Roster Spots Up for Grabs as Hornets Fall to Hawks

Published: October 16, 2010

No David West, no Emeka Okafor, and Chris Paul only played 11 minutes. Tonight’s game was about figuring out who was qualified to occupy those last few seats at the end of the bench and some guys played better than others in the Hornets 84-74 loss on Saturday night.

Willie Green probably locked up the back up point guard role with his second straight solid game tonight. He scored 10 points in 17 minutes and set Thornton up with a beautiful pass in the second quarter for one of his two assists. More importantly he did not have a turnover, which is going to be huge for a second unit that will need every possession to be effective.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu had his best game in his short career as a Hornet, posting 6 points on 3 of 3 shooting and snatching 9 rebounds in only 13 minutes.  With how horrible Joe Alexander has looked, Pops has an outside shot of making the team, even if it is only as a player taking up an injured reserve spot.

Q-Pon played 36 minutes and scored 10 points, but didn’t really do much else when you consider how much time he was on the floor.  As for Marcus Thornton, the good news is that he had his best game of the preseason. The bad news is that he was 3 for 11 in 23 minutes on the floor and he was part of a Hornets unit that gave up a 13-0 run to end the second quarter.

Joe Alexander must have other plans for winter because he does not look like he wants to be on an NBA roster this year. If last night did not seal his fate, then perhaps tonight did. He entered the game in the second quarter and immediately turned the ball over two times and picked up two fouls. After that brief 5-minute stint, Monty never put him back in the game.

Mustafa Shakur made his first appearance tonight, entering midway through the third quarter. He started off shaky, turning the ball over on his first possession and then badly missing a jumper on his second.  From there, he didn’t get much better as he shot 2 for 8 from the field and had 4 turnovers (and only 1 assist) in 16 minutes of play.

The Hornets have 3 more preseason games over the next five days and I would expect more of the same from Monty. He knows what he is going to get from his vets and it looks like he is starting to get an idea of what he will be getting from Belinelli, who had another solid game. What he needs to find out is who he can rely on game in and game out to come off the bench and give a solid effort. Another objective is to try to get Marcus out of his nasty funk before he carries it over into the season. The beginning of the schedule is brutal and the Hornets will need all the firepower they can get just to be .500 in the first month of the season.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.