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Game On: Hornets @ Pistons
The Hornets conclude their Mardi Gras road trip, hoping to end it with a winning record after starting off with a victory against Atlanta, followed by a loss last night at Toronto. Since it is a back-to-back, the Hornets will likely be without the services of Eric Gordon (unless Monty counts last night as a DNP because Gordon never really showed up). For the Hornets to pull out a victory against a suddenly respectable Detroit team, they will have to do the following:
Keys to Victory:
1. Match Detroit’s Energy
Detroit doesn’t have a plethora of talent, but what they do have is a collection of high energy, high effort guys that they throw at you in waves. The team as a whole does a good job in the hustle categories, most notably on the offensive glass, and while the loss of Drummond hurts them a bit here, guys like Charlie Villaneuva and Kyle Singler have stepped up lately to pick up the slack. The Hornets are in the second game of a back-to-back and played with little to no energy last night. If they do that again, the Pistons will make them pay.
2. Double Monroe in the Post
The Pistons like to play off of Monroe in the high and low posts, but when you pressure him he has a tendency to turn the ball over at a fairly high rate. You’d rather have the Pistons try to run their offense through Rodney Stuckey (inefficient scorer) or Brandon Knight (high turnover rate, low assists) than Monroe, so double him at every opportunity.
3. Put Calderon and Maxiell in P&R situations
Vasquez has had his way with Calderon this year and tonight should be no different. Meanwhile, Maxiell is a good help defender, but he struggles in space, so the Hornets should identify who he is covering and go pick and roll heavy tonight, with Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith popping to give the Pistons a different look.