Gordon time? Hornets @ Celtics preview

New Orleans Hornets logo used from 2002–2008
New Orleans Hornets logo used from 2002–2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, six game win streak. Is this game going to be a definite W? I’m still skeptical, given the fact that we had a strong first quarter and yet let the Bobcats into the fight repeatedly throughout last game.

Fact: The Hornets have won 5 of their 8 games in the new year, a significant improvement over 2012 (7 wins in 30 games). Much credit goes to the return of Eric Gordon, who is filling the stat sheet with 16.9 PPG and 3.9 APG for the team so far. Will he be a difference maker this time?


Game time: 17 Jan 2013, 1200hrs AEDT

Watch on: Good old NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

1. Wilcox is still out with his thumb injury (sprained ulnar collateral). He will be testing his wrapped thumb out at practice to gauge recovery.

2. Fab Melo is still not cleared for full contact practice after his recent concussion (walked into a doorway).

Consistency

This goes for both ends of the court. So long as we play our game, it’s not likely we’ll be losing it.

I like the way Bradley and Lee are energising the perimeter defense right now. With them containing dribble penetration (read: Eric Gordon), we’ll have more defensive firepower in the paint to deal with the likes of Davis, Lopez and Warrick. A lot of hype about Doc playing against his son, but I don’t imagine Austin Rivers to be making a big impac. Vasquez though is definitely a threat. Coming off a huge 23 point game, he could be stepping right into a scoring groove.

On the other end in the half-court set, it’s about moving the ball. KG is a defensive mismatch as usual, and I’m looking forward to Bradley and Lee continuing their hot shooting streak, more especially on Lee taking it in. The Hornets are not known for being an elite defensive team, although Davis has definitely made a difference with 1.8 blocks per game. Minimal as it sounds, to even average something like two blocks a game requires good defensive instincts and timing. Something to watch, but not something that will cause major problems. I’m interested in seeing how Sully will deal with Davis in the paint though, especially on defense.

Another thing to look forward to? Jeff Green’s scoring. A few more poster dunks wouldn’t be asking too much, yes? This will be a good game for him to build confidence and polish his offensive routine.

What about Mr Triple Double, do you think he will make up his mind and turn it on for another big night? One wonders.

And oh yes, stop this (lack of) transition defense from happening.


Play hard, play smart and keep the energy up, that’s all I’m sure everyone is asking for. Keep the pressure up, don’t give them a fighting chance and we’ll come out of this one to Gino time.

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