More questions than answers

Published: December 26, 2008

Rough patch for the Hornets in the final 2 of the recent 5 game stretch. Overall, we’re 3-2 in the stretch and are currently 16-9 (3rd Southwest, 5th West).

Hornets’ last 5 games:
  • at Memphis, W 91-84
  • vs. San Antonio, W 90-83
  • vs. Sacramento, W 99-90
  • vs. Los Angeles, L 87-100
  • at Orlando, L 68-88

We’ve sucked in these last 2 games. Both Peja Stojakovic and Antonio Daniels we’re sidelined with injuries against LAL and ORL. The way we played in both, I highly doubt either of those guys would’ve made a significant difference. I’ll start out by stating the obvious: we ARE NOT contenders. Geez, it’s painful to even type it but we aren’t. Where should I begin?

Question: Can we seriously contend for a title with the type of offense (which I call “Paul Ball”) we run?

  • Answer: No. We set a lot of picks. Other than that, we don’t necessarily move. Our shooters do what they’ve been taught which is run to the 3 pt. line. We have no slashers. We have no one else besides CP (and Antonio Daniels when he gets back) that can handle the ball. We have “Spectator Syndrome” which like I’ve said before I can’t decide whether its by design or just habit. We don’t do anything but watch CP or David do their thing.

Question: Why, oh why, is Devin Brown getting starts and/or getting more playing time than Morris Peterson?

  • Answer:

Question: Why are Julian Wright and Ryan Bowen getting little or no playing time?

  • Answer:

Question: Has anyone ever seen a team more taken out of a game by the officiating than the 2008-09 New Orleans Hornets (so far)?

  • Answer: I haven’t. I really hope I’m exaggerating here but I can’t remember seeing such a talented but fragile team that can be completely taken out of a game or completely distracted for stretches when a call doesn’t go there way. It seems like all we do is yak at the officials when we don’t get our way. No one is excluded in this one. Our main guys (Chris Paul, David West, and Tyson Chandler) are the guys who do the most talking. Chris Paul is our unquestioned leader/tone setter. How does Byron Scott expect the other guys to shut it when our main guy is talking too?

Question: Why are we still making the same mistakes that helped us start poorly almost 30 games into the season?

  • Answer:

Question: Why does Coach Scott feel like everyone at the 2,3, or sometimes the 4 that he puts out on the floor (mainly Devin Brown and Sean Marks) should take jumpers? Is that their doing or his?

  • Answer:

Like I said before, I’m not in panic mode. I guess I just have to realize that we’re not as good as I thought we would be and that I shouldn’t expect anything other than making the playoffs. Everyone including myself keeps saying that there’s 50-60 games left and a lot of time to improve. I agree with that but shouldn’t we start seeing the improvements right about now? And even if we do improve basketball wise, do our guys have the mental toughness to seriously compete with the Celtics and the Lakers, etc.? Only time will tell I guess.


Hornets’ next 5 games:
  • vs. Houston– Big game tonight. We’ve already lost to the Rockets (19-10) earlier this season, 82-91. Much like the Lakers, I don’t think we can fall behind 0-2 in the head-to-head battle (even though we still have a home game against them left after tonight) even more so with the Rockets because they’re a divisional opponent. Yao will probably score 20+ and get at least 3 blks. T-Mac is hurting right now so I expect him to be less than his usual self but Artest will be there to pick up the slack and then some. Our All-Stars need to each score at least 20 and we need to contain the Rockets role players (Alston, Scola, Landry, etc.) for us to even have a chance in this one. No word on whether Daniels and Peja will play tonight. Whether they play or not, this game can go either way.
  • at Indiana– The Pacers (10-18) have played surprisingly well this season and yet they’ve still only won 10 games. This is one of those games we’re “supposed” to win. The way we’ve played against top tier teams this year, we can’t afford to drop these kinds of games. As long as we defend well, rebound well, and try not to let Danny Granger explode offensively we should be fine.
  • vs. Washington– The Wizards (4-23) have been dismal this year. Granted they’ve been without Gilbert Arenas who provides as much scoring punch as the Kobes and LeBrons in the league, but that’s no excuse because he scores and doesn’t do much else. The Arenas-less Wizards are a team that we didn’t beat in 2 tries last year. They’ve got Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, some Mike James fellow, and a bunch of other guys who almost beat the Cavs at Cleveland last night. As long as we stay focused and not pay too much attention to the fact that these guy are 4-23 and the fact that we should be able to walk all over them, we should win this one.
  • at Portland– Trailblazers (18-12) at home for whatever reason have given us trouble lately. Last 2 trips there have been like this: Blazers get a lot of what our guys feel are “questionable” calls, we play them close for 3 maybe 3 and a half quarters, more “questionable” calls, we fall apart, and the Blazers pull away winning by at least 12 points. Obviously, that can’t happen. Brandon Roy has been playing like the best 2 guard in the West, Oden’s struggling to stay on the floor, and LaMarcus Aldridge has gotten jumpshot happy. They’re bench is still one of the best in the league but simply put, other than Roy the Blazers have struggled lately (4 wins, 6 losses last 10 games) so maybe we can go in and steal one. At least we can if we keep our composure…..
  • at Denver– Nuggets (18-11) have kind of come back down to Earth after playing incredibly well after the Billups trade. They’ve been 5 up, 5 down over their last 10 and Carmelo Anthony is currently missing time with an elbow injury. Same old story here: Rebound well + defend well + limit turnovers = victory for the Hornets

[Insert randomness here]

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