The Hornets beat the Celtics

By:
Published: November 2, 2006

The Hornets got off to a nice start yesterday by beating the Celtics in Boston, 91-87 (box | recap). Throwing some notes and thoughts at you…

  • Chris Paul. EXCLAMATION MARK.

    Seriously, now: 20 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and just one lonely turnover. He dished all those dimes in the first half, then took over the scoring load in the third quarter, scoring 12 points in five minutes on repeated drives to the basket.

    Chris Paul stands tall. Figuratively speaking.Pinch yourself. We are so damn lucky to have this guy. Benjamin Hochman of the T-P probably said it best today:

    At one point in the game, the beating heart of the Hornets beat his heart with his right fist, unleashing a muffled battle cry. Paul was not going to let the Hornets lose the season opener. He dazzled with his passing, was confident with his shooting and, frankly, was a key part of every successful run.

  • The next best player on the court last night was Paul Pierce, who dropped 29 points and a career-high 19 rebounds on us. He didn't shoot particularly well, though, and his eight missed free-throws could have made the difference.

    As Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald notes today, the C's may have been relying on P-Double a little too much.

  • David West scored 18, grabbed 8 and swatted 2. He was 9-of-22 from the field. He sealed the win with a tip-in with 12 ticks left, making it 91-85. Already earning his paycheck.
  • One guy not earning his keep is Peja Stojakovic. He was a miserable 4-of-15 from the floor, displaying shooting accuracy usually associated with one-armed grannies or animals with hooves.

    Like the final preseason game against Sacramento, Peja did come through in the clutch, draining a layup and a long jumper in the final two minutes to help stave off the Celtics final rally. That's nice, but he'll have to start contributing in the first three quarters. He's being paid $64 million, not $16 million.

  • Tyson Chandler started his All-Star campaign with a showing of 6 points, 9 rebounds and 6 fouls in 28 minutes. Not too bad but not too good.

    I hope he does make the All-Star team at some point, if only to see him set a new record. Players can't foul out of the ASG, so Tyson could end up with like 12 fouls or something. Might be his only shot at a triple-double.

  • Speaking of triple-dips, I'm thinking CP is more likely to average one for an entire season than that dude in Cleveland. (FYI: LeBron dropped 26, 10 and 5 on the Wizards yesterday.)
  • Bobby Jackson scored 14 while wearing tights. Whatever works.
  • There was this incident at halftime where the Celtics were doing some sort of Red Auerbach tribute on the court, when the Hornets players started shooting around to warm-up for the second half. It didn't go down well with the Beantown faithful, who had some choice comments. Those choice comments didn't go down well with the guys over at the HR message boards. I had some old cake for breakfast and that didn't go down well either.
  • Cedric Simmons returned two to sender, while also scoring four and grabbing a pair of rebounds. He did tweak his ankle however, and had to come out of the game. We'll see how that turns out.
  • Linton Johnson III contributed an energetic nine minutes, finishing with 6 points and 6 boards. Linton Johnson II was so proud.
  • Highlight of the game also belonged to LJ junior junior, who slammed home a Jannero Pargo miss early in the second quarter. You can see that and more highlights over at NewsOK.com. Look out for the newscaster making an ass of himself there, too.
  • What happened to Tony Allen? I remember when he was dynamite for the C's in his rookie season a few years back. Then that whole trouble with 5-0 thing happened and it seems he hasn't been the same since. He was 0-of-5 in 18 minutes against the Hornets.
  • Sebastian Telfair is looking up at Chris Paul. Way, way up.
  • Darnell Mayberry blogged courtside at the game yesterday. Can we have more observations from the game asap please Mr. Mayberry sir?

Overall, I think this was a great start to the season. We won on the road in a tough environment given the whole Auerbach thing. Chris Paul and David West are picking up right where they left off. As a team, the Hornets shot the ball pretty bad (43% from the field, 1-of-11 from three, 15 missed free-throws), got out-rebounded 52-46, and were constantly in foul trouble, yet we still managed to get the win. The defense was solid, holding the C's below 25 points in each quarter. Peja and Tyson should only get better, and the second unit looked pretty good.

The way I see it, there's lots to be happy about, and plenty to improve upon.

For more on the opener, check out those blogs I linked up in the previous post.

Next up are the Pacers on the road, tomorrow at 6pm CT. Indy knocked off the Bobcats in Charlotte yesterday for their opening act. Final score was 106-99. Recap of that one is here.

Hey, wouldn't it be cool if the Hornets beat the Pacers and brought a 2-0 record with them to New Orleans? Then they could like block a punt in the first quarter or something, and only allow the Rockets to score three points all game. There's your gameplan, Byron. Take the rest of the day off.

I'm gonna go eat more cake. Check back for some trivia later. Bring a calculator.

0 comments