The Hornets beat the Suns

By:
Published: October 31, 2008

Chris Paul and James Posey got it doneGreat game for our guys in Phoenix tonight. The Suns suffered through billions of turnovers and some rough calls through the first three quarters, but it looked like the momentum had swung in their favor as Peja Stojakovic limped off the floor midway through the fourth, right as an unsypathetic Amare Stoudemire rammed one home to shrink our lead to five.

But we had guys step up. Guys like James Posey, Morris Peterson and Rasual Butler. Thems be the Hornets on national TV, kicking ass in unusual ways.

Notes…

  • Chris Paul didn’t play well. And yet, Chris Paul finished with 20 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. He’s so good, even his not good is pretty damn good. If you didn’t see him play tonight, I’m calling it a sub-par performance because he shot poorly (6-14 FGs) and turned the ball over five times. He had three turnovers in Oakland the night before. A little uncharacteristic for CP.
  • Let’s all hope Peja’s okay. Craig Sager reported that he went to the locker room for treatment, but told Byron Scott he felt he could get back out there and finish the game. So that’s good. He rolled the right ankle playing defense, but it didn’t look awful. I’m guessing he won’t play Saturday against Cleveland, but beyond that the Hornets don’t play until the Hawks come to town on Wednesday. Almost a full week to rest up.
  • Peja was having a real nice game before he got hurt. He poured in 11 points in the first quarter and finished with 20 on 7-13 FGs. He and Matt Barnes were going at it pretty heavy with the trash talking late in the second quarter. Not sure how Barnes can talk smack about anybody with those fantastically crap tattoos.
  • No Tyson tonight. He warmed up but decided not to play, that ankle still bothering him. Hilton Amrstong started at the pivot, and while the box score doesn’t show much from him, I thought he played a great game out there, matching up with Shaq most of the night and not backing down one bit. He seems more focused on every possession nowadays. Last season it was like he was tuned to a different station on every second play.
  • Ely also gave us good minutes, at one point even prompting Doug Collins to say he was reminiscent of Moses Malone — easy on the whiskey there, Dougie — but in the fourth quarter Byron opted to go small, with David West playing the 5. I’m not sure if that was us adjusting to the Suns — who didn’t play Shaq for the last 15 minutes of the game — or vice versa, but it worked out pretty good.
  • Collins was also fascinated by David West’s “newly developed” shooting stroke. Yeah, the Hornets weren’t on national TV much last season.
  • Rasual Butler is on the fast track to redemption. He was everywhere during his 19 minutes, and came up real big for us in the fourth quarter. There he was jab-stepping in the corner with six minutes left, pulling up and nailing the triple to make it an 8-point game. The next Hornets offense lasted 64 seconds, with Rasual responsible for getting after one offensive board and tipping it out high for the reset. Then at the 4-minute mark, he’s sprinting down the floor to swat Grant Hill’s layup out of bounds. Loving your work, Rasual.
  • Ryan was on the money when he said the Hornets were going to make it rain from three this season. 13-24 from deep tonight, five of which came in the last seven minutes.
  • The Suns dancers could do with a better stylist.
  • Mo Pete led the team with 21 points. 7-10 from the field, 4-6 from deep. And all without his headband. He might be on to something there.
  • Yeah, Posey’s addition is kind of a big deal. Back-to-back charges on Leandro Barbosa, dagger threes in the fourth quarter, relentless hustle throughout the ballgame. If I could travel back in time to a year ago, I’d be checking out every Celtics game just to see Posey play.
  • Incidentally, Shaq was benched right after that play where he pushed Hilton Armstrong into Nash, sending Steve flying to the ground. I like Shaq, but that was stupidity of the highest order. Not a good idea to be throwing 6-11, 235 lbs. missiles at your star point guard.
  • Watching this game with Mikey, he doesn’t much like Byron bringing in Mike James for CP so early. I kinda like the experiment. Way I see it, James gets thrown out there with the big guns and runs the offense rather than feeling obliged to fill it up, while Paul has more gas in the tank come the fourth quarter. And even if it doesn’t work, best to be trying this stuff in the early part of the season.

That’ll do. Our Hornets roll home to the Hive unbeaten. Get past LeBron, and we’ve got the Hawks, Bobcats and Heat to pick on before the Lakers come to town. Makings of a great start right here.

0 comments