Game On: Hornets @ Mavericks

Published: November 15, 2010

Game Preview

Matchup: Hornets(8-0) @ Mavericks(6-2)
Off Efficiency: Hornets 106.9(7th), Mavericks 105.2(11th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 95.3(1st), Mavericks 97.1(3rd)

Game banner provided by the amazing Dariusz Ejkiewicz.

Two defensive juggernauts clash tonight as the Hornets visit Dallas for a Southwestern Conference showdown.  To date, the Mavericks defensive numbers indicate two things:  Their wing defense is somewhat slow-footed, but their length(read: Tyson Chandler) – lets them contest shots even if they are beaten.  As a result, while the Mavericks are one of the 5 worst teams at keeping other teams from taking shots at the rim and in the paint, they are also one of the league best at making people miss those shots.   That means that the close range shots will be there for our driving guards, it’ll be up to them to take advantage.

On the flip side, Dallas takes a lot of jumpers – low efficiency jumpers – but hits them at a solid clip behind Terry and Nowitzki.  That could make this team dangerous as the Hornets want their opponents to be taking those shots.


Hornets: None
Mavericks: Caron Butler is day to day with back spasms.  He had been the starting SF, so if he comes back, he may push Marion to the bench.

Positional Analysis

PG: Chris Paul v Jason Kidd
Advantage: Hornets
Kidd has been having a bit of an off year.  Over the past couple seasons, he had developed a deadly three-point shot and continued to rebound the ball like few point guards can.  This year, his rebounding numbers are way down, and his three point shot is falling at an average rate.  Yes, he can still generate easy shots in the open floor, but other than as a spot up shooter, he’s pretty ordinary now.  Chris Paul isn’t ordinary.

SG: Marco Belinelli v DeShawn Stevenson
Advantage: Hornets
Stevenson has been playing very well for the Mavericks, knocking down his open shots, and playing an important role as a tough wing defender for 20 minutes a game.  Here’s the rub, however, he’s been a terrible shooter for three straight seasons prior to this one.  Somehow, I don’t think his shooting efficiency(he’s the second most efficienct scorer on the Mavs) will continue.  Marco’s efficiency should continue.

SF: Trevor Ariza v Shawn Marion
Advantage: Even
Marion rebounds well, runs the floor well, and defends adequately.  His three point shot has deserted him, but he can still finish inside after cutting and receiving bounce passes from Kidd.  Ariza’s defense is superior, and don’t look at his shooting percentages and dismiss him.  He draws a reasonable numbe of free throws, and the number of threes he does manage to hit keeps his points per shot at least respectable.

PF: David West v Dirk Nowitzki
Advantage: Mavericks
West plays Nowitzki very well, since Nowitzki’s only advantage on him is his height, but Nowitzki does typically out play him by a few points and rebounds every game.   Both are proving to be very efficient this season.  It should be a good battle.

C: Emeka Okafor v Tyson Chandler
Advantage: Even
Okafor has been playing very, very well, but Chandler is also having a tremendous impact on the Mavs.  As always, he takes few shots, but he always generates a ton of points from them because they are dunks.  He rebounds very well, defends the paint better than most centers in the league, and because the Mavs are somewhat deep, doesn’t have to play long minutes.  These two guys will battle hard tonight.  (On a side note, I’m glad to see Chandler healthy again.  I just wish he was healthy somewhere other than in Dallas)

Mavericks: Jason Terry, Jose Juan Barea, Brendan Hayward, Brian Cardinal
Hornets: Willie Green, Jerryd Bayless, Jason Smith, Thornokavoic, Pondexter
Advantage: Mavericks
Jason Terry is a phenomenal scorer, and Jose Juan Barea plays very well for all his physical limitations.  I almost made this even, because Brendan Hayward has been awful this year and Jason Smith hasn’t, but I do think Terry more than counters that deficiency.

Enjoy the Game.  Talk it up!

Oh, and there’s a new Journal entry from 42 you should read, and don’t forget about chatting about the Hornets in our new Forum, things are starting to pick up there!

Also, check out the NBA 2K11 sim. The rosters update every day, and the Hornets are finally getting some respect on that game. Prior to the season started, they were ranked 24th overall according to the game- now they are up to 12th!!!

Update– Joe will be on ESPN’s Daily Dime Chat throughout the game, so come over and represent the Hornets fan base.


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