I continued to be amazed by the New Orleans Hornets terrific season so far. Portland had their run early on and faded, Houston was the golden child for February/March, and now the 76ers are the new team to jump on the bandwagon. But from the very start of the season, the Hornets have persisted.

It should be no real surprise though, they have outstanding point-guard play at both ends (if not Lebron, CP4 is my MVP), a great shooter in Stojakovic, and solid finishing forwards. To top it off, they play a solid switching M2M defense and have a very smart head coach in Byron Scott.

One of the signs of a well coached team is how well the players execute SLOB and BLOB plays. And in fact, if they score off of them. In the game tonight against the Pacers, the Hornets scored on 2 such plays in the first half and here they are,

Double Stagger SLOB:

The double-stagger screen is a great way to get your shooter open for a SLOB or BLOB play when you have very little time left on the shot clock. It's interesting that Stojakovic chose to pump-fake, then shoot as opposed to catch and shoot. Perhaps, he was trying to draw a 4-point play,

Screen the Screener BLOB:

In this play, it's just a simple screen the screener. First Pargo sets a pick for Ely, then Pargo gets a screen from West and comes to the ball where he catches and shoots. The switch comes late allowing Pargo to get the shot off,


It's hard to know how the Hornets will do in the playoffs next month. On the one hand, they've had this incredible season, but on the other hand, they're really young and inexperienced. Though if you look at how Utah played last year, their relative inexperience didn't hold them back at all. Depending on the matchups they get, if they're lucky, I could easily see them going all the way to June.

For some great special teams info from a great charismatic coach, take a look at Bruce Pearl's DVD on OB nuggets. Though he talks more about executing BLOB, it's a good insight into the mind of a great X's and O's coach. Be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.