The Pistons beat the Hornets
My first Hornets game, and they have the nerve to lose the damn thing. We looked good early, killing them in the first quarter behind a hot start from Peja Stojakovic, but the Pistons never looked worried and chipped into that lead, took control, and didn't look back.
Gonna throw some observations at you from this one. At last I can give a first-hand account of the game…
- The Hornets just didn't look like they were in it together tonight. I don't know what the game plan was, because it looked like everyone had their own bright idea. Peja started off hot and we went away from him, Bobby Jackson and Jannero Pargo were on court together way too much, and the perimeter defense was pretty horrible. We're lucky the Pistons weren't knocking down most of their open looks or this would have been a blowout.
- Chris Paul had a rough game. It looked like he was trying not to get hurt out there or something. He finished with 14 points (4-14 FGs) and 7 assists. His counterpart, Chauncey Billups, had an equally bad game, shooting just 4-of-16 for 18 points and dishing 7 assists.
- That said, CP might have had the play of the game when he blocked Rasheed Wallace's layup late in the third, and the Hornets trailing by 6. Pargo took a nice charge from Billups the very next defense, and I thought we might turn the corner right there.
- Julian Wright got 9 minutes of burn tonight, his most burn since early November. That might have something to do with Rasual Butler's first DNP-CD of the season, and Mo-Pete getting hurt and having to check out in the third quarter. Wright made a few mistakes and didn't have much of an impact, but I liked his energy out there. The rest of the team really doesn't seem to have confidence in him though.
- Not sure about Peterson's status. Looked like he hurt his back, but he played on for a few possessions without too much drop-off in play.
- Tyson Chandler ended up with nice numbers (17 points, 22 boards), but if I hadn't seen the boxscore I wouldn't have thought he had that much of an impact. Weird.
- The attendance was listed as 10,312, but I don't think there was five figures there. Still, I was really impressed with the atmosphere at the game. I could really see what Toney Blare was talking about a few weeks back; those that do show up really get into the spirit of it and enjoy the experience. I expected the sight of all those empty seats to be depressing, but everyone seemed too busy having fun to care. I know other teams like Philly, Atlanta and Charlotte are struggling with attendance too, but I wonder if their crowds are as vibrant as those in New Orleans. And for as little as $10 a ticket, I have to believe the Hornets will be playing in front of much bigger crowds later in the season.
- Late in the fourth quarter, with the game decided, I headed down to the front row to meet George Shinn and Chad Shinn, which was probably the highlight of the night for me. Weird meeting those guys in the flesh and shaking their hands. Very surreal. They were both pretty cool, too, willing to take a minute to make me feel important.
Anyway, it's late and I got an early start, so I'll have to wrap this baby up. It was a serious downer that
the Hornets lost this one. That's not how I imagined my first game. I was thinking more like a Peja clutch triple to save the day.
Guess I was a four days too late.