The Thunder beat the Hornets

Published: October 21, 2010

The Hornets completed their pre-season with an 86-101 loss(Box Score) to the Thunder in Oklahoma City tonight, bumping their record to 1-7 in meaningless games.  Now the team goes home and gets most of a week to prepare for its first real opponent of the season, the not-to-be-taken-lightly Milwaukee Bucks.

There have been a few things of interest tonight, despite no minutes for Okafor or Paul.  One is that Fluffy can still score at a decent clip,(He had 24 on 17 shots) but he still doesn’t rebound much, snagging 4 rebounds in 29 minutes.  Wait, I’m not sure why this is news, West is always consistent.

The other thing from tonight: Buckets is breaking my heart.

Marcus Thornton

1/10 shooting for Buckets.  He tried to make up for it by drawing five free throws.  He hit one.  An 80% shooter last year, and he hits one.  I don’t even know what to say at this point.  He’s got to get past whatever mental block he’s fighting with right now.  Sure, he’s not getting easy baskets on leak-outs and cuts to the hoop, but 1 of 10?  Without a single three point attempt?  That’s not Buckets.  His first play of the game was a turnover.  His second was being blocked by BJ Mullens, who didn’t even average a block per game in the D-League last year. Then he had an illegal defense call against him.  It’s all Mental.

Jason Smith

Every recap I write, I mention Jason.  At this point, I’d have traded Songaila and Brackins(shooting 34% and 11% by the way) for Jason Smith straight up, much less with the inclusion of Willie Green as a serviceable backup guard.  In 22 minutes of play, he got 6 rebounds, 3 offensive, a steal, a block, and 12 points on 7 shots.  If he keeps up those numbers, he’ll be probably the best backup big man the Hornets have had since Magloire backed up Campbell.  Maybe Anderson behind PJ Brown.  Let’s hope it keeps up during the actual season.   I’d nickname him “the Hustler” if there weren’t some yucky negative connotations to that.

Other Observations

  • Mbenga had a nice line with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks in 22 minutes in Okafor’s absence.  At one point, he was projecting to average 18 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks in only 36 minutes.  Look out Okafor!  This can’t be a fluke, right?
  • Quincy Pondexter did next to nothing through most of the game, and then got a flurry of garbage scoring when everything was said and done at the end.  Through his first 17 minutes he had 3 rebounds and 2 points, so don’t get too excited by the 10 and 4 he ended with.
  • Willie Green got 6 assists!  Then, he shot 4-11 for 8 points.  There’s a reason he’s a backup.
  • Curtis Jerrells got a cold welcome to his first start as a Hornet, getting the joy of facing the defensive dervish known as Russell Westbrook.  Predictably, Jerrells struggled, going 2-8 from the field and missing all four three pointers.  He had 4 assists and 2 steals, but also had 4 turnovers.  It wasn’t pretty.
  • Belinelli is either really on, or really off.  Tonight, he was really off. 0-5 from the field in 20 minutes.  I guess that tells us why he was available for Julian Wright.  I think it’s pretty clear that he does need a point guard in there to generate clean looks, because he will take bad shots if they aren’t clean.
  • Ariza apparently played 21 minutes.  The Boxscore wonders where he was.  1 missed shot, 1/2 free throws, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 foul.  So essentially, every 4 minutes he did something.
  • Everyone played, though Joe Alexander was the last to enter the game.  Does that mean he’s gone?  I’ve given up reading any sort of meaning into their minutes.

So that’s it.  The pre-season is over and we have been left with a ton of questions about almost everyone!  Of course, we’ll be talking about those issues over the next few days, and we have some other stuff coming up that we’re pretty excited about over the next few days.  Keep your eyes peeled.

Figuratively.  ‘Cause really peeling your eyes would be pretty gross.


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