See? Winning in STAPLES isn't that hard guys..
The CCC is back.
Another triple double for Chris Paul, 60 from D-West in two games. At least our All-Stars are rounding into shape.
1. eFG% ( √) More than anything, the defense was really impressive tonight. Minus a red hot Eric Gordon, the Clips went 24-67 from the field and a paltry 2 for 10 from deep. A lot of that has to do with New Orleans' great close outs on shooters and even better perimeter rotations. I've been going on about perimeter defense being our biggest weakness this year. I love that we got it done against an athlete like Al Thornton shooters like Baron Davis and Eric Gordon. Byron Scott has to be pleased with this road effort.
2. OREB% ( √) That's more like it. 3 OREB's for Mr. Chandler, and 2 apiece from West and Hilton. The Hornets topped the 30% mark for the first time (I think) this season, and they did it against Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby. Of course, the real story was Chris Paul pulling down 10 boards, Peja pulling down 9, and Posey drawing in 8. That's 25 boards from, umm, unusual sources.
3. FT/FG (---) Dead even. Devin Brown was a pleasant surprise, getting 5 freebies (all converted). Baron was the big foul man for the Clips, going 6 times. In a departure from his Hornet days, he actually managed to sink all 6 of them. In the end, Chris Paul probably should've gone to the line 2 to 4 more times. He took a couple of hits in traffic that were ruled turnovers.
4. TOr (X) Paul's 5 turnover line looks somewhat ugly, but again, at least two of the turnovers were clear fouls. Some nights, those calls just don't go your way. The steals streak was put in some danger tonight, but Paul quickly allayed fears by picking off a Davis pass early in the third quarter (which, as it turns out, was Baron's only turnover on the night).
5. Pace (90) Equal parts grind it out and up tempo. The Clippers would've been much more effective in the half court with Zach Randolph, so the tempo probably favored us a little bit. All in all, the Hornets' transition defense was much improved (or at least from the Sacramento game).
Some bullets to finish off:
- Eric Gordon can fill it up. I was leery of him as a draft pick- too short, and not enough athleticism being my reasoning. But he has a great jump shot, very good range, and doesn't get fazed by a hand in his face. I could see him evolving into a fat version of Gilbert Arenas. Defensively, he could use some work. I suppose it's semi-unfair to judge his D, given that Chris Paul was his assignment. He really doesn't move his feet well though.
- Peja had himself a nice game, his first good one in a while. I still think Byron needs to draw up more three point plays for him, but Peja did a great job inside the arc. His jumper was certainly there, he even made a floating right hander in traffic, and pulled down some tough boards.
- The bench: this might be the worst offensive second unit in the entire NBA. The offense is simply putrid. I mean, take a look at this snapshot of consecutive possessions in the second quarter:
- James Posey misses 30 foot jumper
- Rasual Butler misses 8 foot jumper
- Devin Brown has the ball stolen in the backcourt
- Devin Brown travelling
- James Posey makes 9 foot jumper
- James Posey loses ball out of bounds
- Hilton Armstrong travelling
- That's 2 points, 3 heavily contested jumpers, and 4 turnovers in a span of 7 possessions. Incroyable.
- David West was the man. It was pretty funny how the Clippers' broadcasters started the game talking about how West always burns the Clips. Then DX started slow, and the announcers mentioned that it looked like the Clips would catch a break. West then proceeds to absolutely destroy any defense put in front of him. Awesome.
- Another thing on West: the announcers talked about West's goals for this season. Apparently, DX's only individual goal for the year is to "increase his range" and become a three point shooter. We could do with a little more rebounding, but hey, I'm not complaining if West starts bombing from Rasheed Wallace range.
- Play of the game: L.A. Clippers call time out, down 10, on a little mini-run, with 2:25 left in the game. Hornets force a missed three from Baron Davis with the shot clock expiring, and less than 2:00 left to go. They pretty much annhilated a set play by Mike Dunleavy coming out of the time out, and that was the ballgame.
- Chris Paul joins Larry Johnson, Anthony Mason, and Baron Davis as Hornets who have recorded back to back triple doubles. Johnson had 20/13/4 his next game, Mason a 17/14/7, and Davis a 23/6/5/7.
- This is Paul's third 5 turnover or more game this season. That would put him on pace to have 18 this year. Last year, he had 12; two years ago, he had 9; three years ago (his rookie season), he amazingly had just 6.