Just a little opinion piece today (a double-post fun!), nothing to big. I was watching the Hornets vs. Mavericks Game 5 last night and something occurred to me. The Hornets need to find a knock-down shooter.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “What about Marco Belinelli?” Well folks that’s true, he’s a nice shooter, but he isn’t great. The Hornets in this 2008 game, did a great job of getting the rebound, steal or block and pushing it up the floor. Chris Paul would dash up, draw defenders and Peja Stojakovic would trail. You almost knew exactly what was going to happen, you saw Peja floating to the right, you saw David West cut to the basket from the left. Paul drew his defender, kicked it to Peja who knocked down the wide open three.
The amount of times that Marco Belinelli would be presented with a similar opportunity is endless, yet he wouldn’t deliver.
It’s not just on the fast break either.
The Hornets got the rebound, Paul pushed it up the floor and had Dirk Nowitzki on him. David West had Jason Kidd on him, so mismatch. CP was on the left side of the court, West coming from the top of the three. David then tried to do his “fake-screen-and-roll” thing that he loves so much. Meanwhile Peja was positioned opposite in the corner for three. Paul then, before West passed him, kicked it to Peja cross-court as the entire Maverick defense hedged over to the left side because of the Paul-Nowtizki match-up. Stojakovic knocked it down.
My point is this. Marco Belnelli needs to find a better way of becoming the knock-down shooter that Peja Stojakovic was before. My problem is that I’m not sure if he is the problem…
If we have a look at that 2008 lineup it was Chris Paul, then two shooters/scorers on the wing, David West in the post/pick-and-pop and Tyson Chandler for the pick-and-roll. In a lot of ways it was the perfect team for Chris Paul. He had bountiful scorers, but also had a defensive juggernaut at the Center position.
I don’t think the problem lies with Marco Belinelli, I think it might lie with Trevor Ariza.
There’s no doubt that Trevor Ariza is a fantastic NBA-defender. He’s athletic, cuts to the basket well, gets steals and runs the floor. But, he can’t shoot. At all. His scoring ability is limited, looks frenetic.
My point is I don’t think he fits well with a highly oiled Chris Paul team. Those days in 2008 were predicated on defense, but they had guys on offense to help Chris Paul and allowed him to operate with the room and ease he so needs.
So whether Ariza is with the Hornets or not I still think that the team needs to find another shooter who can play along side of Belinelli, but not be liable on defense. I guess it’s why I like Danny Granger so much for this team…