Okay so Green and Smith can't be part of the deal. So what? You can still build a trade around Gray plus the number 1 and cash, since Curry is part of any NY deal for Melo, and they'll need a serviceable big.
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Mensah-Bonsu led Hornets fall to Grizzlies
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 hadnâ€™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 didnâ€™t do much of anything and had a plus/minus of -12. Joe Alexander is all but done with this team, as he didnâ€™t see any action. Expect him to be our next cut. Meanwhile Mbenga didnâ€™t do much in 18 minutes of action, but even with Mensah-Bonsuâ€™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.Â Coach tries to send a message and player responds by struggling. Next will be the shots fired in the media and the playersâ€™ family making comments about how the player isnâ€™t being used correctly, thenâ€¦. Man I hope I am wrong, but it just feels so familiar.
But hey, on the bright side, we still have Pops Mensah-Bonsu!
Knicks need a first round draft pick to do the Melo deal. http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5705466 I say the Hornets help them out. Why help the new Threesome get its number 2 guy (and maybe start turning its sights on number 3)? Because they barely have the assets to get 2. How're they going to leverage CP3 if they go all in to get Melo? What would a good deal for the Hornets look like? According to the "source," both Randolph and Gallinari are in play--one of them going to the Nuggets in the Melo deal, the other one as bait for a number 1 pick in next year's draft to sweeten the deal. Option 1) Hornets offer their number 1 pick plus Aaron Gray plus Green (expiring) for Gallinari. That leaves Hornets starting: CP3, OK, DW, Gallinari at 3, and Ariza at 2. Shooters all around the clockface. Second squad: Mbenga, Smith, Peja, MT5, and Belinelli at point. Once again, shooters all around. Option 2) Hornets send pick plus Smith (expiring) for Randolph. (Ok, we can talk Green's expiring too, if need be). Hornets are then, same starters as present, second team, Mbenga, Randolph, Peja, MT5, Green (or Jerrells). I like option 1 better, but Randolph has good upside as a 3/ 4 versatile forward, and would be a good insurance policy with West coming up on an option year. Both deals still leave the Peja card to be played to bring in another big.
If you meant me saying Gray guaranteed for 2 more years, I was including this year and his player option for next year as we are not really yet in the season. Both total out to 2.18ish million left owed.
It is standard Early Bird rights stuff from what I gather. Check out the ESPN trade machine, then put your mouse over the little Not sign by his name denoting restrictions. It explains it all.
yeah even better, is he has right of refusal of a trade destination as well. I think we are stuck with the Gray-t One
Why don't we just bring CP3 off the bench! Then Pops and Aaron and Smith and Thornton can all be superstuds. Of course, we will need to trade DW and Emeka and Ariza and Belinelli becuase they will no longer be able to score without CP3.....
:) I must say this does bring up a valid point. Everyone is getting so set on which 10-15 minute players are going to make the roster. End of the day we only need 10-15 min a game at most from these guys (barring any injuries to our starters). Yes Thornton is in a different boat if he gets used in that 6th man role, but Pops/Smith/Gray/whoever else only needs to hold their own against the other team's 2nd unit. Pops isn't going to be pulling down double doubles every game and getting 25+ minutes of burn. Our starting 5 is looking like CP3/Marco/Ariza/West/Okafor and that is a great starting 5, the other guys just need to do their part and play their role as required around these guys. Lets face reality, some of these guys might not even get more than garbage time most nights and they are "bench/rotation" players, not quasi all-stars that some people are hoping they will be. Fact of the matter is, is Thornton (who I love as a player and hornet) comes in and is cold shooting bricks, we don't need to leave him out there like last year hoping he heats up, we can sit him and put other guards in our rotation out there. Those nights when his hot and scoring in bunches then he'll get more burn. Like i said before the offense is never going to run through him, but his role is very important and the more consistent he gets, the more dangerous the hornets get.
I'm guessing he'll be ready. He's probably being cautious right now. I also hope that his left wrist is hurt, not his right.
I really think he is ok. David is a rock. You know you are going to get 15-20 a game from him no matter who is on the court with him. I think Monty is just letting him rest and rehab it fully, knowing he is a professional and a vet. Better to get a good look at Pops and Smith to figure out their story, than have David out there to help try and win meaningless games.
I'm not worrying about players struggling in areas where they are normally very good. You don't fluke your way to the kind games Thornton had. Consistancy is an issue, but it often is in the younger players. Only way out is with minutes. The Bayou Bulldog'll be just fine. I really hope Pops can do this a couple dozen more times going forward. We need play like that. I say let 'em start next game and see what he's got.
NBA.com has already thrown up a 'cause for concern' article with the Hornets being one of the teams mentioned. Dogs.
Sekou Smith's blog is what I was aiming for with mine, but $tern just banned video sharing Nba.com. That focker. Anyway, we got clobbered by the Magic in their shiny new stadium. What did you expect the man to write?
To tell you the truth JCS, I didn't even read it. I saw the words Hornets and cause for concern and that was all I needed to see. LOL. I guess I'm just tired of this team being under the biggest sports microscope in the world is all. Nobody is expecting the Hornets to do anything or to go anywhere. They're expecting Phoenix to at least make the playoffs. Did he mention anything about them being 1-5 and getting smoked by the Raptors?
Start Marcus for the remaining preseason games and see what happens! Why not?? Also, ESPN reports that the Hornets have waived Shakur and Watkins today. The roster stands at 16. Alexander, you're next. Peace.
Yeah, let him start for the remaining 2 games. It's not like it's going to mess up any chemistry. The starting 5 haven't been in tact all preseason. West has been out, Emeka didn't play the last 2 games and before the Grizzlie game, Paul was sitting out 4th quarters. Players that we're seeing in the 4th quarters right now won't be what we'll be seeing in the regular season.
It's interesting to see peoples opinion change on Pops, just after one game. I for one hope he makes the team and we dump someone else, but let's just a do a poll. How about something like the following: - Let's keep Pops at Power Forward/Center and cut Joe Alexander - Move Pointdexter down to the D-League, trade Aaron Gray, and cut Joe Alexander - Other
I have been consistently saying Pops has the ability to make the team. I have seen him dominate games like that for many years including his time at Houston and Raptors. There are concerns as he doesn't have an all round game but I think he is ideal to come off the bench, bang a few boards and get the crowd going with few put backs and dunks. Pops for a roster spot.
I will co-sign your suggestions. Joe is gone, I don't even think a game like Pop's last night will fix what he has broken. I am hesitant to move Q to the D-league, but if the staff knows he isn't going to get minutes until Peja is traded or gets hurt, then I think playing competitive ball night in and out would be better than him being practice fodder and getting pine burn. If Mbenga can produce the rebounds and defense that Gray does, and we can find a taker then I would not shed a tear over losing Gray. I'm still mad that he lost the weight and killed my nickname The Incredible Bulk. I almost think we should sign and shift DJ to the D-league as well in case of injury, or to increase flexibility in trades. That would help us not have to worry about needing a guard back if we choose to trade Green, Marcus, Belli as part of any trades this season. That is, if the staff has liked his work. God I wish I could see these games to form an actual opinion of the unknown players.
@rm I've read your previous comments, so I know how you feel about Pops. Furthermore, it's refreshing to see everything you said about him finally come true. I hope he makes the team.
i think that we should just try buckets in the starting lineup and see if it makes a difference...NO BRAINER
I'm all for playing around the with rotation, but Marcus' play can't depend on which minute he enters the game. No one's can. He has to be a pro about this. Each player has something to give (awww), and Monty not taking full advantage of their contributions will make him Cleveland's next coach, or maybe Denver's. He's got an incentive to use Marcus. The dude is cheap and will be cheap for a while. That also, however, buys him a little time, as does the increased production of his teammates. As an educator I know growth doesn't always follow an upward trajectory. There are reverses, setbacks, and adjustments all the time. The good ones pull through. If you believe he's a good one, you have to believe he'll rise to Monty's challenge and then he'll be even better than we remember, which is probably better than he really was. I'm not buying the second round selection excuse, as GM's being (possibly, to a degree) wrong about you doesn't make you worse or less mature. I posted this bit in another thread, but I'm pasting it here since it was buried in a buckshot comment. Basically, of anyone on the team, Thornton has undergone the most rapid and intense series of changes. In fact, he may have endured more change than anyone in the NBA this year. As for as Thornton goes, this dude went from LSU to the Hornets with CP3, to without, to with, to without, to a new coach . . . from the bench, to starting, to the bench . . . from score score score to `points donâ€™t count unless you get a stopâ€™. The little dudeâ€™s head and heart have to be screaming at the changes. Heâ€™ll get right. Whether heâ€™ll stay with us remains to be seen, but heâ€™ll get right. I donâ€™t see him leaving unless itâ€™s as part of a deal that is a CP3-keeping-type move, as opposed to a I-wonder-how-Jason-Smith-is-doing-I-think-Iâ€™ll-trade-for-him-and-see-type move. Don't forget the GM change and ownership situation. Poor little dude.
I want to start out by saying I don't post a lot of comments on here but I absolutely enjoy reading the passionate and educated responses our fans leave on here! Job well done!!! Now, on the MT5 front. I'm not an LSU fan, so I have no bias towards MT5. Plain and simple, the man is struggling something fierce!! Whether he's pressing, lack of summer league, or sophomore jitters, he's just not feeling it right now. I agree, no time to panic! But, with that said, going into this offseason he was already expected to do so much from a fans perspective due to a small exhibition of his skills from last season! Was it more than expected from a 2nd rounder? I think so, but I was always under the impression it would be about year 3 or 4 before he really settled in and was comfortable with the type of player/scorer he'd become!!! His ball handling, shot selection, court vision, and defense all seemed a little below average to me. Maybe I'm a moron, but I don't claim to be a coach or talent advisor either! I do like his willingness to take it to the basket and I believe he can be a good rebounder as an undersized guard! Would like to see an increase in his free throw percentage especially with hiss aggressiveness to take it to the basket and look for contact! If he plays less minutes this year so be it! He's a rookie again with the new regime and he will probably be evaluated as so. I'm just hoping for a healthy season with signs of growth and progress for all of our players.
'gobluefan4223' ... you mentioned the 'passion and educated responses' on this forum ... I was going to mention that too. No disrespect to Nola.com's forum, but I had to stop posting there. Very immature and I'm glad Hornet247.com exists. That 3-4 year assessment on Marcus Thornton is realistic. I mean could we really see him starting this year ... when he still has a lot of things to work on. He is comparable to Ben Gordon when he is on his game, but more like Baron Davis when he is erratic and off. If you haven't been watching Baron Davis a lot these days he takes bad shots and makes bad decisions more often than ever before in his career. He is a shell of what he use to be. Nevertheless, if you've been watching Marcus lately this is who he'd remind you of. He needs to be more like Ben Gordon. It doesn't matter if Ben starts or not ... he is still effective as Ben Gordon ... a true 6th-man has that pedigree! Marcus, we're pulling for you .. let's get it going baby! THE TEAM NEEDS YOU! L_Reazy
Why don't we just start him? He gets to play with Chris, it'll probably boost up his confidence, and I don't think Marco's defense is any better than Marcus's from what I've seen. Marco also seems to be able to play well without a real PG in play so why not try Marco coming off the bench and have the offense run through Marco and whatever starter we leave in with him. Or at least give it a shot in the preseason.
the nba isnt about being fair if marco is playing better now he might be better help coming off bench to stabalize our second unit and changing the scenary for marcus might get him back on track. same thing in baseball when someone is struggling you put him up in the order to get protection so they see better pitches, so put marcus in starting lineup so he doesnt get all the defensive focus when he is in there
I think you are right in that we'll see a punctuated shift his his performance at some point, and he certainly needs a `quickening'. Starting him would almost certainly catalyze it, but it may also tie it to starting, yeah? The real reward may lie in waiting for a Pops-at-Memphis game from him. With Pops, we really don't know if `it' will stick (certainly we won't be flirting with a 20-10 just due to minutes most nights), but with Marcus we know it will. Everyone is pulling for the little dude. He knows that. He's good people. His momma raised him right, and we have accounts from folks that confirm this (e.g. him taking time to meet the folks in 120, http://www.hornets247.com/journals/2010/04/12/thornton-not-just-a-thunderous-player/). I may be wrong, but I am totally not worried about this. Remember, Monty's calling card was player development, right? I'm going to trust him until I have some pretty good proof that I shouldn't. Oh, yeah, Marcus and Earl Smith . . . the similarities stop with the talent and rotation. Earl had to watched and his parents knew it. He was nothing but trouble, really. Marcus take his camera time to brag on his mom's cornbread. It is not even a fight when it comes to character. Earl wouldn't make the weigh-in.
I don't think it is like that, nor do I think Marco would take it that way. I think these professional players know that the preseason is about the Coaches evaluating the players and how each piece works with others. This is why I could care less about the end result of every game. I just want to see the coaches trying all sorts of things, and then start to settle one their rotations. If they would like to try Marcus with CP3 in the backcourt they need to try it now. We only have 2 more preseason games. I would rather have seen them try it out against Memphis and Charlotte, and then do a full dress rehearsal against OKC before the regular season opener, but that ship has sailed. For me such a move would be all about evaluating Marcus' play with the CP3 Factorial in effect, and Marco's without. We sort of know Marco will be ok, as he has done well next to Green this preseason. More importantly it would be a move to try and jump-start Marcus' confidence again. If he were to put up one game near 20pts I think he would be fine, and the yipps would be gone. It is preseason, it doesn't matter, give it a shot.
Great article 'Michael', and I think the familiar story you were referring to was the JR Smith Saga. Yeah, Marcus Thornton should have solved this issue by now. I've been saying throughout preseason that this is the real Marcus Thornton, who by the way, wouldn't be the first talented player to struggle after a year of success. This happens all the time, but it doesn't mean he isn't a good player. He just isn't consistent! That's all ... point blank. I get critized on different forums anytime I criticize MT5, but I just believe championship caliber teams must play the consistent players more minutes than those who are talented or atheletic, or something like that. Hell of a game from Pops, and I know 'rm' will be all over this one. I'm estatic that Pops has pulled together three straight productive games. I stand corrected ... he will make the team. I'm a little disappointed that Jason Smith fouled out so quick in 17 minutes. However, he will only average 15 minutes per game anyway, and if he and David West both get into foul trouble Pops has started to prove that he can handle atleast 10 minutes per game if needed. I'm still on the fence about Aaron Gray. Tonight just seemed too much like fools gold for him. He obviously isn't and will never be one of our most consistent players from any standpoint. If he could just get 8 rebounds per night, nothing else, then I'd cut him some slack. L_Reazy
I am pleased that you have seen the Pops that I have always seen. I agree we need to see consistency but give him the minutes and he will repay. I have to respond to some of the posts below as I don't know what people are looking for. He had a slow nervous start to pre season but has shown what he can deliver. You have to remember that he is playing for his life every day and the pressure of not having a guaranteed contract must be tough. But still under all that pressure he is delivering.
I think Gray and Pops numbers tonight were because of what I shall call, The CP3 Factorial. You take a guys normal production, then compute The CP3 Factorial when they get majority of their minutes with CP3 at the point, and the resulting numbers make the player look like a stud. LOL I hope they can carry this kind of production to their non-CP3 at point play. Time will tell.
I too am glad to see Pops figuring it out. I think he definitely has put himself ahead of Alexander for the 15th spot. Has he moved ahead of the DJ's for 13 or 14, not just yet. Maybe one more game and I would move him there, because I like consistency as well. The thing that I think we all need to get away from is this, "...and playing next to CP3 should elevate playerX's game." It sounds good, but in all reality, the players who we say this about the most are the guys who will only see limited minutes with CP3 on the court during their playing time. I think this may be why we are not seeing Marcus playing next to CP3. (if the conspiracy theory of him being limited due to a pending trade are off base that is.) The role they were discussing is Buckets being the engine for the second squad. Thus he has to be able to function without the help of CP3 and his superior "for others" playmaking skills. I just hope that Smith and Pops big night last night were not because of the CP3 effect, and more about them figuring out their own game. We shall see, once West comes back and they have to play with an inferior to CP3 PG. Until then, it is nice they are getting some confidence by playing well in West's absence. I would like to see Marcus get some of that confidence juice dispensed from the CP3 fountain, but I would rather see him do it without CP3's help.
I really do believe he is going to be safe, barring an implosion in the next two games. But he has been showing more and more each of the last 3 games, and as I said, we need rebounding more than anything except defense. So I do look forward to your continued comments and contributions.
@TopherPrice I apologise for getting heated. I am totally naive to the commercial aspects of the NBA so thanks for the excellent explanation. I also have watched CP3 play but have not been paying as much attention as this preseason. I am not doubting his quality and I totally understand that he makes things happen and makes people look good. Apologies again and lets hope I am still contributing on this site (in a more chilled manner) throughout the season as that will mean Pops is on the roster and getting game time.
RM... Simmer down. Let me get this out of the way so you will settle down over the 15th roster spot I have him in right now. Player (why he is on the team) 1. CP3 (He is Chris Freaking Paul) 2. David West (He is David Freaking West) 3. Emeka Okafor (You couldn't get rid of him if you wanted to) 4. Trevor Ariza (Guaranteed for 3 more years +just got him) 5. Marcus Thornton ($700,000 for a 20ppg guy from allstar break last year) 6. Quincy Pondexter (1st rounder this year) 7. Willie Green (You owe him $3.98 million) 8. Peja (You owe him $15 million) 9. Marco (just traded for him on guaranteed deal +starter) 10. Jason Smith (guaranteed contract) 11. Aaron Gray (guaranteed contract for 2 more years) 12. Curtis Jerrels (just traded for him for primary backup PG) 13. Mbenga (just signed for a reason, possibly guaranteed as well. 14. DJ Strawberry (because he is a guard and the hornets seem to be hoarding guards) 15. POPS (because he is starting to show he wants the spot and the coaches are giving him time to prove himself.) Now, other than 12, 13, 14 all are guaranteed contracts so there are only 4 maybe only 2 spots that are not taken. If Jerrells and Mbenga were guaranteed, then that gives Pops the ability to be the 14 or 15 roster spot. It has nothing to do with his skill, or if he is better than any other player on the team, personal bias, desire to piss you off by insulting your personal opinion of his talent... It is just economics and math. They are not going to pay, say Aaron Gray $2 million to cut him, in order to make a roster spot available for Pops. He would have to have posted last nights numbers every game this preseason to warrant that kind of move. As to CP3 and his effect on others play. Welcome to being a Hornets fan, I am guessing that you have watched less than a dozen games with Chris Paul at the helm. He makes everyone around him better. That is why he is a top 5 player in the NBA. I don't have access to the advanced stats I would need to prove my point, but if you listened to the game last night you would know, that around half of Pops FG's were assisted by CP3, if not more, not to mention that a couple of his trips to the stripe were when he was hacked on a Chris Paul feed. So that means that approximately 8-12 of his points can be attributed to Chris Paul being on the floor with him. This doesn't mean that Pops can't produce nice numbers without CP3. I hope he can. We NEED rebounding! Rebounding with the ability to score on the rebounds would be VERY NICE! Rebounding has nothing to do with CP3, and is why Pops is earning a spot. But to think that playing quite a few minutes with CP3 tossing Alley-oops to Pops last night didn't effect the young man's confidence is a bit naive. He has that affect on guys, thus why people are discussing Marcus getting time next to CP3 in the hope that it will jump start his game. My hope is Pops continues to produce without him on the court, because the reality is that Pops will play a majority of his minutes when CP3 is resting if he helps back up West. So he can't be one of the players we have seen come through the ranks of this team that play well when CP3 is in the game and then drop off severely when he hits the bench. Just so you know, my main concern about Pops has nothing to do with his scoring or rebounding. It was always about his quick fouling and getting pulled from the games quickly. As we can't watch the games, I can't see if his fouls are silly "making up for bad defense " fouls, pre-season officials harping fouls (like what plagued Jason Smith last night), or just good fouls that happen in the course of a game. I have to reserve judgment on his play until I can say that I have watched the man play some considerable minutes. I will not pronounce a guy as garbage because of a few bad games, nor call him the second coming because he puts up a video game box score like Pops did last night. Pops has been making a very nice showing the 2 games leading into last nights display. That is why my opinion has shifted. I hope you have a better understanding of my personal take on the roster now, and Pops for that matter. In the future, relax and take a deep breath before you call someone crazy. ;)
This is not the CP3 factor (15th! you are crazy). As you may have guessed I am a Pops fan but haven't been watching Hornets until this year. I know you must see CP3 as some demi god but I can't believe that you put this performance down to CP3. Firstly Pops will rebound like that for you every night. Give him 15 minutes he'll get half a dozen every night. secondly, he has produced games like you saw yesterday everytime he gets minutes. Look at his time at Houston, Spurs and Raptors plus not to mention his stats for GB. Some of the comments on this forum I have to bow down to as there is alot more basketball knowledge than I have however when I saw you believe that he now just gets the 15 spot that must be based on ignorance or pure bias. I hope that he makes the team to prove many of you doubters wrong. Yes he is not complete but he will always give you defence and can always produce those moments on offence that just raises the team. I would like to see Smith at C and Pops as back PF however I suppose I have to be realistic. PG - CP3, +1 other (not seen the knew guy) SG - Marco, Green, Marcus SF - Peja , Pondexter PF, Green, Smith(Cover Okafor), POPS!!! (Cover PF & C) C, Okafor (Why I don't know but I put it down to my ignorance), Gray (Again don't know why, maybe he had a good year last year)
not willing to call it figure out by now. its been a week and its obvious he is pressing to try and impress wait for the regular season when things actually matter....CHILLLLL just chill He was a consistent scorer in college for 4 years and last year . he will be fine
obviously he is there to be a spark thats why we have his as the 6th man. can u tell me how many points jamal crawford and jason terry average? pretty sure thats exactly who we wants thorton to be maybe with a little more rim attacking
We all want Buckets to succeed and play at the level + more he did from the 2nd half of last season, but we also have to be honest that he won't be some 20 point threat every night unless he like anyone else in the NBA develops his game. His there to be a spark to the offense IMO, the offense will never run through him, but that is fine because his shown his got enough offensive tools to create his own shots and score. I would really like to see him improve his 3-pt shooting and shot selection. Last year he mostly took it to the rack or took long range shots, which are the most efficient scoring options which was great, but if he was an even better 3-pt shooter and made smarter plays he'd be even better. A lot of people hate on Redick of Orlando, but look at how that guy who had less athleticism and offensive weapons than Marcus turned himself into a roster worthy NBA player. Same height 6-4, same label as a poor defensively when he came into the league, but Marcus has way more tools than Redick, he just needs to use his smarts and work on his strength and defense.