Game On: Celtics @ Hornets

Published: March 20, 2013

The Hornets welcome the Celtics to the New Orleans Arena tonight and I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing an angry Boston team. Shorthanded on Monday, the Celtics had a 17 point lead over the Miami Heat before blowing it and losing by 2 points. The national media story lines will be about how they play after that loss and the return of Kevin Garnett (most likely at least) from injury. We’ll still hear plenty about the Rivers/Rivers match up, but that’s not as interesting since Austin is out.

After their win on January 16th, New Orleans is going for a season sweep on the Celtics. While tanking–or close losses–seems to be the flavor du jour, I, personally, think beating the Celtics sounds pretty sweet. So that’s what I’d like to see tonight.

3 Things I’m Watching

Aggresive Anthony Davis

If the scariest man alive plays tonight the Davis/Garnett matchup is drool worthy. All season I’ve expected Davis to rely on his mid range game against physical bigs and everytime he’s matched up with one he’s played aggressively. I love it. Davis is going to get knocked around tonight but I’m hoping this only makes him angry and he continues to go inside.

Eric Gordon’s Shots

Whether it’s due to injury, conditioning, or whatever, Gordon hasn’t been the player we thought he’d be–even in his limited amount of games this season. Tonight I’m going to play close attention to his shot locations. Is he settling for mid range jumpers later in the game? Or is he driving to the basket? I’m also going to be watching where his missed shots hit the rim. If they are hitting the front that’s usually a sign of tired legs. Basically, I’m going to try and do some detective work from the stands to see what’s really up with Gordon.

The Pick and Roll Timing

The Hornets rank in the bottom third of FG% for shots taken at the rim. Part of this is due to the roll man’s timing when running the pick and roll. There is a fine line between starting your roll to the basket early and setting a bad screen. The Hornets tend to fall on the wrong end of this, especially Robin Lopez. Davis at times is guilty of it too. By starting the roll slightly early they make the pass much harder. By rolling too late the defense has time to rotate.


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