The Hornets trip the Pacers

Published: April 3, 2011

The Hornets handled the Pacers without much issue tonight, handing out a 108-96 drubbing (Box Score) that was actually a twenty-five point lead before the Hornets scrubs came in and let the Pacers cut it to pieces.  If I was a Hornets sub, I wouldn’t want to be near Monty’s office tonight.  He looked royally pissed off to have to put his starters back in.

It was a nice, entertaining game to watch, and the Hornets just seemed to flow freely through the first three quarters.  A far cry from the ugly Memphis game.

Trevor Ariza

I have to give the Pacers some due.  They weren’t actually as bad defensively as they looked.  If I was their coach, I’d tell them to let Ariza shoot to his heart’s content.  In fact, I’d tell my guys to beg Ariza to shoot.  Well, tonight, he shot, and they let him,  and he hit.  A lot.   19 points on 13 shots and that includes a couple stupid heaves at the end of the game when he inserted to try and staunch the benches bleeding.   I also think the fact his offense was flowing helped keep his energy up everywhere, because he was involved frequently in scrums for rebounds and came away with more than his fair share of them.  19 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists for Ariza.  Things are so much easier when he’s an actual threat.

Emeka Okafor

I thought about going with Paul here, but Okafor was a monster this game.  He was like a bulldozer out there, moving Hibbert wherever he wanted to.  It wasn’t just power either, he outmuscled Hibbert sure, but he also kept slipping around and past him and sealing him away from the basket over and over.  He finished with 14 points on 11 shots, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block.  The only issue I had with him all game was that the Hornets ended up going to him on a post-up on the first play of the game.  Now, no, it wasn’t the first option, it was like the third in that set, but Okafor just doesn’t have the ability to hit a hook over someone 7’2″ even if he can push the guy into the paint.  The result was an ugly attempt.  Way short.

Other Observations:

  • Chris Paul was attacking and sinking his shots tonight.  He had a couple vicious ankle-breaking crossovers in the game, and generally had his way out there.
  • Paul also banged knees out there and went down grabbing it.  I almost vomited.  Happily he returned a few minutes later and didn’t really look any worse for wear.
  • Hibbert may be the worst pick and roll defender in the league.  He kept screening his own guy from the play, never showed hard, but never recovered either.  I mean, that’s Gray’s weakness too, but at least he tries to get back.  Hibbert didn’t seem interested.
  • Landry is returning to full on Houston mode, dropping a hyper efficient 18 points on 9 shots.  He’s getting the ball where he likes it, and he has the same array of moves that West does when facing up in the post, but he couples it with explosive speed for a big man.
  • Marco and Willie both struggled with their shooting tonight, missing most of their jumpers.  It unusual we can win without one of them shooting straight.  Good job, Ariza.
  • Collison against Jack was ugly.  The Hornets kept the speedster under wraps for most of the game, but Jack had real issues recovering to defend him on pick and rolls.  He was just too damn fast.

With the win, the Hornets take back the 7th spot in the West Standings.  Wild ride out there.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.