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Game of the Night: Where CP3 was better than the Big Three

Nov 6, 2010, 2:18 AM EDT

CPaul_Heat

Most Saturdays you’re not going to get a Game of the Night, because that could make us work on a Friday night rather than enjoy another Guinness. But there were so many notes on my plate from the Hornets beating the Heat that it cried out for the space. On that note, I put down my pint and give you these:

• We’re five games into a long season, we know the Heat team that starts the playoffs will be different than the one we see today. There will be more familiarity and continuity. Still, this game showed why myself and others think they can be beat in the playoffs by a handful of teams — the Hornets beat them with great play at the point guard and center spots. Chris Paul 13 points and 19 assists. Emeka Okafor 26 points on 12-of-13 shooting. What happens in a seven game series when that is Rajon Rondo and Boston’s front line? The Heat will be good, but there are questions for them to answer yet.

• The book is out on Chris Bosh — push him around, be physical. New Jersey did it the other day, it was one of the few things they did right in that ugly loss. New Orleans did it with great success Friday. Chris Bosh had one rebound in this game. One.

• The Heat’s big three have talked about this being a team, that everyone has to come through for them to succeed. I get that, you need that mentality. Still, with the game on the line is the Eddie House the guy that should be taking the three to tie. Bosh hit one four seconds earlier, Wade and LeBron can hit them. But House takes it. I know he hit some big ones for Boston, but he was 0-6 from deep in this game up to those final seconds. There are times to be selfish, guys.

• Chris Paul is good. I could watch him and Dwyane Wade to back and forth every night and be happy.

• Only 89 possessions in this one, good slow pace for the Hornets that limited Miami’s transition baskets. When the Heat run they are unstoppable, but they are just not running enough. They are averaging 91.7 possessions a game, 23rd in the league. The Heat should be in the top 10, fueled by turnovers, but they right now are playing it too slow.

• In their final possessions, the Hornets ran a well-executed play that got Trevor Ariza a good look at a three. Ariza is maybe option three in the middle of the game, but needs to be option two with the game on the line — if he proved anything with his playoff run in LA is that he can hit big shots.

• This season has seen Okafor blossom, he just showed it on a big stage Friday. He is a perfect example of why to use advanced stats to help see the bigger picture — look at the traditional stats coming into this game and you’d say he was down, scoring one point less and grabbing one-and-a-half rebounds less per game than last year. But he was doing it more efficiently than he has done his entire career, and that is the key. His usage rate (percentage of possessions used) has dropped to 13, but he is shooting a higher percentage and getting to the free throw line more. He’s playing smart. His defense is better. He is a big reason the Hornets are 5-0.

  1. metalhead65 - Nov 6, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    come on guys you have 2 losses already,gonna be hard to set the wins record at this pace!haha love it anythime they lose it’s a good day.how come those loudmouth heat fans only show up here when they win?

  2. thestudiokida - Nov 6, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Can we stop calling it the big 3? Chris Bosh has done nothing but shot jumpers this season…. most overpaid jump shooter ever. He has 8 rebounds… in the last THREE GAMES. WTF?

    • zackd22 - Nov 6, 2010 at 10:10 AM

      The Big 2 1/2

  3. zackd22 - Nov 6, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Wait, you’re shocked that Eddie House took the 3? He shoots everytime he touches the ball, because he wants to shut up the “haters” I’m sure

  4. zblott - Nov 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    The only Power Rankings from a week ago that had the Hornets as high as #2 – someone knows what they’re saying:

    http://www.hoopskarma.com/hk/2010/11/1/hoops-karma-power-rankings-10.html

  5. aious - Nov 6, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    It was sad watching Bosh got manhandled the last few nights

    He really is an absolute baby with physical play

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