Game On: Hornets at CP3

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Published: April 22, 2012

Three games left and all that’s left at stake are lottery balls and pride.  Which will weigh more tonight?

Monty told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that for the last three games of the season he intended to get his young guys a ton of minutes.  Considering the Hornets have been playing an assortment of young guns and Carl Landry pretty much non-stop for two weeks, I’m not sure what that actually means to the Hornets rotations.  Less Landry?  Follow-up questions would be so helpful.

Regardless, the Hornets are in Los Angeles to face Chris Paul and his Clippers squad, which has recently sworn up and down that they’ll protect Blake Griffin from the big. mean bullies of the league who foul him hard when he tries to embarrass them.  I’m pretty happy that Trevor Ariza isn’t playing tonight, because last time the Hornets faced the Clips, both DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin decided the 6’8″ stringbean was an appropriate target for their “messages”.   So now, Aminu and Belinelli probably need to look out.  Vasquez is too fiery, Henry to ripped, and the other Hornets too close to the same size as the Clippers “enforcers” to need to worry much.  Dyson could be a target too.

The Keys to Victory

  • Get physical with the Clippers.  No, this isn’t some intimidation thing.  The Clippers foul the crap out of everyone, giving up the third highest rate of free throws of any team in the league.  Drive, crash the boards and scrap, and the Clippers will put you on the line for easy points.
  • Crash the defensive glass.  The Clippers post the third best offensive rebound rate in the league, which contributes mightily to their sky-high team field goal rate.  The Hornets need to send everyone back to cover the boards and not worry about leaking out.  They aren’t a good fastbreak team anyways, so sacrifice that for limiting possessions.
  •  Follow the typical Hornets Defensive game-plan.  Pack the paint and encourage threes.  Long Twos and Threes are the only type of shot the Clippers make at or near the league average.  If they get within 15 feet, they are particularly deadly.  Limit that.

Enjoy the game!

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