The Hornets stumbled in the second half to let Byron Scott's Cavaliers back into the game, but ultimately, their dominant second quarter was enough to see them through.
It's not often that you see a team get outscored in three quarters and still pull out a comfortable win. But it's equally infrequent to see a 21 point differential in a single quarter either. And luckily, we had David West to help us pull it out at the end. In any case, we definitely didn't bring it for 48 minutes in this game.
Straight to the bullets today:
- Our biggest downfall was perimeter and jump shot defense. The overall differential between our threes and their threes wasn't huge, but we allowed them way too many open looks from beyond the arc. Cleveland didn't have nearly the ball movement Dallas showed, but our defense played slow and without energy for long stretches.
- As hilarious as the Belinelli foul call on Antawn Jamison was, we deserved to lose the 100 point streak. West and Okafor did fine defensively, but the real culprit was perimeter defense.
- Chris Paul finished with 15, 10, 6, and 4, but really didn't impact the game in the second half. After dominating fourth quarters through the first few games, the trend has reversed this past week.
- There are two primary ways in which David West's big scoring games happen. The first type is when the Chris Paul-David West pick and roll game is working, and Paul feeds West with jumper after jumper. The second type is when David West just takes his defensive match-up to school on the block. That's what happened tonight. Byron Scott really didn't have anyone that could defend West, and DX made them pay.
- Quincy Pondexter really does look like an NBA player. He's confident offensively and defensively, and I hope we can start getting him the ball more frequently. On the flip side, Peja Stojakovic essentially chucked the ball up wildly tonight, finishing 1 for 7. Rounding out the small forwards, Trevor Ariza continued his abysmal start on the offensive side. He went 3 for 12 from the field and 1 for 5 from the free throw line.
- Jason Smith had a poor game tonight, too. He looked lost on defense, set poor screens (including one moving), and missed his shots. Let's hope it's a one game blip. Willie Green and Jerryd Bayless each contributed 8 points (though Green took 9 shots and Bayless just 6)