Entering today’s game I had predicted the Hornets to go 1-2 over the past three games, shame on me. New Orleans played an ugly game of basketball today turning the ball over, missing shots and overall playing a lackluster type of ball. But when a team hold’s another to 81 points you will find most of the time they win the game. Today was a case of that because the Hornets left the state of Wisconsin with their “Undefeated” tagline intact.
In most of the games this season the Hornets have been forced to close things out in the last 2 or so minutes to get the win. Today was no different as Milwaukee fought back nobly to come within two. However if a team has Chris Paul on their active roster,watch out. In the closing minutes Paul was angered, he drived hesistated, then faded away for two points to put the lead out of reach for the Bucks. And just like that the Hornets were 6-0.
- Get your All-Star ballot’s ready because David West must be considered as one of the top 3 powerforwards in the Western Conference this year. Today David was looking for his post game trying to muscle up and be physical with Milwaukee. At one point the Bucks threw Andrew Bogut at him, but he would have none of that. DeDubya finished with 25 points on 12 shots, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals, what a game.
- We already mentioned Chris Paul but his ability to close out games is amazing. If the bench unit gives him and the starters a chance with 3 minutes left you can bet on the Hornets winning. For most of the game Paul was frustrated not seeming his usual self, however Milwaukee did a great job contesting any shots that Paul’s team-mates would take. Chris finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds, a couple of steals and he played only 33 minutes tonight, crazy!
- You have to hand it to Emeka Okafor he’s really coming into his own. While he didn’t get as many points as last time, his defense was terrific on Bogut. As well you have to love his free-throw shooting, 69% on the season (he was 5-5 tonight).
- I’ll package Marco Belinelli and Trevor Ariza again today because they closed this game out as well as Paul. When Chris became aggressive these two hit some tough shots when needed to counter a Bucks barrage. They also played tight defense for the entire period of the game and that was excellent to see. Belinelli had 14 and Ariza had 11, all starters were in double figures tonight.
- Have to give props to the team, the old Hornets would have certainly of lost this one, it had the signs of a “trap game” written all over it. We played magnificient defense holding Milwaukee to 81 points, again the Hornets have not let an opponent score over 100 yet this season.
- If there was a game to pick from the year that I would say “was not our finest” this would certainly be it. You can’t really blame them because they had an emotional win against the Heat the night before, but offensively we did not do well.
- Turnovers, sweet lord we could not hold onto the rock. The Bucks defense deserves some of the credit, they really put the pressure down on the Hornets passing lanes, but some of the ball handling and passes were down right scrappy. Mostly it was our bench and Marco Belinelli’s 5 turnovers, but we have to make sure we’re switched on, because if you do this against teams like the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, they punish you.
- Where was the bench tonight? I can tell you one thing, they weren’t in Milwaukee tonight. I have been complaining for a little while now that Jerryd Bayless is showing me next to nothing in terms of his team value. He’s turning the ball over, not being aggressive in the slightest and really doesnt know what to do with the ball. As well Willie Green while he has been stellar, was downright infuriating tonight. Sure he missed some jumpers, but his neglect to find open team-mates, added with the fact he’s a terrible playmaker and you have one bad series of plays. We were hoping Bayless would be the one making plays for the bench, instead it’s pretty much no one.
- Marcus Thornton had 5 minutes tonight, I don’t like this…
- Oh what a night to unleash Quincy Pondexter onto the NBA world. Monty decided that for Quincy’s first action, he would guard the free-throw drawing maniac that is Corey Maggette. After Q fouled Corey almost immediately the rookie out of Washington did a stellar job on him forcing numerous jumpers and forcing him to make some mistakes. Oh and Quincy got a cash three from the corner, that was nice, well down Mr. Pondexter.
- I kind of like the Milwaukee commentators, only problem is that they kept thinking that New Orleans was some place called “Charlotte,” do they teach geography in Milwaukee?
- Clippers took the Jazz the double OT, was a nice game to watch…until the Jazz won.
Next up is the Clippers at home on Tuesday, nice well deserved break for the team. The Clips are a very nice team, they have a bunch of young players who are all very hungry for success, can’t take them lightly.
Final Word: Defense
Topics: Andrew Bogut, Chris Paul, Corey Maggette, David West, Emeka Okafor, Jerryd Bayless, Marco Belinelli, Marcus Thornton, Milwaukee Bucks, Monty Williams, New Orleans Hornets, Quincy Pondexter, Trevor Ariza, Willie Green