Hornets Get Redemption, Beat the Mavs

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Published: November 17, 2010

The Hornets avenged their only loss of the season, taking down the Mavs 99-97 behind Marco Belinelli’s strong defense. For the second time in three nights, the Mavs took advantage of a notably slow Hornets start to take a 12-2 lead, but the Hornets would battle back in the second half. The Hornets passed their first real test of the year, but it wasn’t a great win. The team had problems and just like Monday, it could have gone either way.

Dirk got into foul trouble early in the first quarter, and wound up sitting the rest of it, but the Hornets didn’t take advantage. Kidd was all over the place, scoring 9 points on only 4 shots, dishing out 4 assists, and snagging a couple rebounds. The Hornets would wind up switching Marco Belinelli onto him shortly after, and the results were drastically different. Kidd wouldn’t make a field goal while covered by Belinelli, or the rest of the game.

The Willie Green Show

Willie Green single handedly kept the Hornets within striking distance in the second quarter when Paul was off the floor, knocking down jumpers, running the floor, and playing tight defense. At the time, Michael said to me that if the Hornets were to win this game it would be because Willie Green kept them in it, and I agree. He was huge, as he has been all season. When Paul came back in he missed a couple layups in transition, but the idea was nice. His aggression and defensive attitude will continue to earn him minutes.

Jerryd Bayless on the other hand seemed to be trying to let it slip away. His second quarter was one to forget. Although he was credited with two assists and a rebound, he went 0-3 from the floor and was less than adequate defensively. His decision making on the break was absolutely terrible. Both times he elected to keep it himself, even when he was clearly in trouble. If you don’t give it up to your teammates for what should be easy buckets, then when are you going to? He’s just not a real point guard at this moment, and until he/Monty realizes that, he will probably continue to struggle. He came back in in the fourth quarter, and was largely irrelevant. His defense, while passable, hardly qualifies him to continue seeing so much time.

With six minutes left in the second quarter the Mavs went to a zone defense, briefly with Haywood and then with Chandler. Again the Hornets had a hard time finding open looks before the shot clock wound down. It’s going to be interesting to see if other teams can successfully utilize the zone defense against the Hornets going forward. So far it seems to be working.

Pops was on the floor for about 12 seconds before picking up an entirely unnecessary foul (30 feet from the basket) with 16 seconds left in the first half. The Hornets were in the penalty at the time, giving Dirk two totally undeserved free throws. I know rm is going to hate me for this, but that was just an awful play. Monty too him out immediately afterward, and he wouldn’t get a chance to redeem himself, either.

The halftime score was 52-42, and shortly after the buzzer sounded the halftime show (3 dogs) came onto the floor. To quote Michael, “I thought they were bringing them out to take a dump on the court, but no, the Hornets already took care of that in the first half”. The dogs probably missed a higher percentage of Frisbees than the Hornets did shots. Nothing against Frisbee catching dogs, but shouldn’t they actually catch the Frisbees?

David West came out with some intensity after a poor first half, and after hitting his first shot gave an enthusiastic fist pump. He’s not one to take getting whooped on lightly, and clearly wanted redemption. The problem was, he didn’t do it within the flow of the offense. When he got the ball he had one thing in mind- scoring, and that wasn’t working. Tyson is a very tough match for him, and really changes the way these two teams play each other. In the past the Mavs haven’t had anyone who could really check him, but now it’s a different story.

Here’s an example of how smart Chris Paul is, specifically the way that he works the refs. After a couple questionable calls against the Hornets, he just ran down the floor and just made contact with a Mavs player. Of course the refs gave him an easy call, since they had been so generous to the Mavs on the other end. There’s no doubt he knew what he was doing.

Paul continued to set the tone both on offense and defense, getting fired up and causing havoc all over the place. It got LOUD right away. The energy changed and all of a sudden the Hornets were on the attack.

A few seconds later Ariza made a great play to keep a ball from going out of bounds, resulting in a Hornets possession. In the process, though, he barreled into Gary Chouest’s wife. Perhaps because of who it was, he quickly apologized and made sure she was OK before getting back into the play. After Chris Paul drove to the hole and got an and-1 a few seconds later, the crowd was wild.  This contest was talked about as a playoff type game beforehand, and midway through the third quarter it started to feel that way. Dirk was getting booed loudly each time he entered, and the crowd was generally fired up. Aside from the Heat game, this was the best crowd of the year for the Hornets.

Behind a ridiculous Trevor Ariza alley-oop, a thunderous Emeka Okafor slam (no, I’m serious), and a long Ariza three pointer, the Hornets built their lead to 10. The Mavs would continue to battle keeping the lead in the single digits throughout the rest of the quarter behind a strong performance by Dirk (who re-entered with four fouls). At the end of three, the Hornets led 75-69, and the teams were primed for another fourth quarter battle.

The Hornets had no answer for Dirk early in the fourth, and with all of their shots rimming out the Mavs quickly cut the lead to one. Jason Smith was not the answer on defense. Ugly, ugly ugly. Not sure what else to say about that. Of the first eleven points the Mavs scored in the fourth quarter, Jason’s man was responsible for eight of them.

Fortunately David West got under Dirk’s skin, and drew the fifth foul from dirk with nine minutes to go in the fourth. He left for only two minutes, and wound up coming back in, but he was noticeably less aggressive on defense.

Again, Willie Green took it upon himself to be the Hornets offense with Chris Paul off the floor, creating where nothing was, and just being generally awesome. Have I mentioned how he might be my new favorite player?

Back to West- He didn’t play well again tonight, but is there anyone in the league who Dirk hates as much as him? Their feud goes back to the playoff series in 07-08, but there continues to be no love lost between the two star power forwards. I don’t blame West at all, Dirk is a… well… a Dirk minus the “r”.

The game would continue to go back and forth, with both teams focusing on defense. Marco played a strange role, effectively switching onto Dirk and shutting him down. He boxed him for rebounds, and truly wound up being the only guy on the Hornets that handled Dirk. If you had told me before the game that Marco would be deliberately put on Dirk, and it would work, I would have laughed at you. He wound up grabbing a huge rebound with 15 seconds left, and was without a doubt the difference maker in the fourth quarter. In my younger days I would have called you a name, too, but not anymore. Now I just get called the names.

With 1:03 left the Hornets led 97-95, and the team was only three points away from victory (since they don’t allow over 100 to the opposition). Chris Paul missed a floater late in the shot clock, but the Hornets stopped the Mavs on the following possession. After the Belinelli rebound, it was Peja time.

Peja Time

One of the all time best free throw shooter of all time, Peja missed his second shot to leave the margin at three. End Peja time.

The Hornets let Dirk drive the hole for an easy layup, knowing they would still have a one point lead afterward. Trevor Ariza again threw an awful inbound pass with time winding down, this time giving the ball to Dallas instead of to Emeka. With six seconds left, down one, the Mavs went to Dirk, covered by West. West channeled his inner hatred for Dirk, and snagged the rock.

He missed the first free throw and then made the second. Why West makes the second one I will never understand (since the Mavs didn’t have a timeout left), but it worked out in the end. Their desperation heave down the floor wound up in West’s hands and that was that.

Paul finished with 20 points on 12 shots, 11 assists, and only two turnover. What else did you expect?

The MVP of this game in my mind was Marco. He was the best defender on the floor throughout the game. Continue to color me impressed.

The explanation of how “woo” came to be (a caveman trying to start a fire and grunting, then lighting the fire and evolving the grunt in a “woo”) was pretty funny, but sort of ridiculous. It’s pretty much exactly what we expect from the Hornets in game videos. Better than worse in my opinion.

Hugo SHOVED A KID TO THE FLOOR during a round of musical chairs. Hilarious! The little tyke was a bit thrown off, even though he probably expected it. I might be the only one to think this, but I would enjoy it more if Hugo actually won all these contests by cheating.

I won’t be able to stick around for the post game press conference, so that’s that. Have a BEEautiful night!

42 comments
ollie
ollie

ONE NOTE from me How on earth did Tyson and/or Di*k Nowitski not get called for Techs, the whole night they were gesticulating and whinging and screaming. Chris Paul claps his hands in celebration, David West pulls a mean face and Jason Smith does his shoe laces and they all result in technicals. Dont get me wrong Tyson and Dirk shouldnt get techs generally, but with the new BS rule changes I don't see how they didnt

ollie
ollie

Infact at many points I wanted to jump through my screen and run on and slap the crap out of Tyson. I know hes 7 ft and huge and would try to hit back but Id run to a spot he aint capable of hitting from, the free throw line.

LJ
LJ

Am I the only one who thinks Bayless was fouled on at least one, if not both, of those drives? Why the hatred, give the guy a break, he is still acclimating to this team. And a foul is a foul, even if the refs don't call it that way. I was one of the guys hating on this guy when he first joined the team, but I've seen nothing but improvement.

ollie
ollie

i think the hatred is about 9 games too deep to excuse for 2 maybe fouls

thekeymaster
thekeymaster

I can't believe after Monday night that Ariza was the person inbounding the ball again in that situation. I would've thought Monty would've realized he is not the man for the job. But then again he was the worst FT shooter on the floor then I believe besides Emeka who had hit all his FTs last night so maybe that's why he was inbounding the ball, but he has to realize that he has TOs if he can't get the ball in. Next time I would rather have Marco in that position since he's a good passer, or if Peja is on the floor have him do it, since he it seems like he did inbounds a lot in the past. Overall really exciting game to watch, Hornets still weren't clicking on all cylinders like in some of the previous games. It was nice to see the defensive intensity return at half-time, w/o that we would be 0-2 against Dallas. Quick question shouldn't Dirk have been called for a flagrant or tech for that trip on Emeka? I know if it was Mek or West who did that to Dirk they would've been T'd up or ejected all-together. Also the guys need to try attacking the rim more, I believe we only had 16 FT attempts last night, that's just not going to get it done on most nights.

James Online
James Online

Pops grabbing the opponent's jersey from behind for no reason could have cost the game. There is a reason he hasn't been able to stick anywhere, not even with bad teams (Toronto). That was unbelievable. Bayless: Well, he's not a PG. He's a tough little basketball player with a scoring mentality, good athleticism but poor hops, no range on his shot. Notice how many of his shots get swatted. That's because he's so predictable. He can contribute to the team, and already has, but he's not the quality backup PG the team needs (though Willie Green has helped here, so it's not an emergency). Marcus Thornton should not even be in consideration for this role. Quality backup PGs are hard to find.

rm
rm

I can't defend his actions. It was stupid, stupid, stupid!!!! I do think though it was a crazy move by Monty to put him in for 30s left on the clock. No excuse though. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Let's hope it doesn't cost him another shot

ollie
ollie

didnt want west to get a cheap foul?

Mikey
Mikey

Memo To: Mr. Trevor Ariza From: Hornet Nation Re: Inbounding the Basketball in End-of-Game Situations Mr. Ariza, You're fired. Sincerely, All of us

504ever
504ever

Bayless has a lot to work on, but at least both of his back to back missed layups were shot LEFT HANDED, when all he had done previously was go right. To me that is a sign of good coaching and good effort by the player. We just need him to make more lefty layups or PASS when he goes left, too.

rm
rm

Pops is in a horrible place at the moment. Sitting for the last few games he is obviously keen to show his worth and show his hustle. The problem is that this keenness is turning into stupid mistakes. If Monty is not going to let him play through those mistakes that he will destroy his confidence, if it hasn't been destroyed already. This is my worry though with Pops and probably my slow realisation that I believe he has the game for the NBA and should be getting more minutes, but his basketball IQ is being found out at this level. Let's hope not. It is not just Pops that is suffering here though. All the bench except for Green seem to be suffering from a confidence dip. Monty needs to be careful now as the starters aren't going to take the Hornets through the whole season like they are now.

Jib
Jib

I haven't really seen it brought up that much, but wtf is with Bayless? I'm starting to want that draft pick back if he's gonna play like this. Monty's done great but I think he is favoring Bayless since they were together, but I honestly haven't noticed much defense difference in between the two, so put the guy who can actually produce on offense in, especially considering that based on Green's past I have my doubts that he can carry the bench scoring roll every game (although I would love to be wrong on that). Of course this is just speculation so I am more likely wrong in some way, but an understanding would be nice.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

yeppppp now everyone is starting to see it... ive been saying marcus is such a better option

Mark
Mark

I'm a big fan of dogs, and to their defense, the slippery hardwood floor doesn't help much for traction.

42
42

The dogs normally do very well with both the frisbees and the crowd.

winze
winze

Awesome game, streamed the last 2 quarters during lunch hour :) Just want to say NO ONE has scored over 100 points on us yet.

sportnlife
sportnlife

Jerryd Bayless: Way to cut down on those unforced turnovers when you can't properly enter the ball into the post! Just drive the lane from half-court. Coach W has something to prove: that he cares as much about total offensive breakdowns that derail the team momentum as he does about defensive ones. JB just doesn't seem to be getting any of the memos about offensive structure. I thought I remembered hearing that his "familiarity with Monty" would be an asset. I'm starting to miss the good ole days of Willie Green running the point. What about giving Belli some minutes there? J Smith, even? At least he won't be having those layup-attempts-with-a-30-foot-run-up-only-to-miss-badly-at-the-rim that are Bayless's only offensive move. Greg Oden: Out for the season again. Let's put in a $1 bid for him as a restricted FA and see how long Portland thinks about whether to match it, before not. Marcus Thornton: A little more D and you too can be a backup point guard. David West: God gave you a sweet 15-foot jumper for a reason: guys like Tyson Chandler. Use it. Trevor Ariza: Of course Okafor is going to make himself available! It's called "the defense wants you to throw it to him." Jason Terry: Should be required to skid across the floor with one arm extended and the other tucked in to simulate plane crash when team loses on final play. Dirk Nowitzki: You stay classy, Diggler!

Akademik.Hooligan
Akademik.Hooligan

LOL at the swipe at "JET"! Coach Monty will be pleased, with the manner of the ugly win, though he should make all take some free-throw drills. We lost the Monday game because of it, and so nearly threw away this one as well. I love Belinelli's game and he should be the consistent 3rd option on the offence, agree with 42, West should start passing to him out of the post. As improved as Okafor has been this year, I still miss Tyson Chander ;( Bayless is doing nothing on either end to justify his floor time and the shunning of Thornton. Get a real distributor please GM Demps! Dirk looked very p*ssed off when West drew that 5th foul out of him, good times!

Jib
Jib

David West after the game said Dirk tends to just float around defensively and that they need to find a way to make him work on defense. Love their dislike for each other.

TopherPrice
TopherPrice

Did David just call Di_k a fairy?

Jib
Jib

Lol I guess so, maybe we should start calling this matchup Fluffy versus Fairy?

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

I lost the over/under on attendance with Michael. Now I owe him a shot.... I said 15k.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Di_k really pissed off the crowd when he tripped Emeka while laying on the ground, as he thought nobody was looking. What a Di_k. From now on, I want the "r" permanently removed from his name any reference to him on this site. The missed free throws are really killing me. When Belinelli, Paul, West, Bayless, and Peja all shoot under 70% for the game, we are in trouble. Luckily we have Okafor! West only shooting 2 free throws is a freaking disgrace. I'm so sick of other teams coming in here and getting the home team treatment from the refs. Double the points in the paint, half the free throws. What a joke.... Glad we won that game in the third quarter, but don't like the fact that we lost the other 3.....

42
42

Off topic: Tommy T is screaming "box" over and over like the monosyllabic jar head he is, the defensive genius with the powerhouse team who is not the the top 10 in defense, as he watches his lead over the Spurs vanish like the hair on his scalp. I'd pay money to see him grunt and huff and try to `talk good' . . . oh wait, I already did . . . Less than 5 minutes and the 10 point lead is gone. And now they are losing by 4, under 6 minutes. Box! Box! Good thing they don't play in a division. And I hate Dallas, everything about them, except Tyson.

42
42

Lost the Quarter 37-12 . . . defensive genius . . . Eat my Full Monty, moron! Box (score)!

thechosenuno
thechosenuno

So pissed I had to miss the game. Of all of the good things you wrote about, the two things I'm more impressed/excited with (other than the win): Marco's D, and Emeka FINALLY getting aggressive and slamming the hell out of the ball. Let's talk about how we get no respect around the NBA. Am watching the Spurs game, and at halftime they have a list of "notable games around the league." Did the Hornets/Mavs game make the list? Of course not. We barely got a 2 second clip later in the halftime show as they went around the league. I guess the best record doesn't mean anything to ESPN!

42
42

What makes you the best has nothing to do with wins or performance; it's about preseason predictions and clinging to them bravely and fiercely in the cold wind of reality and the stinging rain of facts.

cadillacjacques
cadillacjacques

Yea man its just like last year with the Saints. Sooner or later they have to respect us. Before you know it everyone will be on the Hornets nuts.

42
42

nuts, indeed.

James Online
James Online

Joe, I know you thought Marco would have a breakout season with the Hornets and you were right. I've watched him since the beginning here in the San Francisco Bay Area and was disappointed that he was never given an opportunity to develop. Toronto was not the right fit. NOLA is it. Marco's defense has always been good. In his second year at Golden State, just before he got hurt and was out for several weeks with a bad ankle, he covered Kobe Bryant in a game here that had Kobe completely flustered. After the game, Kobe came over to him and congratulated him for his defense. The defensive scheme Monty is using works to everyone's advantage. And with Marco and Trevor now the Hornets have athletes with defensive desire, intensity, and skill. Offensively, of course, Marco is brilliant. I mentioned in a post to your blog on the last game's thread that he can't be playing 22 minutes, get six shots, and be effective. Tonight's time distribution was much better and the results show it. He was great down the stretch at both ends of the court. Yes, I'm a huge Marco Belinelli fan, have been from the beginning. I'm very happy with the way things are going for him and the Hornets. And those two facts are related. One question: Check the videos for the year (just kidding). Has David West passed out of the post even once to Marco this year? I don't think so. I have the feeling he's shutting him out. Hope I'm wrong, but keep an eye on that. Fantastic win tonight, but a disappointingly small crowd. Man, what does it take to pack that place? You couldn't ask for better effort and results on the floor.

downtowndave
downtowndave

I am not sure if West is shutting him out, but I have been noticing the same thing these past games. West with a wide open Marco behind the arch, and West has constantly passed on him...often taking on a much more difficult option. WHY?

James Online
James Online

Glad others have noticed the same thing. I realize West only passes out of the post when he can't get off his own shot, but the ball either goes to Paul or Trevor, never to Marco, even when Marco is the best option. I've also noticed that when Marco tries to give him five for something West has done well, West makes no eye contact and doesn't raise his hand. Compare that behavior with the fun-loving punches to the stomach he gave Marcus Thornton when Marcus had his best game. Maybe that's it. Friendship over winnning. Hope not.

Jib
Jib

I doubt West ever has, but then again he never really tends to pass out of the post, and if he does it is usually to Paul who usually gives it to him there.

42
42

It takes football, God's favorite sport, to end. High school, college, and pro. Go buy a ticket if you want to help (you can't, I know), or drum of some facts we can work over as a community to help us figure something out for the Hornets marketing folks to use. Otherwise, it just comes off as negative. Really, though, if it was easy, the Hornets would do what it took to get the place packed. I'm actually working on some stuff (I'm saying that a lot lately, I know) that speaks to this.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

@joe- no mention of me predicting the exact score before the game in the game on section?

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

Props! Sorry, my internet was flaky the entire game.

Schmide234
Schmide234

great review and i completely agree. Belenelli also made two huge three pointers from deep which were momentum changers. CP3 was of course just ridiculous.

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