Mensah-Bonsu led Hornets fall to Grizzlies

Published: October 18, 2010

The Hornets led 74-67 heading into the 4th quarter and that is when rookie Xavier Henry and OJ Mayo came to life. The two were responsible for scoring or assisting on all of the Grizzlies points during a 10-2 run that gave Memphis the lead that they would never relinquish.

Interestingly enough, the Hornets starters came back in with a little less than 5 minutes to play to try to win the game, but a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers by CP3 sealed their fate as the Hornets lost 96-91.

The lone bright spot from the game came from none other than Pops Mensah-Bonsu whose stat line looks like it was forged. If I hadn’t listened to the game, I would have swore Pops hacked into the ESPN database and entered his own numbers a la Ferris Bueller. Without further adieu they are as follows: 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 assist, and 1 block on 8 of 13 shooting.

Two other Hornet big men had quality games as Aaron Gray and Jason Smith combined for 23 points and 12 rebounds on 10 of 13 shooting in a combined 42 minutes. Gray especially seemed to benefit from being on the floor with CP3, getting set up for easy baskets a couple of times. Both big men were in foul trouble, however, and Jason Smith even managed to foul out despite only playing 17 minutes.

Curtis Jerrells saw his first action as a Hornet, entering in the 4th quarter just as Memphis made their run. In his 8 minutes of action, he didn’t do much of anything and had a plus/minus of -12. Joe Alexander is all but done with this team, as he didn’t see any action. Expect him to be our next cut. Meanwhile Mbenga didn’t do much in 18 minutes of action, but even with Mensah-Bonsu’s breakout game, it is likely he will stick around as insurance.

Unfortunately there is no good news to report on the Marcus Thornton front as he went 1 for 4 in 9 minutes. Not only is he struggling, but he is not getting minutes and you have to start to wonder if he is in the Hornets long-term plans. Regardless of what we all think of him based on what we saw last year, you have to remember that the Hornets have a new coaching staff and a new front office. They have no tie with MT5 and they have already shown that they will not hesitate to ship off a young gun- whether it is DC2 or Craig Brackins.

Hopefully Thornton turns it around, but I have seen this story before with the Hornets; young gun gets in coaches dog house due to lack of defense and understanding of his role.  Coach tries to send a message and player responds by struggling. Next will be the shots fired in the media and the players’ family making comments about how the player isn’t being used correctly, then…. Man I hope I am wrong, but it just feels so familiar.

But hey, on the bright side, we still have Pops Mensah-Bonsu!


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