The preseason is over

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Published: October 26, 2006

The Hornets broke out of their horrible give-up-a-million-points-per-game rut on Tuesday to beat the Sacramento Kings and finish the preseason on a positive note. Ok, so they finished with a 2-5 record, which sucks balls, but that last game got me buzzing. Here's why…

  • The Hornets held the Kings scoreless for the last 5:50 of the game, allowing our guys to rally from a nine-point deficit. The final score was 84-81, a massive improvement over the 117 points the Kings dropped on us last Sunday.
  • In fact, the Hornets defense was so intense in the last six minutes, that Desmond Mason couldn't revert back to offense on the other end…

Des gets defensive

  • Chris Paul busted out of his preseason funk, scoring 20, dishing 9, rebounding 7 and stealing 4. He took over down the stretch, scoring eight points straight for the Hornets to cut Sacto's lead to 81-80 with two minutes left.
  • The Hornets' new additions got the job done. Peja knocked down a sweet fade-away from the low post with 25 ticks left to put the Hornets ahead for good. He didn't have a great game overall (3-of-11 shooting for 8 points), but he was able to create that big shot for himself, a luxury the team lacked last season.
  • Meanwhile, Tyson Chandler played pretty good, scoring 8 and boarding 10. He also somehow ended up with 4 steals and JUST 3 FOULS IN 35 MINUTES! I think Byron Scott had someone sew pockets into Tyson's shorts so he can keep his hands there while on defense.

    Chandler only had one block on the evening, but it was to send back Shareef Abdur-Rahim's potential gamer with about two seconds left. That's exactly what we need Tyson for.

  • Bobby Jackson and Desmond Mason also helped out offensively, scoring 13 and 17 respectively.
  • It was the first time we've seen the projected starting five out there together. Not that they looked fantastic or anything, but it's good to know that the team is healthy right now.

Of course, that performance was still far from what's expected of the Hornets this season. Beyond Bobby Jackson, the bench was a no-show, with Jannero Pargo and Linton Johnson doing their best to make me look like a fool for praising their performances last week. Rasual Butler was the only other Hornet to get off the bench.

David West also struggled, missing 12-of-15 shots for 6 points. I think we all know that DX won't have many nights like that during the regular season.

According to Byron Scott, the Hornets will be practicing hard up until Wednesday's opener in Boston, focusing a shitload on defense so they don't cough up 100+ to the Celtics.

The fun and games are over. It's about to get serious.

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