Denver 93 | New Orleans 95
That was close. But man did it feel good.
The Hornets pulled out the W in a hard fought game that saw four (major) players foul out. At the very least, they avoided getting swept by the surging Nuggets. At the most, they kept their championship hopes alive.
One game at a time.
Overall, the Hornets looked sharp today. They rotated well on defense and were aggressive attacking the basket (not our usual suit). We still made plenty of mental errors and the Nuggets continued their streak of "Oh-my-god-will-they-ever-miss-a-shot-we-had-our-hands-in-their-faces" but when it was all said and done, the Hornets prevailed.
Both squads were extremely close in terms of team stastics on the night (no one really had a big margin). We shot better from the floor and the stripe, they shot better from deep. Both teams coughed up the ball a ton (15 for the Bees, 14 for Denver) and Denver was, overall, able to push the pace in their direction... or so it seemed.
CP and company did well on the fastbreak today. They were able to push the pace more than normal, but they also excelled in slowing down the gameplan when necessary.
All in all, we still have a hell of road to travel if we want to make it out of this round, but for now I'll just be happy that we avoided the sweep. Monday is crucial.
Bullets after the jump.
- CP: 32 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal. Sure he coughed it up 6 times, but he also played 46 minutes, so that number would have been higher than usual anyway.
- DX: Strong moves in the post landed him 19 points and 6 assists. He's had better showings, but some of his moves were just mind-boggling-ly awesome. You've got to love the guy when he gets the rock down low and pushes his way to the hoop... though it's be nice if he could go one game without a 3 second violation.
- Antonio Daniels. The dude gave Chauncy fits when he was in. Small impact in terms of the box score, but someone definitely owes this guy a beer... or eight.
- Byron Scott: Refused to play Devin Brown and nearly ripped the head off of Bennett Salvatore. Honestly, the first piece is enough to get you on the good list. The second is just lagniappe.
- Celebrities: Good showing today. Lil Wayne, Emeril, Reggie Bush, Jonathan Vilma, Mike Mckenzie, and Will Smith (the linebacker, not the rapper/actor/Man in Black) all made appearances.
- Kenyon Martin: You are a thug. You are an idiot. I would ask that you not step foot in New Orleans again.
- Nene: You whine more than our entire team combined... and we're known to be the second most whiniest team behind Tim Duncan.
- Chauncy Billups: I like you. But what was that ridiculous foul on Chris? Not cool. Even less so since the refs decided that it was neither flagrant or intentional.
- Tyson: Dude, what's the problem. Why are you playing if you can't jump or box out? I might as well be out there fighting for boards (editor's note: I'm 5'9", 180 pounds soaking wet). Oh, and you're ill-advised retaliatory (flagrant) foul after the no call on the CCC that might have been... childish. Grow up man, you're stooping to the Nugget's level.
- Peja: The dude couldn't buy a shot. He was either falling prey to Anthony Carter's obnoxious (albeit effective... and legal) defense or missing wide open looks. Here's to hoping he adjusts for game 4.
- The officiating. I cannot describe to you how awful, inconsistent, and genuinely stupid the officiating was. I can't. I could tell you that the refs allowed the teams to play very physical ball while calling ticky-tacky fouls. I could tell you that the ridiculous fouls from Billups and Martin on Paul and Posey (respectively) were flagrants, but treated as routine. I could tell you that Salvatore's ineptness made Byron, a man who only ever stares intently or stares intently with a furrowed brow, scream to the point of needing Tyson to hold him back (and earning a technical). I could tell you that the officiating was so poor on both sides that it led to countless makeup calls which, in turn, frustrated the players and led to the more unreasonable fouls of the second half. Or I could just tell you it sucked.
See you guys Monday!
Composed to: The Hold Steady's Separation Sunday
The Opponent's take: Pickaxe and Roll