Detroit 87 (11-14) | New Orleans 95 (11-13)
Up and down. Up and down. Weird game.
There was groaning a plenty from the less than impressive crowd (in size). But who could blame them. #1: The Hornets committed 14 turnovers in the first half alone. #2: It was Honeybee night in what had to be the worst marketing idea ever.
The turnovers, along with a shooting implosion in the second quarter (which included 6 scoreless minutes... in a row), put the Hornets at a seemingly insurmountable 13 point deficit. But somehow, some way, the Bees started taking better care of the ball and making shots that were rimming out throughout the first half. Oh, and CP played 43 minutes. That helped.
You hate to see CP have to step up his minutes so much--especially since we all thought our bench was going to better this year--but mediocre to poor performances from everyone besides David forced Bower's hand. I was just glad to see the crowd join in and get behind the team... at least the ones who stayed after the second quarter.
Bullets after the jump.David West: Other than his 6 turnovers, he had the stellar line of 32 points (on 15 of 22 shooting), 12 boards, 2 steals and an assist. He looked great in the paint, showing aggression and powerful moves that we haven't seen in a while. A long while.
Chris Paul: The numbers don't look terribly impressive until you look at his how efficient he was as a scorer: 16 points on 5 for 9 (as well as a perfect 6 for 6 from the stripe), 12 dimes, 4 boards, a block, and a steal. He ran his offense well (who, remember, had trouble with the whole "ball through the hoop" thing in the first half) and shot only when he needed to. Our team looks so much more focused with him on the court. Which leads me to...
Our rookies: Bad night for Buckets and Dimes. Combined 1 for 8 from the field with 25 minutes between them. They had the energy, but their lack of focus made them a tad reckless. I'm not worried, though; they'll have plenty of time to make good with Bower at the helm.
Oh Devin Brown. Please stop. Everyone in the arena knows how poorly you play and they groaned for every one of your 5 clankers from deep. Just stop it. Please.
Really impressed with Stuckey's efforts. He looked sharp from the field and had the impressive ability to drive to the hoop and maintain enough separation from The Big Oak to sink quite a few layouts. If you can make Oak swat and miss all night, you're going to have a good night.
Austin Daye: Looked sharp, especially for a rookie. And he appears to be the heir apparent to Tayshaun "The Octopus" Prince, as he has inordinately long arms. Seriously, they look crazy. Oh, and he shoots treys as well (he and Villanueva just couldn't miss for a while). The only thing the kid's missing is a killer instinct. Most of his actions on the court were accompanied by a blank, emotionless stare. There was no sense of urgency or control. Just stoicism. He's got the skills to be a star if he can learn to be a bit more cutthroat.
Couple of observations to finish up: #1 Peja is shooting only 84% from the line. Weird. #2 I miss alley-oops. I enjoy Oak's game, but I miss the connection. It just has a way of bringing the arena to its feet and provoking a collective "BOO-ya!"
Composed to: Wizards at Kings
The Opponent's Take: Motown String Music