There are a lot of reasons this game was lost: turnovers, referees, rebounds, second chance points. All in all it was a bad game for the Hornets. Yes, they came out firing and built a 9 point lead after the first quarter. But once the second period started, the Lakers regrouped, went on a large run, and effectively killed any chance the Hornets had.
The rebounding was terrible tonight. For a Hornets team which was great on the defensive glass all season, they cannot allow a team to grab 15 offensive rebounds–especially since the Hornets only brought down 3. The Lakers have a height advantage, but multiple times Andrew Bynum was not boxed out properly. Height doesn’t matter if you leave a guy unchecked. Let’s do this after the jump…
Chris Paul’s stat line looks good but the Lakers really did a good job keeping him in check tonight. They doubled him a lot but most importantly kept fresh legs on him. At least five different players guarded Paul one on one tonight. Most of the time they kept him out of the paint and did not allow Paul to create any chaos. At times he even reverted to the passive Chris we have seen throughout the regular season. He didn’t take a shot until under 3 minutes in the second quarter and didn’t shoot at all in the third. Instead he was looking to create and pass. Luckily, Marco Belinelli and Trevor Ariza hit their outside shots or this game would have been uglier. But I apologized to Chris yesterday and now I fully expect him to go off again in New Orleans on Thursday. I’m expecting 50 points, 29 assists and 22 rebounds.
The Hans Gruber Villain of the Game Award:
I could have given this to Andrew Bynum, but lets give it to the real bad guys in this game: The referees. Awful. The box score wont show it but this was very one sided for the Lakers. Breathing on Kobe Bryant was a foul, yet Landry getting hacked in the paint doesn’t draw a whistle. I’d like to see the video of officiating that Monty Williams sent to David Stern. So I hope you like the club, refs.
-Yes, the officiating was terrible but 19 turnovers isn’t going to help the Hornets win a game. 19 possessions ended early. 24 Lakers points off those turnovers. The Hornets really regretted those missed opportunities.
-The Hornets shot too many jump shots tonight and stopped attacking the rim. Change that up for game 6.
-Jarret Jack was awful tonight.
-I don’t understand why Monty Williams double teamed Kobe so often. With his ankle supposedly hurting (clearly it was fine) why not just leave him alone? I’d rather Bynum, Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom get doubled whenever they touch the ball. With Ariza guarding Kobe, and the Lakers size advantage, any one of those three players are bigger threats. Just let Kobe do his thing and contain everyone else.
-Emeka Okafor, please don’t let Kobe do that to you again.
Everyone go ahead and rant for a bit. Then, lay down, maybe with a glass of wine or bourbon. Both? I like you’re style. Juice works too. Now, take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, let it out slowly. Feeling better? No one expected the Hornets to be in this position. All they need to do is defend their home court and all of a sudden it’s game 7 with the defending champs. Everyone in New Orleans please come out, get a free Beat LA t-shirt, and make some noise on Thursday.
I feel like this is a very appropriate song to leave you with tonight…