Charlotte Hornets at Phoenix Suns

PREGAME

Kaminsky gets the start. Zeller still on a "minutes restriction"

Clifford on Booker: complimenting his ability to take you off the dribble

On the rotation: For right now we'll stick with Frank starting. Once Cody gets off the minutes restriction need to get him back on the floor with Kemba and Nic. 

  • This is a little ambiguous. Savvy Clifford is the best Clifford. 

Frank pregame: "feel more free" playing the five. Mentions being able to roll AND pop. 

2-man lineup defensive numbers between Kaminsky and Zeller vs. Williams and Zeller

2-man lineup defensive numbers between Kaminsky and Zeller vs. Williams and Zeller

1Q

9:02 - Hornets working quickly on offense, not allowing Len to get set on defense. One action to get Marvin on the PnP followed by Kemba taking it all the way in transition

8:00 - Marvin again! He's got 8 early points. Suns keep turning it over and the Hornets keep making them pay. 

6:45 - Hornets now playing Zeller and Kaminsky. Watch the defensive end. Kaminsky now guarding the Suns 4. 

  • 1st possession Zeller contains Len and Frank stays with Dudley. (Turnover)
  • 4:40 Frank misses a box out in transition that leads to a PHX dunk

Booker/Ulis abusing Roberts/Belinelli

Marvin Williams the MVP of the 1Q. 13p 4/6 from the field. Hornets up 32-28. 

PHX shoots 57% but turns it over 5 times.

2Q

10:40 - Hornets breaking the lineup and can't stop the Suns from scoring. PHX 14 bench pts already 

Ulis' defense is college basketball level intense and his passes are amazing. He's making me curse and I'm not even playing. 

8:27 - Hornets offense cools.

Kemba and MKG return and offense immediately returns to form. 

  • Ulis immediately gets scorched by Kemba

6:09 - MKG has 5 OREB. 

Shooting struggles continue for Batum. 1-7 so far.

Booker and Bledsoe take over. Combine for 12a. **Barbosa 10p (NOT GOOD)**

2Q PHX run has been all about dribble penetration. PHX shoots 68.4% from the field. 

1ST HALF Hornets down 61-58

Hornets offense gets off to a hot start on the back of Marvin Williams (13) and Kemba Walker (18-3a) scoring and MKG's OREB (5). The bench struggled to contain the dribble penetration of Ulis in the 1Q. The starters couldn't keep Bledsoe and Booker out of the lane. PHX ends the half with 18 assists...moving the ball extremely well on offense. 

If Nic Batum is 3/7 instead of 1/7 the Hornets are up by 2 or 3. If they play defense in the 2Q they are up by 10.

3Q

Nic Batum comes out and immediately hits the and-1. 

Kaminsky 7 quick points. 

8:35 - Frank gets beasted by Len

  • By product of Frank at the five. The good with the bad. 

7:43 - The Hornets aren't stopping the ball at all. Defense shifting around as man and ball move freely around the court. Down 8 points in PHX after a Chriss three. 

 

4Q

Weird play of the game: Frank Kaminsky hits Lamb on the backdoor cut. Exact play that Hawes and Lamb hooked up on so many times. Kaminsky and Hawes were friends. That's like kissing your brother's widow. 

Hornets just need a few buckets to hold serve until the closing unit gets in. Belinelli and Roberts can't put it in the cup. 

7:30 - Frank Kaminsky shoulder injury. Alan Williams checked him with his chest. Didn't seem to be huge contact. Freak injury. Basketball is cruel. 

Picture of the game: MKG breathing heavily on the bench. 

  • Hornets got nothing from their bench on either end at the end of a long road trip.
  • End of the game was a sloppy turnover filled missed shot bonanza. 

POSTGAME

Clifford told his players: "I didn't see this coming." Mentioned lack of effort, energy and purpose of play.

I'm torn. 

  • Obviously they needed this one. Obviously they made some mistakes in the first half. 
  • But I don't know how you win a game getting that little from your bench, especially against a young team playing for pride. 

It was two different ball games. One where the Suns made mistakes and the Hornets took advantage and another where PHX protected the ball and the Hornets got taken advantage of.