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Anthony Davis and Hornets come to the D

Essentials

  • Teams: New Orleans Hornets (17-34) at Detroit Pistons (20-32)
  • Date: February 11, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

After losing to the Toronto Raptors last night, the New Orleans Hornets will try to bounce back tonight when they face off against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Monty Williams’ team might be in the midst of a bad season, but the team has shown some steady improvement, particularly on the defensive end, which could go a long way towards determining what kind of squad they will be in the future.

Indeed, their defense has consistently improved this season, to the point that they are no longer abysmal, but rather working their way towards being respectable.

On the season, they allow 106.7 points per 100 possessions which is 27th in the league, but if we look at the breakdown per month, we’ll notice that things have progressively looked better. Have a look at the graphic below courtesy of data obtained from NBA.com’s advanced stats tool:

Month

Games Played

Defensive Efficiency

October

1

101.6

November

13

107.6

December

16

106.4

January

16

105.3

February

5

111.2

Things have fallen apart a bit in February because of two awful defensive showings against the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Nonetheless, their steady improvement on this side of the ball has occurred because stud rookie Anthony Davis is slowly getting better accustomed to understanding what NBA offenses are trying to accomplish on the floor.

In December, I wrote a piece explaining some of the issues the Hornets faced with the Kentucky product on the defensive side of the ball. Here’s a quick excerpt:

For instance, defensively he recognizes his assignments but it often takes him a split second to figure out where to run to and who to rotate to; which is usually the difference between an open shot and a contested one. Thus, it’s common to see him run out late to close out shooters or simply hug his man if it’s a player capable of converting perimeter jumpers.

The big man has improved on this front and provides better support for his teammates when opponents force him to make decisions.

Davis now helps out in the pick-and-roll and rotates back to his man all the while tracking the ball and placing himself to be in a help position at all times. Furthermore, he is becoming more adept at rotating at the proper time when helping out his teammates and even calls switches with the other big man playing alongside him whenever appropriate, like in a situation where the opposing team runs a staggered screen.

With that said, for all of Davis’ improvements and that of his team, they are still a team that will occasionally surrender easy points to their opponents because of their youth.

As a group, the Hornets do not yet grasp when to completely sell out to bail out a teammate and when to stunt and recover back to their initial assignment as the player initially beaten recovers back in time to pick up his man.

Consequently, they allow the seventh most amount of shots at the rim per game (26.5 shots) and also yield a 65.7 percent conversion rate on those same shots, which is the 10th highest figure in the Association.

This particularly happens whenever Austin Rivers enters the game because shooting guards love to bring him down to the box and overpower him for an easy shot right at the basket, or force the defense to throw an extra defender to help out, which opens up driving lanes and allows for second chance opportunities.

Hence, the Detroit Pistons will have an opportunity to create some shots at the rim tonight against the Hornets, but it will be important that their defense comes prepared to defend the 3-point line because the Hornets are one of the best long-range shooting teams in the league as evidenced by their 37.3 percent 3-point shooting this season (seventh best in the league).

More importantly, Detroit should focus on the corners, but particularly the right one, where New Orleans converts 42 percent of their treys.

Enjoy tonight’s contest.

Read about the Hornets

Hornets247.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

24 Comments

  • Feb 11, 20138:13 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Nice pass by Will Bynum to Greg Monroe inside. Follows it up with an offensive foul. Spill or thrill.

  • Feb 11, 20138:17 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Charlie Villanueva is back to form tonight.

  • Feb 11, 20138:28 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Brandon Knight with the easy miss. Count me as one of the folks who believes in him.

  • Feb 11, 20138:29 pm
    by Some random guy

    Reply

    What is going thru maxiell mind right now  

  • Feb 11, 20138:33 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Rodney Stuckey isn’t a small forward either. I kinda wish we’d let this guy go when he was a free agent or at least done a sign and trade even if it wasn’t a big gain.

  • Feb 11, 20138:37 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Maxiell with the long jumper is not a good shot. Greg Monroe inside is a very good option. First the hook then the assist to Brandon Knight. It’s obvious how much we miss Andre Drummond in this one. Also to be fair Tayshaun Prince would’ve stopped some of those three pointers.

  • Feb 11, 20138:40 pm
    by FireFrank

    Reply

    Is Middleton hurt?

  • Feb 11, 20138:46 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Yes he is hurt. Hurt by the fact that Lawrence Frank doesn’t even know his name.
     

  • Feb 11, 20138:47 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    These refs are shit.

  • Feb 11, 20138:50 pm
    by FireFrank

    Reply

    Ya I think frank just doesn’t like some players. Even when some players are cold(CV) he won’t go to Jonas. Maxiel playing like usual and he hasn’t played slava yet. Kim English could play some 3 to he’s a little bigger then stuckey

  • Feb 11, 20138:57 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    I think LFrank is not very confident or comfortable with flexibility. That’s why he doesn’t adjust well. For example you know that Jonas Jerebko would be a better option to close out some of those three point shooters with his greater length and that Slava could definitely come in and lean on Lopez but since those things aren’t in Franks game plan they won’t happen.

  • Feb 11, 20139:04 pm
    by FireFrank

    Reply

    Wow bongos and high 5s total confidence in big frank

  • Feb 11, 20139:04 pm
    by Elkarl

    Reply

    Knight needs to be benched…

    Frank needs to be fired!!! 

  • Feb 11, 20139:05 pm
    by Some random guy

    Reply

    I’m not sold on knight…..and I love max he put in some good years here in the D but that brotha gots to go

  • Feb 11, 20139:10 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    A few notes before I head out of here.
    1) I don’t like Austin Rivers. He’s so different from his Dad.
    2) The Hornets are clearly a good young team. If  Eric Gordon can come back and help they’ll be very good.
    3) The reason so much of our offense fails is that we don’t have got to plays. We need to work on establishing some go to stuff with Greg Monroe that we consistently use because right now everything is tentative.
    4) We’ve got too many guys who don’t have roles. What is Rodney Stuckey’s role? What is Jason Maxiell’s role? What roles to they have the skills to execute? If these guys stay we need to give them clear roles that their limited skill sets will allow them to accomplish. Stuckey should be told that his responsibilities are 1) defense 2) rebounding from the guard spot and 3) running his ass off on the break. He can do those things and we’ll be better off it he starts doing them and not the other stuff which he’s incapable of.

  • Feb 11, 20139:14 pm
    by FireFrank

    Reply

    Maxiels role is being Carmelo Anthony same role as CV off the bench

  • Feb 11, 20139:18 pm
    by Elkarl

    Reply

    the best roll for stuckey (and max and knight and…)… trade them all!!!!
     

  • Feb 11, 20139:20 pm
    by FireFrank

    Reply

    Everyone has the green light to fire shots. It works when you have one guy doing it like Ryan Anderson or Bobby Jackson for the kings they are ok at it but everyone on the team shouldn’t do it

  • Feb 11, 20139:24 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    sigh joe dumars.. you have to act now!

  • Feb 11, 20139:31 pm
    by Elkarl

    Reply

    we need another trade more… if you want to resing calderon!!!

  • Feb 11, 20139:44 pm
    by Some random guy

    Reply

    Well At least the 76ers lost tonight as well 

  • Feb 11, 20139:49 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    All the wildly inconsistent guys need to go: Maxiel, CV, Bynum. I’d give BK one more year since he’s young. We need more guys who are still decent on their off nights, like Monroe and Calderon. Stuck might be ok if they use him properly- attacking when he’s in the game. But I’d trade him too if they can get something.

  • Feb 11, 201310:18 pm
    by picknroll

    Reply

    Wow!!  Who woulda thunk we’d get beat this bad!  Poor games for Will, Knight, Charlie & Maxiell!  We really missed Andre in this one although not sure LF would have played him enough minutes to make a difference.  Everyone active should have had some burn in this one!! 

  • Feb 11, 201311:58 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    I’m glad I didn’t stick with it through this ugly loss. Getting out and training was the better option. Lots of work for Detroit to do on it’s roster. One of the issues is that we’re a young team so we’re going to struggle with consistency. The other issue is that guys like Will Bynum, Charlie Villanueva and Jason Maxiell ain’t young and they’re very inconsistent. Rodney Stuckey is in that boat too. I think all of those guys could be useful on a stronger team where they could play a role but here they’re a big problem.

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