Another game, another set of heroes.
It’s starting to become expected for this great young team. Who will take the lead tonight? Who will be the Hero?
Well, you saw it, it was Sergio Rodriguez and Jason Thompson. JT, who’s been a bit quiet lately, had a solid interior game on both ends that anchored this team to victory. There was a lot of help from many players, Omri Casspi and Beno again (though he faded a bit after cracking his head on the floor trying to take a charge from West) and of course John Brockman, who contributed 8 rebounds, 5 points in 16 minutes. It took Songalia exactly one play against Brockman to turn and complain to the refs about the physicality – one play, and he justs gets to every ball.
But Sergio was clearly the Player of the game with 24 / 5 / 2 in just 24 minutes. It suddenly looks like Sergio can shoot!? I thought players were supposed to Leave the Kings and become good other places – not the other way around. He was aggressive yet calm and controlled. He’s been just excellent on offense and has usually been, well, adequate on defense (as of late).
The energy and enthusiasm this group brings from the bench is just remarkable, everyone who rolls out seems to contribute in a positive way.
Casspi was excellent and his energy is unstoppable and I think disheartening to opponents, though when he got his wish to guard West he was forced right back to the basket. On that note, it’s so strange to me that West is such an excellent low post player on offense yet contributes very little on the boards. 7.4/ a game isn’t bad, but he just doesn’t gather anything that doesn’t come to him, and very few (2) did tonight. He was bailed out on some foul calls by the officials on several occasions. ‘I’m trying to draw a foul – do you see me? Here I go – [whistle]’
The rest of the Hornets with the exception of Collison and Okafor looked extremely ordinary. They unlike us have little or no fire off the bench, ignore Bobby B’s late game numbers, he was handed some of them as the Kings were methodically pacing and closing the game out. (wow)
Let me say that after seeing him in person again, if you run a few plays for Okafor (just a few), he can score with ease. New Orl made an effort to get him a few shots and he finished strong on all of them that I remember. His free throw is – wretched, but his defense was excellent all night, very All-Star caliber in that respect.
Astnishing to me that last year we moaned about not having a point guard - and this year we seem to have Three who can control the game in various ways. Strangely, when they were all on the court together for a sequence - that seemed to work very well. I'll have to check the tape/match-ups on that one.
Thanks to BTE for riding shotgun with me at this game, we had a good time - and it was great to see what was essentially another wire-to-wire victory.
7-2 protecting the home court baby! Pacers are goin' DOWN!