The game was lost in the last 4-5 minutes when EG decided to go all 1 on 5 and turned it over twice leading directly to 2 Spurs layups. Sure Monty should have come up with a better play to get him the ball, but when he does not have the play to make its EG's responsibility to pass the ball. I would like to see EG's offensive skills better integrated into the team offense. It seems like most of what he gets is 1 on 1 or more. Rivers is playing good D.
Spurs pick and then roll Hornets
In the first half, neither team was really stopping the other. Vasquez was finding the roll man or Eric Gordon was drilling every shot he put up. On the flip side, Tony Parker tore the Lopez-Vasquez pick and roll defense to pieces. Again and again, Parker would get into space and pull back, Lopez would get stuck in no mans land – neither near parker, nor near Splitter, and parker would find Splitter for a layup. After layup, after layup . . . there’s a reason why Splitter went 10-11 for 25 points.
Of course, I want to say that changed when other players got on the floor, but it didn’t materially. Jason Smith did a much better job, but there wasn’t really any slowing Parker. The result was back and forth basketball, fun to watch, but the whole time I had a knot growing in my stomach. The Hornets weren’t pulling away while scoring like mad, and I didn’t think they had this offense in them in the second half.
Then the second half hit, and both teams cooled off dramatically. The Spurs were still manufacturing open threes but missing them. The Hornets stopped being able to get anything going to the basket, and in general stopped hitting shots unless Jason Smith was taking it. They still managed to keep within distance of the Spurs by hitting the offensive glass hard.
Then the fourth quarter hit, and we all got a taste of San Antonio when they decide to play all out. The Spurs defense kicked up another notch. Vasquez couldn’t make headway off his pick and rolls and Eric Gordon couldn’t get anything going. Oh, and I mean anything. You want to know why he ended with 8 shots? It was because he couldn’t get any off in the fourth. He kept getting cut off, pushed off balance, and either coughed up a turnover or had to pass it out under pressure, gaining no advantage for the Hornets. It was pretty crushing. Only Vasquez’s huge balls and pair of threes off the dribble staved off a complete collapse, and Monty had had enough with 1:42 to go and the Hornets falling behind by 12. He pulled his closing five and inserted the bench, who attacked defensively, drilled some damn lucky threes, forced some turnovers, and suddenly put it back to a 4 point game.
There wasn’t enough time, though, and the Spurs finished the game hitting their free throws.
- Aminu was playing a great game up until he missed three point blank shots at the rim. If he could have just put those down, I’d be singing his praises for his energy, hustle, rebounding and defense.
- Lopez started in the third, but after he spent that stint getting torched in the pick and roll and couldn’t get his post up game going against Splitter, he was pulled and left on the bench.
- Davis started the game strong, but got into foul trouble only four minutes in and never really regained his equilibrium. Still, he had one gorgeous block of a step-back jumper from Parker that was impressive as hell.
- Jason Smith was a monster out there, hitting shots and changing the tone of the defense. Twice though, I saw him holding that bum shoulder and grimacing. It’s now an every game occurrence.
- Speaking of Grimacing, Vasquez has some of the best grimaces in the game. Dude is always gnashing his teeth about something. Oh, and both his alley-oops to Aminu were absolutely sick tonight. Dead money passes, one from half court, and one a flip pass over his head. Guy is just a workhorse who never gives up, never surrenders.
- Austin Rivers was running the point the majority of the time with the second unit tonight, even with Roberts on the floor. Out of 18 possessions, Rivers brought up the ball and started the offense on 14 of them. Of course, he still couldn’t make a shot . . .
That was a tough one, but it was against one of the best teams on the road, and the Hornets fought to the end. Let’s see what the team can do at home Friday against Harden and the Rockets.
I'm a frequent reader and a big fan of the Hornets, I don't get to watch many games because I travel a lot but I did get to see this game and I love Grievis Vazquez and personally hope he is in Nola for a very long time. Without him this game would have been a laugher from the very beginning. It was very disappointing to see EJ in the second half not be able to do anything. He doesn't seem like he is ever part of the offense. Everything he gets is a result of him creating. I would like to see more two man game with him and Davis.
monty is a good coach but his substitutions is where he lacks. Look at the great teams okc westbrook or durant one of them is always on the court or miami wade or lebron is always on the court why does monty put the whole second unit on the court together. Why does he have rivers and roberts playing together vasquez or gordon should be in with the second unit.
I have to honestly say it's time for Rivers to go to the D League. He started the game with a foul on defense and a turnover (either bad pass or the walk after spotting upin the corner, I can't remember which) and sprinkled in missed shot after missed shot. If this was anyone else, he'd be in the D League getting a look at his future if nothing changes. Not sending Rivers in the D League, for some amount of time, is where I fault Monty. It looks like his relationship with Doc and son have gotten in the way of his decision making here. In a four point game, any improvement could have made the difference.
OK. This may sound stupid, but I think we should trade for Dwight. Robin Lopez already has a comfort level with Nash and their coach. He has been having a decent year when it comes to offense. Throw in Henry ,Mason,and some draft pics, and we have a sweet starting five. Vasquez,Gordon,Aminu/Anderson,Davis,D12. It would sell out the Arena nightly. We would sell waaay more merch because rebranding, and Benson would benefit enough to put us in to resign him. You know we would be contenders immediately! Dwight would love that lineup enough to resign with us. He and Ryno would reunite and he would benefit from having a young players coach that stresses defense and hard work. I'm baked so I apologize. Really want to see D12, AD combo. Is this even possible?
the start of the 4th quarter is really the turning point of the game....what's with that lineup we have when we start the 4th?
RoLo had ONE rebound? WTH? Did EG dip his hands in Vaseline? OT: thanks for bringing back the Prev/Next Post buttons.