All year I've been reading that Gordon is a good defender. Is there actual statistical evidence of this? I've never noticed his defense while watching (in a good or bad way) and he's been so atrocious the first half of this game that I'm now questioning his entire body of work. Granted, everyone has been terrible this half...
« New Orleans Hornets 2012-13 Power Rankings – Week 22
Game On: Hornets @ Warriors
Two very well rested teams go head-to-head tonight with two entirely different agendas in mind. The Hornets, who haven’t played since Sunday, have eight more games to evaluate their current roster before heading into an offseason that is likely to produce a rather drastic overhaul of the roster. Meanwhile, the Warriors, who haven’t played since Saturday, are fully focused on playing their best basketball as their head into their first postseason appearance since 2006-07.
Golden State has been playing some quality basketball as of late, rolling off seven of their last ten, now that their team is back to full health (minus Brandon Rush, who was lost very early in the season). This is their final game of a five game homestand, where they’ve gone 3-1, and the first time they will face the Hornets since demolishing them in New Orleans 93-72 just sixteen days ago. In order for the Hornets to avoid that fate once again, they will have to do the following:
Keys To Victory
1. Crash the Offensive Glass
In the past month, the Hornets have been the top offensive rebounding team, with an ORR of nearly 34%. Meanwhile, the Warriors are the #2 defensive rebounding team in the league. With the Hornets likely to be outscored from behind the arc and at the free throw line, they must get additional opportunities, and easy ones at that, in order to win this game.
2. Capitalize on Golden State’s Turnovers
One of the surprising things we saw in the victories over both Denver and Cleveland was that the Hornets were actually able to turn those teams over and convert on the other end. With nothing to lose this season, Monty has been more aggressive in trapping and getting ball pressure, which has led to some transition opportunities. Golden State is in the bottom ten, averaging almost 16 turnovers per game. The Hornets need to turn those turnovers into points to have any kind of chance tonight.
3. Defend the Arc
This is truly where the game will be decided, as the best three-point shooting team in the league goes up against a team that has had so much trouble defending it this season. Golden State as a team shoots 40% from deep this year, led by Stephen Curry who shoots 7.4 three’s per game and makes 45.5% of them. Truly insane. Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack are their other threats, and it is no surprise that their most deadly lineup is the one that features all three of those guys on the court at once. The perimeter defenders of the Hornets have to be on red alert tonight.