The Pacers were shorthanded in this one. Without the play of all-star Victor Oladipo at their disposal, the team’s offense wasn’t functioning like it usually does. Domantas Sabonis and Bojan Bogdanovic were the main sources of offense for them, each shooting an average of 77 percent from the field. Outside of those two, there wasn’t any sense of direction on offense except in the paint, where the majority of their baskets came.
But, this game focused more on what the Hornets did than what the Pacers didn’t.
With Kemba Walker coming off yet another fantastic performance on Monday against the Boston Celtics, it was time for him to sit back and rest up for the road trip ahead. In the twenty-seven minutes played, he scored 16 points and notched 11 assists, leading the team in facilitation.
Luckily for the Hornets, their other players were able to carry the load on offense. Jeremy Lamb has shown over the past couple of games that he’s capable of being the team’s second option for scoring. And by all means, did he perform tonight. He had a game-high 21 points while also leading the team with seven rebounds. Being a dual-threat both in the paint and beyond-the-arc proved to be a recipe for success for Lamb and his scoring output.
There were other players who managed to step up and redeem themselves as they’ve been in recently. The first one was Frank Kaminsky who received a reasonable playing time due to Hornets center Willy Hernangomez out with a sprained ankle. This was Kaminsky’s first true showing of the season, as he’s played a total of 26 minutes in the team’s first 16 games this year. The good news was that he showed signs of his old self from last year. Being a serviceable stretch-five, Kaminsky was able to become a fluid pick-and-popper alongside Kemba in the first quarter of this one. He ended the game with a season-high 11 points.
The second player was Malik Monk who looks to be back on track after having a rough spell of shooting over the past few games. He shot 50 percent from the field totaling 15 points. This is a major step in molding him back into the Hornets offensive game plan.
Last but not least, there was Dwayne Bacon who surprised many Hornets fans with his output tonight. Being a menace from both downtown and inside, it was truly a coming out performance for the former second-round pick.
One storyline to keep an eye on was Marvin Williams. Williams took a kick to the head and was down for a long stretch of time. He was able to return to the bench, so that is definitely a good sign for his immediate future.
It was truly a showcase of the way head coach James Borrego wants to run this Hornets offense. The system never seemed to slow down and was fluid throughout the game, giving everyone opportunities to score at a high-level.
The Hornets travel to Oklahoma City on Friday.