Hornets Battle Back to Beat the Rockets. How U?

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Published: January 9, 2013

The first three quarters of the game were predictable. Sloppy play for the first half followed by a complete collapse in the 3rd quarter. Overall it was pretty bad. Both the Hornets and Rockets shot under 37% at the break and the score was a whopping 34-36. And then the second half started and the Rockets started shooting lights out to take a 69-59 lead after 3 quarters.

Then the 4th quarter started and Roger Mason Jr. went all freakazoid bananas.

Mason Jr. went 5 of 5 from the field in the quarter with 3 made threes. It could have been more as his foot was on the line on at least one other attempt. Not only that but he grabbed 5 boards, had a steal and a block as well. What might have been equally important as his scoring, though, was his defense on Harden. He slowed Harden down enough and held him to only 3 points on 1 of 4 shooting in the final period. It allowed the Hornets to hold the Rockets to a meager 10 points in the quarter while scoring 29 themselves in an improbably sparked 88-79 win.

Seriously, Roger FREAKING Mason Jr. sparked the comeback. Without him the Hornets lose. I’m not lying.

Observations

-If you were to tell me the Hornets would win by 9 in a game where Anderson and Gordon combined for 5 points, I would have bet you lots of money and lost. Neither player had his shot going tonight whatsoever. For a shooter like Anderson these nights happen.

-What worries me slightly was the Hornets didn’t really run sets for Anderson like they normally do. Monty used him as a pick man in the pick and roll, but that’s doesn’t take advantage of his skill set. Overall, there were less pick and rolls tonight, more isolations, and a whole lot of nothing. I was somewhat disappointed with Monty tonight.

-Rivers’ offensive game is bad, yes. But on defense you can definitely see him improving. He played adequate–not good but not bad–defense on Harden tonight. It’s a tough assignment for a rookie and he was going to struggle at times. But overall he held his own. Most importantly, Rivers show a strong ability to fight through screens on defense. This is something the Hornets guards have lacked this season and it prevents mismatches occurring on the pick and roll.

-Aminu played…I’m not exactly sure how to finish that. He shows these flashes at times which make you think he can be good. And then he goes and plays terribly by turning the ball over and getting lost on defense. Then the next few possessions have him crashing the boards and stripping the ball. Honestly, I’d rather have him be consistently bad rather than streaky because at least it wouldn’t get my hopes up.

-Who has worse hands? Aminu or Lopez?

-I’ve been hard on Vasquez at times, but without him the Hornets offense has the potential to look like an absolute mess. His 4 turnovers are not what you want to see, but his line of 17 points and 11 assists is. He’s a boom or bust player but the booms can look so great at times. There was a period in the first half where Vasquez broke out some very flashy passing. It was awesome.

-The Hornets rebounded 35.5% of their misses tonight which looks fantastic. Then you realize then finished 35 of 84 on the night. That’s a lot of misses. The Hornets need to start manufacturing more attempts at the rim. They currently rank 24th in makes at the rim per game.

The Hornets have now completed the Texas Toast Trifecta sweep and look to make it 4 in a row Friday night in New Orleans.

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