The Charlotte Hornets only connected on a third of their shots against the Indiana Pacers and suffered a miserable 110-94 loss Monday night. Marco Belinelli led the Hornets in scoring with 14 points on nine shots, while Myles Turner and Paul George each had 22 points for the Pacers.
The Hornets were unable to get consistent offense from the opening tip, having scored just 30 points midway through the second quarter. The Pacers elected to trap Kemba Walker whenever he touched the ball and prevented him from scoring until there were three minutes left in the first half. Walker finished with 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
Roy Hibbert finished with six points and three rebounds in his first game in Indianapolis since being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers before last season. Al Jefferson, the Hornets’ go-to scorer for much of the last few seasons, also finished with six points and three rebounds.
The Pacers chose to play C.J. Miles at power forward for much of the game, effectively negating whomever the Hornets put there. Miles’ speed was simply too much for Frank Kaminsky and Marvin Williams to follow. Kaminsky was absolutely awful on both ends Monday night.
In retrospect, perhaps playing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the four would’ve paid dividends against the combination of Miles and Thaddeus Young.
Kidd-Gilchrist unsurprisingly led the team in plus-minus with a mark of +6. He was the only Hornet with a positive plus-minus rating and finished with six points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and a block in only 20 minutes. Belinelli played well, but MKG clearly should’ve played more given his ability to dictate tempo on both ends of the floor. He and Cody Zeller, really. Oh well.
Nicolas Batum finished with his 13 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and four made 3-pointers, giving him his third double-double in his last five games. He had trouble staying with Rodney Stuckey and Paul George on defense, however.
This is the Hornets’ second straight loss, and their next three games are against Eastern Conference rivals — the Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, and Atlanta Hawks — and are on the road. Wednesday is the Hornets’ next game.
All in all, this was a bad, inexcusable loss. The Hornets shot 33.3 percent from the field and allowed the Pacers to shoot 48.9 percent. This is not the Hornets team we know and love.
As Russell Varner put it:
My extremely detailed and thoughtful analysis of this Hornets game:
— Russell Varner (@rvarner) December 13, 2016