Today, the bench had nothing and Monty Williams adjusted – he boosted the starters' minutes and kept them in a lot. The Hornets responded and dug themselves out of a 13-point first half deficit to cruise to a relatively easy victory in our nation's capital. Bullets after the jump:
- We here at At the Hive tend to denigrate Trevor Ariza, but man, he showed us what he can do today. He did a good job getting to the hoop, but most importantly, his shot was on. Even though he was only 2-6 beyond the arc, he finished 10-16 overall and was the leading scorer. He played fantastic defense and generated a lot of turnovers. I still get frustrated when he turns the ball over (there was a traveling violation on a fast break in the first half that made me furious), but when he gets 5 steals, it's hard to complain.
- Marco Belinelli was also efficient today - 11 points on 7 shots. The man has been in a serious funk of late, but he shot 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. He seemed to be more active today, looking to drive and attack the lane more than recently. Hopefully, that will make defenders respect him and give him space to get his shots off.
- When I watched the game, I didn't get the sense that Chris Paul dominated John Wall – it seemed like Chris got his and Wall got his, and it was kind of a wash. But wow, when you look at the stat sheet, Chris was on another planet - Wall had 10 assists and 12 points on 4-10 shooting, but he also had 8 (!!!!) turnovers. Chris was a big reason for Wall's turnover problems (besides the fact that Wall always turns the ball over) - he had 7 steals! Couple that with 11 assists and 13 points on 6-12 shooting, and Chris Paul had a rather decent game, indeed.
- David West and Chris Paul weren't having a good day from the field, but other players were able to step up and make big performances. Emeka dominated down low, Ariza and Belinelli were efficient, and Jarrett Jack had a great game off the bench, getting to the line 7 times in only 16 minutes of action. It's good to be able to win a game when David West isn't playing great and Chris Paul isn't CHRIS PAUL.