The Hornets beat the Kings

By:
Published: November 21, 2010

I hope none of you had invited friends over to watch that game in the hope of interesting them in Hornets basketball – because it was as ugly a game as we’d had all year – and we’ve played Milwaukee twice.  Of course, I can’t complain, because they shot 32% for the game and won 75-71(Box Score).  Man, I’m glad they have a solid defense, because otherwise this was ugly.

The Hornets ended up relying on their defense for points, getting fast break scoring off of anticipation, steals, fast hands, and generally fighting hard all game.  Then, after having kept in reach all game, the executed just enough on the offensive end to seal the deal.

I’m not sure what it was.  Maybe it was fallout from the trade.  Maybe these players don’t mix with an early starting game – the Hornets have been terrible in recent memory in early afternoon games.  It doesn’t matter, good teams find ways to win.

David West

West was brutal all the first half, unleashing every move he had and missing every shot.  Part of it was him being bothered by Dalembert, but he also blew some shots that he usually makes.  Despite his struggles, he was still working hard in the fourth, showing hard on screens and getting back to his man.  Landry simply couldn’t get anything going on him.  Then, of course, came the final plays of the game.

For the fifth time in the last two seasons, West showed just how smart a player he is, anticipating the guard and stripping him on their last real chance to come back.  West does that a lot.  Fast hands.  Great anticipation.  He sandwiched the steal with a pair of 18-footers in the CP3-West two man game that sealed the game.

Trevor Ariza

Ariza was the only player who seemed able to attack and get somthing going.  His drives generally got him good shots or good passes, and he was hitting his threes.  He covered a lot of ground on the defensive end, and made several plays to keep the Hornets within touch of the Kings all game long.  In a knock-down-drag-out game, it was key to get contributions like this from him.

Other Observations

  • Okafor had nothing going for him.  Dalembert(With Donte Greene’s help defense) was snuffing everything he put up, yet the Hornets kept going back to him.  It was a bit cruel.
  • Was anyone else befuddled when Ariza hit that three to end the first half and the Hornets were tied?  I couldn’t remember anyone but Jason Smith making shots.  Where did those points come from?
  • Speaking of Jason – his little six-point burst in the first half was huge, keeping the Hornets in it.  He also kept chasing down offensive rebounds and brought his usual great energy.  It was nice to have something off that bench.
  • Take Smith away, and the bench shot 3-15 with 6 turnovers.  Of course, a lot of that was Willie Green, who couldn’t get free and finished with his second game of the year shooting 1-9.
  • Paul struggled with his shot, finishing with 9 points on 2-12 shooting, 7 boards, 14 assists, and 5 steals.  He wasn’t really attacking, and I can only remember him weaving into the paint once the entire game.  I feel like I missed something there.  Was the Kings defense good on him – or was he just somewhat passive?
  • Marcus Thornton got some burn, but didn’t get much going in his limited minutes.  Part of that was Willie calling his own number over and over though.
  • Marco didn’t do anything fantastic in that game, but his defense made me smile.  He kept making Evans rush his shots and even when beaten made him go faster than he wanted by pressuring him from behind.

11-1.  Clippers tomorrow night.  Let’s hope we see more energy.

18 comments
504ever
504ever

Anyone not think we will miss Peja's bench scoring now? Yes Jarrett Jack is more of a shoot first point guard, but that isn't what we need on the 2nd team. We already have one.

rm
rm

I foolishly stayed up to watch the match. It is only the third I have seen end to end this season so aren't really well qualified to comment however one thing I really noticed is that Hornets were dominated down low. All SAC bigs were more physical and out muscled any hornets big. I don't know if that was a one off but with the calls for a good backup big I guess that it wasn't. David Andersen is not the answer. He is Smith but a little older and less hungry. Even though I am a fan of Pops I also am not stupid enough to believe that he is the only answer. Hornets need a physical big man who can start to dominate the paint. There was no option yesterday to go inside and with such a bad shooting game it nearly cost the game. Without SAC's turnovers the story could have been different. With regards to Pops he will always be a 3rd string but he could be used better in a running game as his transition game is better than many of the current bigs.It is a shame that hornets are not playing a fast running game. He has the game to dominate inside he just doesn't have the size. Looking at Mbenga, he has the size but it is a slur on basketball that he can be called a sportsman. I not sure who the answer is but after yesterday any of the SAC bigs who do the job.

James Online
James Online

Went to the game in Sacto. Sat adjacent to the Hornets' bench so I could track all the interactions. One of the ugliest basketball games I have ever witnessed at this level. But the fact that the Hornets won, and did so on the road, tells us a lot about this team. I cannot remember ever seeing a team shoot 32% and win. I'll be that has not happened in a long time. Nobody was hitting their shots, so it came down to defense, desire, a couple of clutch jumpers by West and the two free throws by Marco. Yes Willie Green was taking (and missing) WAY too many shots. Certainly it was no attempt to shut out Marcus Thornton though. But sitting so close to the bench, I had a chance to really see the interpersonal dynamics of the players. Here's a major point: Willie Green is a consummate professional, a mature presence, a positive force. He talks over points of the game with everyone on the team. Encourages and informs. He's the type of guy who could become an assistant coach down the line. Contrast that with Marcus Thornton. I know there are a lot of disappointed Thornton fans on this blog, but not only is Marcus not performing on the floor (he was slow and lost again tonight on defense especially), he sits with a glum look on the bench most the game and doesn't talk to anyone. The difference between Willie Green (who's had a good year, let's be honest) and Marcus Thornton is enormous in many respects. You can build a winning team around the things that Willie brings. Marcus, on the other hand, appears to just feel sorry for himself. Sad, but true. Maybe that will change. But I watched the bench closely and that is what I saw all afternoon long. It does seem like he should be moved. He might be able to resurrect his career in a less demanding situation. Teams that rise to the top have personality. Chris Paul and to a certain extent David West bring a NOLA personna to the court. Ariza is not very animated. Marco, with his limited English and newness to the franchise, doesn't connect well verbally, but he is the first off the bench with the high fives, and is very supportive of all the other players when he's on the court. Meka certainly has a look, but doesn't assert himself much verbally. I love Paul's huddles and constant consultations with the refs. He's like Steve Nash in that respect. If they can get Jarret Jack to play Hornets' basketball (and not Raptors' "basketball"), then he can help the team. And watch for David Andersen to surprise. He should supplant Mbenga, Pops, and Gray immediately. Those three aren't helping. My partner (the Brazilian Beyonce) and I have coffee at "The Daily Grind" before the game. Little did we know the game would be a grind as well. But it's a win. They all count. Now let's beat the Clippers.

Mikey
Mikey

That game was won at the charity stripe, offensive rebounding, and stingy D. The Hornets made 15/16FT, and the Purple Paupers didn't. Game, set, match.

Stefan
Stefan

Watch that big dunk by Cousins again if you can. The Kings' network showed it in slow-mo from the baseline & I saw something very interesting: As Cousins went up Willie Green tried to grab Cousins' jersey, but he was behind him. However, after the dunk, Willie gave David West (who was under the basket) a very disgusted look for not attempting to block that shot or even foul Cousins. I love how Willie takes pride in defense & it frustrates me how D West stays out of those plays. He just rarely attempts to block shots he has a chance of swatting away.

Matt
Matt

I loved toggling between the Saints and the Hornets, and then having the second half take place after the Saints game. We need more of this kind of scheduling. I haven't been on this blog for awhile now, so I was wondering: Do you guys still do Hornets Watch Parties? Cause I really dug those in the past.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Ugly wins versus subpar teams are better than ugly losses. Just ask Miami, Orlando, Denver, and Boston....

Ludiculous
Ludiculous

Is it just me or has Chris Paul averaged like 5-6 steals these past couple of games? I would love to see him break his own record of consecutive games with a steal.

DownUnder
DownUnder

CP3 with 14 assists in 40 mins on a team that was shooting only 32% from the field! If that isn't an MVP performance than Michael Jordan is still playing disguised as someone else.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I agree with Ryan. There will be many nights when Jack drives us crazy. He's not as pure point guard as people think. He may be a bit better at managing the game but he's another one that will look for his own shot many nights.

RobertM320
RobertM320

Regarding Marcus, we can only hope Monty saw what Willie was doing as well, and takes it into account. But you know what, I don't care how ugly they are, they're still wins, and we're 11-1. Hopefully, we'll get even more used to each other by the time we play the Lakers and SA again.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

i thought marcus looked good in the limited time he played. he chased the defender around and was aggresive on offense getting a bucket and getting fouled on a drive even though they didnt call it. I love having him out there being aggresive no one else takes it to the rack like he does on our team

Hornet
Hornet

Willie really screwed over Marcus tonight. That's what p*ssed me off the most.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

He sort of did ... I have to agree. However, he isn't a true point guard, and let's face it, his mentality is to score when the ball is in his hands. He is a 'Shooting Guard'! I can't wait until Jarret Jack gets here ... I truly believe he'll make both Green and Thornton flourish on the court together in a 3-Guard line-up. L_Reazy

Hornet
Hornet

Tonight could've been a night Marcus shows Monty he deserves to be in the rotation. However Willie did nothing but hog the ball and Marcus was a non factor. Marcus more than likely will get a bunch of inactive games or DNP - CD's and then traded which sucks.

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

Maybe. Jack isn't a pass-first guard either. Though he does have a hell of a lot more of an inclination that way than Bayless or Green.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

As bad as this game was it's refreshing to know that our team can win without offense. Great teams do that a lot. It proves the theory of 'You Don't Try To Outscore Your Opponent, But Rather, Out-Stop Them'! The Hornets definitely Out-Stopped the Kings tonight. I also must state that once Jack and Andersen 'get here' Willie Green's production will go back to normal as he will retain his 2-guard duties off the bench instead of playing the point. Also, Andersen will provide scoring off the bench along with the other supporting cast. Just wait, Jarret Jack is going to be that guy who helps our team on nights like this when we shoot 30%! He'll get everyone on that 2nd Unit in the flow, and he'll also make it so Paul doesn't have to run the point all game long. L_Reazy

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

Also, to add-on to the 'defense theory'. IMO, the reason why teams should rely on defense instead of offense in based on 'certainty' versus 'uncertainty'. Defense is a sure thing. When a team is good defensively they'll make an effort every game to ensure that they live up to their standards of 'D'. However, offense is too unpredictable. You just never know if your shot will fall sometimes. I don't care if it's Michael Jordan, Lebron, whoever ... Offense is a 'crap-shoot'! L_Reazy