Hey there, your intrepid ATH photographer here. I'm no writer like Will or Rohan, but I've been noticing something of a pattern that I wanted to share. I sat right behind the Hornets bench tonight and it reinforced what I noticed in previous games.
As you can see from the box scores, the Hornets get consistently outscored in the 4th, often leading to losses. Tonight in Denver was no different: 1 point lead going into the 4th, lots of fewer points than our opponents at the end. What I've noticed is a body language going into the 4th that doesn't exist in other quarters. Some teams have a noticeable attitude that you pick up off them. The Lakers, no matter what the score, start the 4th with a 'we got this handled' attitude.
The Hornets put off an attitude of confusion. It's not fear, confidence or apathy. They simply don't look like they know what to do next. The best example would be that they look like they were already in the locker room trying to decide what to have for dinner when they got home when they got pulled out to play another quarter. If you watch their movements, there is no urgency or confidence. There are no set plays they are trying to execute. They pass the ball around to whoever happens to be open until late in the shot clock and then put up a contested shot. They usually get some rhythm at some point and make some baskets, but it's a short lived rally. The defense is usually not up to its earlier effectiveness either.
I'm not harping on Monty here, but this is a coaching issue. The team should be on fire coming into the 4th, but they clearly aren't. Whatever is happening between the third and fourth quarters needs to change.