The Hornets beat the Spurs

Published: October 30, 2010

Three. And. Oh.  Before the season started, I was hoping for 2-1.  I was expecting 1-2.  I’m having trouble containing myself.  This team has shown depth, resiliency, and the ability to get defensive stops when absolutely necessary for the first time in two seasons.  Tonight the Hornets built a sixteen point lead and then held off a late rally by the Spurs, including a crushing double cross-over by Paul to seal the win.  The final score 99-90, Hornets.(Box Score)

The Spurs did their usual strategy to try and beat the Hornets(or Suns) – stay home on the wings and make the point guard unable to generate easy open looks for his teammates.  It didn’t work out this time as the Hornets were able to find other scoring opportunities, and their defense was good enough for several long stretches that the team pulled out the wind.

Marcus Thornton

After two games as the fifth guard off the bench, coming in after Bayless and Willie Green, Thornton stepped into his sixth man role with the team.  He immediately proceeded to be the Thornton we watched last year, firing continuously and without conscience and carrying the second units offense.  He did struggle mightily containing Ginobili, but so did Ariza, Green and anyone else who ever guards him.  17 points and 7 rebounds for Thornton in 30 minutes off the bench.

Honestly, it was a joy to watch.

Chris Paul

Chris started the game missing his first four shots.  he then went 8-11 for the rest of the game and ended with 25 points, including the previously mentioned vicious double crossover on George Hill that sealed the game.  As usual, he was masterful, breaking down the defense, and generally getting to the basket with little trouble.  The past three games have been a wonderful reminder of everything Chris Paul brings to the table, and how little he takes away.

Other Observations

  • Jason Smith has been pretty bad.  Too many long mid-range jumpers that result in too many misses.  I know he’s supposed to provide spacing, but his shot is off way too much for me to ever be comfortable with that shot.
  • I still like Willie Green.  He’s energetic defensively, he rarely makes mistakes, and while he’s not much of a creator, he usually takes solid shots and hits them at a decent rate.
  • The past two games West has been showing on picks, hustling to get back on his man, and actually helping out on penetration.  Couple that with his usual versatile offense, and he’s been a major reason for this season’s hot start.  He also had an endearing moment at the end of the game when he was shadow boxing with Marcus Thornton after Thornton ripped the rebound away from him and wouldn’t hand it over.
  • Ariza is good defensively.  His offense makes me cringe as often as it makes me smile.  I can live with that, though.
  • Bayless is a Turnover Machine.  He almost never makes me smile.
  • Belinelli played short minutes tonight in favor of Thornton.  After the first game, he hasn’t scored efficiently, and until he starts generating and making open shots, I think that should be the status quo.
  • Peja didn’t play a single minute.  I completely fail to drum up any outrage about this.
  • Some will be worried about how the Hornets keep losing big leads.  The NBA is a game of runs.  The fact the Hornets are generating huge leads is a good thing, not something to worry about because they don’t remain big leads.

Have a good night.


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