Game On: Hornets @ Detroit

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Published: February 4, 2012

The Hornets travel to Michigan to take on fellow bottom-feeder Detroit. 

Detroit is one of three teams in the east with five or less victories. managing one more win  than the Hornets.  Despite this, their point differential indicates they are a worse team than the Hornets, as they lose by 10 on average while the Hornets lose by 5,  so the Hornets have a good chance of taking this win.

Detroit’s struggles are most emphasized on the defensive side of the court,  as they allow 107.5 points per 100 possessions, which is the 2nd worst number in the league.    It’ll be interesting to see which “wins” – Detroit’s porous defense, or the Hornets’ sputtering offense, which only generates 96.7 points per 100 possessions.

On the other side of the floor, despite sophomore Greg Monroe’s solid post game  and passing and Rodney Stuckey’s free throw-drawing prowess,  Detroit has been almost ineffectual as they are defensively, posting a worse offense than the Hornets have managed.  This is triggered by the second highest turnover rate in the league and, frankly, an inability to shoot.  The team posts a FG% of 42%.

As for personnel, the Piston’s main problem is that the three players who get the most minutes on the team sport PERs of 12.1 or less.  Ben Gordon, Tayshaun Prince and rookie Brandon Knight all lead the team with 33 minutes a game – and all have been an absolute mess offensively, making it difficult for the two players on the team with better than average PERs, Greg Monroe (23.3) and Rodney Stuckey (16.5) to keep the team afloat.

To put that in perspective, the Hornets would need to play Ariza, Belinelli and Aminu the most minutes on the team to match.  (Oh wait, Ariza and Belinelli already play the second and third most minutes on this team.  At least Belly has gone to the bench and Aminu is 9th.  Sigh.)

The three Hornets keys to victory:

  1. Allow Gordon and Prince to cast away as much as they want.  (Prince, in particular, is horribly inefficient, and I wonder how he got the idea he should be a primary offensive option.)
  2. Win the battle of the boards.  Since Kaman was benched, the Hornets margins on the boards has become much smaller.  Detroit isn’t a bad rebounding team.  Keep that edge.
  3. Stick their open three point shots.  Detroit allows anyone, anywhere to get open looks on the perimeter.(2nd worst in the league in attempts and %)  For once, the Hornets need to sink them.

Enjoy the game.

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