Game On: Hornets at Lakers

Published: January 7, 2011

The Hornets play Los Angeles for the second time in ten days and they hope to get revenge for the beat down that Lamar Odom and the rest of the Lakers put on them at the hive. Odom came off the bench in the first meeting and scored 24 points, two of which were on a one on three fast break in which he went behind the back with the ball, threw it off the glass to himself and finished strong. It was rather embarressing and indicitive of the night as a whole.

The game was all but over in the first half, as LA went to the locker room with an 18 point lead. It was a humiliating game that saw the Hornets grab a season-low 24 rebounds, and they were outscored in the paint 46-30 as well. The game would have been a lot worse if not for LA’s 20 turnovers (7 from Kobe), and in all honesty, many of those were unforced errors.

When teams have had success against the Lakers this year, they have been able to get out and run against them, outscoring them significantly in fast break points. Memphis put this formula on display in LA just five nights ago as they outscored the Lakers 28-5 in fast break points on their way to a 104-85 victory. Since that game, LA has won their last two games by controlling the boards and by making teams play at their pace.

For the Hornets to win tonight, they might have to be a little uncharacteristic and push the tempo. The Hornets have already tried to play the half court game against LA and they were outclassed and outexecuted. LA’s size on both ends of the court just give the Hornets problems that they have no answers for. I said it in the podcast, and I will say it again, Lamar Odom would be the longest player on this team and he is LA’s 3rd big. That is scary. Standing toe to toe with the Giant is not the way to beat him- you’ve gotta run him around and force him to fight outisde of his comfort zone.

Other News and Notes:

-I know it might be a frustrating article to read, but I think every Hornets fan should take a look at the article by Jim Peltz of the Los Angeles Times. In it he gives an interesting take on the state of the NBA’s ownership of the Hornets, some horrendous quotes by Phil Jackson, the viewpoint from the local Hornets fans, the attendence benchmarks, and much more. Worth a read.

– We have been saying for a long time that the Hornets bench has been the number one problem with this team, and now we have the data to back it up.

– Monty has said several times that he will continue to work on finding answers to our bench problems, and he has admitted that a big part of that solution might be to simply play the starters more. While nobody wants to see Chris Paul or David West approaching 40 minutes a night, at some point you have to wonder if that is the only solution. For now, Monty will try to play units that are comprised of both starters and reserves, rather than just putting out 5 subs to start the 2nd and 4th quarters, but you have to wonder if he will be robbing Peter to pay Paul. Hopefully Monty can find a way to improve the 2nd unit without the first unit suffering.

– Lakers are 8 point favorites in this game, but if you are going to bet on this game, my advice would be to take the under (which is 190). In their last 14 road games, the Hornets have gone under 11 times, which kinda makes sense since their bench never shows up and they are forced to play a low scoring, grind it out game to try to steal a victory. If you put a gun to my head, I would also take Hornets +8 considering that the Lakers are 1-4 in their last 5 at home against the spread. I say the Hornets stay close, and pull off a shocker- 96- 91.

– Talk about the game here or visit our Forums. Two conversation starters: 1.) Caption this picture and 2.) Pop Quiz (don’t look it up, no cheating) Question: We told you the Hornets had the worst bench rating, now you tell us what five benches do you think graded out highest? (Clue: #1 and #3 are in the East, the other three are in the West)


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