Scouting the Hornets: Good defense, limited offense

Briefing Session

The San Antonio Spurs (10-7) look to stop a two-game losing skid after falling to the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets. The team will resume JJplay by facing the New Orleans Hornets (3-13) on the road in Louisiana Monday evening.

Case No. 18: New Orleans Hornets

Record: 3-13  Home: 1-8  Last 10 games: 1-9

Commendable areas for the Hornets

  • Defense: As bad as their record looks, the Hornets statistically have a very good defensive team. The team is ranked 8th in the league by holding their opponents to 91.2 points per game. The Hornets limit their opponents to an average of 43% shooting from the field per game. The team is also tied for 10th in the league for blocked shots per game with an average of 5.1 blocks per game.
  • Rebounding: The Hornets are ranked 4th in the entire league in rebounding with 44.1 rebounds per game. A big reason for their rebounding numbers can be attributed to their 4th ranked offensive rebounding ability of 12.6 offensive boards per game.
  • Competitive: You’d think that for a team currently holding the worst record in the Western Conference and losing 13 games, the Hornets would seem to get blown out in most games. Well, that actually isn’t the case as the Hornets’ defense keeps them competitive in the majority of their matches. The Hornets have only lost four of their 13 losses by more than ten points.

Deficient area for the Hornets

  • Scoring: With leading scorer Eric Gordon out with a bruised right knee, the Hornets are having a tough time putting the ball in the basket. The Hornets are ranked 28th in scoring at 86.4 points per game.
  • Lack of perimeter shooting: A big reason for the lack of offense for the Hornets can be attributed to their poor perimeter shooting. The Hornets shoot an average of 26% from beyond the arc and make an average of 3.4 three-pointers per game, which is ranked as last in the league.

Who wears the Hornets jerseys?

Backcourt

Starter: Jarret Jack-16 points, 7.3 assists-The Hornets are now his team to assemble and lead the offense with Chris Paul in Los Angeles and Gordon currently injured.

Starter: Marco Belinelli-9.6 points, 30% 3PT-Streaky three-point shooter, can get hot though.

Carldell “Squeaky” Johnson-former Austin Toros point guard. He will be familiar with some of the Spurs’ system.

Greivis Vasquez-Had a big series last season for the Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs coming off of the bench. Vasquez was traded for Quincy Pondexter.

Trev Johnson

The Wing

Starter: Trevor Ariza-11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.63 steals-Defensive wing player with a lot of length in his arms, Ariza can also hit the open outside jumper.

Al-Farouq Aminu

DeJuan Summers

Frontcourt

Starter: Emeka Okafor-9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.19 blocks-Okafor has a knack for catching offensive rebounds, Spurs bigs will need to make sure to box out with Okafor on the floor.

Starter: Jason Smith-8.2 points, 1.08 blocks

Carl Landry-11.7 points-Landry is in the mold of Blair in which he doesn’t have the height in the paint, but has the muscular build to overpower opponents.

Chris Kaman-9.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.19 blocks-Kaman is putting together a quiet healthy season for the Hornets after suffering numerous injuries in his time with the Clippers.

Gustavo Ayon “The Titan.”

Injuries

Eric Gordon-right knee (out)                        Xavier Henry-ankle sprain (day-to-day)

Hornets Offense

Jack-13.7 FGA, Ariza-10.6 FGA, Kaman-9.5 FGA, Landry-9.3 FGA, Belinelli-9.3 FGA, Okafor-7 FGA, Smith-8.4 FGA

Game expectation

The Spurs should be ready for a bruising-“grind it out” game, as the Hornets’ defense should keep their team close throughout. The Spurs will have to knock down shots in order to earn a win. Limiting turnovers on the road should also be a main concern for the Spurs against the Hornets.

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, and the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals. Paul has been featured on WOAI, Fox 29, and numerous nationwide radio shows.

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