Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Hornets
New Orleans Arena
March 27, 2013
5:00 p.m. PST
FOX Prime Ticket
It’s the second night of a back-to-back and the Clippers just lost a heartbreaker in Dallas. Are they tired and discouraged or angry and vengeful? We’ll find out tonight in New Orleans. Now onto 3-on-3:
1. Should Greivis Vasquez (doubtful for tonight’s game) be this year’s Most Improved Player?
Joe Gerrity, Hornets247, (@GerrityJoe): Nope. Are his numbers up? Sure, but he’s still not a very good player. He’s gone from being a borderline starter on a bad team to being a borderline starter on a bad team. There are better choices for MIP.
Jordan Heimer, (@jordanheimer): Yes. As recently as this summer, I was still referring to Vasquez as a “Skid Row Jason Kidd.” Suffice it to say, I didn’t see him leading the league in assists.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): Yes. Vasquez hasn’t become a significantly better scorer (though his shooting has improved), but his passing and ability to facilitate have absolutely trended upwards. Yes, the minutes are up, but the way he controls a game is nothing like he has in the past.
2. Blake Griffin has only 32 total points on 31.3 percent shooting over his past three games. What does he need to do against the Hornets to improve on that?
Gerrity: He’ll have to use his power and size when Anthony Davis or Ryan Anderson gets the call to defend him, and his speed when it’s Robin Lopez. He should have a big game if I’m not mistaken.
Heimer: It’s less about Blake and more about the entirety of the offense. To quote D.J. Foster, Griffin often spends entire quarters reduced to a “glorified decoy”, rolling to the basket off high screens.
Katz: Last night on TNT, Shaq said that Griffin needs to demand the ball more – and he’s right. There comes a point when a great player who is capable of taking over a game needs to say, “I don’t care about who’s guarding me. Give me the ball, now!” And when he does, he has to capitalize. The passivity needs to end.
3. What do the Hornets need to do to secure an upset?
Gerrity: Energy. They’re less talented, more injured, and essentially running on fumes. Gordon has to show up, as does Ryan Anderson. If the latter isn’t hitting his shots from downtown it could be a long night for New Orleans.
Heimer: Drive, kick, dish, swish: repeat.
Katz: Ryan Anderson needs to catch fire, which is supremely possible. Anderson led the league in three-point makes last year and is already closing in on 200 for this season. If he gets hot, like he did when he knocked in five long-range balls in his last game against Denver, he can exploit the Clips’ porous three-point defense.