For as good as preseason game one was, preseason game two was equally as bad, if not more so. The Hornets were run off the floor by the Grizzlies throughout the entirety of the first half. Steven Adams had almost as many rebounds (14) in the first half as the entire Hornets team (who had 18). He bodied the Hornets on the boards, and the elbow handoffs he initiated caused all sorts of defensive problems.
Offensively, the Hornets connected on just 16-of-50 shot attempts and 5-of-24 3-point attempts. The offense wasn’t the fluid, fast-moving offense we’re used to seeing. Most possessions seemed to devolve into players taking turns going one-on-one against their defender—there was way more dribbling than we’re used to seeing. At the half, the Hornets trailed by 30.
We did this cool full court alley oop from LaMelo Ball to Miles Bridges though.
The second half wasn’t the same train wreck that the first half was because it was played to an even 55-55 score, but the basketball product as a whole still wasn’t that good. The energy levels of both teams started waning in different moments and there were some pickup basketball-esque stretches where both teams went up and down the floor with little defensive effort or offensive flow.
There were some bright moments for the Hornets though. Terry Rozier got hot in the early goings of the half and hit a few 3-pointers, including one as part of a 4-point play. James Bouknight had his second straight game of cooking the backups in the second half and into the fourth quarter. He finished with 17 points. Part of that was this massive poster.
LaMelo Ball (13 points, 7 assists) and Miles Bridges (14 points) put in some decent performances, but both struggled with their shot a bit.
The main takeaway from this game is that without Mason Plumlee, the Hornets are going to struggle with big, physical centers like Adams, just like they did last year. The secondary takeaway is that it’s hard to win basketball games when you make significantly fewer shots than your opponents.
The Hornets will learn from this and try to be better when they travel to their favorite city to gather in to take on the Heat on Monday.