3-on-3: Previewing Pacers @ Hornets

Published: March 3, 2012

David West makes his return to the Big Easy as the Hornets take on the Pacers tonight at the Hive. The immortal Tim Donahue from 8points9seconds (twitter–@TimDonahue) joins us.

1. What kind of reaction will David West get from the crowd tonight?

Joe: It should be overwhelmingly positive. The Hornets have special video that they made for his return, and I think they’re expecting a warm reaction from the fans… at least pregame.

Jake Madison: I will be cheering for him and I hope the rest of the arena does as well. West was great player for the Hornets and a pure professional. It’s a shame he hurt his knee last season.

James Grayson: General positivity, nothing too crazy though. West could have been one of the greatest Hornets ever, but instead left to try and win a championship. Not sure he can do that with Indiana, but I and many others wish him all the best.

Tim Donahue: If the folks in New Orleans liked having David West as much as we in Indy have – even in this short period of time- I can’t imagine it will be anything less than warm. David is exactly the type of player and professional the Pacers – and every NBA team – needs.

2. What the is best matchup of the night?

Joe: Honestly I think West vs Ayon is going to be really intersting to watch. They’re very different players, and even though West has the advantage when looking at them as individual players, I could see Ayon making his life hell on both ends today.

Jake: I agree with Joe. Ayon vs. West will be very fun too watch. Ayon should get the best of him.

James: Kaman vs. Hibbert. Last game against the Pacers Hibbert absolutely tore Kaman to shreds. On the boards he was dominant and Kaman couldn’t contain him. It will be interesting to see how this goes second time round.

Tim Donahue – The Hornets’ High PnR combo (probably Jack & Kaman) against the Pacers’ PnR Defense – generally Collison and Hibbert. This is how teams exploit Indy and create open shots. Collison isn’t physical enough, and Hibbert is too slow. Pacers have to contain this action, or they’ll lose.

3. Care to make some predictions about the game?

Joe:It’s hard to see the Hornets coming out and beating yet another playoff team considering they’re missing a starting lineup full of players, but stranger things have happened. If the energy is there, which I think it will be, they could give the Pacers a run for their money.

Jake: I think this will be close for a half. But unfortunately the Pacers take over in the second.

James: The Pacers have had three days off, the Hornets played last night. I don’t see New Orleans staying in this one, unless we get another good game out of Xavier Henry. One prediction is that West will score more than 20 points.

Tim Donahue:Honestly, I think it will be another down-to-the-wire game between these two teams. If the Hornets can spread the floor the way they did last time, I’d give them the edge. They’ll get open shots, but they’ll have to knock them down. If they don’t, then Indy will get control with Hibbert and West down low.

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