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Hornets Wrap Up Road Trip with 112-102 win over Denver

Photo: David Zalubowski – AP

The Hornets head back to Charlotte on a high after defeating the Denver Nuggets 112-102. Coming into the game at the Pepsi Center, Charlotte knew they were facing a high-powered offense. They also knew that this Denver team doesn’t play a whole lot of defense and could take advantage of that. Charlotte shot the ball very well from the floor, shooting 46% overall and an outstanding 60% from deep. Denver allowed their fair share of uncontested shots but we have to give credit to the Hornets for knocking them down. It’s a make or miss league and the Hornets sure did make them tonight. Despite a small scare mid-way through the fourth quarter, the road team controlled this game from start to finish. It was one of the most entertaining games to watch as the Hornets drilled shot after shot.
 

Offense

Even though the home team is leaky on the defensive end, they did pose some problems. Denver’s starters are bigger and lankier than Charlotte’s and forced a lot of outside shots early in the game. Getting in the paint with ease was a struggle and the Hornets needed someone to open the spacing up. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who had a disappointing game, couldn’t knock down a shot to save his life — shot 1 of 5 from mid-range. Eventually, the shots started to fall thanks to Kemba, Nic, and Marvin. Between them, they shot 11-17 from behind the arc. This opened things up for scoring inside. In the first quarter, Charlotte scored 8 in the paint while scoring 14 in the second quarter and 10 in the third.
 
The surprise player was Johnny O’Bryant, who is on a 10-day contract for the Hornets. He received extended minutes as Frank Kaminsky picked up a nasty shoulder injury against Phoenix. O’Bryant showed off his repertoire, scoring in the paint, mid-range, and from downtown. This did not look like a guy who was just acquired from the D-League. He finished with a 6 rebounds and a career high, 15 points.
 

Defense

Nikola Jokic, for all his inconsistencies this season, is a problem. He’s a big who can handle the ball and pass better than many point guards in the league. Defending him was a struggle for Zeller, who’s working his way back to game-shape after returning from injury. Jokic is a tough guard from almost any spot on the floor. Guarding him from the high-post in dribble hand-off situations is difficult. He uses his body to shield off-ball defenders as players like Nelson and Murray run back door. He has the ability to make that pass with ease leading to an easy layup. He can also beat you off the dribble from that same spot or back you down. He finished with 31 points on 88% percent shooting. Other than Murray getting hot in the second quarter, Jokic didn’t receive any significant help from any other Nugget.
 

Player of the Game

Marvin Williams will get overlooked in this game but, to me, had the biggest impact on the game. The energy he brought on both ends of the court was clear and Hornets saw dividends. Marvin was monster on the offensive boards, snagging six of them. His six offensive rebounds helped Charlotte to 20 second chance points. Marvin was very efficient with his shot, making both of his three-point attempts and shooting 5 of 7 for the game.

Buzz Beat Podcast – Ep. 15


With this being the 15th episode, it only makes sense we name it after our #15, Kemba. After three weeks, Spencer and Richie reunite after recording two solo podcasts of their own. They bring on guest and producer of “The Mac Attack,” Travis Hancock, otherwise known as T-Bone. The trio discuss the highlights and lowlights of their most recent west coast trip, Kemba returning to All-Star form, and Kamisky’s improved play since Zeller’s injury. They also debate if the Hornets should “pull the plug” on the season. The episode wraps up discussing Charlotte’s approach to the draft and which prospect the Hornets should key in on.

Next Up

Monday March 6 —  vs Indiana Pacers @ 8:00 p Fox SportSouth