The Hornets beat the Blazers

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Published: November 27, 2010

The Hornets got back to their winning ways tonight as they delivered a nutshot to the MASH unit masquerading as the Portland Trailblazers.  Oh wait, that was Brandon Roy delivering the nutshot to teammate Rudy Fernandez midway through the game while going for a loose ball.  It looked pretty ugly.

Regardless, that play was the rest of the game in microcosm.  Sean Marks went down with an ankle sprain, Rudy went out with his “pelvic bone contusion” and Wesley Matthews missed some time after cracking his head on his own teammates knee.  Sheesh.  The result was a 97-78(Box Score) blowout over the Blazers.

The game didn’t open going all Hornets though.  Roy was nailing long bombs and Aldridge was sinking uncontested mid-range jumpers, putting the Trailblazers up quickly.  Then, the Hornets defense tightened up, West started nudging Aldridge, then bumping him, and suddenly Aldridge was ineffective except the one time West got a little too muscle-y with him and Aldridge spun for an alley-oop.  His inability to handle West’s physicallity left Roy alone trying to carry the load. He’s good, but not that good.

For the first time all season, a Hornets game was probably decided entirely on the glass as the Hornets out-rebounded the desperately undersized Blazers 48 to 27. 

Chris Paul

The Trailblazers shifted Batum onto Paul for the second half, thinking that might disrupt the Hornets’ offense.  It did get the Hornets into their offense a little later as Paul had to fight to get the ball, but then the Blazers experienced the truth about the Hornets Point Guard.  He’s not looking to score.  6 shots for the game from the opposing team’s superstar?  That’s got to be confusing. So the best Trailblazer defender was tracking Paul, and Paul simply dribbled until the Blazers sent the double team – which happened constantly – and then found the open guy and they scored.  Or got fouled as the Blazers tried to catch up.

Paul scored 16 points on 6 shots.  He had a +27 for the game, and you felt it when he played.  He controlled that entire game.

Willie Green

Willie didn’t spend a minute at the point this game, getting all his time next to Jack and Paul, putting the “shoot” in shooting guard.  And shoot, shoot, shoot he did.  And he made them.  Over and over.  19 points on 11 shots.  He jot open shots, he got out on the break, and he got to the elbow and drilled his favorite fade.  He was effective.  Still, don’t go looking for anything else from him in the boxscore.  29 minutes, zero rebounds, zero assists.  Some might be grumpy about his defense on Roy, but he worked hard to limit the Blazer’s star, and he did a decent job.

Other Observations

  • The rebounding game was a collective effort tonight, as all the starters contributed – even rebound-adverse Belinelli who grabbed four.  Smith and Marcus Thornton cleaned the glass for the Hornets
  • Thornton played 10 minutes, and they were okay.  He did have two defensive screw-ups right away, but to Monty’s credit he didn’t pull him immediately.  Thornton played through, and though he didn’t hit his shots, he played well enough.
  • Smith, on the other hand, wasn’t getting free for his jumper as much, and watching him dribble was wince-inducing.  It didn’t matter though, as he impacted the game on the boards, outmuscling the small Blazers lineup and coming up with his usual trio of hustle plays.
  • Batum isn’t much of a ball-handler.  The Portland announcers kept saying how he should easily be able to take Belinelli or Willie Green into the post, or drive on them and hit shots over them, but he didn’t look comfortable dribbling around guards, giving up the ball when they went into defensive crouches.  For now, Batum is a superior defender, and a corner three shooter.
  • West was happy to float this game, making Aldridge take fadeaways, and drill his own shots when they were wide open.  He even tossed in a three-pointer at the end of the game when the time was clicking down, just for giggles.
  • Okafor was good on the offensive glass, but he makes me so frustrated.  Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie had a great line about how the Hornets traded Chandler’s alley-oop dunks for Okafor’s “power layups”.  I’m starting to question the “power” part.
  • Sean Marks played well.  In fact, while he was in, he was playing Okafor to a standstill.  I might have just been too generous to Okafor.
  • Jack was trying to do too much.  He already seems to have a connection to Willie Green though.  Expect more shootin’ from Willie.

Have a good night!

25 comments
Ron
Ron

CP3 had 5 TOs. What happened? Also, how can Okafor be out-muscled in the paint? He's got big, brawny shoulders and should be able to have his way in the paint w/ anyone except the much larger TC. What am I missing?

Bywas2001hornet4ever
Bywas2001hornet4ever

dats wat im sayin! he seems to be built like dwight howard just not strong, wtf???

QueenBee
QueenBee

I don't know but I love that he was aware of it and tweeted about it after the game. He hates turning the ball over. Hopefully next game it won't happen. We wouldn't want him to reach Deron Williams' level of turnovers now would we? LOL.

42
42

Queen: Get it through your head! Chris can not compete with Deron in turnovers! Deron is the greatest!

Mark
Mark

HAHA "POWER LAYUPS." That's quite honestly the most depressing, albeit accurate, adjective to describe Mek's offensive prowess.

Will Bennett
Will Bennett

This team will be successful if they hustle. When they come out hard and aggressive they yield tremendous results.

42
42

I thought Marks going down was something that really affected the game. They are snake-bitten at that position. Marcus is getting minutes and being allowed to play through mistakes. So, I see that he's worked up to making the the mistakes he's making now on the court from making more in practice. Marcus' play both somewhat justifies his minutes up to this point and his continuing minutes, clearly with an opportunity for more if he heats up, going forward. Ryan . . . are you suggesting . . . it just seems like you imply . .. I could be mistaken, but it's as if you think Chris feels points for team at the expense of his personal stats is . . . good? Ewww, I feel dirty even typing that.

benmez
benmez

IMO this team is championchip calibre if we can get 2 more solid peices for the bench. We need a backup SF and a big who can provide some physicality inside. Obviously the SF spot can be filled by Pondexter but Im not sure hes ready to step it up for a championchip calibre team right now. He obviously has talent he just needs to work on his shooting and he has to be more assertive and agressive in games. Sometimes he's in a for 6 minute stretches and when he leaves your shocked to find out he was even in the game. 4 backup SF's to keep an eye out for. Donte Greene, Fransisco Garcia, Omri Cassipi, Andres Nocioni, James Johnson. One of the 3 Kings players will likely be made available. Right now Cassipi is sitting but im thinking Garcia will be the one we can get. Any of those 4 would provide us with a solid, quality swing for out backup unit. 3 backup big men Jason Thompson, Samuel Dalembert, Jason Maxiell. Finding a way to grab any of these 3 would be huge for this team.

DownUnder
DownUnder

Good win! A point I would like to make is that no one is complaining about anything involving tonights game except for maybe Emeka's efforts. Its a good thing cause we hornets fans and any dedicated fan for that matter know whats going wrong when we lose and whats going right when we win. Just remember about this kind of game for when we go through a rough patch again. Every team has a weakness, before tonights game people were saying its the lack of a 3rd scorer and i agree it would make our team better to have that. But not many teams do have a third scorer and its about how you overcome your weaknesses that shows where your at as a team. Whats cost us the last two games and nearly cost us the two before that was; poorer defense , inefficient scoring and Cp's subpar performances. What won us this game was better defense, efficient scoring and Cp's on par performance. So lets not blame the roster so much for our future loses but just blame the effort of the night. Acknowledge the improvments that can be made such as a 3rd scorer that plays on one of the wing spots, or a defensive big man that blocks and alter's every shot. Because every team can make those improvments and we need those to become a better team but lets take guys like Ariza and Emeka for what they are worth. I am personally looking forward to seeing the after all star break Ariza that the Rockets got last year and the Lakers got in the playoffs! I'll expect to see Emeka have those nights where he thinks his still in college and looks like his worth his contract and more. Im glad we at least have those guys because alot of teams are doing alot worse. They are in part, the reasons to why our team now is better than it has been over the last two seasons. (Im saying this with the thanksgiving spirit)

peronas
peronas

First thing Okafor should be flat out embarrassed for getting stuffed by Marks the way he did. I also kinda enjoyed when Rudy went down since it wasn't serious, as some other people said. Even funnier that it was at the hands of his own teammate. Never been a fan of Rudy and his tactics. The fans here seem to be a bit tired of him as well, last year when Thornton caught him with an elbow the arena was up in arms, he goes down tonight and a good portion of the fans around me were relieved that he was off the floor regardless of the circumstances. Lastly, the Hornets D sucked the life out of that arena which is usually quite boisterous. Every time they'd start a chant the Hornets would force the Blazers deep into the shot clock, they'd miss, and the arena went dead. This is huge, the crowd and atmosphere are really what makes for a home court advantage, as the energy from the crowd I feel shows up on the court. Once Batum blew that dunk the crowd was deflated, and the Blazers seemed to follow suit. All in all great game, glad the Hornets got up for this one!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Hahaha! Glad the Hornets were able to get that win in a hostile environment for you peronas.

Rocco
Rocco

Solid defense and rebounding really fueled this team the final three periods. Kudos to Green (scoring and ability to penetrate) and Smith (rebounding, some timely scoring) off the bench. I'm glad to see Marco continuing to find his outside stroke (4-5 3 pt fgs) scoring 14 pts on eight shots. CP showed how only he can dominate a game with his unique talents. I'm thinking the Pollenators have a break out offensive game against ATL on Sunday.

Stefan
Stefan

The Spurs AND Lakers both lost tonight as well. Now that's the cherry on top!

Stefan
Stefan

If you look closely, it seems that David West shot that 3 because a man from the courtside seats challenged him to do it. After the shot, David West shot that man a nasty glance as the man stood up to congratulate West with an always in-style finger point.

Downtowndave
Downtowndave

My favorite D West "Gotcha boy" was against Boston a couple of years back. Kevin Garnett was talking trash and eventually got on all fours like a dog. The rest of the teams' players backed up, there was a one-on-one scenario, and D West brought it to the hoop. So sweet!

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

Actually, I noticed that too. I think the guy was telling him he couldn't hit a three, and West had to shoot anyways so drilled it and gave him the sneer.

42
42

I didn't see it, but the radio guys noticed it. I love D West doing stuff like that. Gotta hit the youtube . . .

James Online
James Online

When Marcus Thornton is in, do you think he plays for the team or for himself? Just askin'.

peronas
peronas

I think it's tough to tell given that he's played such limited minutes and the situations in which he's come into games. For portions of tonights game when he was in he seemed focused on helping grab the defensive rebounds and making sure the play was done. Also, I did hear him yelling and talking quite a bit on defense which I'm not sure if he always did or not, but I feel it showed that he was at least trying to be active in the overall team defense. That being said, that last possession during his first stint out there tonight, you could tell that when he saw Belinelli at the scorers table he felt some sort of pressure to get his before getting pulled. Resulting in a regrettable drive into traffic and a subsequent loose ball foul I believe. I think that this pressure has a lot to do with how sporadic his PT has been and with consistent minutes I think he'd at least make a solid effort to fit into the team game at both ends. Whether his effort results in anything positive I'm not sure anyone, outside of the coaches, can say at this point since we haven't seen much of him in the team system in actual games. Regardless, switching into a "gotta get mine" mentality when you are about to get pulled isn't going to win you any points or extra PT with a coach that's been preaching team play since day one.

mbdtf
mbdtf

It's hard to say at this point. I mean I'm sure he's not straight up going out there thinking that he's playing for himself. However, he also realizes that his playing time is pretty limited at this point. Therefore, he seems to be trying to force things on offense sometimes. I think once he starts making some shots, he'll let his offense start coming to him a little more.

mbdtf
mbdtf

A few positives and negatives I picked up from tonight's game: Positives: Defense - Especially in the 2nd half, only allowing 30 pts. All around effort - Our 2 all-stars only had to take a combined 15 shots. Green on offense - Like you said, 19 pts in 29 mins; he's going to be the offensive spark that the bench needs. Ariza - Surprisingly made some shots! 6-11 FGs for 18 pts. Rebounds - Like you said, 48-27 advantage for us. Negatives: Okafor's offensive production - 6 pts. (2-6 FG's) Like others have said, he needs to get his confidence back, and implement a pump fake from time to time! Also, watching him shoot FT's tonight was painful, 2-8. Turnovers - We had 17 to Portland's 10. However, this proved not to be an issue as we scored 21 pts off their 10 TO's, and they only managed to put up 14 pts off our 17 TO's. Still something to address though. Feel free to add on.

Bywas2001hornet4ever
Bywas2001hornet4ever

This was a good win for the hornets, although i still find myself frustrated with okafor. he is still not going up strong enuff, For God's sake give a pump fake and get da defenders n da air so u can make da shot and not worry about free throws cause u r 60% buddy!!!!!!! even shaq figured dat 1 out. this game just reminded me how much i like green even tho he was gettin pwned by roy.... h makes his open shots at a consistent rate and thats more than i can say about any1 off da bench or even in da startin lineup (except cp of course) But green makes me happy tho

kempleton
kempleton

Great defensive effort! Great win against a playoff-ranking rival! Great bounce-back after that loss in Salt Lake City! Looking forward to the game on Sunday. Let Texas feel the storm of the bees once again and let us go back to the top of the division! Geaux Hornets!

kempleton
kempleton

Two wins against Blazers. One with 20, one with 19. Seems like Coach Williams knows their weaknesses very well. Well done!

Jordan
Jordan

Great recap as usual (I find myself waiting for a recap on here after every game now) Only thing I would've thrown in was a showing for Trevor, who had what I thought was a very nice game tonight. Okafor has to get that CONFIDENCE back that he had at the start of the season!