), the hornets are 8-4. And if the hornets are able to play their remaining schedule with the same win %, we would get to that mark of 29-14. The games with EJ we are 7-3 and if we continue on that %, we can finish 30-13. not out of the question. also if eric gordon returns to his career shooting %s (and stays healthy), then we may surpass these win totals. the teams in front of the hornets are not looking great right now and our conference seems to be very top heavy this year. I dont see how the playoffs are unrealistic.

BRhornet

A “game” in these stats is a win by us and a loss by them. That is great if you are trying to catch one team. But the standings have us 7.5 games behind Houston/Utah the 7th and 8th seeds, and 7 games behind the 9th seed Portland. So if we catch Houston or Utah, we still have to pass Portland. So in order to catch Portland, and either Houston or Utah, we can’t count on them both losing. So have to win games, in this case 7 or 8 more than teams currently playing .513 or .525 ball. That means we have to win a total of 43-44 games. Since we have 13 wins now, we have to go 30-13. Talking about being 7.5 games back doesn’t change this math.

504ever

The Hornets are no longer in last place in the West!!! Again, people scoffed when I mentioned playoffs, but this is a new team that’s improving, as opposed to the other bottom dwellers in the league that will continue to play poorly. Hornets won a VERY physical game tonight. Vasquez has his speed limitations, but the dude is cagey, and finds ways to make an impact. When the fourth quarter started and we needed clutch scoring, he took over, and looked like a more competent floor general than Rondo. I LOVE BEATING THE CELTICS!!! Garnett probably had to cuss him self to sleep last night!

NolaHog

42 Sense

The oddities surrounding Anthony Davis continue. At the line, his performance has yet to improve. Davis was 53-63 (84.1%) before the 2012.12.22 Pacers game. Since then he’s gone 15-32 (46.9%). His number of attempts per game is also less than half of what it was prior to this point.

The other thing that about Davis that has fans scratching their heads are his rotations. In January, Davis has averaged about 25.5 minutes per game. Prior to that, he was playing about 32 minutes per game. This 6.5 minute reduction per game is about 20% of the earlier playing time. This reduction also does not account for the much larger reduction in free throw rate.

This reduction in playing time, however, has come with an marked increase in Davis’ production from the field. He’s gone 46-83 (55.4%) from the field in January after shooting 71-138 (51.4%) prior to that Pacers game and a 4 game stretch of shooting 26-60 (43.3%) prior to his reduction in minutes and well after his return to the starting line-up.

So, it just may be that Davis’ good production in reduced minutes can be carried on for extended minutes. This could be due to conditioning. It could be due to his youth . . . people simultaneously talk about rookie walls and the grind of the schedule on the young while also pointing to the energy that the youths of the NBA have . . . it can’t all be true. It could be that his continued physical growth is sapping his energy. It could also be something up with this foot, etc. that limiting minutes moderates.

In any case, limiting his minutes at this point may be the best thing, so that is something to consider when questioning the rotations.

1 comments
Cajun T
Cajun T

Agree about Davis. I think they're just trying to pace him for the long season, whether it's due to possible fatigue or protecting his foot. They usually err on the side of caution, I believe this is just another example. Hey Jason, I'd like to take you up on that offer of tickets you made a couple of weeks ago. Let me know what I need to do to make it happen.

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  1. [...] Gordon is the only guy who can slash, really. So, he completely changes the team. Without him, it’s feed the bigs (we have a good squad when Davis is available), kick out to [...]