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Jazz Deliver Hornets Biggest Loss of the Season
They were determined to make their presence felt, and they sure did on this night. They knew nobody was watching this game to see Chris Paul or Deron Williams. Similarly, people did not tune in to witness the unique skills of David West or Paul Milsap. No, this game was ALL about the officials and they knew it, so they took center stage and controlled the game.
I am not going to take all the credit from Utah, who played an outstanding game offensively, but the officials let the game out of control early and the Hornets never recovered. The game was by far the most physical game the Hornets played this season, and truth be told, they might have lost the game even if the refs called the game down the middle- but they didn’t.
Of course the Hornets have played 5 on 8 before and come out victorious (against the Heat), but tonight the combo of Utah’s offensive efficiency and the refs ridiculous calls resulted in a 105-87 Jazz victory. Deron Williams led all scorers with 26 points, in addition to his 11 assists. Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap also did their part, chipping in with 23 and 17 points respectively.
For the Hornets, Chris Paul and David West were the leading scorers with 17 and 15 points respectively while Willie Green was the only player from the bench who showed up, scoring 13 of the bench’s 29 points. The Hornets were horrible behind the three-point line, going 4 for 19. Meanwhile the Jazz shot over 40% from three, which as I pointed out in the preview, is a key them in their victories this season.
This is the second straight loss for the Hornets, and the first loss this season by more than four points. New Orleans has one more game left on this road trip (at Portland) before heading home to face the division leading Spurs who pulled out their 12th straight victory tonight against Minnesota.
Notes and Observations:
*As much as I hated the refs, I have to give the Utah fans props. They were loud all game and seemed to recognize when their team was in a lull and gave them an extra boost. This team will be tough to beat at home in the playoffs.
*Jarrett Jack is now 0-2 as a Hornet. It has nothing to do with his play, however, but it is worth noting. The only critique I have of Jack in this game is that he missed yet another opportunity to get the team a 2 for 1 at the end of the 1st quarter. That is 3 straight opportunities he missed, and something Chris Paul always is aware of. Share the knowledge CP3.
*This year the role of Marcus Thornton will be played by Trevor Ariza. Remember how Thornton would get hacked when attacking the basket and the refs would swallow their whistle? I have seen it happen to Trevor a half of dozen times in the last 3 games. You can tell it is frustrating him, and honestly, it is frustrating me too.
* There was an Aaron Gray sighting, and when you consider Pops’ horrible play and David Anderson’s Visa problems, we might see him again this week.
* Marcus Banks was told to stay home and collect his checks- no need to report. How embarrassing is that? Not to say I don’t envy him in some ways. Stay home and collect a check- can’t help but think of Fight Club.
*Hornets played some zone in this game and it had mixed results. I have a feeling Monty is starting to see that teams are figuring the Hornets defense out and he is trying new things out. The effort is there, but this team still lacks the length and shot blocking ability that elite defenses have. Because of that, they might have to rely on gimmicks from time to time.
* I’m done writing- I want to hear from you. But first, take a breath and think of this season as a big picture that is just starting to be painted. Where are we going? What is fixable? What might not be with the current group of players? Don’t just list the bad because of the current taste in your mouth- paint a full picture; looking forward while simultaneously looking back.
I can’t what to see what ALL of you have to say. Lurkers- REGISTER tonight and become a part of this community- we want to hear your voice.
I turn it over to all of you……
An 18 point blowout is a referee conspiracy, huh? Is this a hornets blog or a Phil Jackson postgame interview? Give me a break, lay off the kool-aid, kids. The Hornets are fine, they'll have a great season, they just had a bad game. Pray they don't play Utah in the playoffs, because the Jazz look dominant as ever against CP3's squad.
I watched the game this morning as a pre-Saints meal. Didn't sit well with me but I'm not panicking. Something definitely feels special about this team and I'm very excited.
Watching this game was infuriating. The refs were bad, but the Hornets were worse. I don't give a crap what our record is, this is depressing. I'm not panicking, I still expect them to finish in the top-5 in the west, as long as they get their heads out their asses and start playing to their abilities. This post got a lot longer than I was planning, here's a long list of my gripes: - Jack and Green don't look for the open man at all when they drive to the basket, it's like they have blinders on. - CP3 should be taking at least as many shots as Ariza. It's almost like he's holding back 'cause he knows his jump-shot isn't 'there'. What's wrong? - Buckets better hit some shots soon or I'm gonna start agreeing with Monty about leaving him on the bench. Maybe he needs more minutes to be effective, but if that's the case then he's just not as good as I thought he was. He's supposed to be an energy guy off the bench. Come in and score 9 points on 4/5 shooting next game Marcus, please! - Someone better hammer it into Okafor's head that he needs to go strong to the basket. Instead of going under the basket and slamming it in on the other side, he'll jump sideways, completely out of balance, to lay it in - and gets blocked. - Then there's the turnovers... I HATE turnovers... I just finished watching the game and haven't read many comments, so sorry if I'm rehashing stuff, just had to vent! Portland tomorrow. Geaux Hornets!
Nice of the refs to aid Williams in 4 of 5 3-pt shooting, also in his 5 steals. I know CP3 also had 5 but I didn't see him posting Williams up.
OMG, THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END! BLOW UP THE TEAM! BLOW IT ALL UP!!! Funny that the exact same team that has just delivered four rather underwhelming games in a row is also the same team that started the season 11-1. I think we overachieved then. We're underachieving now. But the end result is our record is regressing back to where we probably expected it to be at the start of the season. We can complain about the loss, but to me the solution is more that the players play up to their capabilities than finding another player that automatically turns up into a good team (ask Miami how that plan is working out so far). Okafor is a perfectly serviceable centre who was scoring field goals at a 70% rate before going into a slump. We have a decent range of scoring options, even without Ariza finding his scoring touch most of the time, and Thornton struggling to find court time and his rookie year mojo.
1.) Anyone else notice that when Willie Green makes a pull-up, you usually say to yourself "that's a bad shot" before he hits it. 2.) Not so much athleticism or skill (we don't need to get much from this position) but the court awareness of our backup bigs is killing us. 3.) For some reason, even when he makes a mistake, I love Thornton's aggressiveness and hustle. With Willie Green struggling defensively, I see no reason for him to sit on the bench. Freaking Peja was getting clock, and I'm pretty sure MT5 plays better D than him. 4.) Anyone else think a pump fake could revolutionize Emeka's offensive game? 5.) Monty needs to preach defensive angles, and staying on your damn feet. 6.) Remember folks that most of you questioned our playoff chances before the season. A loss to the Jazz in Utah is not the worst thing in the world. I never at any point felt like we were outmatched, it just seemed like Utah was all there and the Hornets only brought half their heads to the game. Mark my words... We win in Portland and San Antonio.
I only skimmed through the comments, so forgive me if my thoughts on the game have been mentioned. Offensively, the 2 things that jumped out at me, which played a large role in the loss, were: 1) 3-point shooting. The efficiency behind the arc was terrible. It can't stay this bad. It has to be a slump. And if this is the reality of this team, Monty has to tell them to stop shooting 3s. But I think it's just a slump (fingers crossed). 2) Backup frontcourt depth. Okafor gets in foul trouble, and we have NOBODY to come in. I know there are people on these boards who like to defend Aaron Gray and Pops, but come on. We need a legitimate backup 5. I'm sure Dell is aware of that glaring hole in the lineup, and I expect the next move to attempt to fix it. Defensively, I saw more hustle last night than the previous 2 games. The Jazz are a good team. Giving up 105 to them, on the road, is not terrible. We could have contested the 3-pointers a little better, but when D-Will does that step-back-3 move, it's tough to defend. Lastly, I expect the bench to become more efficient. I liked the lineup of: Jack-Thornton-Green-Smith-Gray. Jack is still building chemistry with the team, and Thornton looked aggressive in his first game back from what seemed like an endless list of DNP-CDs.
How did I know a bunch of Hornets fan would overreact to a single game in Salt Lake City? We are 11-3. We might end the week 11-5, which would be a painful sign, and yet we'd still look like a playoff team. If we end the season 13-3, everyone will change their tune. One game does not a season make. This is the NBA. Players don't bring it every game -- sometimes you are off, and there are 82 games. No matter how good of a coach you are, you cant create a sense of urgency around every game. Then there are teams that will always be a bad match up. Big physical teams (Orlando, Utah, LA, and Boston) will probably have their way with us. We need to keep fighting through this season because we NEED a #2 seed. Lets try not to overreact and hopefully the Hornets clean up some issues over the next few games.
I think the Hornets made a mistake trading Bayless and Peja's contract to the Raptors, they gave up their most valuable trading chip and a solid hard-working backup for "A superstar's friend". As much as the Hornets want Paul to stay in town, they could have at least attempted to address their team issues instead of... well whatever thing Jack is good at (all I remember is him being in Kobe's poster when he had that came winner against the Pacers). Should've waited to try to snatch Iggy from the Sixers or Prince from the Pistons, both of them give you another scoring threat and a great guy to throw alley-oops too along with great D. Instead Y'all got Jarret Jack, I don't mean to start hatin', but he's gonna give you Jack. And that's what the whole Dwill vs CP3 thing comes down to. Who you surround your floor generals with.
Let's let Jack see what the inside of the practice facility looks like bedore we declare him a failure. That seems both fair and a failure. And how do you like this converasation: "Honey, remember how we were going to be together at home for thanksgiving? Well, I'm going to be out of town starting today, starting packing because the house is going the way of our holiday, and it's to go live in the place that's on national/international news for storms, oil everywhere, football, and corruption." I think I'd give him a warmup lap before I start counting his record. PG require the most prep of any position since you really have to know what everyone is doing, should be doing, could be doing, etc.
First of all, Jackis way better than Bayless. Jack is a better shooter and defender and also only 27. Second, before you talk about throwing away a trading chip, check th facts again. The Hornets got a roughly 9 mio. traded player exception out of this deal. Combine that with another player and you have the approximately 14 mio Pejas contract was worth. In addition, trading a TE means the other team saves money instantly, because they do not have to pay the TE and get under the tax. Every team would that wants to start new would rather trade for a big TE than a player that costs them money. Not only did we get Jack and another (albeit soft) big man, we have an even better trading chip now, are more flexible and if (what I hope) they buy out Banks (maybe save another million in the process), they would have even more space under the luxurary tax line. The team is on a slump now. This was supposed to happen, but is not easy to watch for a Hornets fan, I give you that. But the team will get back on track and will be better in the long run. This is the most talented team for a long time now. We are just not a top five, but rather maybe more something like a top 10 team in the NBA. Which is better than any fan or "expert" could have hoped for before the season.
Utah assists- 27 New Orleans Assists- 13 Just an indicator of how this night went. Also, Jerry Sloan has a fantastic system. CP3 has more than half our assists almost gamely, while D-will doesn't have that happen nearly as much I believe. I like Sloan he is a great coach and Nola needs to get it together, our defense got us off to a good start and so far leaving those roots hasn't proven to be effective.
first of all: why utah fans hates cp3 so much? today d-will (a player that I really like) played an overall very good game, but everybody forgot to check one stat: turnovers. @zwie: I completely agree with your first note @James Online: very good analysis, we need to spread the court on offense.
While I want to blame this on a lack of toughness from the Bees, i can't help but agree with Michael at the same time. The Hornets got robbed, plain and simple. I watched Hornet after Hornet get HACKED in the paint, and nothing was called. That led to countless fast breaks by the Jazz. Likewise, if a Jazz player was remotely touched, FOULLLLLLLL!!!!! The refs were legitimately scared by the Utah fans, and judged their officiating by the crowd. Simple as that. No questions asked. It infuriates me, you have one job to do in order to get paid, and no matter what, the refs are ALWAYS right. If you so much as minimally question their calls, you get a tech foul/thrown out of the game/or get fined 25K the next day. It's very corrupt and sad. It's like making a threatening gesture against Big Brother. If you so much as show skepticism, you are brainwashed immediately. Too many times I have seen the refs pre-readily call their officiating against a team from the first seconds of the game because they simply are swayed by their opinions of each team and the crowd themselves.
And its true. So much for "star power" but it exists. But not for us. Not only is CP getting called for way too many offensive fouls per game (ridiculous) but West is getting shoved around in the paint and NOTHING is ever called. He says "and 1" a little too much, but I legitimately watched his arms get slapped by Jazz players, alterting his shot, and a loose ball leading to fast break for the Jazz, who easily attacked us because they KNEW they would get the call if any contact was made. F*CK the REFS, F*CK cheaters. Yes, cheaters.
Unfortunately, it is common theme in Utah. Part of their defensve stategy is to hack and foul all the time. Especially at home they get away with it. This is one of the reasons for their great home-court-advantage. The refs know they just cannot call everything and let a lot of things go. Away from Utah this doesnt happen and they get into foul trouble and have a harder time getting into a rythm and disrupting the other teams game. For the Utah fans pointing out the foul-shooting difference. The refs should have called even more then they did, but knew it just couldnt happen. It was amazing how ticky-tacky fouls the Hornets got called for. You still have to make your shots that is true, but getting fouled almost everytime and not getting the call destroys your rythm. Basketball is a game were the mental part is real important. On another note. Utahs hot shooting at the beginning kinda help them survive and keep them in the game. Everything was going according to plan. Utah only got contested mid-range jumpers and unfortunately they hit them. Even Milsap, who is talented, but the mid-range game is not as good as he showed today.
i stick with my 50 win prediction. I believe in this team. and from what they have shown the first few games, they are SOMEWHAT resilient. i just hope nothing bad becomes after this. People are starting to panic and point out problems(real problems we've known since), however its not all doom and gloom(unlike the Clippers loss). This next few games has really exposed our entire team - offensively, defensively and our coach. I hope they get it back together. a 2-1 from here will make me happy, a 1-2 is what i expect. an 0 - 3 will make me panic a little bit.
i agree about okafor, he is just to soft and hesitant sometimes, and the refs were ridiculous! people dont understand that it really doesnt matter how many foul calls its when the fouls occur! we got a lot of free throws but that wasnt in momentum changing moments such as wen we fouled (or didnt foul) players on the jazz the whisle couldnt b blown fast enuff. and as for okafor..... i just dont see how a 6'10 guy can go up for a dunk and get blocked by every1 without a foul! i mean... everyone cudnt have gotten all ball right??? i dont think so. we also missed so many open shots, at times like that i just wished cp wud take most of the shots but as sumone pointed out he has been disappearing down da stretch. i like him shooting 50% and all but do wat u gotta do to win CP3! and if dat means takin 25 shots like Kobe wen da offense isnt working and noone is making shots, then so be it! DONE
I think Zone was bad for real. Bad defense tonight and low FG%. Maybe we lose becouse we don't have David Andersen on bench or something? I think that after matchup @ Dallas NBA just discovered how to destroy Hornets.
The tag team of Paul-West won't carry the Hornets very far. The offensive scheme, as some point out above, is way too slow and predictable. Hornets NEVER get out on a break after a defensive rebound. They wait for Chris to do his thing, which he often does well. But when you overload on him and on that elbow pick and roll with West for almost your entire offense, smart coaches like Jerry Sloan will make you pay over the course of a game and season. The ball does not move well in the Hornets' deliberate and slow offense. Marco stays in the corner because that's what Monty wants him to do. They rarely get the ball to him for the corner three and everything else he is forced to freelance. The idea is to spread the floor for the interior game to work properly. But because Marco gets so few shots in this offense (six tonight, SIX for the shooting guard, and a good shooting guard at that), his threat from deep is diminished, defenders sag on West and Okafor and little or nothing happens long term. The ball has to move better around perimeter. Trevor and Marco have to be able to slash more and get the ball. Marco works like Hell out there for very little reward. Ariza is only effective when on the move. Marco will attack the basket too, but it has to come on some kind of play where he gets a PICK. His only drives to the hoop are solos because they don't run plays for him (except for that nice curl at the elbow, which we see about once every two games). What big man ever sets picks on this team? Monty and Chris have got to take stock of their offensive scheme. The perimeter defense remains good, except that West and Okafor cannot handle strong interior play. That was evident in Sacto, LA, and now Utah. The Hornets look different since the Jack trade, but that's not all on him by any means. Monty is going too deep on the bench. Marcus Thornton has no business out there, and while Pondexter is going to be good, now is not the time to throw him into an important game. Save Pon for garbage time. He's a rookie, and not a high draft pick. He'll develop in time but not at the expense of coherence and continuity. The Hornets have shown little coherence and continuity over the past few games. Teams that win play comprehensively. They need to reconfigure the offense to get everyone involved. And they desperately need help inside. Okafor is not consistent enough, but part of his lack of production results from the offensive game plan too. Paul-West...two on five. A nice combination and two quality players, but it's not enough. There's work to do.
I agree w/ most of what you're saying, but I'm getting sick of everyone's negative MT5 comments. You all may be equally sick of the positive MT5 comments as well, but seriously: you MT5 pessimists expect him to earn a point per minute, or otherwise he's not valuable. Really?? No one can be put on that pedestal. Especially no one who has hardly played this whole season. And please don't say "I have limited knowledge of the game." That's just low. Whenever this kid makes a valuable run for this team game after game (and it will happen eventually) and we win those games, you all will say hypocritically that Marcus is a focal point in this team. WHEN that happens. It won't be now or 20 games from now. but it will happen, and he'll help us win, I guarantee. And then at that point, everyone will say how crucial he is to this team. Good day. Let's win on Friday.
"What big man ever sets picks on this team?" So far it looks to be the newcomers Mbenga and Smith. But in the lineup that Beli finds himself in, I'm assuming Chris has never needed anything other than his speed to get to the basket. Which means Okafor and West have never been asked to come out of the post to set a high pick. And that's too bad because Marco can be very tricky around the basket, he just needs help like a PnR to get there.
Jazz fan here- Some of your complaints the Jazz fan every year. D-Will sometimes isn't as aggressive as we want him to be but luckily for us tonight he was. I understand why you want CP3 taking more shots and taking it to the rim because nobody can stay in front of him. I love his game and in all honesty I think the whole D-Will is better than CP3 and vice versa is a joke. They are both very very good and fit each others teams just fine. I think the only difference between the two teams right now are the coaches!! Jerry Sloans system is the most underrated system in the league. He turns average players (millsap, miles,) into very productive players. Your hornets would be just fine but like I have read there was very little movement on the offensive side. Anyways just a few of my thoughts on the teams Good luck this season ................f.u.c.k the lakers
I'm all about the cussing, but usually a little thought will result in better slams. Give it a shot.
@BRYAN Respect, we have found a Jazz fan that is reasonable. I'm assuming your one of the rare ones that arent inbred?? jokes jokes but seriously, Utah is a horrible matchup for us and Deron isnt a good matchup for CP so more often than not the Jazz will beat us and I still think the hornets on their day are a better team but the matchup is bad. but im right with you here FUCK THE LAKERS and their phony fans
@QueenBee I hope your comment about the blazers killing us Friday doesn't come true, its one of only two times I get to see the hornets this year and they better not go out and get destroyed. I'll never hear the end of it...
our offense is simply mediocre...i don't know if it's our plays or what. we're super stagnant. I agree that cp3 has disappeared in the 2nd halfs of these last few games, but at the same time Ariza's threes almost NEVER fall in at this point, and I think we need to drive, and get to the free throw line more. Also I think Jack, when on the floor, should be the primary ball handler. I hate seeing Green and Thornton bringing up the ball. Let Jack work and we should be in a better place.
If it was bad officiating that Paul only went to the line on 80% of his flops, then your point is well taken.
It was bad officiating that the Jazz can slap, hack and grab and not be called for it. They probably think the Jazz fans are some religious cult that will curse them or something. LOL! Head back to your board.
This has been my complaint for years, and the reason I had hope at the beginning of the season since we were being that aggressive Defense. Now we are back to playing passively on the perimeter most of the game and on the interior half of the game. Boston and Utah have always committed 3 times as many fouls as the refs can call, but they do it consistently throughout the game so the refs can't call them without ruining the game. Also, the ridiculous number of offensive fouls that were called against the Bees are a hidden way to kill an offense by taking away its aggression. My boy Gray showed why he hasn't been let out of the nursery before this. We need him last night, but he was useless. He looked lost, and couldn't keep his body on anyone. Mbenga looked better, but he got whistle-bit too. As for Dwill versus CP3, Dwill did play better this game due to his efficient shooting especially from 3. The reason we lost is because Dwill does not need to run every successful play. Many other players are making the right pass, and the receivers are getting open and converting. Not happening for the Hornets right now. And don't get me started on free throws down the stretch. West, Paul, and Belly must make their free throws. We seem to have either stopped playing hungry or been figured out. This is the test of Monty's worth as a coach.
Let me also say that the officials are NOT the only reason the Hornets lost this game. They contributed bits and pieces though. As they normally do. And not just in Hornets games. So Jazz fans, head back to your board and celebrate your 12-3 over CP3 and his Hornets. Your trophy is in the mail.
Anyone notice Green at the three in crunch time? Ariza couldn't shoot, and looks a little out of control when he has the ball in the offense. It seem like Monty needs him to attack, but Ariza's not slashing, and the jumpers weren't falling, and Green was the better player. The Hornets miss Peja already. A backup who plays smart on both ends, is as long as a power forward, and can shoot. The bench right now is a three combo guard lineup with Mbenga and Smith down low.
Marcus had 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, and a measly 2 points in 12 minutes. Aaron Gray had a rebound and a foul and a bunch of non-existent stats in 9 minutes. Face. In. Palm.
On a sidenote, even though he is a much better player Willie Green is the new Devin Brown. Same 1 on 4 fast breaks, same over dribbling knowing he will jack up the shot as shot clock expires. And it appears he is purposely sabotaging Thornton when they are on the court together. Pass the ball Willie, its ok sir lol!
We really do need to make a move for a scorer & also let MT5 shine. Demps make a move 4 someone. Monta Ellis im thinkin Monta Ellis... jus sayin
bottom line the hornets are not real contenders, just love the fact that peja's absence is really missed on the floor and that all you guys that were happy to see him gone now are probably wishing he was back, and maybe in retrospect you can appreciate a little bit more his contribution to this team, and i'm not talking about this year but in prior years.