The Mavericks beat the Hornets

Published: November 15, 2010

And with that, the Hornets lose their first game, falling 98-95 to Dallas in Dallas.(Box Score)  There will be some who read a lot into this game.  They’ll focus on the fact the Hornets blew a fourth quarter lead, but I’m not upset by the outcome.  The Hornets had their looks to win it, and they didn’t go down.  Both teams were playing hard throughout, and the Hornets actually out-rebounded and had fewer turnovers than the Mavericks.  The Mavericks simply executed their defensive game plan enough to keep the Hornets attack off-balance through the fourth.

Chris Paul

The Hornets were struggling at the start to score, and Chris Paul took it upon himself to kick start the offense, taking the offense on himself and getting the Hornets back into it after they got down early.  He was also playing a very physical brand of basketball, throwing himself at Mavericks left and right and spending a lot of time on the floor.  Some of it was play-acting, some of it wasn’t, but it didn’t help much in the end as he ended with only 4 free throw attempts.  In the fourth, he once again tried to take the team on his shoulders, but Tyson Chandler shuts down a high pick and roll as well as any big in the league, and it just wasn’t working.  Paul ended up having to take multiple contested shots at the buzzer and they weren’t going down.

Tyson Chandler

Yeah, I’m talking about the other team’s big guy.  I still love Tyson Chandler, and anyone watching tonights game saw why I still think he was the 2nd best player on the Hornets three seasons ago.  He shut down the pick and roll, he helped make West and Okafor have miserable games, and he helped contest numerous shots near the hoop.  Without Chandler, that game was a runaway win for the Hornets.  Damn you, Ceiling Fan Repairman!

Other Observations

  • The only inexcusable error in that game was Ariza passing the ball into Okafor for the final shot at the three point line.  The Hornets had another time out.  He should have used it.
  • Monty felt comfortable playing Peja whenever Shawn Marion or Jason Kidd were on the floor.  Neither of those guys were particularly mobile, but Peja did allow several wide open threes down the stretch as he was too slow to get out on the shooter.  Yeah, he was stroking his own, but I have a hard time not wishing Belinelli had been out there instead.
  • Belinelli was working so hard out there tracking Terry, and he really kept JET under control for most of the time he was out there.  Unfortunately, Belinelli wasn’t getting much done offensively either, but my respect for him as a defender grows every game.
  • Jason Smith on Dirk Nowitzki is scary ugly.
  • Okafor had a tough, tough night.  Multiple three second violations as the Mavs perimeter defenders forced the Hornets to make a second move rather than get an open shot – leaving Okafor exposed as he fought for rebounding position.
  • Willie Green was huge.  That last shot of his off the drive and bump on Jason Kidd was great, and he was sticking his open threes.
  • The whistles in that game were crazy.  Physical game made ugly by two competitive defenses.

Dallas comes down the New Orleans Wednesday.  Let’s see if we can welcome them in kind and start a new streak.

Have a good night.


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