Preview and Chat: New Orleans Hornets

Rob L. —  January 19, 2007

The Travesty Just because I like dredging up bad memories, let’s talk about that Dallas game for a moment. There’s no need for deep analysis on this one, the Lakers stunk up the joint. No one should ever out rebound the team 53 to 28. Never. This could be indicative of how gassed the Lakers seemed after the first quarter. Except that even in that first quarter they were out rebounded 17 to 6.

More food for thought, not a single Laker had a positive +/-. Cook and Ronny came closest at 0 for the game.

The trouble here isn’t that the Lakers lost to the best team in the NBA on the Mav’s home court. The trouble is how they lost.

The Good News Saturday night it’s NOOCH time. As of this writing, New Orleans boasts the worst offense in the NBA with an ORtg of 100.8 (points per 100 possessions). Although their defense is much better at 105.8, good enough for 10th in the league.

But the Lakers offense should get the job done, especially as that Chris Paul guy’s out with a sprained right ankle. New Orleans also plays the Spurs Friday night. It’s a lucky break to catch them on the second half of a back-to-back.

“Lucky!?” you say. That’s right, because this is exactly the kind of team the Lakers have overlooked all season long. In fact, the Lakers overlooked this exact team on December 6th at Staples. The Hornets are in elite company as far as the Lakers go. They are one of only four teams to beat them at home this season. Detroit, Milwaukee and Washington are the others. (Curse you, Agent Zero!)

The last meeting looked like this:

Chris Paul 26pts 123 ORtg 26% tpu (team possession usage)
Rasual Butler 22 pts 145 ORtg 15% tpu
Jannero Pargo 21pts 129 ORtg 16% tpu

The Hornets had an ORtg of 115.4 as a team. The Lakers had an ORtg of just 97.8. Well below their season average. This was due in large part to an off night from Lamar.

Let’s Get It On I am sure Phil and Co. will be focusing on ways to stop the Hornet guards from chewing up the lane. Though this will be an easier task without CP3 on the court.

Key Numbers Tyson Chandler and David West’s rebounds. The final score. (And I mean that. The Lakers need to show they can at least play shut down defense against the worst offensive team in the NBA.)

Rob L.

Rob L.