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Game 35: Hive Five


  • The Hornets kept up the decent pace they've established all season. As I mentioned in an FP a few days ago, the Hornets are playing faster than any season since 1999-2000, and the second fastest season in franchise history. Granted, it's still a few possessions per game fewer than league average, but it's still somewhat strange to watch. The pace ended up right at Washington's season average.
  • Chris Paul connected on at least half his shots for just the first time in the New Year. But for yet another consecutive game, he came up with the clutch plays down the stretch. His two pull-ups both gave us the lead and sealed the deal. Both came after he created separation and with a defender in the vicinity; both came on shots he hasn't regularly knocked down since returning from injury.
  • Beating a very dead horse here, but James Posey showed for the millionth time that he still brings value to a good team performance. The threes were there, the defense was there (okay, at times), and he finished a game high +21, because he factored in both New Orleans' second half surge, as well as their fourth quarter finish.
  • Always been a huge, huge fan of Nick Young. The per-36 stats of his rookie and sophomore years were very similar to Kobe's stats as a rookie, and he brings a similar style of game, if in a smaller frame. He's got range, the spin feint, and the fadeaway, and he played very well against us. Incidentally, I always found Julian Wright's game as a rookie similar to Young's. But Wright is really yet to polish his offensive game to Young's levels, even if NY has regressed a little this season.
  • Washington gets to the foul line decently on the year, but losing Gilbert certainly hurts them in that regard. New Orleans played them well in terms of fouling, although Randy Foye randomly got to the line 6 times. After averaging a career best 6.3 FTA/36 last year, Chris Paul has fallen precipitously to 4.4 this season. My theory is that he was shooting so well at the beginning of the year that he's settling for jumpers in a lot of situations where he'd normally drive.
  • Crazy shooting for both teams. 50 points for DX/Peja/Buckets on 30 shots? Gimme some.

The Hornets get Philly tonight and LAC on Wednesday before rounding the week off with a trip to Michigan and Indiana. Four very winnable games, and I'll be happy if we can pick up three of four before Monday's showdown with the Spurs.