The Charlotte Hornets game against the Chicago Bulls obviously didn't go the way of the first meet up between the two. After all, it's hard to repeat a performance where the team as a whole shoots 60 percent from 3-point range. Even so, the Hornets had some good moments in this game despite the loss.
Charlotte is nine games into the season now and, with sample sizes increasing, trends are beginning to develop within the team. We now know for sure that the 3-point shooting is not a fluke, and that the Hornets are all in on making it a part of identity. They shot 33 of them against the Bulls, and were constantly on the look out for their shot from deep as always.
Of course, now that we have trends a lot of what the Hornets do in games will be based less on the style they play, and more on how they played with key moments spread throughout the game. Tonight, the Hornets played their game and it kept them within single digits of the Bulls late. Sometimes that's all you can ask for in a season as long as the NBA's.
The key moment in tonight's game came in the final two minutes with the Hornets down three points. Coming out of a timeout they had Chicago in the bonus, and plenty of time to tie the game up. What was interesting in how the Hornets chose to go about this is rather than go for two pointers, and try to stop Chicago on the other end, they instead opted to keep looking for the 3-point shot.
Obviously, the Hornets decision to keep looking for the deep ball didn't work out for them in the end, but the process was for the most part a good one. None of the shots they took late could be considered bad looks, or from players that shouldn't have been shooting them. Marvin Williams, Jeremy Lamb, and Nicolas Batum all got open chances at tying the game. They just missed.
Funny enough, on the other side of the floor, Charlotte got the stops they needed on almost every single possession. The defense they played was superb, and Chicago didn't get too many looks that could be considered good. Even on the very last possession, when Jimmy Butler hit a dagger, Nicolas Batum was right there contesting the shot. It just happened to go in.
This is a classic case of process being more important than the results. The Hornets lost, and that's a bummer, but they played smart basketball during the loss. Theoretically a similar kind of game in the future should pan out in their favor, because it's hard to see them missing open 3-pointers again, or not having good defense at the end of the game pan out.
It's a long season, but the wins will come as long as the Hornets are playing smart basketball.