Sunday, December 7, 2008

Byron Scott will find negatives in tonight's 19-point win

Posted By on Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 4:28 AM

click to enlarge Sean Marks intense dunk face

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Photo by Jonathan Bachman

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Don't think a game in which the Hornets never trailed, led by as much as 32 points, thoroughly dominated an over-matched Memphis squad on both ends of the floor and scored the most points in a quarter all season (37) will make Byron Scott take it easy on his players.

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"You take out all the negatives," Scott said when asked how the Hornets build on this win. "The one thing you gotta do is continue to show tape on things we're not doing a great job of because that's the only way you get better."

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That and remembering that you don't get to play the Grizzlies every night.

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Then again, just a couple of weeks ago the Hornets were having trouble putting down bad teams and win all the games they're supposed to. For all the questions that were being asked about the Hornets' energy and chemistry, it seems now that this team has figured out to avoid coming out flat or overlooking teams: respecting them.

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"With this team, if you go out there and play lightly on them, that's disrespecting them," Tyson Chandler said. "We want to go out there, show them respect and play hard."

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It seems counter-intuitive, you show your respect for a team by outscoring them 37–16 in the first quarter, but it does make sense. As Chandler put it, when the Hornets come out thinking they can beat a team without trying very hard, it means the Hornets don't respect that team. "You don't want to play the score, you play the game," Scott put it another way. The message stuck.

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"We told ourselves tonight no matter what, once the game started getting out of hand that we weren't going to let up," Rasual Butler said. "It's about the way that we play, it's not about the score."

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Of course, and early-December blowout against the Memphis Grizzlies isn't going to win any team a championship. But being able to consistently bring high-energy and focused play to the floor, especially against teams that you're supposed to beat, is a good sign your team is going in the right direction.

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