Hornets suffer heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Clippers

Published: November 23, 2010

For the third game in a row the Hornets were in a dog fight in the fourth quarter against a vastly inferior team, but unlike the last two games David West could not carry the Hornets to victory. West led the Hornets with 30 points, but they were not enough as the Clippers outworked New Orleans in the paint all night.

After Brian Cook missed the second of two free throws with just over 15 seconds left, the Hornets had the ball down two and drew up a play for West, who took the ball hard down the lane before missing a contested floater. After a mad scramble, CP3 ended up with the ball in his hands and tried to hit West again under the basket but the ball bounced off his leg and with it, the Hornets lost any hope of pulling this one out.

After a horrible defensive first period in which the Hornets gave up 33 points, the defense got back into form, but it was the offense that then proceeded to sputter. Normally a good three-point shooting team, the Hornets struggled despite getting a number of good looks, finishing 6 for 20 from deep. Marco Belinelli and Trevor Ariza were both 4 of 11 from the field and Trevor Ariza missed two huge free throws with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Chris Paul had 12 points half way through the first quarter, but finished with only 14 for the game as he was forced to jack up some bad shots due to a general lack of tempo on the offensive ned. Newcomer Jarrett Jack finished with 12 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in just 16 minutes and combined with Paul for a steal that almost turned the game around.

Overall, it was an extremely disappointing loss for a Hornets team that had gotten off to such an inspiring start. Every NBA team is going to lose games this year to a team they should have beaten, but when it happens to your team knowing that fact doesn’t make it feel any better.

Notes and Observations

* Monty really trust his bench. Several times the Hornets trailed by 6 in the 4th and were in danger of going down by more but Monty Williams resisted the urge to put Paul in too early. He waited until the 6 minute mark and because of that CP3 was well rested for the home stretch. Of course if the Hornets win the game, we say it is a good thing. Since they lost, the knee-jerk reaction is to look at the box score and be mad CP3 only played 32 minutes. Personally, I think what Monty is doing big picture with Paul will be beneficial.

* First time I have seen Belinelli start a game with no energy whatsoever. I don’t know if he ate some bad Italian or if it was because it was a back-to-back, but it wasn’t the same old Marco. Hope he snaps out of it because we will need him the rest of the week.

* Okafor gets pushed under the basket time and time again when boxing out on free throws. He needs to stand his ground or teams are going to continue to get offensive rebounds off of free throw misses, which should never happen considering the defense has position and numbers.

* Quick scouting report on Jack: Has rare strength for a point guard. On two different occasions he finished an And One after some heavy contact. He also stood his ground on the defensive end against much bigger players. His shooting stroke is much more pure than Bayless or Collison’s and it should allow him to be fairly consistent, although it looks like 18-20 feet is better for him than 21-23 feet. On the negative side, he tends to throw far too many cross court passes and lacks the quickness to stay with guys with elite quickness. Overall, though, a huge upgrade.

* Pops enters the game and immediately picks up a technical for defensive three seconds. Then in a span of 12 seconds he picks up 2 fouls, including an And One. Then just for good measure he picks up his 3rd foul one minute later. Hornets lead goes from 10 to 6 in the one minute he is in. ‘rm’- no posts about Pops for a week. No exceptions.

* Willie Green must have taken Jarrett Jack out to Subway before the game because Jack was consistently looking for him, even if someone else was wide open two feet from him. A little odd.

* Mbenga did a good job where Pops failed, grabbing some offensive boards and keeping some other possessions alive in the first half. If not for his inability to do anything whatsoever offensively, he really wouldn’t be a bad option as the back-up 5.

* When Blake Griffin gets the chance to leave the miserable Clippers, I believe he will and when he does I pray he goes out East because that guy is a straight beast. Shawn Kemp with handles, intensity, and a jumper. Scary.

* Ariza seems to force offense if he hasn’t gotten the ball in a few possessions. Normally he lets the offense come to him, but once in a while he gets antsy and leaves you wondering what he was thinking. And speaking of Ariza, does anybody else notice that CP3 looks him off a lot more than he did earlier in the season? Just an observation and something to watch for. In addition, Ariza’s weak side rebounding was atrocious tonight. When West and Okafor are challenging on one side, Ariza HAS to get that rebound.

* Thank God DeAndre Jordan doesn’t have any offensive skills because his length and quickness would be too much for Okafor. Hornets had a hard time keeping him out of the paint and West/Okafor just aren’t long enough.

* Not gonna say that Jack is a better player than Collison, but I could argue he is the better fit for this team. Unlike Collison he could play with Paul if need be and his physicalness is something the Hornets need at the guard position. With all we know now, I don’t think anybody can argue that Collison, Posey, and a first rounder likely to be in the mid to late 20’s is worth giving up for Ariza and Jack.

* Point blank- If the Hornets don’t tighten back up a beat down is coming for them soon and there might even be multiple ones with Utah and San Antonio looming this week. Maybe they will turn it on for 48 minutes agains good teams, but if they don’t and they play like they have the last three games they will get crushed. Their lack of size is starting to get exposed and teams are coming to play hard against them every night. The Hunter has officially become the Hunted.


  1. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I feel violent right now.

    How the hell does Chris have 12 points in the first qtr and 2 more points the rest of the night? Del Negro didn’t make adjustments like that. They played like they went out last night in L.A. and didn’t give a damn. Stop talking about how you hang your hat on defense if you ain’t gonna play it each and every game. Now granted when they did play defense, the effin refs seemed to wanna keep sending the Clips to the line.

    • hornetsmaniac

      November 23, 2010 at 12:57 am

      After watching the last 3 games its more obvious that the Hornets need another playmaking scorer. Chris needs to learn that he cant just decide when and when not to look to score. He should always have his foot on the peddle. If he is playing aggresively on offense it will be easier for others to get involved and take some of the weight off of Wests shoulders. If we can land an Iggy or Kevin Martin b4 the trade deadline and add a serviceable big we are Title Contenders. But until we find someone that can create matchup problems from the 2 or the 3 and take the ball to the hole and score, our defense may not always be able to win us games

  2. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Ariza forces it on offense way too much. He’s not an offensive player. He’s a defensive player that on occasion will knock down a clutch 3 pointer. That’s all. He shouldn’t be trying to do no more than that.

  3. Taquito

    November 23, 2010 at 12:50 am

    ive seen 2 games this season and the hornets lose both, west missing fts, bellineli missing fts and 3’s, ariza missing fts and paul shaky and not sure of himself, this was a really upsetting lost because we were up by 11 on the second quarter and we just let the clippers come up, outmuscle/outhustle us, they were even worse than us at the ft line and we still blew it.
    I guess im gonna have to just not watch any of the games, they seem to win and play pretty great when i dont watch them haha.
    On a lighter note, really like what Jack did out there and i really like that Monty trusts his bench, but yeah, just an overall upsetting lost

    • NOH Domination

      November 23, 2010 at 12:55 am

      Stop watching the Hornets play!!!!

  4. Jordan

    November 23, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Sick to my stomach right now buttttttt…….

    C’mon guys CALM DOWN! The Hornets are freakin 11-2 right now and it seems like we’d be on a 5-game losing streak reading some of these posts. I know the team is hitting a very ROUGH patch right now but did we all not kindov see it coming. We were all talking about “Oh, we’ll see how the team responds when we go through a string of rough games,” and “There will definitely be some games where we will lose to teams we should beat.” It’s happening and we have people calling Ariza worthless???? Really? Yeah, terrible free throw shooting in the clutch, but c’mon!

    I’m totally ticked about this loss and seriously feel the urge to punch through my drywall right now but chill out! It’s not everyone, but some people need to calm down and wait an see what happens Wednesday!


    • QueenBee

      November 23, 2010 at 1:01 am

      Oh yeah, I’m really excited about Wednesday. IN UTAH no less (Sarcasm off).

    • hornetsmaniac

      November 23, 2010 at 1:03 am

      I agree. It is WAYYYY too early to over react. We are only 13 games into this. Monty is learning on the fly and Demps is only going to make this team better. We will build better chemistry as the season plays out. We will hit bumps but I believe since our D is so strong we will always be in games. Even after an ugly all around performance tonight. I think if we could upgrade the SF position for someone like Gerald Wallce, I dont know how that could happen but if its a multi team trade then anythings possible. I think Ariza would perform better off the bench. Making energy buckets and making plays on D. Ariza is a tough guy to judge…bc his strengths on defense are obvious but his all around offense game is tough to swallow.

    • peronas

      November 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

      I wouldn’t call Ariza worthless but he seems to have a tendency so far this season to be rather disinterested in large parts of games that don’t have the high glitz and glam factor. He gets up and is all over the place when teams like the Heat or San Antonio come in but teams like Cleveland or the Clips, that the Hornets should be heavy favorites in, he gives off the vibe that it’s almost beneath him to expend effort for most the game.

      Sure he’ll have some flashes of solid defense that spark a great highlight but outside of that I almost forget he’s out there at times.

      Don’t get me wrong I don’t pin this loss solely on Ariza, despite his missed FTs and failure to box out on critical possessions. The whole team seemed to be in the mind set that it would be impossible for them to lose to the Clippers and didn’t put in the necessary energy and simply got outworked by the Clippers.

  5. thekeymaster

    November 23, 2010 at 12:57 am

    I was pretty impressed with Jack tonight…not so much anyone else besides Mr. West. What was up with Chris being so passive, he seemed like he didn’t care at all until that steal from Rasual. Ariza was just plain awful. He is supposed to be an elite defender but has gotten owned by Aminu twice now, add to that his FTs and lack of rebouding and boxing out. Plus why does Monty have him be the one to pass the ball in? He hesitates too damn long every time. On another tangent; PLEASE GIVE MT5 SOME PLAYING TIME!!! I know Willie is probably the better defender most of the time, but he also didn’t seem like he knew how to play D on Gordon tonight at all. Add to that when the 2nd unit was struggling for long stretches I’m sure MT5 could’ve dropped in a few buckets. I don’t know for the life of me what Monty has against him, Marcus’ defense is not that terrible to the point where he is a complete liability. Monty plays Mbenga who can’t really do anything besides block a few shots and Pops who probably is averaging 9,000 fouls per 48mins. Last thing I gotta say is please don’t play like this against Utah, and please Chris play like you want it!

    • Stefan

      November 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      It’s unfair to compare giving minutes to Pops and Mbenga rather than Marcus Thornton. Completely different positions and minute distribution.

  6. pejavu

    November 23, 2010 at 1:02 am

    i miss peja..

    • QueenBee

      November 23, 2010 at 1:05 am


  7. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 1:04 am

    I don’t have nothing nice to say about any of them tonight. No excuses. Eff that. If I were a Clippers fan I’d still be saying the Hornets had no business losing to this suck ass team.

  8. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Ok, enough of this. I’m gonna go watch the movie Grown Ups and hope I can manage to laugh. I’m happy the Hornets are 11-2, don’t get me wrong, but I’d prefer they be 12-1. But for now, eff this team until the next game. Good night. 🙁

  9. Michael McNamara

    November 23, 2010 at 1:17 am

    And this is why I try to be the voice of realism when I feel people are starting to be unrealistic. Because on nights like tonight it prevents you from getting that upset after a bad loss. I might get bashed for it because I do not see everything through rose colored glasses and praise the Hornets constantly, but the truth is that they have vastly overachieved this year when considering the actual amount of talent they have.

    Some say the Hornets should have won this game- I say look at the free throw numbers. If Clips hit at even an average NBA rate, this is a 10-12 point loss.

    Level the expectations and it will be a much smoother ride. Being “ranked” #1 in power polls and the like is a joke- even the most die hard Hornets fan knows they are not the best team in the NBA and might not be top 5 in all honesty.

    A good, solid team with a great player that is vastly improved on the defensive end. One or two more pieces, combined with good luck on the injury front and some jelling and the Hornets are a 2nd or 3rd round team. Appreciate that, and don’t be greedy. Thats my $.02

    • nikkoewan

      November 23, 2010 at 2:16 am

      i understand that there are games that we have no business winning and we win them. we also have games where we should win but end up losing. But this is not one of those games. I can live with losing against all odds – maybe our open shots are not falling, they are hitting all their shots even the impossible ones. But still, in those losses we find a silver lining(or whatever its called) – maybe our defense was still there, they we’re just hitting tough shots all night, maybe an injury, maybe our shots were good shots so at some point we will hit them, it was just not on that loss. This loss however carries no silver lining. Our offense was bad, Our defense was worse. Our players looked sluggish – possibly passable due to it being a back to back and we don’t have much depth to win back-to-backs without excuses – but our intensity was down. From what i read, there were bad rotations, and bad communication. Those are recipe for disasters.

      I hope Monty is screaming or doing something to get his boys to go back to earth – we are still not a contending team. Watch this tape over and over and over, make them realize how bad this loss was.

      Only one i can carry out from this game – just by watching gamecast, i can tell Jack was doing an good job of the bench. Not sure if its true, but i hope it is, because if not, i’d be very very depressed going into my afternoon classes.

    • Mike

      November 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      “Being “ranked” #1 in power polls and the like is a joke- even the most die hard Hornets fan knows they are not the best team in the NBA and might not be top 5 in all honesty.”

      Power rankings are fluid, and through 12 games, they had the best record, one of the best point differentials, with the 2nd or 3rd toughest schedule in the league. To say ranking them #1 was a joke is to suggest it’s best to hold on to preseason perceptions and ignore results.

      If they are “vastly overachieving”, then their ranking will be more realistic within the next few weeks.

  10. thechosenuno

    November 23, 2010 at 1:18 am

    We were lazy tonight. Plain and simple. We settled for way too many 3’s, and we gave them the lane. We repainted, spruced it up, laid down a red carpet, and invited them in. Put another way, we gave up 50 points in the paint.

    And I echo the guys’ sentiment about Pops — RM, no mention of him for a week. 3 dumb fouls in less than a 1:30, which turned our double digit lead into a 6 point lead and absolutely killed our momentum.

    I really hope the guys take tomorrow to rest, look at film, learn from this, and really get ready. UTA, PDX, and SAS are not easy opponents, and they’re our next three.

  11. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 1:24 am

    One more thing and then I’m going to go watch my movie b4 I go to sleep. I think I’d have preferred they lose to the damn Kings last night instead of to the Clippers. SMH.

  12. NOEngineer

    November 23, 2010 at 1:33 am

    We don’t have a lack of size on the team, we just play the smallest possible line-ups for long stretches. Bower did the same thing, and its starting to worry me about Monty. With Gray, Mbenga, Smith, and Anderson on our bench, we don’t have to be smaller than our opponents. We can and should bang with people using a big line-up for part of the game, IMO.

    Bye, Pops…

    Sounds like we shot too many threes and CP3 let the offense stagnate late again. Add to that some key missed rebounds on the defensive end and a bunch of missed FTs and we lose to the worst team in the league. Time to re-group and get tough.

    • Downtowndave78

      November 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

      I agree!!!

  13. Mike

    November 23, 2010 at 1:41 am

    What’s wrong with CP3? Him no-showing in the 2nd half is becoming a disturbing trend. They won games against good teams in the first few weeks by playing tough D and having Chris take over late. With CP so passive, they’re suddenly vulnerable.

    Hopefully a momentary funk.

  14. rm

    November 23, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I hang my head in shame. My silence has begun.

    • Downtowndave78

      November 23, 2010 at 10:35 am


    • AgentZiko

      November 24, 2010 at 1:04 am

      LoL. It’s ok rm. Dude, he just needs to CALM DOWN. I think he gets sooo excited when he gets in because he wants to do good, that he makes stupid mistakes like foul.

  15. MaxALM

    November 23, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Every team will lose to a bad team here and there, but the Bees just didnt work for it. Where was the ball movement? The off-ball movement? Where was the DEFENSE???

    I really don’t like how we scraped by the Cavs and Kings. Even if we won tonight I wouldn’t be happy because we had the opportunity to work for 48 minutes and we didn’t. We snuck past the Cavs, when the Spurs blew them out by 20 the next night. The Jazz blew out the Kings after we did the minimum to win against Sacto by 4 points. We better be seeking redemption on Wednesday by bringing our A game against the Jazz.

  16. HiMyNameisSteven

    November 23, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Wow… so i have been to 8 hornets games at staples the last few years and this is the second loss i have ever been to. I was definately not expecting it since the clips are missing in my opinion two of their best 3 or 4 players. Here was my take on the game… from up close to center 19 rows back

    First i was furious at the last offensive play. West got fouled, and hard i was on that bucket side and he got killed. Second BELLY WAS WIDE OPEN on chris’s little dump pass which was way too low and chris fault not david. Also belly has to hit that set play and ariza needs to take 1000000 free throws to make up for sucking on his attempts at end of game.

    Second… i am sick of monty. Again he made awful substitutions at end of game. We almost got called for 6 men on the court again when we were tied at 93 all. Also, why the heck are we going small when we need to stop them and get a one and out. Once i saw emeka go off in favor of belly i told my buddies that we were going to give up a big offensive rebound and sure enough we did. Awful job by monty.

    Additionally, I am very close to not liking monty for the rest of his tenure until he gives marcus some play. Willie did not play good at all. He wasnt that great on d and was forcing alot. PUT MARCUS IN it is getting ridiculous absolutely ridiculous. This isn’t coming from a marcus fan but as a hornets fan and our team is much better off with marcus playing… get him in.

    Chris didn’t look great david did… and he was pretty much the only player besides jack who looked impressive. Belly was ok actually. but he needs to hit that three.

    I thought from watching games on tv and computer that we looked very impressive but to be honest in person loosing tonight to the clippers (yes its one game but) i didnt think we looked all that special and i will keep my 50 win projection for this team nothing too much over that… ariza needs to step up. Meka needs to especially when he has an undersized griffin gaurding him since jordan guarded west alot of the time. and our bench especially smith needs to hit shots and give energy and we need to play marcus plain and simple… im uspet i went to cheer our team on and we went out and threw a stinker out there

    • Mikey

      November 23, 2010 at 8:36 am

      So, what exact part of an 11-2 start makes you sick of Monty? Its an 82-game grind. That Clippers team had been playing better ball of late, and was desperate for a win. Hornets got out-hustled tonight, period. I’ll agree, this is not the game you wanna drop on this 4-game roadie, but you can still split or, better yet, finish 3-1. Thats playoff-caibur basketball. And regarding Marcus, I’d take Jack or Willie Green over Thornton in my regular guard rotation 100 times out of 100. Jack is a known NBA commodity, and Willie Green has earned his minutes on the defensive end. Perhaps Thornton could have given the Bugs a boost in the scoring department, but let coach Williams figure that stuff out. It’s his 13th game as an NBA head coach. To say you’re “tired” of him after 13 games, of which your team has won 11, against some tough opposition, is just crazy.

      Hornets fans, let’s not let our expectations for this team get too inflated because of a fantastic start. The Hornets have been struggling offensively for the last 3 games now. Sometimes you just have to credit the opposition for just playing with more energy and intensity than you.

      • 42

        November 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

        If you win 2 of 3 games you are very likely a division champ. If you win 6 of 10 you are likely in the playoffs.

        We’re positioned for the post-season just about as well as well as you can after 13 games, so let’s worry about fixing problems as they are exposed and be ready come April.

        To be clear: I’m agreeing with Mikey.

      • nikkoewan

        November 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

        another + 1 here. I know the Thornton situation baffles everyone, but right now? all i’m thinking is how JJ Reddick turned into the kind of player he is: once just an offensive player primarily known for his forays in using screens and 3 pt shots and excellent FT% to adding a decent(sometimes good and great) defensive game. I’m thinking(and hoping) Thornton turns out the same way. No way Monty does not see the potential in this kid.

        and like 42, i agree with Mikey 🙂

      • HiMyNameisSteven

        November 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

        i still consider both losses 98% montys fault with his substitutions late in games… now way u go small when u need to secure rebounds when theyve been getting second chances all night no way that was a horrible decision

      • ktrufant

        November 24, 2010 at 1:33 am

        meh, 48 minutes in game … pretty sure Williams made the same substitutions in the games the Hornets won …

  17. mlozio

    November 23, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Really awful loss to Hornets. I really expected win tonight. David West been big with his 30 points but Chris Paul didn’t go so well as DWest. Only 6 asissts for “Best Point Guard In The NBA”.

    Next matchup will be against Utah Jazz. Derron Williams vs. Chris Paul – I can’t wait to watch this matchup. But im didn’t feel very well. Hornets had stuck at shooting @ Sacramento. We seen the same @ Clippers from Ariza and copule of other players. Ariza have to learn how to shoot FT. Please, he makes me cry…

  18. enod01

    November 23, 2010 at 6:10 am

    The old CP3 would have taken that last shot and drawn a foul.

    The other day, CP3 said that as recently as this summer he was wondering if his knee would ever allow him to be himself on the court again. You have to be concerned about CP3’s lack of scoring production at this point, which is somewhere down in the neighborhood of -25% from his usual PPG.

    If his knee is in fact keeping him from attacking the basket as much as he’d like, he shouldn’t just stop shooting. His 3PT% is great (over 40%) yet he only takes 1-2 attempts a game. I’d like to see that number double.

    • 42

      November 23, 2010 at 10:30 am

      How about minutes per game decreasing? Think that might be a factor?

      • enod01

        November 23, 2010 at 11:29 am

        Likely correlated to how his knee is feeling

      • enod01

        November 23, 2010 at 11:30 am

        Plus the reduction in his minutes is not proportionate to his reduction in PPG

      • QueenBee

        November 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

        But people are ignoring how ‘efficient’ he’s been in his scoring. Well until the last 2 games that is. Dude has been leading the league in PER all season until last night when he slipped to #2.

      • 42

        November 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

        I’m sorry, this is not only incorrect but also purely speculative. I will kindly correct you on these points. You can do further analysis if you wish, but I’m sure you will draw the same conclusion as I do here.

        This season 16.6 PPG/34.2 MPG = 0.4853 PPM
        Last season 18.7 PPG/38.0 MPG = 0.4921 PPM

        A very slight difference, about 1.5% relative difference.


        This season 10.2 APG/34.2 MPG = 0.2982 APM
        Last season 10.7 PPG/38.0 MPG = 0.2816 APM

        Assuming an assist is worth 2 points to the team, then the point contribution per minute this season from those sources is

        This season 0.4853 PPM + 2*0.2982 APM = 1.0817
        Last season 0.4921 PPM + 2*0.2816 APM = 1.0553

        So, he’s helping the team score more. We can take this ad infinitum, but I think a rational being would see this as improvement at best and even play at worst with differences due to `noise’.

        I’m glad to help. I hope you enjoy.


  19. TopherPrice

    November 23, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Monty and the coaching staff had better google how to beat a zone defense. Ever since the Bucks showed you can shut down the standard CP3 run offense with the zone, teams have been implementing it for more and more time during the game. Dallas went away from it in the second game after using it beautifully to stagnate the Hornets O in the first meeting. Byron did it for almost half the game, and the Clips did it for a vast majority of the game as well. The Clips announcers were giddy when they would run the zone because it was like what they were told was actually working. Play the zone = Hornets offense shuts down. It was like the announcers realized flipping the light switch is why the lights go on and off.

    I don’t know if it is really that they were not getting up for these past two games, or just not knowing how to crack the zone. If Utah plays zone on the Hornets, they are going to lose unless Monty can have it figured out by then. Just my opinion.

    • Mikey

      November 23, 2010 at 8:40 am

      Transition D wasn’t there last night either. The Clippers ran at every opportunity they could; off misses, steals, etc. Good game planning by VDN. When you’re not defending in transition, your effort is just sub-standard. he Hornets had better watch the tape and get that fixed too, becuase as effective as Bledsoe was at penetrating our transition D, just imagine what Deron Williams can do. Scary.

    • Downtowndave78

      November 23, 2010 at 10:52 am

      That is exactly what Jerry V said last night…the Hornets can’t penetrate the zone D, and all of our opponents are beginning to use it more & more. Google something please!

      My biggest concern is CP3’s stagnant Bryon Scott style of offense which we have been seeing the last few games- last night being the worse of course. We had some excellent ball movement in the beginning of the season from both units, but it seems that CP3 is resorting back to his old ways of hanging out behind the arch until there a few seconds left where he shoots it or passes it. This continued even when the Clippers switched out of zone.

      • TopherPrice

        November 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm

        The stagnation, lack of ball movement has to do with the zone defense. I am telling you. The ball movement happens until the zone begins. Then all the slashing and cutting off the ball doesn’t open up anyone other than the perimeter guys. Its crazy because you can see CP3 do his normal first screen with Dwest or Emeka, then turn to throw back to a guy he expects to be open, and then nope that guy is not open. Then there is no plan B. So he tries to make something happen and we end up with 2 sec in the shot clock, time to jack up a bad shot.

        This is where Monty and the staff need to give CP3 a couple of set plays that if he sees the zone, they do those plays until they stop with the zone. It is going to take time, but they have to bust the zone a few games in a row or people are just going to hold that card in their pocket until the third and fourth quarter and then drop it on the table like a bomb. This is NOT cool. That is what Pop did to the Hornets in game 7. He held that zone card for 6 games, then unleashed it all at once when it mattered.

      • 42

        November 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

        A semi-ridiculous calculation of mine say we’ll have to suffer through December until the offense is really installed. I stick by that and I take these `dead ends’ as evidence of that.

        Here is the comment with the calculation (the article is cited):


  20. ollie

    November 23, 2010 at 8:37 am


  21. Jib

    November 23, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Well at least we have a backup up point guard. And not to mention this loss is sorta overlooked nationally, thank you Miami for getting killed by Indiana.

    And gotta love how the refs are consistent, well if it wasn’t consistently against us that is. How was that David West play at the end not a foul? dude got leveled…

  22. Aussie_Hornet

    November 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

    CP should have thrown to Belly Nelly 🙁

    • 42

      November 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

      Pops should not have fouled Blake for no reason.

  23. g unit shoulder

    November 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Reasons for putting in Marcus effing Thornton this game:
    1. Everyone in the game seemed to be tired – why not get fresh legs from someone who’s rested too long anyways?
    2. The guy has the second most heart and pride on the team – why you’d cut that off and not take advantage is beside me. (Actually it’s not, Monty is just stubborn as hell, wants everything his own way, but there’s gotta be a point where simple common sense trumps your trying-to-be-stubbornly-perfect model.)
    3. the offense was especially anemic – Thornton gets on a roll or simply makes little contributions like an offensive board and things on offense start to loosen up. Instead there’s the pick and roll or people just stand around. And when CP3 isn’t electrically good, we’re screwed

    At this point it’s starting to look like a giant slap in the face to Thornton, whom doesn’t seem to have deserved it, but I don’t know. More importantly, it’s a missed opportunity, a waste, and seeing how the offense operated last night I suppose that’s how Monty drew it up.

    • 42

      November 23, 2010 at 10:56 am

      No offense to rm here, but I have to use the example.

      Pops has a fan in rm that any player should be envious of. Yet, Pops isn’t ready for the this coach/system/team/whatever. I liked what I saw from him in preseason more than Alexander (and Pops has lasted longer) as well. I wouldn’t call him a fan, but I was excited by what I saw. I have reasonable curbed my enthusiasm by using what I see in the games. rm will always be a fan of Pops, and it seems like rm is actually coming to see that being a fan of Pops and being a fan of Pops-on-the-Hornets are not the same thing. Fans are always slower to move to these positions than those in the basketball-ivory-tower like Mr. Macnamara (and this is a compliment, sir).

      I can’t help but think that a good number of us (me included, though I’m not so vocal about it) feel just like rm does about Pops but we lack the GOOD FORTUNE of seeing that he doesn’t fit. I’m a big Marcus fan. I like the dude’s heart. I wish every player was more like Marcus. However, we don’t see everything.

      On the other hand, Monty isn’t `the greatest coach ever’ just because we’re setting records for a start. I’m more worried about record finishes like season wins, playoff penetration, titles, all of which but the latter Coach Scott is the deserving coach. Monty is learning. Maybe he’ll learn something that will bring him, Marcus, and the team closer together in terms of on-court performance. Monty, if he’s a good Coach, will learn to use the tools available to him when it’s best to use them. So there is growing on both sides to do, and I’m hopeful that both of these guys, these guys I really like and respect, will end up being player-and-coach for a long time.

      • ktrufant

        November 24, 2010 at 1:41 am


  24. hewhorocks

    November 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Mbenga’s best game yet!!! Just looking for the silver lining. Ok never mind… “The Sky is falling”

    Ariza isnt a clutch player. He has had his moments but his last year with Houston showed what he was and what he wasnt. Good D from him but his greatest quality on Offense is probably his (over)confidence. Gotta hit those Free throws!

    Jack looked pretty good.

  25. Downtowndave78

    November 23, 2010 at 10:56 am

    @ Ryan, Joe, & Mike- what are the stats looking like regarding the pace of the games? Has our pace slowed down since the beginning of the season or are we performing at a consistent click?

    • Ryan Schwan

      November 23, 2010 at 11:24 am

      It’s a pretty consistent pace. We’ve been slow all season long. Paul isn’t a fast break guard. Never has been, never will be.

  26. Rocco

    November 23, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Low energy night for the bugs. But lets not forget, its the back end of a back-to-back on the road. Much better defense by NOLA after the first quarter (save the closing seconds of the first half).

    I would like to see more “catch and shoot” by the wings coming off of screens. Right now, most of the time Ariza and Belinelli are stationary, waiting for passes. Not a good way to get a shot off, plus if they’re moving, they have a better chance to penetrate the land and break down the defense. If there’s one thing I would like to see is more trust on the part of CP3 for other players besides West. I know Marco was having a tough shooting night, but he did score 12 points in the second half, and on that final offensive possesion, if Pual gets it to him he has an uncontested three pointer he can step into (It easily would have been his best look of the night.). I realize that west was the guy for much of the game, but the Clippers realized that and that last pass attempt inside was a low percentage play and any shot would have been rushed and heavily contested. Kudos to Monty, late in the game, when the Hornets went “small” I thought the defensive adjustments worked pretty well, Ariza helped check Gordon and putting Beli on Aminou (spelling?) greatly hampered the Clips outside shoooting.
    Tough one coming up in SLC. A tough defensive battle will ensue. I beleive the Pollenators will show their best and taste the sweet nectar of success (lol).

  27. edbballin504

    November 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Tough game to listen to and watch (end of game was shown on NBA TV). To make matters worst it had me up till almost 1am when I have to be at work for 6:30am. Running on fumes today…all to witness a loss. I digress!

    For me, the game was ugly and we did lose to a 1-11 team but I took more positives away from it then negetives. For one, LAC has a potential rookie of the year at PF that really didnt get much touches our first game. He played great and we all know athletic, explosive bigs kill us. LAC also had Gordon back and he played great, scoring 27. For two, this is the beginning of our first west coast trip as a team. Add to that the fact that 2 key rotation players were out and a new one was in…that takes some adjusting. Also, it was a backtoback coming off a tough win the night before. For three, we were ice cold. Besides West and maybe Jack, no one else did anything but take up space. CP3 looked good in the 1st quarter but took the other 3 off. Belinelli was 1-9 from 3, Ariza couldnt buy a bucket, esp those free throws that were huge, our bench was nonexistent, Smith whos normally a spark only took 2 shots, etc.

    But guess what??? Despite all that, we still could have won. If West had caught that pass downlow from CP3, its a tie. If CP3 passes to wide open Belinelli for 3, we win. We played like hell yet we had a chance to win. I’ll take it. We cant win them all guys, there will be games like this. We have played bad the last few games and won, meaning we’d continue to feel invincible. This game was our wake up call to reality. How we react is the real thing to look at. Plus, Id rather lose to LAC who’s not in the playoff picture, if it means we give a better effort the next game against a Utah team who is playoff bound. Beating a playoff team gives us more seperation we need to maintain, whereas beating a terrible team really doesnt change the overall picture of playoff seeding. If we come out flat again and look terrible on Wednesday then we may be in trouble, but if we come out playing better then the loss was a good thing. Lets see who grabs the bull by the horn and tells the team, “Ok guys lets go!” No need to panic folks. We had an off night and still lost by 4…we got this! LoL.

    • 42

      November 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm


  28. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    People keep saying if Paul would’ve passed to Belinelli we would win. How the hell do you know that? Have you guys been watching how many wide open shots Belinelli have missed this season? In the Dallas loss, Chris Paul was wide open at the top of the 3 point line and West kicked it back to Trevor twice. Not once, but twice. Probably based on the fact that Trevor had just hit a big 3 a few moments earlier. When Trevor missed that first 3, West should’ve kicked it to CP3 wide open for a 3. We’ve seen Chris Paul’s ability to hit a buzzer beater as well. But back to Belinelli. The only thing that irks me about him is how great of looks he gets and he bricks them.

  29. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    And another thing, how did Chris Paul get to the top of these MVP conversations that people around the league seem to be having seeing as a lot of you think he’s been doing so badly. Is it just that the team is doing so well is what’s bringing him into these conversations? Should people start talking about West as the MVP of this league? How about Trevor or Belinelli?

  30. nikkoewan

    November 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    my gut tells me Hornets come out next game with a lot of fire(based on the pride built up from early season success). They will play there ass out because this coming series of 4 games is what “matters the most” because they are against the better teams. Although as Hollinger states, winning by a few points against tough competition is the same as winning BIG against inferior competition. So if we win this games, we are still a 2nd tier team out west. 🙂

    • QueenBee

      November 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      I hear it’s snowing and freezing in Utah. Our guys better get there and thaw out QUICK! LOL.

  31. edbballin504

    November 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I also have some areas of concern though, however not based solely on last night but all season.
    1. Obvously, we need a gameplan to beat a zone. Teams are starting to see a flaw in our offense.
    2. Coach has to know when to pull the plug on certain guys. Last night Marco and Green were bad. If Green is out there for D and his guy puts up 27 points, then obviously Green can have a seat. Insert Marcus for a spark and maybe we can make the guy scoring atleast work on defense.
    3. Ariza needs to step it up. He needs to make more of an effort to not take plays off. I like how he drives, but sometimes he passes up on wide open shots to drive to an already packed lane. In practice shoot alot, and shoot alot of free throws so during the game you can be confident in shooting, not just slashing. I think its up to a leader on the floor to tell Ariza its ok to shoot and how we have faith in him. Sometimes others can give us confidence we lack in ourselves. Look at Coach Pop, he tells his guys if you are open..shoot! If you dont shoot then your coming out. (I can see Matt Bonner shooting a 3 right now…lol)
    4. The same way he try to spoon feed Okafor, we need to spoon feed Belinelli early to get him going and feeling good.
    5. CP3 needs to play with more passion and be more aggressive. Im kool with him getting everyone else involved for the whole game, but come 4th it has to be the CP3 show. I prefer he pick his spots, maybe start the game off aggressive, then end of 2nd and lastly in the 4th. You cant be passive the whole night though!
    6. RM you are going to hate this, but Pops needs to go to inactive.
    7. We have to crash the boards, from the PG to the C. Everybody has to get a body in there.
    8. We have to stop blowing leads. Once we go up, we need to stay up.
    9. We all just have to trust each other 100% and that goes for Monty too. Some guys have off nights, and when they do its ok to try out another guy in that spot. We have a deep team, everybody can play a roll if you give them a chance and have them believing in themselves. MT5 shouldnt be out there looking scared to death when he misses or when a guy scores on him. When you put him in slap him on his butt and tell him “Go out there and score 30 on those men!” I cant say it enough, when a player is confident in his game and whats hes allowed to do, you will get the best out of him.

  32. nikkoewan

    November 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    especially Chris. I hope Chris now feels so mad, he’d throw a vintage CP3 going 30 19 assists and 10 rebounds to go along with 5 steals and no turnover. Eat that ! LOL

  33. QueenBee

    November 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    And I think it’s funny that even though last nights win pissed me off tremendously, we all seem to come out with our ‘concerns’ after the 2nd loss in 13 games.

    • edbballin504

      November 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      Imagine being married for 13 months to a wonderful guy. Does everything right, makes you happy…yet everynow and then he’ll text his ex to say hello….area of concern despite being really good.

      Imagine having a child 13 years old. Straight A student, doesnt talk back, polite, well mannered, good as gold. But everynow and then she goes to her friend house up the street without telling you where she is…area of concern despite being really good.

      Imagine having a favorite NBA team that’s 11-2. New coach, new GM, new players…off to a hot start, overacheiving. But everynow and then they lose to a 1-11 team, or they blow a 18 point lead to have to fight for a win at the end, or they go completely stagnant on offense when a team plays a zone D on them. Area of concern despite being 11-2.

      As you can see, its ok for ppl to be concerned about things. Its no need to panic, no need to give up on your team, your spouse, or your child. Its only an area of concern. We want the best for what we love. 🙂

      • sundance

        November 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm

        Agree wholeheartedly here. Some of the comments are brutal. Sure there are areas that need to be addressed, but I’d never question this team’s or the coach’s heart. These players with the exception of Chris and David are not great players individually, but together they’ve shown they can be a very good team. These guys don’t have the talent to turn it ‘on’ or ‘off’ whenever they feel like it. To my eye, these guys were playing their butts off (and believe me I’ve seen my share of bad teams) last night and it’s to be expected they’re going to have a bad night sometimes. Give the Clippers some credit, they’re very athletic and Griffin is just a beast. One last thing, in Willie’s defense I thought he did the best job defending Eric Gordon.

  34. Bushwick Bill

    November 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I’m a die-hard Clippers fan. Just so you know, every time somebody talks about how they “can’t wait for Blake Griffin to leave the Clippers,” a little part of me dies. I almost forgot what it was like to actually enjoy watching the Clippers, and Blake brings all of us crazies so much joy. I hope he stays around and builds something here, and I hope Chris Paul stays with your team for as long as you all want him around.

    • QueenBee

      November 24, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      I don’t know why people would want Blake to leave. He needs to stay with the Clippers and help them get better. The people that want him to leave are the people that want him on their teams. I can understand that because that’s why most people want Chris Paul to leave the Hornets but screw em. LOL.

    • 42

      November 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      I think a closer look at what McNamara says shows that he’s basically saying that since Blake is so good, it’d be nice to face him only twice a season unless it’s in the finals.

      I get what you are saying and totally respect it, but it doesn’t seem like a kick-em-in-the-nads kind of comment.

      As Hornets fans who had to endue the Chris Paul thing this summer, we should probably automatically be a little more sensitive about such things as a result of having to deal with it; I know I am.

  35. Diane

    November 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I just have to say The Clippers have a lot of great guys on their team – they just haven’t got it together yet – kind of like The Heat. You know when they get it together they’re going to be one tough team.
    Its great The Hornets have 11 wins – rack up all the wins you can cause it really helps at the end of the year.

  36. rm

    November 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Note to all: This is not about Pops.

    I don’t know if any of you folks are thinking the same but I think that this trade has just unsettled the guys a little. Nothing to do with the particulars of the trade just that change can sometimes can have that effect.

    You know what it is like at work if a colleague leaves or someone joins the company, it is just a little unsettling at first even if they have nothing to do with you. It takes you a little while to adapt and move on and get on with your job.

    This is nothing to do with adapting to new guys on the floor just that change has happened.

    I think that for the team right now are being affected by this change.

    Again. This is not an excuse for Pops.

    • sundance

      November 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      I thought it was positive seeing Jarrett talking to Pops while they were on the floor last night. Because they’re familiar with one another, being ex-Raptors and all, maybe he can rely on Jarrett for some guidance as well.

  37. cheifyoungblood

    November 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    it’s just one game in a long season all good teams drop games in the middle of road trips .

  38. James Online

    November 24, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Chris almost always looks for Ariza in the corner before Marco. That has to be disheartening to Marco, a much better shooter, who works hard every position laterally to get free but is not fed enough passes.

    I worry about the slow pace of the offense. The team seems to never take the ball and run after a defensive rebound. The set offenses have been effective overall for most the year, but they have become too predictable.

  39. AgentZiko

    November 24, 2010 at 1:30 am

    My 2 cents.

    It was tough to watch. Can’t deny that. The guys just didn’t have the usual energy and fire we’ve been seeing until now. I’m really worried we’ll be seeing our first slide of the season since we’ll be facing a streaking Utah team tomorrow.

    I have 3 areas of great concern that I want to address:

    1. Really not happy with the small ball that Monty has been playing. I know Trevor CAN play the 4 in some cases because he’s so long, but I feel like Monty’s been using it against the wrong teams. We saw it in the first game against Dallas when Dirk and Chandler were in the game, and we saw it against the Clips even though they ALWAYS had 2 bigs in. I think the small ball works great when we face a team that has a PF that plays more like a SF. For instance, against the Thunder (Jeff Green), the Lakers (Lamar Odom), and even the Hawks (Josh Smith). But Against teams that are consistently establishing dominance inside, I don’t see the reason to go to those lineups. Even if we aren’t seeing the production offensively we want from Mbenga/Smith/Gray/Pops and the soon to evaluate Anderson, I feel that we’re just stronger defensively with those guys in to BANG as long as we have West to score.

    2. I know a lot of you guys weren’t high on Bayless, definitely not as much as I was, but the game against the Clips showed why we needed a guy like him. Other than CP, we don’t have ANYONE who can attack the basket. Bayless wasn’t the greatest creator on offense, but he had the ability to FORCE the defense to be honest by attacking the opposing bigs, and drawing fouls. I feel that he would have developed to distribute better if given the time. Jacks a much better shooters, but really not that much better of a distributor. I think the 2 areas this team now seriously lacks in are back up SF and back up C. I doubt we can get them both, but I’d really like to see us go for Garcia and Thompson from Sacramento. They’d fill our needs fairly well and are POSSIBLE targets.

    3. You guys mentioned CPs knee. I don’t think his knee is bothering him at all. But I think I know what is. You can see the fear on his face. the mental block. It happens when someone sustains multiple serious injuries, and then again is put in a situation where they nearly get hurt. You guys remember the game earlier in the season against Houston where CP kinda strained his knee in the closing seconds of the game. You could see the fear in his eyes. Go back and look at his stats. That was his last GOOD game of the season. Ever since that game, he has hardly attacked the basket or gone full speed at all. I don’t think his knee hurts. I think he’s scared that he can hurt it again. And unfortunately, that can actually be worse than being hurt. It takes a long time to get over the mental block of realizing you’re going to be ok even if you attack the basket. I know this because I’ve had to deal with it. It sucks going from being what you KNOW is a quality player to a shell of what you used to be. I was NEVER able to recover from that and developed into a spot up shooter who hardly ever entered the paint anymore.

    So watch CP next game guys. Cuz this will be the ultimate test. He will be playing against his biggest rival. And if that doesn’t inspire big time ball that we’re used to from him the CP we all know and love, then I think we’ll all have to understand that its going to take some time before we DO see that old CP again. Just count how many times he enters the pain tomorrow, and how many times he settles for jumpers.

    -Agent Ziko

    • QueenBee

      November 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      That matchup is never what people make it out to be. CP never seems to ‘get up’ for Deron the way that Deron does for CP. That matchup is never what people make it out to be. It has more or less come down to the other players on both teams. In the past even when CP has had a better game than Deron the Jazz still end up winning.

      • AgentZiko

        November 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm

        Yea, you’re right Queen Bee, it never is what we all hope to see for the matchup. But I think that its still a good game to see where CP is at mentally. I HAVE watched EVERY game. And I don’t see the confidence in his face that I have consistently seen from him in the past. He is extremely tentative. I didn’t say he doesn’t attack at all. But he’s not attacking the basket the way we have seen him do in the past. And when I think of past, I think of CP going for 38 points, 19 assists, 11 rebounds and 5 steals. Thats the CP I’m referring to. I don’t expect him to do it every night. But the last few games have come down to the wire. And rather than seeing CP’s eyes light up, we saw him shy away from plays. And the mental impact of an injury is something that is a possibility.

    • QueenBee

      November 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      I can understand the ‘mental block’ thing, but CP has attacked the paint many times and has gone full speed since that Houston game. What have you been watching? LOL!

      • QueenBee

        November 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm

        No, he hasn’t been playing as well as we know he can play over the last 2 games but this happens to all players. When West has 2 sub-par games in a row we don’t automatically point to his back problems do we? Heck, when Peja bricked many of his shots this season we didn’t point to his back problems but I guess since we’re all expecting CP’s knee to fall off then that’s the first thing we should point at.

  40. ktrufant

    November 24, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Just wanted to add to the discussion (and second some earlier comments). I liked what I saw from Jack. I’m thinking the long passes and the always looking for Green will fade once he adjusts to the team.

    I think the zone is a problem for the team going forward and underestimating the talent on the Clippers team colored (fan) perception of how the game should have gone.

    Paul, to me, did look a bit tentative … and I did see him on the bike at some point (warming up before he went back in?).

    The team has been playing well but most of the talent lies in Paul (best player in the league), with Okafor rounding out the star/superstar caliber players and West coming third as consistent and slightly above average. I think the team needs the 12 man rotation to give the starters rest and to get only the best from the rest of the guys with out allowing anyone to kill the team. Overall better players are needed and apparently Demps is working on that …

    And yeah, Miami being everyone’s first NBA thought isn’t all bad …

    • Aussie_Hornet

      November 24, 2010 at 9:13 am

      Umm West is slightly more than above average. He is an out and out superstar almost as much as CP is. Id say Mek is above average but he’s not really a presence on offense.

      • QueenBee

        November 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm

        As much as I love David West, he is NOT a superstar. LOL! He’s a very very solid consistant player but a superstar he is not.

  41. AgentZiko

    November 24, 2010 at 1:59 am

    P.S. Two other guys I’d love to see on this team are Wilson Chandler and Ronny Turiaf. Ronny would be a GREAT TOUGH PHYSICAL guy to have off the bench for us. He’s a great guy and would fit great with the personallities on the team. The fans would love him. He’s got great foot work and would be a nice compliment to CP and also with Jason Smith off the bench. Chandler would give us a back up 3 similar to Ariza at 6’10. He’s long, athletic, and can play and guard 2-4.

  42. QueenBee

    November 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    BTW, where’s the new game thread? Or are we too busy baking turkeys? LOL.

    • 42

      November 24, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      Frying . . .


      I wonder how many of these folks know about a turducken.

      Ryan, Michael . . . it sounds like the Queen is fired up . . . you might be the turkeys she’s thinking about baking . . .

      • QueenBee

        November 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm

        TURDUCKEN! LOL! I haven’t had one of those in about 2 years. We’re doing fried turkey this year.

    • 42

      November 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm


      We are a funny people down here . . . but we can cook!

      I made a killer cheesecake the other night. I got the recipe perfected . . . finally . . .

  43. QueenBee

    November 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve been seeing many people talking about how Paul hasn’t been good in the 4th quarters ‘this season’. Not the past 2 games but, ‘this season’. When as early as a week ago, we, and the Hornets commentators were calling him ‘the closer’. And now since he’s had 2 bad 4th quarters in a row, he hasn’t been good in 4th qtrs this season. LOL! LMAO.

  44. QueenBee

    November 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    There were some talking about Tyson’s ankle and how he had a degenerative foot/ankle condition. I can’t tell. Maybe it’ll happen later but if you listen to some you’d think the guy’s ankle/foot would never let him play again and he’s looking really good right now. People need to stop pretending to be doctors. Where’s ticktock6’s article? LOL.

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