The Lakers handled the Hornets

Published: March 27, 2011

The Lakers jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter, running their offense, taking advantage of all the size mismatches on the inside, and drilling every open look they got.  The Hornets didn’t give up all game, cutting the lead to single digits several times, but in the end, they couldn’t hit their own open perimeter shots and fell 102-84 to the Lakers. (Box Score)

I said before the games that for the Hornets to win, they were going to need Landry to go off and their perimeter guys to hit their shots.  The Hornets perimeter guys, however, didn’t comply, and it wasn’t because of some sort of stellar perimeter defense.  They simply failed to knock down the open shots they did get.  3-17 from deep, including 1-10 from Marco and Trevor.  I expect that from Trevor, but Belinelli’s inability to hit his shots hurt badly.  Paul himself was off for a lot of the game, shooting several shots so short that they were very nearly airballs.  23 points from three of your starters?  That’s not cutting it against anyone.

Carl Landry

Landry was flat out a beast tonight.  We needed him to score, but he scored and put the Lakers impressive stable of big men in constant foul trouble all night.  Offensively, he was relentless, attacking, drawing contact, and running the floor.  He was one of the primary reasons the Hornets were able to make their little runs at times.  He finished with 24 points on 16 shots and 10 rebounds. 

However, not everything was lollipops and rainbows.  Landry was simply too small to cause many problems for the Lakers.  Gasol scored over him at will, and both of the Lakers big men repeatedly just reached up and plucked rebounds away from him in the first half.  I don’t blame him for this – it’s not his fault he’s only 6’7″.  (He was standing next to Kobe and was the same height)  Still, this sort of thing matters.

Aaron Gray

I have to give the big man credit.   He was a difference maker out there against Andrew Bynum.  Was Bynum better than him?  No Question.  However, tonight Aaron Gray did everything he needed to in order to make Bynum work in the post and then controlled his side of the basket very well as a rebounder.  When the other side is throwing big men at us with limited mobility, Aaron Gray will play fairly well against them.  I know it’s pointless to say so, but sometimes I wish Gray felt the urge to be the best basketball player he could be.  If he dedicated himself to get fit, he could have been special.

Other Observations:

  • Ariza was abysmal except for a brief stretch in the third when he drove and dumped the ball off three times for layins by the bigs.  Every time he went in looking for a shot himself, however, it was a bit like watching the movie 2012 – or any of those other disaster movies where the world ends.
  • Jack had a great stretch in the second quarter.  Sadly he wasn’t able to duplicate it in the fourth.
  • The fact that Paul’s shots were all front-rimming suggest dead legs.  It is the third game in four nights, on the road, and Paul has already shown us this season that he can look flat out bad without enough time to keep that knee in decent shape.  We saw that again tonight.
  • Okafor had 8 offensive rebounds.  I don’t think the Hornets ran even a single offensive play for him tonight, but those boards made him still nicely effective on that end of the floor.

Not much else to say.  We’ll be recording the podcast tomorrow night due to the Lakers game being somewhat late, so you should have it available Tuesday.  Have a good night.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.