Probably should never have been that close, but hey, a win's a win.
eFG% (X) Chalk it up to luck, chalk it up to extra time in shootaround. Whatever the case, Indy absolutely lit it up from the field. 9-12 from deep, and Rasho Nesterovic hit a 19 footer with the game on the line. It was that type of night. Big ups to Danny Granger going 12-23, coming back early from a (nasty looking) concussion/neck injury. How many guys in this league would do that for a 10-20 team? You have to respect that.
3. FT/FG (√) We kept off the fouling for the most part. Other than Chandler (2 fouls in the 1st, 3 in the 1st half, 4 in 3, etc.), and James Posey, very few other guys committed fouls. On the flip side, Paul and West didn't get to the line as much as we're accustomed to seeing. And five missed free throws from Chandler drags down the FT/FG average somewhat.
4. TOr (√) Terrific job taking care of the ball. Our ball security was what kept us in the game even as Indiana went bonkers from beyond. Paul and Posey combined for 5 turns, but no other player on the team finished with more than one. Now is also a good time to mention David West- just 10 turnovers in his last 10 games. He's been playing great basketball recently, albeit quietly. And Paul's new steals streak has now hit 2 games!
5. Pace (93) Midway through the third quarter, I commented in the game thread how the pace was way too high. At the time, it was 98, and Indiana was threatening to run away with their shooting. When a team is lighting it up like the Pacers were tonight, you want to limit their possessions (and therefore, shot attempts). New Orleans buckled down in the 4th quarter and drove down the pace of the game substantially. The Pacers- the 3rd fastest team in the league at 95.5- struggled to adapt. Good coaching, good recognition from the players.
- Tough watching Tyson Chandler tonight. I was really hoping he could string together a few good games here, coming off Houston, and facing Washington on Tuesday. Foul trouble struck again though. Tyson was clearly on the verge of another big game- 4 offensive rebounds in just 30 minutes, and 15 combined FTA and FGA.
- James Posey continued his stretch of great one-on-one play. I noted earlier in the season how his game is mostly comprised of "garbage" shots- they worked to perfection tonight. He's had a little dip in three point shooting of late, but 19 points on 11 FGA from a bench player is really, really sweet. Defensively, the box score may indicate that he didn't have the greatest game. But Indiana was knocking down some absurd shots out there.
- Antonio Daniels: 2-2 FG, 2-2 3P, 6 pts, 2 asts, 1 rb. Doesn't look like the greatest stat line, but he was effective in just 12 minutes of burn.
- Peja Stojakovic impressed me with his work on the glass. With the bad back, I was expecting that the Hornets would just plant him out at the three point line all game. Instead, he managed to corrall 3 offensive boards and do a great job on the glass in stead of Tyson Chandler. He was part of the Hornets' very balanced scoring attack tonight- 5 players in double figures, Chandler with 8, and two more players with 6.
- I really was expecting this to be a lazy Sunday game. In many senses it was. We didn't play the greatest defense, didn't try too hard on the glass, settled for some jumpers. It led to an Indy lead late in the 4th, and I was willing to acknowledge that we might sleep walk this game away...
And then BAMMM!!! CHRIS PAUL TAKES OVER!!!!!!
- 3:35 Chris Paul makes driving lay up
- 3:11 Chris Paul makes 11 foot jumper
- 2:42 Chris Paul makes driving lay up
- 2:42 Chris Paul makes free throw
- 2:23 Chris Paul steals ball
- 1:45 Chris Paul makes jumper
- 0:30 Chris Paul makes 15 foot jumper
- 0:02 Chris Paul assists on David West's 17 foot jumper
On an unrelated note, did you know that according to current All-Star voting, the top two guards in the Conference are Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady?