- Tip Off: 5:00 PM PT
- Television: CSN-BA
New Orleans Hornets Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 102.9 (tied for 14th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 107.5 (28th in NBA)
- Points: Eric Gordon, 16.7 PPG
- Rebounds: Anthony Davis, 7.9 RPG
- Assists: Greivis Vasquez, 9.3 APG
- Steals: Al-Farouq Aminu, 1.2 SPG
- Blocks: Anthony Davis, 1.8 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Robin Lopez, 54.2% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Roger Mason Jr., 41.3% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Hornets 24/7.
Preview: The Golden State Warriors (38-30) finally defeated the Houston Rockets (36-31); in a blowout no less.
Kevin McHale’s group dominated the first three games against Golden State, but the Warriors kept closing the gap with each passing contest. On the road yesterday, Mark Jackson instructed David Lee to sag into the lane during pick-and-roll coverage and essentially ignore Donatas Motiejunas.
The Rockets’ power forward was aggressive early and took the open shots afforded by Lee’s insistence on ignoring him. Motiejunas’ assertiveness resulted in failure for McHale as evidenced by the big man’s shooting: he converted 2-of-11 shots overall and missed his four attempts from 3-point range.
The defensive strategy closed off the paint and forced Houston players to take some tough shots at the rim. According to Hoopdata, James Harden and company only converted 15-of-29 shots at the basket against the Dubs.
The 29 attempts would typically be cause for concern, but the majority of them were difficult shots over the outstretched arms of Andrew Bogut with Lee being in the immediate vicinity to give Rockets players cause for concern.
Consequently, Golden State’s defense defended without fouling at the basket. Houston only managed 16 free throw attempts.
By limiting the damage on the interior, Jackson’s players were in far better shape with respect to closing out on 3-point shooters. Indeed, the home team only converted 9-of-35 treys (25.8 percent conversion rate).
The Warriors’ overall defensive execution caused Houston to score a mere 78 points on 32.6 percent shooting.
Heading into tonight’s matchup with the New Orleans Hornets (22-45), the Dubs have an opportunity not only for back-to-back victories, but also maintaining the status quo in the Western Conference standings.
Golden State is currently the sixth seed and just created a bit of distance with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Hornets are a young defense prone to defensive breakdowns. It stands to reason that the likes of Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes should get an abundance of quality looks tonight provided the ball movement is more than adequate.
Stephen Curry should also benefit from some good looks when playing at the off guard position. It’s worth noting that Monty Williams might counter by forcing the Davidson product to defend Eric Gordon when he does play shooting guard, a strategy that will result in some cheap fouls on Curry’s part.
Expect an interesting chess match early in the contest and for Jackson’s older group to profit from New Orleans’ inexperience late.
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