Denver 101 (46-26) | New Orleans 88 (44–26)
Bleh. That one really stung.
Tonight, the Hornets had a chance to make up some ground in the Western Conference standings as well as settling a tie-breaker with one of the second tier team (AKA not the Lakers). But CP and company were unable to capitalize.
A quick perusal of the stats doesn't (at first) point to any one reason for the loss, as the Hornets led most of the team statistical categories and finished pretty close with their percentages. But a closer look reveals the true culprit: ball handling.Tonight, New Orleans gave the ball away 17 times (compared to to Denver's 10). This led to a massive disparity in shots attempted from the floor. Sure, both teams shot around 43% for the game, but when your opponent puts up 81 shots to your 68 there's not a whole lot you can do to make up that ground.
Tonight was one mistake after another. And the Nuggets took full advantage of our constant miscues, getting hot at all the right moments and putting the game far out of our reach. I still like our chances against this team if we were matched up against them in the playoffs, but we've got to find a way to lock down their scorers and play our own pace if we want to even stand a chance at winning.
We've got a rough schedule coming up to close the season, and these last few games haven't done much to inspire a lot of confidence. I'm just hoping TC and Peja's return will spark a new life into some of our guys.
Bullets after the jump.
- CP had 6 turnovers. Though that number seems awful, it should be noted that several good passes were bobbled and thrown away by some of the pass-ees. I'm not writing him a blank check or anything, but I thought you should know.
- Posey deserved all 3 of his turnovers. I haven't seen such poorly chosen passes since... well, Devin Brown I suppose.
- David got really lazy on D tonight. I'm pretty sure my sister could box him out.
- Speaking of David, why do we insist on running the exact same weak-side iso play to him if his shot isn't falling? He went 6 for 19, for crying out loud. No offense to David (sometimes you just hit rough patches), but shouldn't the importance of this game have dictated that we not let him play through such a poor slump? Shouldn't we have tried something else? Do we have anything else?
- It infuriates me that J.R. Smith does as well as he does when he plays us at home. He flat out quit on this team (this coach, even) and now he just stops by to light us up for 16 points off the bench. The karma gods need to get on this.
- The officiating was rough tonight. CP was drawing a lot of contact from the opposing team, but not a whole lot of sympathy from Bennett Salvatore and company. Yes, I know he finished with 10 FT (which was more than Melo or Billups had), but that doesn't mean that the refs didn't miss (or egregiously mis-call) some things. Plus, beyond Chris, Posey and Butler weren't allowed to breathe near their man without getting a whistle. Frustrating to say the least.
- Of our remaining 12 opponents, 9 are in the playoff picture in either the East or West. Friday's game at Madison Square Gardens features one of the three opponents not in said picture. Let's hope we can go out there and take care of business.
Photos courtesy of yahoo.com
Composed to: Talk Talk's Laughing Stock (I needed something to calm me)
The opponent's take: Pickaxe and Roll