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The Hornets Beat the Suns

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Published: December 4, 2008

The Suns came in wounded, playing without Shaq and Nash, and predictably couldn’t keep up down the stretch and fell to the Hornets by 13.  I know a lot of people will grumble about this game because the Hornets didn’t crush them, but they need to remember this is the NBA, and the Suns are an 11-7 team.  The replacements for Shaq and Nash were Leandro Barbosa and Grant Hill.  Not exactly chopped liver.

Observations:

  • The Hornets were committed to rebounding tonight, with every starter getting at least four, including at least one offensive rebound each.  West led the team with 14, and Chandler crushed the offensive glass, grabbing 6.  Both of them were getting after it.  It was nice.
  • Hilton Armstrong had no turnovers and no fouls in 12 minutes.  When I saw that I felt kinda like those guys on Star Trek when they suddenly find themselves in a parallel dimension and half the people they know are now evil.  At least I did until I saw he had no rebounds.  Then all was right in the world.

  • Morris Peterson played 4 minutes and proved he is NOT a point guard.  Not to bury a guy for getting injured, because he played very well during his early stints in the season, but it may be wise to trade him and/or Rasual Butler now for a point guard.  Paul had to play way too many minutes after that meltdown by the second unit to start the second quarter.  Plus it could free up some minutes for Julian Wright.
  • Sean Marks had a beautiful slam to start the season.  Since then he’s looked like Maciej Lampe:  In love with deep shots, and defensively inept.  In the fourth, they were purposely forcing him to help Paul on the pick and roll and it continuously generated open shots for them.  Paul’s not the best defending that play, but with Marks helping it was embarrassing.
  • Paul had 24 points, 15 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 turnovers.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with the guy.  Only 4 rebounds?  No blocks?  Loser.
  • Tyson was getting up and crushing the ball tonight.  It made me smile.  Of course, he was doing it on Boris Diaw and a guy named Robin, since Batman was apparently busy sitting on the bench with Superman.
  • Speaking of Tyson, West got abused early in the game by Amare, who just went right around him over and over.  I counted thirteen plays, however, when Amare tried to take Tyson.  He got by him twice – once when he had an offensive foul, and once when Tyson tripped on Chris Paul’s foot.  Otherwise, Amare passed the ball away or took contested, point blank shots or mid-range jumpers.  Excellent job by the Ceiling Fan Repairman.
  • David West had 23 points on 12 shots.  I’m having more and more trouble justifying giving Amare Stoudemire the edge at the Power Forward position.  West may have had trouble stopping Stoudemire but he punished him in turn, and out-rebounded Amare by 10 by simply working hard.
  • Sometimes Devin puts his head down and goes to the hoop when he shouldn’t, but there is no question he is valuable for his willingness to attack the basket.  Tonight, he provided 8 points on 6 shots, a few rebounds, couple steals, and only one turnover.
  • Posey played 22 minutes.  He had a three and a stupid foul.  I’d like to see a little more.
  • I can’t end this recap without mentioning Peja. The Rifleman was throwing flame tonight, burying 5-9 from deep.  He went in and battled on the boards too.  At one point in the game I wrote down “Even if he wasn’t hitting, I’d be happy with the way he’s battling and moving.”  24 points on 16 shots.  Nice.

We don’t play again until Saturday – and then have another long lay off until next Wednesday again?  The hell?

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