Nets punish Hornets on glass

Published: March 12, 2013

I said in the pregame that the Nets were a team that got their winning margins by crashing the glass and getting fouled while doing so.  Tonight, the Nets rebounded more than 40% of their misses – which is 10% more than even they usually manage.  On the other end, they kept the Hornets offensive rebound numbers purely pedestrian.  Game, Match, Set.

Evans, Blatche, and Wallace pushed Anthony Davis and Lance Thomas around – and though Davis held his own using quickness, the Nets generally dominated the interior.  You’ll, I hope, notice that I didn’t mention Robin Lopez.  That’s because Robin Lopez was being forced to guard the pick and roll – or being iso’d all night.  That meant he was almost always out of position to help on the glass.  The result was 3 defensive rebounds in 37 minutes.  Oomph.

With Anderson on the bench with a virus, the Hornets were pretty short-handed offensively – happily both Gordon and Davis showed up, flipping in 41 points on 30 shots.

Davis had a bunch of nice alley-oops and showed that amazing touch of his hitting shots on the move after contact.  Most importantly to me, he didn’t back down to Reggie Evans despite having the shorter, stronger man throwing elbows, shoving, pushing, smacking, and eventually giving him a bloody nose.  You could tell Davis was getting hurt, but it didn’t stop him.

Gordon too was being bodied and grabbed and pushed around by his defender, Gerald Wallace.  Gordon’s response was to explode at the basket before Wallace could reach him – and he had one of his strongest scoring nights of the season.   The dunk he put down in the fourth was crushing.  It’s moments like that where you can’t help but nod and see why Dell re-signed him.  Wouldn’t it be nice if he could play near that level all next season?

Other Observations

  • Xavier Henry remained glued to the bench tonight, despite the lack of healthy bodies and Darius Miller having one of his bad games.  I keep wanting to say that his chances seem to have finally run out, but somehow, I still think we’ll see him again this season.
  • During the third quarter, excepting two fast break plays, the Nets ran pick and rolls or Isolation plays at Robin Lopez on 9 straight plays.  They scored on 7 of them.
  • I kept hoping we’d see more pick and rolls with Davis as the screener.  In the fourth, we got 4 total – and three of them were at the start of the quarter.  It’s effective, Monty needs to make use of it.
  • Reggie Evans throws elbows all the time.  Little shivers on picks, jabs when guys are cutting, and when fighting for rebound position, he’ll throw combo’s of elbows at guys to get room.  I’m shocked he doesn’t pick up fouls at a higher rate.
  • Roberts had a lot of success getting into the paint tonight – but defensively he was being absolutely crushed by Deron Williams.  He couldn’t do anything to even slow him.
  • Lou Amundson got 4 minutes and picked up 3 quck fouls and got stuffed on a dunk.  He did do some nice celebrations from the bench.  Go Lou!
  • Blatche still has his moments where he tries to do too much – but they are much more infrequent than they used to be and he’s become a valuable bench asset.

Next game is Friday in Washington!  Ping Pong Collison!


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