Game On: Hornets @ New Jersey

Published: March 17, 2012

The Hornets visit New Jersey to face down a team with a completely different rebuilding philosophy.  I give you the keys to victory.

The Nets are trying to pull off an extremely difficult stunt – walking the fine line between trading enough future assets to keep a superstar willing to stick around while hoarding enough cap space to be able to pick up difference makers.  It’s the last point that’s the sticking point.  Grabbing difference makers in free agency isn’t easy.   Unless you are a Florida team (Miami and Orlando when they snagged McGrady and Grant Hill) it always costs you something to get those guys.  I wish them luck.

The Hornets, on the other hand, are clearing the decks, bringing in a few nice locker-room guys and veterans, and looking towards the draft to establish a foundation.  It has it’s own risks, since it relies on dumb, stupid luck to get the right pick and have a fast turn around.  Still, even if they strike out that first year, they have a chance to pick up something good the next year, right? Right?

Of course, all that is in the future.  Tonight, these two teams meet.  Deron Williams and Jordan Farmer are both Day to Day and may not play.  I’ve also long since given up predicting when Landry, Okafor and Smith may return.  I’ll just assume they aren’t.

Note: Deron Williams will be playing and Gerald Wallace will make his Nets debut tonight.

If the Hornets want to win this game, they need to do the following:

  • Crash the boards.  The Nets are absolutely terrible at keeping teams off the offensive glass, owning the third worst mark in the league there.  If the Hornets go hard to the glass with specialists like Aminu, Henry and Ayon(AHA!), they should get a lot of nice, easy shots.
  • Attack the Hoop.  New Jersey allows the fourth most shots at the rim of any team in the league.  Part of that is the result of offensive rebounding, but part of it is due to weak interior defense.  Cut and score.
  • Throw periodic pressure at the ball handlers.  With Williams and Farmer not healthy, this is a must.  The Nets post a pretty high turnover rate  – attack them and turn them over.

Enjoy the game!


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