Game On: Lakers @ Hornets

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Published: March 6, 2013

As we hit the stretch run of the season the narrative looks the same as last year:

To tank, or not to tank, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ping pong balls, or to take arms against a sea of playoff teams, and by opposing end them: to defeats, to losses.

Regardless of whether you’re on the tank or not, I say we set that aside for tonight as most Hornets’ fans enjoy beating the Lakers. And to that I say, as Los Angeles is my hometown, bring it on! Our own Grayson took the first shot in his post yesterday and Mason’s going to be letting me have it on twitter. I’ll keep this preview Hornets oriented but I’ll be wearing neutral clothes at the Arena tonight. Let’s jump into it

3 Things To Watch For

Anthony Davis vs. The Lakers’ Bigs

With Jason Smith out for the season, Monty Williams has said he plans to play Davis and Anderson more together. That will force Davis to guard the big man playing center. Every time he’s played a physically dominating center, I’ve expected Davis to focus on his mid range game. Yet every time he has tried to work inside offensively. That aggressiveness has surprised me. Tonight we’ll see him get some minutes against Dwight Howard. If he active in the paint on offense and physical on defense tonight, I can’t wait to see what he’ll be like when he puts on some more muscle.

Take Care of the Ball

The Lakers are terrible at forcing turnovers which means the Hornets won’t face a lot of on ball pressure. If the Hornets turn the ball over tonight it’ll be due to unforced errors. At a certain point the young players need to learn how to stop losing control of the ball. The Hornets have been better about this recently but I want to see consistent improvement. I can live with it if a player turns the ball over because of good defense (or even mediocre defense) but turning it over from dribbling on their own foot (or whatever) is not okay.

What Type of Defense Shows Up

The Hornets have played some very soft defense against the Magic. Under Monty Williams defense has been the team’s identity but this season that hasn’t been the case with the team ranking 27th in defensive rating. Tonight I’m watching for who is playing tough defense. Who is trying body up their mark and force the offense to change? Who is merely settling for getting a hand up when a shot is taken?

Your Pregame Song

6 comments
Nithenz
Nithenz

Cant believe what i just saw...Why Monty kept a slow footed Lopez on those 3 or four high screens that switched Kobe into him...Wouldnt a athletic freak as Davis would have done a better job? Im no coach, dont look at me, but it almost seems logical to me... Monty has done some growing since his first season, but he should know how to close games or stop 20 point bursts... really sad...

BigEv
BigEv

I can't do it anymore. Fire Monty.

LLHOPS
LLHOPS

Since the All Star break this Hornet team is a joke. The sad thing is they are not trying to tank like some of your writers keep speculating about. Lose to the Thunder by 40 and look like a class B high school team. Everybody makes excuses - second of a back to back, short handed, etc. Then they blow a 17 point 3rd quarter lead to a bad Magic team that is playing the second of their back to back on the road. Now blowing a 19 point 4th quarter lead to a old tired Laker team that doesn't seem to care for 3 quarters and is playing the second of their back to back on the road. Gordon is such a panty waste. No ability to close a game. Monty has no offensive clue at the end of tight games. Davis and Rivers on the bench as we watch Lopes miss dunk after dunk. Maybe Monty needs to try to tank and see if the results are any different. I know - let's don't be negative and panic. Based on the attendence of non-Laker games, it's not panic we should be worried about. We should worry that the fans just won't care anymore. Thank goodness they are changing their name. Maybe that will be something to look forward to next year.

jsl05
jsl05

Rivers suffered a hand injury that caused him to sit the rest of the game.