The Hornets had their backs against the wall tonight when it came to their playoff chances, and they fell flat on their faces against the Bucks in the first half, trailing 72-50 at the break. A late fourth quarter push made the game interesting, but Charlotte eventually fell at home to Milwaukee, 118-108.
Jason Kidd had his guys well prepared to defend the Hornets, and put together a game plan that sent the Hornets fans home thinking about what could have been this season.
Nic Batum was completely useless in the first half, shooting 1-6 from the field and adding zero combined rebounds and assists. These games are why many Hornets fans are squeamish when it comes to the huge contract that the Hornets inked Batum to this off-season. He finished the game with 5 points on 22% shooting – thats not ideal for a guy making $22-million per year in a must win game like tonight.
Milwaukee also did a great job of keeping Cody Zeller at bay on the pick and roll and keeping him off the boards. Zeller had 1 rebound in 29 minutes.
The Bucks ran their offense to perfection in the first half, attacking the Hornets weaknesses inside and out.
Tony Snell took advantage of slow rotations often, and Greg Monroe pounded the soft interior defense. Malcolm Brogdon gave Kemba all he could handle on both sides of the court, using his size and strength to his advantage.
Kemba had another good night, and did what he could to keep Charlotte afloat offensively when on the floor. Frank Kaminksy’s numbers look good in the box score. However, both guys padded their stats when the game was out of hand.
I have noticed this is a trend with Frank, who seems to struggle to start games, yet make things look respectable late by hitting the low stress shots in blowouts.
With the Hornets loss, and a Miami win, Charlotte now sits three games back of the 8th spot in the East with just 8 remaining. Playoff hopes are slipping away. The Hornets will play the second of a back to back tomorrow night in Toronto.