The Thunder beat the Hornets

Published: November 29, 2010

The Hornets are starting to perfect the art of the late collapse, getting outscored in the fourth and losing to the Thunder 95-89(Box Score).  The Hornets gave up their lead through a series of turnovers, poor execution, and repeated attempts to take advantage of one player in the fourth who didn’t have it going or even really have an advantage.  That player, of course, was:

David West

He punished the hell out of Jeff Green all game long.  7 of his made shots were against Green.  The problem was, with the game on the line, Green wasn’t guarding West.  It was Kevin Durant, who is smarter, more athletic, and exactly the sort of player that has always given West problems – long and light on their feet.  West’s biggest nemesis in the game is Lamar Odom.  Durant isn’t that much different than him physically.  So the Hornets force fed West five out of six posessions over a crucial four  minutes from 5:00 to 1:00, and he got exactly no points.  The score went from 81-75 in the Hornets favor to 81-88 against.  He then went out after being hit in the eye, and the Hornets relied on Paul to initiate the offense and scored 6 quick points.  What was worse about the misses was the Hornets had cleared entire sides for West isolations so the entire team was loaded up on one side of the floor.  No one was therefore in position to go for offensive rebounds on half of the court – and the rest were all near the perimeter.  When West missed, the Thunder snatched up the ball and jammed it down the Hornets throat in transition, drawing foul after foul.

That leads me to:

Monty Williams

Dear Coach Williams,

West is moderately efficient as a scorer, but he is not brilliant.  Paul is a brilliant scorer and distributor.  Crunch time should be Chris Paul time, not David West time.  Actually, let me change that.  It can be David West time, but ONLY when he’s shooting after Chris Paul has broken down the defense.  The ball needs to start in Paul’s hands.  It can end wherever, but Paul needs to be creating the shot.

Thanks.  Great job so far, by the way.

Other Observations:

  • Paul was brilliant for most of the game, controlling everything, and for a long time, keeping Westbrook under control until he was able to get in transition against the Hornets late in the fourth.
  • The second unit struggled tremendously outside of Quincy Pondexter.  Jason Smith couldn’t hit anything, and Willie and Jack could get nothing within ten feet of the basket.  I said in the game preview we might have to suffer through some runs by the bench, and we did.  Jack was -11 for the game, Mbenga -12, and Green -4.
  • Ariza was brilliant defensively during the game.  Durant did most of his damage on a switch, when he was guarded by Green, of when Collison was setting a deadly series of screens for him.  Ariza made nothing easy for Durant, and I’m comfortable with him drawing that assignment any day of the week.
  • Okafor had a fantastic game rolling to the hoop and finishing inside.  I could have done with less Smith and Mbenga, and more than 31 minutes of Okafor.
  • Belinelli only shot one shot tonight with his feet set.  He kept fumbling the ball and shuffling before shooting.  He even got the ball on open shots twice and chose to dribble briefly, shuffle and semi-fade from a none-to-aggressive defender.  Predictably, he shot poorly.
  • Does anyone know why the Box Score says we have Joe Alexander on the team?
  • In the first half, the Hornets had a brilliant play going where they kept attacking the Thunder defense from sideline, generating open layups and lanes for Paul to get to the middle.  Strangely, they ran it at all in the second half.  It needed more play.

So the Hornets lose.  They are now 4-5 since their 8 game winning streak.  Let’s hope they can feast on Charlotte and New York over the coming two games.  They need some wins.  Go listen to the podcast, and scoff at me when I say the Thunder don’t scare me.

Though they still don’t.  So there!


  1. Taquito

    November 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I disagee with the Paul comment, he was terrible in the 4th quarter, forcing shots and getting owned by westbrook, ive watched 3 hornets games this season, 3 losses and i havent seen paul even trying to control either of those games, again, the last 5 minutes were frustrating and awful to watch

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm

      Paul took 1 3 pointer (made it), one other shot that Ibaka blocked and got fouled on another 3 pointer (knocked down all 3 free throws). Not like he was out there chucking up shots like Baron Davis. LOL. One might say CP should have attemped more in the 5 minutes he played in the 4th quarter but he wasn’t forcing shots.

    • jib

      November 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      russell westbrook outplayed Paul? Ignorance I tell ya… well sure I’ll give it to westbrook for slightly outscoring (but that should come with shooting 6 more shots), and he did close it out and he is and will be a great pg, but he was outassisted, oh and had 8 turnovers compared to CP3’s two, so maybe I can respect it was a push between the two, but he didn’t outplay him, not even close

  2. Michael McNamara

    November 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    This is the worst offensive game the Thunder will ever have against us and we lost- they might not scare you, but I think they are a terrible matchup for us. The key to beating the Thunder is by doing everything we did defensively PLUS exposing their soft inner core on defense. Neither West or Okafor is sapable of doing that consistantly and our perimeter players seem satisfied with jacking up jumpers.

    Talent wise, I do not fear OKC, as I think it is pretty similar. Matchup wise, I don’t like it.

    • nikkoewan

      November 29, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      whats sapable mike? LOL

      kidding, that said. i believe in what you said in the podcast. i just hope CP3 doesn’t do this pacing for the rest of the season. I hope that as the season goes on, he starts revving the engine a lot more. Although this version of CP3 is still(statistically) awesome, i just hope we get another awesome player, and West(statistically) is not awesome, he is just, okay. well thats that, mike wasn’t proven wrong! NOO thats going to be a topic “in the NO” next week NO!!!

      *side note: love the podcasts guys! where’s joe in the podcasts?

    • Ryan Schwan

      November 30, 2010 at 10:55 am

      Again, you ignore any impact the Hornets may have had on creating that offensive failure. Their defense was doing what it was supposed to all game long. The Thunder weren’t getting good shots until the end when they rammed it down their throats.

  3. Jordan

    November 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Again, Hornets play a GREAT game up until the last five minutes. Our offense completely shuts down when we go to west, clear out, and watch. David West is an extremely good and consistent player, but I HATE that offense. Our offense was adequate until the last five minutes, when it looked like no one was allowed to touch the ball except West. We gotta pull these out, but we gon’ be aight!

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:09 pm

      Why is that? Is this what our new offense is now? Give the ball to West? Does Monty think West is the best player on this Hornets team?

    • Mikey

      November 30, 2010 at 11:33 am

      Paul hits that 3 in the 4th quarter to go up 6. The next possession, I saw that CP-to-West 2-man game and said to myself, “This is Byron Scott offense all over again. This game is over, we’re about to piss this one away.” And thats exactly what happened. I’m putting this more on the players, specifically West and Paul. I think bad habits die hard. Thing is, West gets offense going in one-on-one situations, or after Paul’s dribble penetration that creates an open shot for West. Both the Spurs and Thunder brough a double team as soon as West got the ball in the 4th quarter, and we had no answer. Perhaps a day off where the fellas can look at the tape will allow them to see that.

      Teams have also made the adjustment to the Hornets collapsing defense. Earlier in the season, the Hornets weren’t allowing anything in the paint, but were willing to let 3’s fly. Problem is, now teams are knocking down those 3’s, and that forces the Hornets to sprread their defense out, thereby allowing easy buckets underneath. Check, your move, Monty.

  4. geocp3

    November 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Where is Anderson? If he can come in and do what Jason Smith is doing which shouldn’t be too hard, we can then afford to trade Smith. Is there then any chance we package him with Thornton, Green or Bellinelli and get a Tyson Chandler type player in return? Boy Dwight Howard would be a perfect fit for this team, shame there is no way we could ever pry him.

  5. Mike

    November 29, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Yeah, during the win streak, the last five minutes were CP time. Not sure when or why it became David West time, but it’s odd that Paul’s beginning games aggressive and ending them deferring all of a sudden.

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      Right. We were calling CP “The Closer” in those early weeks. Now it’s looking like defer to David West time. Why are they trying to make West “The Closer” now? I think this is Monty trying something new with the offense because how can CP be allowed to do some of his best stuff down the stretch in early weeks and not do that now? His movements don’t appear to be hampered by his knee or that brace so I don’t think it’s his knee that has us doing different things out there.

      • edbballin504

        November 30, 2010 at 9:07 am

        Maybe we are showcasing West’s abilities and value to use in a blockbuster trade. Yall know Demps has to be working the phones again after losing so many games recently. LoL.

      • Ryan Schwan

        November 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

        Maybe Demps thinks West looks more like Kira Sedgwick than Paul does?

  6. James Online

    November 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    How many failing isolation clearouts did they run for West in the last five minutes? Try something else! The ball almost never moves crisply around the Hornets’ perimeter. There are few cases of a good pass to another good pass to a basket. Instead, it’s send everybody to their assigned spots, pound the ball into West, and hope for the best. That’s fine as part of the system, but it can’t BE the system.

    I don’t understand why Chris likes to let the ball roll halfway up the court after made baskets by the opponents only to snatch it up and then waste half the shot clock or more before the play cranks up. Hornets are forever racing to score with shot clock pressure. Using all the clock every possession might help keep the opponents’ scoring down, but it does little to spark the offense.

    Marco needed to make those shots he missed tonight, especially after getting off to a hot start. I’d like to see him take and make more mid range jumpers, and when he drives, to throw his body more into the defender to get the calls. He rarely looks to “take over” any part of the game. If you watch closely you’ll see he keys his every move off what Chris Paul is doing, especially trying to balance the court. That helps everyone else because it opens interior spaces which has helped the Hornets amass an impressive record so far. But I’d like to see everyone more centrally involved in the offensive flow. Ariza isn’t getting enough shots, and the Paul-West-Paul-West tango just got a 5 from the Dancing with the Stars judges.

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      “I don’t understand why Chris likes to let the ball roll halfway up the court after made baskets by the opponents only to snatch it up and then waste half the shot clock or more before the play cranks up. Hornets are forever racing to score with shot clock pressure. Using all the clock every possession might help keep the opponents’ scoring down, but it does little to spark the offense. ”

      CP lets the ball roll depending on how much time is on the clock. He gets a two for one possession or something by doing that. The clock don’t start until he touches the ball. He’s been doing that for a long time and it usually pays off. Depending on how much time is on the clock, the Hornets will usually always have the last possession before time expires.

      • 42

        November 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm


      • James Online

        November 30, 2010 at 11:37 am

        I’m not talking about end of quarter situations. Every team tries to manage a two-for-one at the end of quarters. He does that “let the ball roll” thing throughout the game, depending on defensive pressure. CP is great but the offense wastes a lot of time getting into the flow of their sets causing a lot of rushed shots. I don’t consider that brilliant.

  7. QueenBee

    November 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Speaking of the bench, Eichenhofer tweeted this….

    “NOLA is 4-5 since 8-0 start. One factor: 2nd unit held/added to leads in 4th quarter during first few weeks. Drop-off there recently”

    I agree. It seemed our bench played much better in the first weeks. Lately they haven’t been holding or adding to any lead the Hornets may have.

    • 42

      November 29, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      Smith has cooled . . . or has been scouted.

      • AgentZiko

        November 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

        Yea, he’s definitely been scouted. Teams are shading a defender over every time someone drives, so that Smith has a hand in his face each time he catches the ball. But either way, the hand in his face has been coming from smaller defenders. I REALLY want to see Smith shoot OVER those guys. The second he sees a defender, he decides not to shoot. He has GREAT length. I know he can shoot over those guys.

  8. brazilian hornet

    November 29, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Our current franchise player is David West. He is responsible for deciding plays in the games of the Hornets. Our PG simply omits time to decide and prefer D-West does. See if Deron Williams delegating to others the task of giving the winnings to Jazz? That worries me and upsets me a lot …

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm

      Well you don’t know if Monty is telling Paul to do that or not though. Monty is always yelling out stuff on the sidelines. Byron Scott didn’t do that as much. He gave Paul the greenlight since he was a rookie. And don’t act like Deron Williams doesn’t have to do what the heck Sloan says to do. This was one of the Jazz fans biggest beef for the longest time. Not giving Deron more freedom to do more.

      • AgentZiko

        November 30, 2010 at 10:09 am

        Yea, seriously. The difference is if DWill DIDN’T do what Sloan told him to do, Sloan would blacken his eye, even if it was on national television. LoL.

  9. 42

    November 29, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Coming out of last game, we kept hearing about how Paul was hurt and something was wrong. So, what did everything thing of Paul being, for lack of a better word, scared? He seemed active and physical. Anyone want throw some mushy adjectives around to describe his play? How how diving out of bounds? I could point to more, if you like, but if you saw the game, I’d really like to hear how being scared to take it to the rim jibes with him taking it to the rim, drawing contact, and diving to the floor on a number of occasions. Really. Where was the weakness tonight? Or is his injury intermittent? Does it only both him sometimes? I’ll buy that. Does that make it harder to talk about reasonably? Probably.

    Am I totally missing something?

    Our defense was fine after we scored. It was not after we didn’t score. The two are connected. It’s not like have some force-lightning-like-power we cast at the bad guys called defense. It’s situational. We are good in the sets. We are not good to the extent we have to improvise. This will improve to a point as the team `cures’.

    I was happy with our play over all. We countered many runs by the Thunder and kept their life at the line low-by-their-standards, even more so until we got into foulsies. We did what we were supposed to do except score.

    I feel that a good offense should score at least 20 in each quarter. 25 is the good thing. We have not been doing this. Some of that has to do with the simplicity of the Hornets attack. Some of it has to do with D West not kicking the ball out (which he did to Marco at least once at the end . . . for a miss). Some of this has to do with Emeka being slow. All of this seems correctable to me.

    Plus we have a budding Marcus on the bench.

    Plus the potential of Andersen.

    Plus we could get someone in trade.

    12-5 after 17. I’m happy.

    All the comments getting dunked took some of the sizzle from the following move, but here is a quote from Joe from the season preview post:

    “On the other hand, if the Hornets can come out of the gate hot, and finish November even close to .500, they will have a manageable schedule throughout the middle of the season, and would be a prime position to ride momentum like they did in 2007-2008. With this being Monty’s first year as a head coach, it’s hard to know what to expect out of the team, and how well they will cope with adversity should they lose a few early on.”

    We are 3 games north of `0.500′ (call it 9-8), which may not be considered near (since 6-11 wouldn’t be called near, right?), but it fits the `prime position’ criterion, plus we’ve upgraded the roster. We need to practice with them . . .

    As we exit November basketball, reflect on this team a year ago, 6 months ago, 5 months ago, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .

    See . . . isn’t that nice?

    Good start, guys.

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm

      “Anyone want throw some mushy adjectives around to describe his play?”

      I told my brother that CP was very ‘scrappy’ and ‘feisty’ in this game. Does he think he’s an NFL safety or something?

    • AgentZiko

      November 30, 2010 at 10:16 am

      I’m VERY happy with 12 and 5. I told EVERYONE I knew that NOH would be a top 4 team in the West this year and EVERYONE thought I was senile and needed medical attention because most people thought they wouldn’t make the playoffs. Yes there were games we should have won, but there were also games we probably shouldn’t have won and might not have under other conditions.

      We definitely have some pieces to fill. I really hope we can find a way to fill those pieces sooner than at the deadline. I would REALLY like to see us get a top seed, 1-3. And I dont think we can pass the Spurs, Lakers, Mavs, or Jazz if we wait til the deadline. We need 2 more bodies. NEED them.

      As for CP3, tonight and the Utah game were the most aggressive I have seen him since the Houston game. But tell me 42, did your heart NOT stop when you saw him go down after trying to save the ball on that one play? If that didn’t bring chills down every fans neck as a reminder from last season, I don’t know what will.

      • 42

        November 30, 2010 at 10:52 pm

        Yes, I was all over my tivo on that one.

  10. Bywas2001hornet4ever

    November 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    this loss really had me angry, this should have been our game, and da refs just mucked it up at the end. i mean really, Kevin durant goes for a hard jam, and Jason Smith blocks da crap outta him. but gets da foul. mek goes for da slam and gets blocked wit no foul, da plays looked identical but da same out come for da home team. we did everything right, we played good hornets style of ball, the barely got passed 90. we shud have won da mutha@$*&!*& game!!! I actually like Oklahoma City, but some of the calls they got were ridiculous, then to top it off da refs swallowed their dam whistles for the hornets down da stretch! Ex: Da picked off pass in which jason smith was rocked. but da refs arent all to blame, da damn hornets need to learn how to make open shots wen givin them (bellinelli) and stop playin one man ball! dat is all, im still slightly angry (understatement)

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm

      “i mean really, Kevin durant goes for a hard jam, and Jason Smith blocks da crap outta him. but gets da foul”

      OMG! That had me spitting fire. LOL! And when they stole the ball from Jason prior to that it was a foul but no whistle was to be found. I think it’s the Shinn factor. The league is mad that he still owns this team. LOL!

      • Hornet

        November 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm

        What had me angry the most was the missed calls on Durant when he’d slap West’s wrist when he “blocked” him. 2 easy points there and makes Durant play more passively. Really could have changed the way he D’d up West if he knew West had already drawn a foul on him.

  11. Ian

    November 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Every postgame interview after a loss we hear the same thing from CP3, “I shoulda took over” or “I shoulda sped up the tempo” or “that’s my job to dictate the offense” yet once again he disappears in the 2nd half for about the 3rd straight loss. Russell Westbrook took over and forced the issue while CP3 played slow methodical basketball last 6 minutes. I liked the old mean, cutthroat I refuse to lose CP3 much better. He has too much faith in guys that can’t/won’t perform. Even though his shooting/FT % sucks, Ariza is the only guy who wants to take the shot yet no one gets it to him. Same Bryon Scott panicking at end game situations as far as simplifying offense with DWest iso’s. Oh well, there is always Wednesday

    • QueenBee

      November 29, 2010 at 11:58 pm

      Ariza isn’t an offensive player. He may take a shot every now and then and make it but he’s more of a defensive player. And it’s not like he’s a pure shooter either. Is he even averaging 40% fg right now?

      • Ian

        November 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

        I totally agree that Ariza is not a pure shooter at all but look at his crunchtime shooting % and the fact that he isn’t afraid to shoot the ball unlike Marco. It may not be a high % shot, but at least he wants that pressure which tells me more about the player. We have only 2 guys that can get into the lane at will, one chooses not to lately in crunchtime and the other one is sitting next to the coach so that leaves 4 guys looking at DWest work 1 on 5. Someone needs to take over or at least attempt to at some point and defenses are making sure it’s not DWest.

  12. Go Blue

    November 30, 2010 at 12:02 am

    I don’t know if it just me but during the 4th quarter, coach Monty called most of the plays. I would see CP3 look to him to know what play to run, and almost every time, the next play would result in a miss (horrible shot) or a blocked shot. It seems like Monty has a leash on CP3 at the end up games.

    • QueenBee

      November 30, 2010 at 12:14 am

      Ok so it’s not just me that’s seeing that. Byron Scott gave CP the green light. He even once said CP would look at him on the sidelines early in CP’s career and Scott said he’d tell CP to do his thing. It seemed CP would be able to do more down the stretch in the first few weeks of this season but things have obviously changed.

  13. Go Blue

    November 30, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Hornet offense fizzles in fourth again. By John Hollinger

    • Mike

      November 30, 2010 at 2:06 am

      Not a big fan of Hollinger, but that was a solid summary of their problems.

    • 42

      November 30, 2010 at 7:22 am

      Good read. It saves me the trouble of looking that stuff up to help argue that it’s out offense.

      I think he’s got the factors pretty well laid out, as well as the test: December.

  14. Stefan

    November 30, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Jason Smith blocks Durant… it was a foul.

    Durant fouls Okafor… it was a block!?


    • F******

      November 30, 2010 at 4:19 am

      …..two crucial bad calls……

  15. mushyman167

    November 30, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I think we need a guy like Vince Carter or Corey Maggette who can score at will even if its by free throws. What we need is points on the board and nothing else when it comes to the 4th quarter. Thats what we havent been doing lately in the past 2 games. I thought our defense was fine today but we just need a guy who can score at will.

  16. MaxALM

    November 30, 2010 at 1:30 am

    There were two clear fouls on the Thunder at the end of the game that weren’t called. West got slapped by Durant on the wrist, as did Okafor on the very next drive.

    No one outside of CP ever went after loose balls.

    Smith was awful. He couldn’t hold onto the ball for his life. Him and Mbenga combined to be WIMPS. We have no backbone in the frontcourt outside of Mek. We keep making trades for our backcourt, but it’s more than obvious that we need an athletic big. Are we really going to rely on Mbenga for 15 minutes EVERY GAME?? while Smith is coughing up the ball on missed rebounds?

    Willie continually let wing players shoot wide open 3s and Js. I don’t see how this could have been an intentional defensive strategy.

    If we don’t win both of our games before Sunday, we’re toast.

  17. MaxALM

    November 30, 2010 at 1:35 am

    And Ariza went after loose balls too. Him and CP, thats it

  18. Bryan

    November 30, 2010 at 1:46 am

    what up y’all. i am starting to read this blog after every game and I am a Jazz fan.
    I didn’t see the game but it seems your complaints are the ones jazz fans have had a lot over the years; always complaining that D-Will would not take over in the last minutes and let AK or Miles shoot dumb ass jump shots. This year I believe the Jazz fans have been very pleased with D-Will being more aggressive throughout the game, which I believe is due to Boozer being gone. Jerry is letting him call the plays and do what he believes will be work… between player and coach.
    CP is one of the best pg’s in the league, if not the best and he needs to be the man creating at the end like many of you have said, but in the end with both these teams (jazz, hornets) being very similar I think the biggest difference is the systems each team runs. The Jazz share the ball and are always moving. Thanks to Jerry Sloan…
    Anyways great blog very intelligent fans and posts. I wish you would have beaten the Thunder because there aren’t many teams I hate more than them.

    good luck on the season

    • 42

      November 30, 2010 at 7:15 am


      We distribute well through the game, though not as good as the Jazz. At the end, it’s been fizzling and I’m not sure why. The cynic in me says Ariza missing 2 open 3’s from his preferred spot in the Dallas loss bit Monty something fierce.

      Good luck to you too.

      Quick question if you are still out there? What are you guys hoping to get for AK, and did that change after the Peja deal?

  19. rm

    November 30, 2010 at 3:34 am

    This is so painful to watch.

    I know I am going to get shouted down here but when watching these games I get so frustrated with Smith and Mbenga. There is no aggression, they are big guys but don’t use their size.

    This is main all the more painful when I know that Pops has got the game to make a difference. It may be too late and he may have blown his chance, and I admit he has had chances, but he can get the team going banging the boards and dunking over people.

    I know that I am a lone voice in the crowd and I am commenting on what I have seen in the past with Pops rather than what I seen from him with the Hornets. But if cuts out the stupidity, calms down I still think he has something to offer.

    Again if I was a betting man I would probably bet on him getting waived before he sees another minute, but I live in hope.

    @MM It has been a week and I have done the time.

    • Michael McNamara

      November 30, 2010 at 5:36 am

      LOL- you did your time like a man too. Good job.

      Maybe Pops is just getting off to a slow start (heck Darren Collison looked horrible through November last year), but I doubt the big we need is on this roster.

      • AgentZiko

        November 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

        Agree with Michael. I dig Pops, but he isn’t the savior we’re looking for inside.

      • rm

        November 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

        I reluctantly think you are right, I maybe am reading too much into his performances outside this league.

        Even Joe Alexander is posting some good numbers in the D-League.

  20. F******

    November 30, 2010 at 4:24 am

    They thought West had a mismatch against Durant, but it turned out that Durant could handle west in the post area. I don’t think Monty is trying to take the ball out of CP’s hands on offense. The starting five just failed to execute in the final minutes. Until then, everything worked out pretty well, as they were on top on the second night of a back to back and on the road!

  21. berlin-hornets

    November 30, 2010 at 5:15 am

    I couldnt watch the game, but I am disappointed once again. The only positive thing is that the team seems to be in control of most games, bur could not close them out lately. The defense seems to work in generel. The offense will come around, too. I am still very optimistic. Actually, for the month of December I expect an 11-5 record maybe 10-6. That would put us at 23-10 or 22-11. Both results would be great and are feasable. The team has to concentrate for the whole 48 minutes though.
    Geaux Hornets

  22. skiele

    November 30, 2010 at 6:32 am

    the good is that this team has the potential to be a very good team (the good work in the first halves is proving it), there’s some problems, they can’t at the moment change the offensive plan during the game, and there’s still not enough ball circulation from inside to outside. they need time to practice togheter, and involve more players in the offensive game, but i’m still pretty confident. even the second unit tonight seemed more fluid and tidy.

  23. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    November 30, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I didn’t get a chance to watch this game however I did notice we were up early in the 4th when I checked what the hell happened and how can we just stop playing? I think the defense effort is there but I’m starting to get that not so good feeling in my stomach after a loss like last year! Does anyone see a direct correllation with our losing ways since the bayless and peja moved? I think jack is better in theory but does he mesh as good with the team? I believe jacks’ role in Toronto was a leader…. Maybe we have too many internal leaders and with everyones “unselfishness” and hesitation on shots we are looking “dead” on offense.. I mean its really predictable that we are going into DWest during the final minutes. Teams know us by now

    • Ian

      November 30, 2010 at 9:21 am

      I didn’t wanna say that but that is exactly what I tweeted. Although they were extra pieces and not used that much the dimension of the team has changed since the trade. jack’s best game was his first one w/o practicing with the team. He has never been to the playoffs in 4 seasons so u can’t say he has been a big part of any winning organization before. They miss Peja’s floor spacing even if it’s for 12 minutes a game. 10-1 before trade 2-4 since.

      • 42

        November 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

        He didn’t play in most of the wins, check the quality of the teams played, and the 5 of 6 games on the road, 2 back-to-backs.

  24. edbballin504

    November 30, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I dont know if any1 else noticed, but we miss Tyson Chandler! Last night I notices so many pick and roll plays, or back screens that involved a cutting Okafor. Paul just couldnt get the ball to him because he’s not that athletic. With Tyson, if theres a small window, CP3 would just lob it up and it was 2 points. Those opportunities are there now, but Okafor isnt long enough to get the lob so CP3 doesnt throw it. I think thats an aspect of the game we miss and we need back to give us another diminision to the offense. I miss those “crescent city connections!”

    • 42

      November 30, 2010 at 9:44 am

      Why fantasize about Tyson when you do the same about Dwight? Or Kobe?

      Dream big if you’re going to ignore reality.

      • hewhorocks

        November 30, 2010 at 9:55 am

        42!!!! He shoots, He scores!

      • edbballin504

        November 30, 2010 at 10:02 am

        Tyson is realistic b/c he was a part of the team already. I’m not sayin we need Tyson, but we do need a Tyson type. Its a part of CP3’s game that was huge. It forced the defender into staying at home on screens which allowed CP3 more open shots or drives to the cup. It also opened up the game for the wings. Back then our wings were junk and they looked pretty good in that offense. Our wings now are way better so it would be like pick your poison for other teams. I’m not saying one little aspect changes everything, but that treat if the lob was huge for us and it no longer exists. Thats all Im trying to say 42…lol. You didnt have to play a brother like that, but its all good. lol.

      • 42

        November 30, 2010 at 10:53 am

        Just having fun. You can tell from my other posts that I’m in a good mood here. I’m pretty high on the team.

        I miss that whole team from 2007-2008, moreso before thr Jackson trade. This is sentimental.

        I miss Tyson as a player. He was the ‘tough guy’, as hewho has termed my more colorful, less polite, greatest desire for this team. He’s talented, firey, and a really great story and character. He also fits a need and will be on the market.

        If I had to pick on this I’d say we should aim higher. Maybe there isn’t anything higher, but we owe it to ourselves to go look.

      • edbballin504

        November 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

        I know you were just having fun. LOL.

        How much money do you think he will command on the open market? Cuban might overpay him..but if he doesnt I’d say $7 mill a year is his max…and I’d say thats a good deal if we could afford it.

      • 42

        November 30, 2010 at 11:40 am

        I don’t think we’ll get him if it comes to that. Trade or nothing. Dallas has a bit of a problem there with a newly extended guy riding the pine behind Tyson . . . Controversy creates cash, so says Eric Bischoff, and it could create a deal for the Hornets or someone else. It also depends on those toes.

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  26. usufruct

    November 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Really? The attendance-based opt-out provision is still alive? Crap.

    • 42

      November 30, 2010 at 9:57 am

      Yes. I’ve talked about it before. I project it won’t be a problem. Time will tell, of course.

  27. edbballin504

    November 30, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Dear Mr. Demps,

    I have watched almost all the games this season…both live as a STH and on tv when they are away. I like the direction of this team and I think we are solid. We have a good identity (defense) and a great MVP type player in CP3 with a nice complement in D West. We will be fine, despite the current roadblocks we have faced. Its a long season and I feel this coaching staff will build and get better with each learning experience that a loss brings and exposes.

    Despite the good start, I think we have some players that are over-achieving and a few of those players have came back to Earth…esp one named Jason Smith. I really dont think he is a 2nd string PF right now, but we have no other options. Same goes for DJ Mbenga. However, I do think our wings are good enough to make a deep push in the playoffs. That brings me to my first question, as one poster already addressed. Why do we continue to make trades to address the guard spots when clearly our weakness is bigs? At PF we need a guy that can learn under West this year and have the potential next season to be our starter (i.e. Paul Millsap role on the Utah Jazz) and force West on the 2nd unit or to have a more limited role. While West gives us alot on offense, his D and rebounding hurts us. He would be a great 6th man, or go to guy on the second unit, but for him to be one of our “horses” on the 1st unit beyond this season would be a mistake. Jason Smith is by no means capable of stepping up in West’s shoes for another few seasons….love his hustle, his effort, and his potential, but again, he is 3rd string material right now.

    We also need a big, long, athletic center to backup or replace Okafor. I rather us keep Okafor because he does have value and does do alot of the small things for this team, that people forget about. But there are teams we face where we will need a longer center to be in there more often. We also need teams to respect the threat of a lob to our big man, which will open things up even more for everyone else.

    Many of us are frustrated with the lack of offensive movement down the stretches of games lately. I think we are being baited into pounding the ball to West, and we are biting every time. It started with SAS on Sunday and this is 2 games in a row. The first 3 quarters we are playing good team basketball, mainly feeding off of CP3 and off the ball screens. Then in the 4th teams are putting a smaller player on West and instead of us continuing to play the way we have offensively, our eyes light up at the “mismatch” West has. We feed him and he hasnt delivered. We love you West and Monty, but I dont care if Earl Boykins is on West in the 4th, we cannot play give-West-the-ball-and-we-all-stand-on-the-other-side-and-watch basketball. Its a TRAP!

    I was thinking that maybe CP3 was hurt as of late, the way he’s been so passive. But last night I saw the CP3 Ive been expecting which tells me he is fine but he understands its a long season, and thats fine. But we just have to keep in mind that this is CP3’s team, not any1 else. And we need to play like that, especially down the stretch. So Demps if you are reading this…no more perimeter player trades. We dont need Iggy or Hamilton. We need some bigs (one that has potential to beat out D West and another that has some length to his frame to bring back the alley oop threat we are missing)! Thanks!


    • nikkoewan

      November 30, 2010 at 10:06 am

      the problem is finding a big like that is rare. Long, athletic can defend and rebound, high IQ, everybody wants one of those(and quite frankly there are just a few) so Demps most probably knows that, the problem is he can’t do anything if a team doesn’t just want expirings for their long athletic people. just saying.

      • edbballin504

        November 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

        Yeah you are right. They are rare, and I guess you dont realize how huge they can be for a team until you had one, like we had. It wouldve been nice if we could have got Hibbert from IND in that Collison deal. He underperformed before this year so maybe he could have been had, but the way he’s playing now, he’s untouchable I’d say.

        But I feel we have alot of positives on this team, as long as we hold on to CP3 and continue to build long-term. Being in the West helps too long term. Cant see the Spurs, Suns, Nuggets, maybe Mavs being relevant in 2 years with their current rosters (obviously for DEN that means Melo is gone). The East is gonna be a dog fight for the rest of this decade with MIA, ORL, and CHI beating each other up year after year.

      • edbballin504

        November 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

        How do you think a D Cousins would fit in with a CP3?

      • nikkoewan

        November 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm

        i assure you, there is no way we could have gotten hibbert out of indiana. he is there only true center right now. cousins is also off limits, both because he doesn’t fit the bill of this team AND kings won’t trade him with all the banners and stuff. The one i’d like to target the most if you’re looking for that tall athletic big, i’d say go with Spencer Hawes. He is the closest thing to a 7 feet athletic young guy. If we can somehow train him to becoming a better player, then i say go with it. if not, Thompson is my next bet.

      • edbballin504

        November 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm

        I dont know much of anything about Hawes. Dont think Ive watched him but I think I’ll go do some research on him now and see what I think. I think Thompson could be had and would be a good fit too. I wouldnt mind dalembert either off the bench…hes long, tall, and can play D. I’m sure he’s capable of catching those lobs as well on pick and rolls. Just not feeling his $13 mill contract for this season.

  28. usufruct

    November 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

    These losses are starting to remind me of losses in years past. Basically, when the other team decides to get physical, we get flustered, have a melt down, then we lose. Soft maybe? Just my observation.

    Oh, I forgot to mention this in the spurs game thread, but did anyone notice Okafor’s awesome pump-fake? Worked like a charm. Made the shot and drew the foul.

  29. hewhorocks

    November 30, 2010 at 10:30 am

    In every game there will be missed calls. In every Hornets game home or away we can expect that the Hornets will no get “star treatment” or “Home town ” calls. So when the match up is with someone with there own Shoe-line, gatorade commercial, or top selling Fathead we can expect a somewhat skewed officiating. Thats the NBA. An official had to get caught betting on games before anyone would concede that officials ever had any bias, its all fixed now right? Right?!

    Still regardless of officiating, the Hornets have to go out and play the game. Clear out isolation for David West does not an offense make. I’ve made this point time and again last year and Bower didnt listen and now Monty isnt listening! (Heh I know…bear with me.)

    1on 1 isolations and 2 man basket ball need to have movement of the remaining players to keep the defenders from collapsing on the play and prevent them from resting while on D. Watch the last possession of first half, movement without the ball created and easy layup. Sure maybe you dont want to reveal you whole bag of tricks but even if you do adding wrinkles is the chess match of coaching.

    If on a West isolation a double screen off ball frees up Belinelli at the 3 point line it at least makes the opponents work on D.

    In the board game of “Go” there is a concept called “getting heavy” essentially it is committing oneself to a strategy or tactic that isnt flexible, limiting your own options. This is what is happening to the Hornets. When the Hornets isolate David West, the rest of the team becomes almost spectators. No movement without the ball, no options present themselves for David to do anything but try to go One on One on his defender. Maybe he can beat him, maybe not. Over the long run West will do fairly well. Still West’s skill set contains decent passing skills and to eliminate that as option without making the defenders expend any effort is conceding some part of the game and in a game of small margins that can have huge impacts on results.

    • edbballin504

      November 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

      I think Monty is afraid to show too much against these Western Conf playoff teams. Maybe he feels if he lets the cat out the bag now, then when he wants to play his true cards in a playoff series against these teams, that they will be expecting it. Lets see what we do down the stretch against these East teams that come to town this week.

    • 42

      November 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

      Do you think we “have two eyes?”

      • hewhorocks

        November 30, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        42: We enough eye space but there is plenty of Aji still.

      • 42

        November 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm


  30. Ian

    November 30, 2010 at 10:30 am

    42 u make a great point about the road trip and the fact that Peja wasn’t used during the winning streak but the truth is there is absolutely no one on that 2nd unit that spaces the floor. If Jason Smith isn’t hitting his 17-19 footer that unit is in trouble. Willie Green shot selection is hit or miss, Mbenga is offensively challenged, and Jack is feeling his way out n not as explosive to the goal as Bayless. I’m not the biggest Bayless fan but I haven’t seen Jack do much to separate himself at this point. Peja gave u an option that’s all, and if Marco was to go down there isn’t anyone else on the roster who is pure shooter.

    • edbballin504

      November 30, 2010 at 10:42 am

      Give Jack some time. He hasnt really been able to practice much with the team to learn the offense and his teammates. I’d trust Jack anyday over Bayless when CP3 takes a seat, especially come playoff time. I thought Jack did a decent job last night of setting up his teammates, esp that lob pass to Smith. Jack is a solid PG, he just hasnt had the prep time yet to be effective here. Give him a few more weeks.

      • 42

        November 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

        Dreaming up practice time now?

        Really, I’m not even looking at the ‘fit’ of Jack until next week for all the reasons described in this post.

        Someone I trust last year said about Jack last year (I think): “He’s good.”

        I take that seriously.

    • 42

      November 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

      You are right about the spacing issue, but I think we’ll see that improve in the next two weeks due to rest, practice, and developing new schemes.

      Please excuse our progress…

  31. brazilian hornet

    November 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

    If this team lose to the Bobcats at New Orleans, I will come to the conclusion that our start was totally misleading and that we will have a hard and frustrating season ahead. Losing to the Clippers (without Chris Kaman and Baron Davis) has been a stab in our hearts. We need wins. Please, players … We do not want to suffer another disappointment. We can not lose to the Charlotte Bobcats!

    • edbballin504

      November 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

      I disagree BH. Its clear we have something going that works. Versus SAS we were up 17 at half, and last night we looked in control all game. The question is how do we stay focused for 48 minutes…not 24 or 36. We also have to decide on what’s our gameplan when we need buckets down the stretch. Right now we have D West as our go to guy in crutial moments of the game, but that hasnt been working for us. I think the regular season is to figure these things out, esp for a first year coach and a team full of new players. As long as we make the playoffs we should see a good effort and results, esp in Round 1. Other teams thats been together for years like the Lakers or Spurs, they can go through the regular season with success because they all are on the same page and understand everything the coaching staff wants to do. For a team like us, some nights we will get it and others we will fall short. Its all in the game, and the plan is that over time we will be more consistent.

      • nikkoewan

        November 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

        totally agree on this one..

  32. Jerry M

    November 30, 2010 at 10:51 am

    This is the second game in a row we got out coached! I kept yelling at the TV to stop giving the ball to David West at the end. It clearly wasn’t working and yet we kept going back to him. I hope Monty is learning from his mistakes and will be prepared come playoff time!

    • thechosenuno

      November 30, 2010 at 11:31 am

      One thing that has been difficult is that we’ve played something like 6 games in 9 days, with a lot of them on the road (and Thanksgiving in the middle of it all). One thing to keep in mind is that we have 2 new players (Banks doesn’t count, though where can I sign up for the gig he’s got!?) who came in on a road trip. We haven’t had much practice time, and it can’t be easy trying to watch film on a plane or on a bus and learn from it.
      I suspect that there will be more “learning” from these last two games now that we’re back home and don’t have such a grueling schedule.

  33. BrickCity

    November 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

    One can now see why Bower played Songaila so many 4th qrter minutes last year: When defenses turn up the heat at the end of games, we need another shooter on the court, esp considering that the lack of offensive firepower in Ariza & Okafor. Maybe Andersen can help here (in place of Okafor) hitting mid-range jump shots. The other option is to make Green a starter (essentially benching Belinelli) and use Marcus for what he is — a 6th man, who then can be used as needed to add firepower in the 4th qrtr.

  34. thechosenuno

    November 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Like most, I’m disappointed by the loss. My one observation is that we seem to be soft around the rim. Whether we’re going for a layup or we’re trying to tip a rebound back in, or we’re taking a rebound back up to the hoop, we go up too soft. When we do that against teams that have aggressive bigs down low, we get our shots blocked left and right. We saw that happen to D West, CP3 on that fast break layup, and MEK (I think).

    When we’re close in, cleaning up a rebound, and things are getting scrappy, we need to take the ball to the rim HARD. It doesn’t have to be a dunk (though that would make me happy), but hard enough to the rim to make anyone trying to block the shot more likely to foul us.

    BTW — how amazing was that Jack pass to Smith for the slam!? LOVED IT!

    • Go Blue

      November 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

      That pass to J Smith for the alley hoop was the best moment of the game for me. The look on J Smith face was priceless. lol

  35. HiMyNameisSteven

    November 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    should have played marcus in this game would of had an easy matchup with harden the exact player he can dominate

  36. edbballin504

    November 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Looks like we caught a break for the game Wednesday! Stephen Jackson has been suspended. YESSSSSSSSS! Lmao!

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  38. edbballin504

    November 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Question….if this team’s management is about the future like they say, why is Willie Green the 1st SG off the bench, instead of the younger more upside MT5? Do you all see Willie Green at 29 being on this team after this year? I understand Green has been more productive than MT5 this season, but where does an organization draw the line on these type of things? Just curious…

    • 42

      November 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      One possible explanation is ‘redshirting’ him while he grows defensively.

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  40. James Online

    December 1, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Willie Green is miles beyond Marcus Thornton. It’s not even an issue.

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