Hornets Beat the Bobcats

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Published: December 1, 2010

As expected, the Hornets beat the Bobcats 89-73 before what very well may have been the sparsest crowd since 2007. I’m fairly good at estimating crowd size, and it’s quite possible that everyone in attendance could have fit in the lower bowl tonight. I can’t express my frustration with the crowd issues in writing right now, so I’ll save that for another time. The Bobcats kept it close through the first three quarters, but were eventually just worn out by the Hornets defense and passable offense. The game ended with four of the Hornets starters on the court.

After Monty talked pregame about how the Hornets rarely run plays for Emeka, the Hornets deliberately went to him five times inside in the first seven minutes, resulting in 6 points despite a pair of missed free throws. Among the other notable oddities- Chris Paul hit a spot-up three pointer after a slick Marco Belinelli pass. There was absolutely no defensive intensity, which led to more wide open three point looks than you normally see in an entire game, and oh yeah, there was wasn’t more than a chirp from the crowd. We talk about home court advantage in sports, but right now in New Orleans it’s more like a non-disadvantage.

Okafor would wind up with five boards to go along with his six first quarter points before coming out with three minutes to go. Immediately the Bobcats took it inside successfully, taking advantage of the porous West-Smith front court. I like Jason Smith as much as the next guy, but he’s just not a third big man. He’s an ideal fourth guy because of his energy and skill set, but he can’t rebound and he can’t play defense. Frankly, he’s not going to cut it if this team is going to make a run in the playoffs. He’s too easy to essentially take out of the game. You put a guy on him and that’s that. He’s invisible. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong or call me names in the comment section.

The second quarter continued as the first one ended, with ugly basketball. Both teams were taking lots of long jumpers with time left on the shot clock, and had general struggles with ball movement. All season long the Hornets have had problems moving the ball with Willie Green on the floor, and tonight was no exception. Even adding Jarret Jack to the mix doesn’t seem to have improved that part of the unit. The bench offense is at times strangely reminiscent of the Byron-CP3 offense we witnessed for so long, but with instead of Chris Paul running it, we have two less talented players. That said, Green plays very well with Chris Paul and tonight did a little of everything. He finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block.

Even when Paul entered the game, the teams just continued to trade inadvertent nudges. It was boring and ugly and I could barely pay attention. The Bobcats were pressing the Hornets and it seemed to keep the the Bees in check to some extent.

The biggest cheers of the half came when Marcus Thornton checked in with 31 seconds to go in the second quarter. On defense he promptly left his man open for a wide open three pointer (which he fortunately missed).

The second half started just like the first one ended, with uninspired ball from both sides. Seven minutes through the third quarter the score was tied 57-57 and Marcus Thornton entered the game and found himself wide open for three. Brick. Ten seconds later he was whistled for a foul on the defensive end. Next time down the floor he hit an open jumper for two easy points, and later on he drove the lane and made a sweet layup (avoiding contact in the process). After that he was back to his confident self, taking any shot that came his way and asking for the ball. He took a hard foul with 8:15 to go, and got to the line for the first time in about 25 minutes of playing time. I’ve said it before, but he would be a lot better offensively if he went for contact instead of avoiding it. He finished with 7 points on 6 shots in 10 minutes.

Thornton is always going to be a guy that’s going to need a bunch of shots to get his points, and in the current Hornets offense it just doesn’t seem like he’s going to get them. It may sound weird to say, but he’s most valuable on a team which has no offensive skill on the bench. When he can create for himself and jack up shots, he can be a decent second unit offense all on his own. In New Orleans they don’t need that, so he’s relegated to doing things that aren’t his strengths.

Paul was remarkably passive (haha!) in the first three quarters, attempting only six shots compared with ten assists. Would he again remain that way in the fourth quarter as he had in recent games, or would we see the Chris Paul we were used to?

He started on the court, something we had yet to see this year, but was taken out with 9:30 to go and the Hornets up two. With eight minutes left the lineup on the floor was Thornton, Green, Smith, Pondexter, and Okafor. They held their own. Given 20 preseason guesses I would have never guessed that group would be on the floor together during the fourth quarter of a close game.

Paul would check back in with 7:30 left, and never really had the need to shoot. The defense was playing well, and the offense was getting good looks inside. I guess we can let this one slide since we won and all, but I think we could all use a little Chris Paul fourth quarter scoring action at some point. Steals, assists, good defense, and ball handling are nice, but we want scoring, Chris. Be a sport and hook us up.

He finished with 9 points, 14 assists, 3 turnovers, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.

Other player notes

  • To check Emeka Okafor the Bobcats went with Kwame Brown. It worked.
  • Quincy Pondexter looks more like an NBA player every day. Already getting regular minutes, he will be a fan favorite before too long. He stayed on the floor until 3:30 left in a close game. Cheers to the rookie.
  • Marco Belinelli didn’t play in the second half.
  • Nor did Jarret Jack
  • David West was fantastic at scoring when the team needed a bucket. He was knocking down jumpers, finishing inside, and yelling “and one” when there was no reason at all to yell it. It was a true David West performance. He finished with 22 points on 15 shots to go with 6 boards.
  • Okafor finished with 14 points and 13 boards and was given the player of the game award at the Arena.

Other notes from the Arena

  • Rickey Jackson (NFL) was in the house.
  • Baby Boyz Brass band played during halftime and got me moving in my seat until they started to play Christmas covers. C’mon, guys. Christmas is over three weeks away and you’re a brass band in New Orleans. You’re better than that.
  • The Hornets went into halftime down 45-43, and headed into the third quarter ahead 43-42. How? A Boris Diaw basket was taken back after official review.
  • Air Hugo and Air Hugo Junior are hilarious. I really enjoy them. Perhaps a little too much.

80 Comments

  1. Stew

    December 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    As happy as I am for the win, I am having trouble getting past the crowd size. This is the first home game I did not attend this year, so I feel a little guilty myself for not being there (I can’t attend them all), but this is really depressing. Why do people not respect this QUALITY PROFESSIONAL team here in this city?!

  2. Go Blue

    December 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I wish I could attend Hornet games, I’m stuck with the Pistons. Sigh. Although J Smith isn’t the ideal back up big, he does try HARD during the game. He gets offensive rebounds and hustles. I would like CP3 to shoot more, but then I’m reminded with games like this one, he doesn’t need to shoot more to win. It was nice to see Monty play other guys during the 2nd half and sit Jack and Marco. Hopefully this will encourage them to play with more aggressive and execution. All in all great win for the Hornets.

    By the way, um is this recap written differently than normal? Or is just me?

  3. Will Bennett

    December 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I COULD NOT AGREE MORE! For fucks sake, I’m an Australian exchange student here for 6 months and I’ve been to every home game so far. I find the cheapest ticket available (usually around 10 bucks) and cheer my ass off. Didn’t CP tweet something a few weeks back about how disappointed he is with crowd size? It’s simple- go to the games, or say goodbye to the team.

  4. mbdtf

    December 1, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Yeah, the crowd size is embarrassing.

    For the first 3 quarters, both teams seemed to be playing a bit lethargically. I’m glad we figured out how to play a solid 4th quarter though! Also, the D was fantastic in the 4th, giving up only 11. Jack still hasn’t impressed me, but I guess he may still need more time? Not sure. However, I was impressed with Pondexter tonight. For a rookie, he’s looking pretty good with his limited minutes, and he’s going to continue to improve. It wasn’t pretty for much of the game, but it was a much needed win.

    Other good news: The Lakers lose yet again. 4 in a row!

    • 42

      December 1, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      Jack said he still hasn’t had full practice with the team.

      • mbdtf

        December 1, 2010 at 10:53 pm

        Right. So there’s still hope. How significantly do you think his play will improve after practicing with the team?

      • 42

        December 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm

        I think he may pass at least once per game.

        Clearly, I’m exaggerating.

        He said in an interview that many teams use the same `calls’ to mean different things, so he ends up doing the wrong thing at times, for instance. I think the passing will improve though.

      • downtowndave

        December 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm

        It is definitely will improve when he knows where his teammates are going to be on set plays.

  5. TopherPrice

    December 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I would like to point out that I think Dariusz is a voodoo witchdoctor. I would love to be able to go back and know what every pre-game banner he has done, and check what happens with that player in that game. The only two I can remember is Peja walking away resulted in a trade of Peja the next day. Then today, out of the blue we get Marcus. The guy who cant get more than 5 minutes of burn in a game all year… What happens, he and I was left smiling to have seen a glimpse of the 09-10 “Buckets” in what has been the most playing time he has seen this young season. Not just that, but it appears that the coaching staff feel more comfortable having him on the court in important minutes as well.

    Can we please have Dariusz make a banner with Marc Gasol and Iggy in a Hornets uni on one side and Mek walking away? 😉

    • TopherPrice

      December 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

      P.S. im not hating on Mek, we just couldn’t have Marc and Iggy on our team with Mek still on the books.

  6. 42

    December 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I second the frustration and in this case I think the cussing works.

    It’ll pick up just fine, I think.

  7. Jake

    December 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    A win is a win I guess but what a terribly played game. Good thing the Bobcats are awful and if you’re going to play badly I guess that’s a good team to do it against. I was there with my friends screaming until my voice started to hurt. Just waiting for CP3 to start taking over games.

  8. QueenBee

    December 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    That was fun as always. Crowd size be damned.

    I originally thought that Diaw shot shouldn’t have counted and I’m glad they corrected it. I kept saying the Hornets are letting these guys hang around too long. They didn’t even have Stephen Jackson but the Hornets were still letting them hang around. I’m just happy for the win. GEAUX HORNETS!

  9. HiMyNameisSteven

    December 1, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    @ joe- your comments on marcus i feel are misguided… I personally feel our team looks so much better offesnively with marcus out there. Our team has had more offensive struggles than defensive struggles we need him out there doing his own thing. He is the only one on the roster who does what he can do on the offensive end. It gives us diversity and a chance to put him in there when we need an offensive spark. I still dont think monty realizes it but when we go through our offensive lulls which seems to happen every game thats when we need his energy and potent scoring in the game. I think Monty is struggling to find out how to use marcus and marcus will be up and down until he knows his role. HIS ROLE needs to be the guy that comes in for the scoring punch and this will build his confidence on both ends when monty can better define his role

    • Joe Gerrity

      December 2, 2010 at 12:00 am

      I’m not at all saying he’s not a helpful player to the team, or that his impact is anything but positive. I’m trying to say that he’s at this best when he’s the entire offense, which won’t be often in New Orleans.

      • HiMyNameisSteven

        December 2, 2010 at 1:47 am

        I really think he can be best utilized in our go to set offense. Pick and Pop with d west and chris and put marcus in the corner. West is open chris does his nice little around the back pass, if not and d converges kick to marcus he hits open 3 or he drives and makes something happen. He would be so much better at this than ariza or belly and would really make this pick and pop more effective. Also i think we should make times where he is go to coming off bench. Put him in with some defensive studs like willie ariza mek and a throw in like jason and marcus can run the offense it would work amazingly

  10. Ryan Schwan

    December 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    There was a game within the game tonight. DJ Augustin, as always, was trying to show off for his fans that come to watch him. Paul seemed to take it personally in the second half and started really, really hounding him.

    After getting 9 in the first half, Paul forced limited him to 4 and 3 turnovers in the second half.

    • 42

      December 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      I guess in this case the light crowd worked for us, keeping the Augustine fans out in the cold.

    • QueenBee

      December 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

      Great observation.

  11. ctfato

    December 1, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    anyone hear “Diaw, you look like a whale!”?

    • Ryan Schwan

      December 2, 2010 at 9:16 am

      No. But I thought it a few times myself.

    • hewhorocks

      December 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

      Ctfato:

      Yes that was Vern. I know where you are now!. Vern sits in the front row of section 309 or 310. He goes to nearly every game and I think he may be a high stress type! Still he’s friendly enough and very passionate about the Hornets. A couple years ago the Hornets had him on their webpage (not named or anything but it was him all decked out.)

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

      I was commenting that he had a huge `tail’ to my neighbors.

  12. 42

    December 1, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    10,866. I said 11k for the attendance number. At least my guess wasn’t bad.

  13. James Online

    December 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Memorable Marcus Moment: He runs to the top of the key and sets a pick but no one was within ten feet of him.

  14. Hornet Seantonio

    December 1, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I was at the game tonite as usual it was a lot of fun. I thought we looked good out there and to respect jason smith you really have to watch what that kid does the only other person out there who tries as hard as him is ariza, those two do so much that the stats don’t show im so happy to have them. I was at LSU with marcus and we use to crack jokes about him being allergic to leather because as soon as the ball touches his hands he chucks up a shot good/ or bad. i hate his offensive game personally the dude doesnt know what the word pass or assist is and most of his shots as far as good/bad shots go they are bad he just has one hell of a knack for making them fall. there are obvious reasons why marcus isnt the starter but this was a good rebound win to get us back in the flow *all smiles*

  15. brazilian hornet

    December 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Beat the Bobcats without Stephen Jackson was the Hornets obligation. Nobody expected anything less. The team was not brilliant, but did a decent second half. Belinelli is not been playing badly. If he keeps playing well, Green and Thornton will have more minutes. Friday will see a tough game against the Knicks. The Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun always tends to disrupt the life of the Hornets. What about the presence of the public, no comment… Enough to discourage…

  16. Go Blue

    December 1, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Chris Paul finally addresses why he isn’t shooting as much. His answer makes sense to me.

    http://neworleanshornetsblog.blogspot.com/

    • 42

      December 1, 2010 at 11:38 pm

      Translation: I play point guard.

  17. BeesGivingEffort

    December 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    While walking into the arena, I noticed the crowd was very, very sparse. It actually turned out better than I anticipated. It looked like it’d get below 9,000 early.

    Q-Pon – For the love of everything holy, take the wide open corner three please. If he can start knocking down that shot, he can use it to shot fake and drive as he’s prone to doing.

    Willie – As funny as it was that we were mentioning Smith as the steal of the trade, this guy was the prize.

    Marcus – Say what you want, but he makes the guys around him play with more energy from what I can see. He’s out there constantly running around, it at least prompts guys to get moving. Now, as I mentioned to my g/f, whether that is productive has yet to be seen.

    Chris – Hate to beat a dead horse but when have you ever seen Chris pull out of a 1 on 1 fast break and reset? You all think I am crazy, but he doesn’t seem like himself. We have yet to see one game this year where Chris goes bonkers. 25 and 15 used to be pedestrian. Now I wonder if we will see this twice this year. Now, great players can defer to their teammates, but they also have those games why they remind us why they are considered great. Now, either he is just simply trying to get everyone else involved or he just isn’t quite right, whether it’s mentally or physically. We forget, Chris Paul is supposed to make everyone else better. I just don’t see that aspect of his game right now. He is not getting into the lane and reaping havoc. He is simply moving the ball around in the offensive scheme. Maybe Monty Williams deserves more credit than he is getting right now. Everyone seems to think Chris Paul is the main reason we are 13-5. I’d say it’s more 50/50. People might freak out on me and start claiming PER, +/-, etc. etc. But let’s not forget, a week ago Peja had the highest PER of any SF in the league.

    Chris is smart and he’s efficient but he is not dominating, even when the team obviously needs him to and it is a disturbing trend to me. I’m just wondering where his mind is at. He knows he can play better (if he is truly healthy). He is supposedly the biggest competitor outside of Kobe Bryant. His team needs him to be amazing and he can see that. So what is he doing? I’m not criticizing. I would just like to hear someone else’s opinion that doesn’t just defend Chris Paul the God at every turn.

    I’m hoping he is just setting the tone for a long season in which he is going to at some point turn it on.

    • okijeff

      December 2, 2010 at 4:13 am

      I am seeing the same things as you Bees. CP3 not finishing hard on fast breaks?? Getting the ball stuck on his leg twice?? Not always chasing down loose balls?? Taking plays off on defense?? With that said he sure the hell isn’t bad!

      Love the 4th qtr D tonight. And love that Monty change the rotation to have CP3 in there more of the 4th and finishing out the qtrs. Put a stop to some of the weaker areas of the last few games.

      • nikkoewan

        December 2, 2010 at 6:22 am

        who was guarding him? if it was gerald wallace, or tyrus thomas, you gotta understand why, other wise, i think his still not there mentally. Physically, he is there(IMO) but that mental block is still there. All atheletes who’ve been through a serious injury can attest to this. When i got an ankle sprain that swelled into more than thrice its size, when the swelling subsided, and then the pain, there was still that fear, that trepidation. And even while I was playing, I wasn’t jumping, i wasn’t doing any layups. I was scared to get injured again. Give Chris Time, if at the halfway mark, he is still like this, then god forbid, there really must be something wrong with him. But until then, I say be happy with our current CP3(who is still awesome by the way) and give him the benefit of the doubt. Hornets win! GEAUX!

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 7:56 am

      I’m not sure who you think thinks Chris Paul is God, but I’m not one of them. However, what’s been brought up here just doesn’t support what it is that you are talking about. I haven’t brought up PER and other things you are trying to dismiss. I’ll let you pretend that you don’t know that the PER you quoted about Peja was simply and effect of a small sample size. No problem.

      As with Ziko, help me see what you see.

      Now, you think he’s not 100%. How long has he not been 100%? When did this start? If you think something has been wrong the whole season, then I’d like to hear how he performs so well against Miami and Portland. If you think it started later (Ziko hypothesized the Houston game to be a turning point), then when? Hewho had some great points about that particular idea had some sizable holes in it.

      If you can’t point to things looking back and say what to look for going forward, you are just complaining and not analyzing.

      I was looking specifically for some hesitant play last night. I saw nothing that made me think he was hesitant. He had his highest minutes total of the year, in fact. He didn’t stick his head through the chest of every defender before him, pull out their heart with his teeth, and spit it at the opposing bench. I saw his decisions as good ones. He’s not going to get his shots (literally and figuratively) unless there are multiple threats on the floor, guys the team on the court thinks can sink the ball. Since we don’t have many `name’ threats, we need them to perform.

      Everyone has this `highlight reel’ in the their heads of some golden age of a team’s play. The reality those runs are what win games, but they are just a few minutes here and there. Ours were the last few minutes of all 4 quarters last night and Chris was involved in all of them.

      It’s the same thing with the Saints and the complaints of boring games. It’s just not fair to compare the reality before you to this `highlight reel’ of the exciting and wonderful things that everyone naturally remembers and holds dear. We remember Sharper’s 99 yd interception return against the Jets, but we forget how they drove on us to get into the position to score on that very play. We remember that wonder defense at the end, but not the miscues that got us there, then we complain when the miscues are erased and the picks with them.

      Just help me out here man. If the guy is hurt, then I want to know, but why don’t I see it. I’m at the games. Point to the problem for me.

      • AgentZiko

        December 2, 2010 at 9:43 am

        He looked a lot better to me last night, 42. No hesitancy what so ever. I did say that since the Utah game he’s been better. I think right now he’s just not focused on scoring or attacking. But that still could be part of the “mental block” I was talking about. Personally, I don’t think he saw Augustine as enough of a challenge to really go out and try to go for big numbers. I’m starting to think we’ll see less scoring from CP this year. Maybe 15-16 points a game, but I also think we’ll see his assist total climb big time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have 15 pts, 14 assists, and 3.5 steals a game this season.

        As for Jack… I can’t believe Bayless bugged you all as much as he did. He passed more in one game than Jack has since we’ve traded for him. And I’m really sick of all his jumpers. I really want to see him attack the basket. Its something that is blatantly missing from our offense. A SLASHER!

        Always loved J Smith. Great fit on this team and with CP3. Glad to see he’s adjusting his game and finally going to the baseline to look for his shot. It’ll free up the middle for him later.

        And lastly, I’m SOOO digging Pondexter. Give this kid a few years and he’s gonna be a defensive STUD. Really reminds me of a young Bruce Bowen/Raja Bell. Great footwork on D.

      • QueenBee

        December 2, 2010 at 10:49 am

        So I guess anytime you don’t agree with what anyone has to say about Chris Paul, that means you think he’s God? Seriously? If I don’t agree with what anyone says about Paul, West, Belinelli or any other Hornet, I’m going to voice my opinion just as others do and I don’t care if they they think I’m a homer or if I’m wearing teal colored glasses. The thing is Chris’ scoring. If he’s not scoring as much as we’re accustomed to or getting knocked hard in the paint, it must be because his leg is about to fall off. You know, it wouldn’t suprise me if word came out in the near future that CP3 had to have another surgery on his bum knee that some wouldn’t celebrate here just so they can say I told you so. And for the record, your comment is the only comment I’ve read so far in this thread 42. Chris has to score 20+ every night in the paint amongst the trees and take over games in every 4th quarter to make everyone happy. And oh yeah, we have to win those games too. And oh yeah, and he needs to be much, much faster too. I’ll ask Santa for all these things next time I see him.

        It was mentioned that Marco didn’t play in the 2nd half. He did play in the 3rd.

      • Joe Gerrity

        December 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

        Whoops. Not sure how that slipped through. I guess what I meant is that he didn’t play the last 18 minutes. I wonder who I thought started the second half?

      • OkiJeff

        December 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm

        This kind of reminds of when Jordan came back from his first retirement. Something wasn’t quit right about him. Jordan just doesn’t get the ball stolen from behind from John Starks on a fast break.

        17 games. 26.9 pts. 7 rpg 4.3 APG. Awesome! However, you could tell the Bulls weren’t going to win it all. Something wasn’t right. Jordan attributed it to being in baseball shape vs basketball shape. Specifically his forearms. Lol

        Now CP3. I was expecting a start like this:
        November 09 22.6 pts 10 APG in 33 mpg. Or how about the April from the 08 season? 28.3 11.7 6.3 RPG in 40 in minutes. Just something more pre-injury like.

        Right now I do not think he can perform at that level.
        Perhaps it is the new system, new players, new coach or just him not quite back yet. Of course I could be wrong. Although I have watched just about every game for the last three seasons. Oh, and in no way am I saying he is playing poorly.

  18. BeesGivingEffort

    December 1, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    All the while, we are still 13-5 and even good teams slump (Lakers). Just hate to see CP so passive.

  19. mbdtf

    December 2, 2010 at 12:03 am

    The Spurs lose to Blake Griffin and company!

    • JCS

      December 2, 2010 at 1:31 am

      ¡Ay, caramba!

    • edbballin504

      December 2, 2010 at 7:35 am

      That was actually a fun game. I caught it on NBA TV. Baron Davis was back and he seems like he was having fun playing with Blake Griffin. I think in the 2nd quarter, he threw him a nice lob for an “and 1”, and Baron was shaking his head for the next 2 minutes in absolute satisfaction. Blake Griffin is a MONSTER…that guy is something special and is so fun to watch. And the scary part is he’s a rookie on a team/organization that stinks.

      • 42

        December 2, 2010 at 8:00 am

        I watched about a quarter but fell asleep before the finish.

        So what about our embarrassment now? We’re losing to the same `bad’ folks are the Spurs. The Lakers lost 4 in a row. I suppose we suck because we had to do it in 5 games.

        Maybe we didn’t just luck out for 13 games and were exposed for the frauds we are 5. Maybe we’re a good team who play other teams who are good, too.

        And, no, edbballin504, I’m not picking on you here. I’m just on my soapbox in this comment.

        You are right, though, he and Aminu are going to be a problem for people.

      • edbballin504

        December 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

        42, I agree that stuff like the Spurs losing to the Clippers shows us how premature we all can be (me included) to get upset or in doubt over a few “bad” losses by OUR OWN team. The truth of the matter is that all these teams have the best players in the world, with staffs that are getting paid to develop a gameplan to beat you. There are so many factors that go into wins and losses than who’s better on the floor. And thats proven day after day. With that said, the thing we should focus on is the dreaded 7 game series. When it comes to playoff time, how can you beat some of these teams 4 times out of 7. Thats the magic question, and as ugly as MIA or LAL might be playing now, beating them 4 times in a series is a daunting task. Thats the level you want to be on, and I hope the Hornets can get there.

      • 42

        December 2, 2010 at 8:55 am

        We’ll have a tough time a series today. What we look like in April is up to so many things. For a team undergoing so much change, getting 2 of the first 4 in a second round series would be something we and the team should be proud of. The coaching may not get us past such a mark, players aside. We have make great strides and need to hold the gains rather than live in fear that it will all go away. Our measures of the season should reflect that. Sure, the goal is always a title; I’m talking abouy the roadsigns that tell us were are pointed the right way.

  20. Go Blue

    December 2, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Anyone else feels a bit better losing to the Clippers, now that the Spurs lost to them too? =( Either way I’m enjoying the Spurs lost, after they bet us at home.

  21. Bywas2001hornet4ever

    December 2, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Good solid win for da hornets, okafor made me mad again at times, not pump faking to get defenders n da air, he did it once and it worked, y not go for it again big fella? anywho, paul was his unusual non aggressive self, and it makes me think, wenever we get into da playoffs and he keeps tryna pass da ball to less talented players such as willie green wat happens, they start ta choke and he has to take over. i dont want him to have to take over just to already have been established in the game so defenders can respect his drive more and not play his passes as much.

  22. edbballin504

    December 2, 2010 at 7:44 am

    My take on CP3 is that he’s playing like a smart veteran now…and I think that mentality came from this new management and coaching staff. We are 13-5 with a passive CP3, thats pretty good. Guys, what we have to understand is that its a long season, and the “big picture” as this organization now always stresses, isn’t what happens on the box score in Dec. What matters now is developing the system and the players, and of course winning for seeding purposes come playoff time. CP3 knows he can be the old CP3 and take over every play, every game. But thats not what its about, right now we are building confidence for the role players, and not giving our opponents our true potential. I think as long as we are winning, its all good, and things wont change until playoff time. Like Ive been saying, this team has alot of upside and I think we have only seen a small glimpse of how good we are. We have in no way came close to peaking as a team yet we are doing pretty good. Gotta love that.

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 8:01 am

      Yeah, what he said.

      • QueenBee

        December 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

        Yeah, what he said.

  23. Mike G

    December 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

    This crowd size thing is getting a little rediculous. We should be seeing at least 15000 a night. Maybe when we get deeper in the season we’ll see bigger crowd sizes, I hope. I was also one of the ones that didn’t attend this game, but i have made it to just about every other home game and some nights you could hear a pin drop if it wasn’t for the little music they play in there. It seems that on weekend games we have a significant larger and louder crowd. Prolly just because the booze flows a little more.. Hoping to see a large crowd on Friday, Hornets are gonna need it.. Seems like they struggle with the Knicks past couple years..

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

      Yeah. I don’t think I’ve seen us beat them.

  24. Hornet Seantonio

    December 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Friday should be a decent crowd size (no football on friday so i dont have to hear that excuse fitty million times) knicks are a good team with a good amount of name recognizable talent. But regardless the crowd size means nothing to me. the thing i find most shocking is theres so many people worked up about it (on other forums as well) but the crowd size is still small maybe those people could get together and trot down to the hive, personally im 6’5 so ill take the empty seat next to me to spread my legs thanks =)

    • edbballin504

      December 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

      I agree HS. I think people bringing it up constantly is just making it that much worst. Maybe if we hush up about the small crowds and just do our part and show up, then it wont be an issue anymore. But my biggest problem with this conversation is that sure our crowds are small, but what about other arenas. If you arent the Celtics, Heat, Lakers, or Magic it appears that you have the same issues on middle of the week games. I see highlights of other games and there are also alot of empty seats. So maybe it isnt a NOLA problem but a NBA problem. Obviously, as the NFL ends, and games are more important in the 2nd half, more people will show up. It’s no big deal to me…yet.

      Also, people keep saying the Hornets can end their lease and leave blah blah. Truth is, the Hornets might end the lease, but not to leave…only to renegotiate the money it gets from the state (similar to what the Saints did). They’d want more garaunteed money. Keep in mind the team is in the process of being sold to a local guy so why in the world would he move the team?? Makes zero sense. Lets assume you have a house, you want a new toy so you buy new 75 inch HD tv. Would you keep that new toy at home or ship it off to Las Vegas to sit in a condo you visit once a year? Case closed.

      • QueenBee

        December 2, 2010 at 11:17 am

        “Also, people keep saying the Hornets can end their lease and leave blah blah. Truth is, the Hornets might end the lease, but not to leave…only to renegotiate the money it gets from the state (similar to what the Saints did). They’d want more garaunteed money”

        This is all true but no one EVER considers that. They’ve been wanting to place a relo tag on the Hornets for quite some time. Hollinger tweeted …..

        “Story needing more attention: Hornets can opt out of lease in Nawlins without >14K fans over next 12 games. Drew <11K tonight vs. Cha.
        about 11 hours ago via web "

        He feels it needs more attention so he's going to do his best to draw the attention.

      • 42

        December 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

        It’s a non-story. Edbballin504 has got it.

        Plus: I can leave my lady. Uh, yeah, but who else is going to put up with me? Gotta have a place to go. And who wants to invest in a team that might not have a season next year and might be contracted. The stories don’t add up.

        Plus: It’s football season. Part of the deal is being in place X when the Hornets are at place Y, but part of it is just the public mind isn’t clear yet. I do think we’ll keep up our average, and we have some better draws and may exceed that `low 14′ number.

        Plus: I saw some activity with the fans talking to reps at half time. They are selling those holiday plans. The ticket sales are really what is driving this, which is why the 7k people there looked like 11k to ESPN. That’s what they go by.

        Getting people to use their tickets. . . another story.

      • edbballin504

        December 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

        42, me and a co-worker were discussing how they get the actual count. Looks like you answered it for us. We didnt know if it was actual tickets sold, or actual ticket bought. I figured what matters is money, so its about the tickets bought but I jus wasnt sure.

        Also, if this is all about numbers, not money…dont you think the Hornets should do more to get those upper level sections filled. I mean anybody should be able to spend $10 on a ticket. I won’t sit up there, my season tix are lower levels, but thats an easy way to inflate the numbers. I think that stat is misleading though. If it was my business, I would much rather sell 1 expensive lower level ticket than 5 cheap upper level tix. I don’t think people consider that either. Technically a team avereging 15k ppl a game (mostly upper level tix) might not be doing as well as a team averaging 13k ppl a game (mostly lower level tix)…yet we are so focused on the actual number of butts in the whole arena.

      • edbballin504

        December 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

        typo…”we didnt know if it was actual tickets sold, or actual tickets SCANNED into the arena.”

      • 42

        December 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        How the numbers work is actually more complicated than that, I think. I’m pretty sure that’s what the lease goes off of based on the tracking I did in 2008 (yeah, I did that).

        In my attendance journal http://www.hornets247.com/journals/2010/11/19/attendance-through-the-years/ I link to some things at play. One is that the teams can fiddle with numbers, effectively `moving’ sales from one game to another and inflating or deflating numbers using the money as a common medium of exchange (shout out to hewhorocks, and hewhopebbles?). I can’t attest to how this is going on now . . . but I may know more next week.

        Also, in the same article I think I linked (but it’s out there if not) to an article from the will-the-hornets-move time period. Although sales were on pace in terms of seats, they were not in terms of money: too many balcony tickets.

        So, it’s more complicated, but it’s WAY closer to sales than to gate. It’s been different enough (like half full when it was a near-sell-out due to other events, bad weather) at least once to know they system is not the gate numbers.

        The gate numbers are important as they play into the concessions sales which play into sponsorship and the lease deals, but they are NOT what goes in to the page at ESPN or the lease. If it was, we would not have met the target in 2008.

        By the way, in 2007-2008 when the lease was renegotiated, they chopped off part of the season from the numbers, which is why 14181 > 14735. The part they chopped off: before mid-December.

        It’s feels weird to have typed that mathematical abomination. Where is my red pen?

        I used to give students a 0 on a problem if their answer was stupid. Not wrong, stupid. Like a probability exceeding 1. No points. Write in “This is stupid” and I’d grade it faithfully, maybe adding a point for sense. That’s real life, folks, and that’s how I grade(d). So yeah, I had to write this to follow my own rule. Apologies.

        Yes, I had to give 0’s for that reason.

      • downtowndave

        December 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm

        I truly believe that when Gary Chouest takes over the organization we are going to see a major upgrade in the marketing campaign, which will translate into an increase in team support within the community. If I remember correctly, Chouest’s goal is to turn professional basketball into a permanent fixture within the Louisiana culture. He has the resources and knowledge to make this happen, and I can’t wait for the day that he is announced as majority owner.

      • edbballin504

        December 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

        42, thats some good stuff. I dont know how I missed that article when you posted it. I have a friend who works in the Accounting Dept for the Hornets. I wonder if she has some insight on how all this stuff works. I’ll give her a call over the weekend and see if I can get us any more info.

        Why would a team want to move numbers from one game to another? If they look at averages, it all comes out the same.

        Does “using the money as a common medium of exchange” mean that a team can say cash in a single courtside seat sale into something like 20 upper level sales to inflate numbers??

        After seeing your numbers you posted from previous years, its clear that we are doing pretty good right now historically speaking for this team. I wish more of the folks always talkin bout the attendance would get more educated into learning the facts. They would realize that this shouldnt even be a topic for discussion. And like we all have already agreed upon, once the sale is over, this conversation is really over.

      • edbballin504

        December 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

        Downtown Dave…if you are right then I am really looking forward to this sale being done. It’ll be very cool to see how the franchise changes and takes off to another level. People that are not STHs better jump on now while there is still room! I am glad I am inside the boat…ready for the ride.

      • usufruct

        December 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm

        Here’s some stuff I’ve posted earlier about attendance:

        The NBA uses “the number of tickets distributed, adding complimentary tickets — for players’ families, league officials, sponsors and such — to the number of tickets sold.” So the announced attendance is as inflated as it can possibly be. It has nothing to do with butts in the seats.

        The only number I could come up with that illustrates the “drop count,” or actual number of people in the seats, came from a study of the Hornets when they were in OKC. (Apparently, the drop count is a pretty well-guarded secret for obvious reasons.) Anyway, that study showed that warm bodies in the seats accounted for 74% of the announced attendance. In other words, to calculate physical attendance, take 74% of the announced attendance, and there you have it. Is this guaranteed accurate? No, but it’s the only way to calculate physical attendance that I’ve been able to find, because the actual drop count is not released by anyone – apart from the study I mentioned.

        Here’s an excerpt of that study:

        “The Hornets had an average posted attendance of 17,833 this season at the 19,163-seat Ford Center, but the filing shows that the average drop count, or actual turnstile count, was 13,269, or 74 percent of the reported average attendance.”

        Citations:
        http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-attendance-082305,0,3422667.story
        http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/55421

  25. QueenBee

    December 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

    @42-
    “Just help me out here man. If the guy is hurt, then I want to know, but why don’t I see it. I’m at the games. Point to the problem for me.”

    Here is the problem.

    http://www.theknee.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/top-protective-knee-braces.jpg

    That along with not scoring 20+ every night, not taking 20 shots per game and not going ballistic in every 4th qtr. That’s the problem.

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      Right. Sadly, it’s true. Smoke means fire logic.

  26. QueenBee

    December 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Does anyone here think the Hornets should sit CP3 until he’s 100%? Or maybe until he’s at least 75%?

    • hewhorocks

      December 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Assume that the most efficient player in the NBA isnt at 75%. Paul’s Per right now is at 27.25 tops in the NBA. Name two players who have sustained that level of play throughout their career.

      1. Jordan and……No one.

      Paul’s Win share per 48 min right now is at a career high. His offensive rating ties his career high his defensive rating is 7 points better than his previous career best. his effective field goal percentage is .540 – a career high, his average is .505.

      His usage is at a career low and yet his play level is statistically at his career high. I would argue we are seeing the maturation of Paul’s game. If this level of play is due to some injury or mental block Horents fans should be trying to psych-out every Hornet and be calling Tonya Harding to see what she can do for Okafor and West.

      If Paul isnt at 75% then the argument is over, Jordan wasnt fit to carry Paul’s gym bag.

  27. hewhorocks

    December 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Quiz:
    1. Who is the most efficient player in the NBA?
    2. Who provides top 2 value added /wins added in the NBA without being a top 50 player in terms of usage?
    3. What does economic theory of trade have to do with NBA team Basketball and CP3’s performance?

    (Note: if your a good test taker you got the answers to questions 1&2 from Question 3)

    Even if Paul is better at every phase of the game than any other Hornet, the Team still does better if they allow him to focus his attention on his greatest comparative advantage. We all know that any NBA team will beat Paul 5 on 1. Even if we have Paul myself, 42, Beesgiving effort and Hornet on the floor with him we will lose. He needs other players who bring professional level skill sets to compete.

    Paul is likely a better shot than Belinelli not dramatically better but marginally. Paul is also better passer, Dribbler probably a better rebounder as well. Still Cp’s greatest comparative advantage over Belinelli is his play-making. But we cant get anything from Belinelli if Paul always shoots instead of him. After all Paul is a better shot so you’d think thats the better option. But if Paul focuses his attention on play-making and Belinelli on shooting we have a result thats much more successful than if Paul focused on scoring and Belinelli is there just taking up space.

    Ok its a long way to go to make the point that when Paul is involving more players in the game the team does better than when he’s focusing on “getting his.” Truthfully I’d much rather see him score 14 a game and not have hit the floor 5 times than have him score 22 and be beaten and bruised. Especially when the difference is Hornets win by 6 or win by 14.

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      Loving the comparative advantage talk.

      Do you think we can apply game theory to games, too?

      I always like the example with the two guys one the island, basically Tarzan and some knob, but they never used those words.

      Anyone want to reason out the a Nash Equilibrium for some bball problems?

      Also, this is EXACTLY why the Warmth are failing (compared to their goal) and a Paul, Durant, Howard trio would destroy the world.

  28. QueenBee

    December 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Does anyone think coaches that played in the NBA favor players that played their position?

    • edbballin504

      December 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

      I’d say they favor players that are GOOD at that position, not just any players. And at the same time they are tougher on players that suck at the position the coach played. For example, if I was a center during my playing career, I’d know what it takes, and how tough certain parts of being a center can be. So, if now I am a coach and my center excels in all the areas I couldnt, or just has a good feel for the game based on my own experiences, I will love him. However, if that center sucks, it will be easier for me to point out and see because thats “my position.” In the same case, a PG on my team might suck just as bad as that C but I may not easily recognize it the way I can with “my position”, the C spot. Just my thoughts.

    • hewhorocks

      December 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      Yes. Some people do. Some might even say say they likely have a more intimate idea of the role and responsibilities of the position they played professionally.

  29. James Online

    December 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    The very poor attendance is certainly caused by lots of factors, many of which have been identified on this and other blogs. But one thing I noticed as I started to follow the Hornets this year is the poor quality of the team’s website. Compared to most others (Golden State, for example), there is comparatively little information, timely features, and when you want the stats, they bump you off to nba.com.

    I was shocked to see that the Team Store was selling James Posey and Julian Wright jerseys long after they were traded, not even marked as “clearance.” They didn’t have jerseys for most the players–unless you wanted CP3 gear and some David West gear. Peja’s jersey was still for sale last time I checked.

    I understand that the ownership is in transition, but from what I’ve seen, the Hornets do not operate as a topflight professional organization. I’m sure you folks in New Orleans see even more proof of this. In this time of a potential lockout and contraction, that’s dangerous. Hope they fix it soon. Even with a good organization, it will be difficult to attract fans (for the reasons mentioned by others). I”m hoping for the best. The day when the attendance drops below 10,000 will truly be sad. Imagine the malaise if they don’t win.

    • edbballin504

      December 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

      Good points James…and you are right. Ive noticed some of the same things. I think our marketing dept needs a huge facelift. This year esp there seems to have been a drop off. I noticed that we have went away from promoting as individual players, and more of a team focus. All the Hornets stuff this year are team logos and general stuff like that only. Theres no CP3 or D West, etc. All the stuff on the arena is general (logos), and even the tickets for STHs are the same. I figured it was b/c of the new management and the reality that anything is possible (trades), so they wanted to play it safe.

    • thechosenuno

      December 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      I concur. They need to do the same thing they did with Marketing and Sales that they did with the basketball operations side — throw them all out with the trash and start from scratch. It took weeks before someone took down the big Darren Collison banners hanging on the columns in front of the arena. Someone should have been on that with a ladder the next day, just like someone should have been tossing Peja’s jerseys into the clearance bin. I also think the “Hornets, here we come” commercial that they have is ridiculously boring. I mean, I love the Hornets, and I change the channel when it comes on. They need something with some flash and some drama, not some laid back band playing a song.

      It all boils down to connecting with the fans. The non-basketball side has been bad at this, from ther marketing to the sales team. I have half a season, and the “ticket reps” that I’ve dealt with have just been awful.

      I’ve ranted enough. Chuck out the non-basketball staff and start from scratch if you really want to bring fans in. First move I’d make — apply to the NBA for a name change.

      • edbballin504

        December 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

        Man you are so right about that commercial! Its terrible! If I knew nothing about basketball or the Hornets, that sure doesnt make me want to know about them.

        And yes! The season ticket holder reps are absolutely bad. I loved my rep last season. Mitchell Law was great! He would call me, come to my seats to check on me…was very personal and interested in me as a person, not as a sale. I would see him in the halls during games and he’d call me by name to say hello. Unfortunately, he quit and moved away in the summer. Now I’m stuck with this new guy that gets an F- in my book. The dude has yet to even introduce himself to me, and I had to hunt him down via email/phone to even learn that I had a new rep and who he was prior to the season. Thats just unnecceptable, esp for some1 with 2 lower level seats. For my Langiappe Points one thing I selected was seat upgrade and after emailing him twice with the same question asking what game I will have it for, I have yet to get a reply. Mitchell would reply within an hour.

    • 42

      December 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      They didn’t update their rep site for quite a while.

    • usufruct

      December 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      Bro, don’t get me started. In the Hive’s merchandise store, they were still selling Pargo t-shirts last season! And not even on sale. Full price. Hell, he almost came back around, so I guess as long as he was number 2 again they could have just picked up and sold em like he never left. It’s completely ridiculous, though… I agree with you. Sell that crap at a discount and make way for some new stuff for God’s sake.

      • usufruct

        December 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm

        Wait, season ticket holders are supposed to have an individual ticket rep? That like comes and sees you and stuff? Come on!?! Really? I never would have known.

        Ok, enough with the negativity. Hornets season tix blow saints season tix out of the water. Hornets tix come in a nice box, look pretty, and you get a real metal pin. You might even get a hat, youth jersey, or a bobblehead if you go to select a seat day. Saints tix (which cost about the same as hornets tix, for what… 8-9 real saints games?) come in a free usps envelope and you get a sticker if they remembered to put one in there. And there’s the beer garded, too. No perks whatsover with saints tix, so I give kudos to the hornets for that at least. It just looks like the Saints try to save as much money as possible. They don’t even pay for their envelopes.

      • 42

        December 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

        You got the right. The Saints treat you like you are lucky. The Hornets treat you like you are customer. I’d rather be treated like a stakeholder and I said that in my survey from the team and association.

      • usufruct

        December 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm

        beer garden*

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