Knicks Continue their Domination over the Hornets

After two long years of losses, the Hornets should have wanted it more. The Knicks took them down 100-92 behind a strong performance by Amare Stoudemire. In a word, the Hornets were apathetic. Monty wasn’t aggressive late with his substitutions and was content to just let lesser players stay on while the team got closer and closer to defeat. Paul, who had played only 25 minutes in the first three quarter, didn’t come on until 7:00 to go in the game and the Hornets down double digits.

Again, as has been the trend, it was a very ugly game. The Hornets gave it away 19 times, which led to 29 NY points. Considering the Knicks were supposed to be the team that committed lots of turnovers and we have Chris Paul, this wasn’t what anyone expected. Not only were turnovers a problem, but there were a number of stupid fouls on both ends of the floor and a three second violation.

Jason Smith started in place of the David West (stomach bug), and played the pick and pop to perfection with Chris Paul in the early going. His eight first quarter points huge in getting the ball rolling for the offense. He also had a sick second half dunk which was probably the play of the night. Aside from that he was non-existent in the second half. David West was missed.


He took 14 shots in the first half and wound up with 22 points from them. Quite frankly the Hornets didn’t have an answer for him tonight, and even with West healthy it’s hard to imagine that they would have fared much better. He’s the type of guy that Okafor struggles with and tonight was no difference. Unstoppable seems like the best word to describe his performance.

In the third quarter, with Amare already on foul number two, the Hornets repeatedly went to Emeka Okafor inside in what I can only presume was an effort to get him to pick up numbers three and four. After a few tries they got foul number three, but number four didn’t come. Although feeding Emeka inside is rarely a beneficial offensive strategy, it was just about the only way to stop Amare. Smart move by coach, even if it didn’t work out.

Amare would finish with 34 points on 22 shots, to go with 10 boards. He also wound up with probably seven (a guess) two handed dunks. You can see why Paul wants to play with him. Those two on the pick and roll would be scary good.

Trevor Ariza

Ariza was feeling confident tonight, and let it fly from all over the court. He took 21 shots and wound up with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

It’s not often the Hornets will need Ariza to be their primary scorer, but with West of the lineup and Paul continuing his extremely passive play, this was a good time for him to step up. Despite a nice performance, sometimes he just puts up shots that make you scratch your head. It’s like once he decides that he’s shooting, there is nothing that can stop him from it. The results are bad shots with time left on the shot clock. Remove those three possessions and his game would have been ever better.

Chris Paul

Normally I refrain from talking too much about Paul since everyone else who writes about the game is going to cover every move and breath he takes, but I can’t help but publicly question his passive play. I don’t want to make any accusations, so I’ll leave it at that

Sure, with 5 minutes left in the game he decided to take over, but what about the other 43 minutes? Too little, too late.

He finished with 17 points on 9 shots, 10 assists to 2 turnovers, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. The numbers are great, but there need to be more of them under the point category to win games like this.

PAUL HASN’T SCORED 20 POINTS SINCE 11/17. SINCE THEN THE HORNETS ARE 4-5. – I felt like that deserved capitalized bold letters. Paul used to drop 30 once a week just for fun.

Other Player Notes

  • The Hornets started the fourth quarter with Jarret Jack, Thornton and Willie Green on the floor together and a full court press in effect. they got NY to burn a quick timeout, but afterward reverted back to their normal defense.
  • Thornton saw some more time today, giving the faithful some hope that he will be a real part of the team going forward.
  • Jarret Jack had a few minutes in the second quarter where it was clear that he was one of the most talented players on the floor. Once he gets some more practices under his belt I expect to see more minutes like that.
  • Okafor was abused by Amare on defense, but played pretty well offensively. On the boards he was pretty good, batting half a dozen balls out for rebounds and really keeping New Orleans in the game to some extent.
  • DJ MBenga had 4 points and 2 blocks. It was by far his best game of the season.
  • Belinelli struggled against his fellow Italian. He and Gallinari were matched up often and Gallinari won the battle.

Game Notes

  • The Hornets started the fourth quarter with Jarret Jack Thornton and Willie Green on the floor together and a full court press in effect. they got NY to burn a quick timeout, but afterward reverted back to their normal defense.
  • You know those annoying Knicks fans screaming every time a Hornet took a free throw? Well I literally know them, and if they are reading I hope they know that I hate them with the fire of 1,000 burning Peja heads.
  • All game the Hornets struggled to adjust to the fast paced New York offense, seemingly daring the Knicks to shoot threes. They would oblige and wound up scoring 39 points on 30 three point attempts. The Hornets took 14 and scored only 9 points as a result.
  • Attendance was announced at just over 14,000. It looked relatively crowded, but it’s been a tough year, so take that for what it’s worth.
  • The Hornets had 19 turnovers, a season high. Knicks scored 29 off of them.

I’m no longer undefeated on my recaps. Commence sadness.

Monty’s Postgame Comments

  • “You expect guys to step up and play with a sense of urgency [with West out], but tonight we just didn’t get that.”
  • “I’m always surprised when our guys don’t play with a sense of urgency because that’s who we are.”
  • On what the team needs to do- “Take care of the ball”, “Understand the value of the ball”
  • On changes in strategy- “Teams are playing us differently. They’ve scouted us. They know our play. We know theirs.”

93 responses to “Knicks Continue their Domination over the Hornets”

  1. Why oh why did coach take J Smitty out after 6 minutes in the 1st quarter when he was playing so well?!?!

    • I second that emotion. Amare did not start dominating until we went small ball. We never stopped playing small ball. Smith playing only 15 minutes was just stupid.

      Green, Bellinelli, and Jack combined to produce a bumper crop of fail.

      The team slept through the first three quarters, then bumbled through the 4th. We missed so many layups, dunks, free throws, and short jumpers. Okafor fumbled 5 or 6 perfect passes resulting in only 4 shots when he should have had 10.

  2. Chris Paul has physical problems. That is clear. As much as he does not want to admit he is no longer the same as before. He wants to do what he always did, but the body no longer attached. Unfortunately, I think CP3 will never be the same. It hurts me too write this, but we have to face reality squarely. Today he even tried a few leaks, but soon retreated and showed discomfort. The saddest part is that he’s only 25 years. Nor am I upset with CP3. I only regret and reverence by the player he once was. Thank you, CP3. There is nothing else to say …

      • Okay, but the first two weeks of the season have passed. He is already feeling the rhythm of the sequence of games. That is clear. The knee must be causing him some discomfort. When I see the face of CP3 in the late game I read the following: “I can not. I want, but my body can not, no answer”… this is what I read. Chris Paul is very different. We have to admit that…

      • Ok yes he may be fatigued. And yes his knee probably does hurt coming off of surgery. But saying he will never be the same is rediculous. Missing so many games takes a toll on your conditioning and it takes a while to get your conditioning back. Rookies often have a tough time with the 82 game schedule, but they eventually get used to it. CP will get his conditioning back and his knee will fully heal. He showed that when he’s fresh he is still the best PG in the world (the first few weeks). CP will return to his normal self.

    • Well now that that’s established, we need to get used to it and not talk about it every game. I mean seriously, it’s established right? Do we really need to beat the dead horse each and every game? Let’s just ride it out until the Hornets trade him ok? 😉

    • Isn’t it sad that our best player and one of the best point guards in the NBA get to here because of a stupid camera under the basket (considering that it is his knee limiting him the most!) Yeah, anybody could not think using pads or foams on the edges/sides of those cameras? I do not get it. If I were the owner of this team and if my best player if my 15 million dollar player were injured by hitting a camera, I would be pissed off, but I would also do something. It should take only one superstar to get injured like that to make a dramatic change in camera rules by the baseline!!! But, we are too passive to should and you know what now CP3 is too passive (to shoot!)…

      • I keep my question: I do not know if the knee will allow him to return CP3 playing everything you know again. Chris is not passive because he wants. I think that’s the point.

  3. I watched the whole game, and maybe I’m just over angered by Mek’s 3rd quarter play. But I don’t see how he played well offensively today. A couple times during the game, you could hear CP screaming, telling him to dunk the ball. I don’t know what his problem is, but I don’t understand why he can’t be “strong” with the ball. These off balanced lay ups are getting ridiculous.

    • A lot of times Okafor is extremely weak with the ball. He has to go down and gather it an awful lot of times. Even when the ball is placed perfectly to him he feels he needs to go down before he goes to put it up to the rim. We may as well have kept Hilton Armstrong for that kind of play. LOL.

      • With regards to MEK, he often looks like a deer in headlights when CP3 drives to the lane and then dishes it off to him. He always seems to bobble the ball, and he rarely takes it hard to the rim. If he’s ever going to come close to anything like a bruiser in the lane, he’s gotta take it hard to the rim. 1-2 dunks during the game would send a message.

        I do have to say that the officiating was crap-tacular this evening. We were getting hacked left and right under the hoop. Only thing that would have helped that would have been taking it harder to the hoop and making the fouls more obvious.

      • Yep.

        And that is one of the things they teach as a big is NEVER to go down with the ball. If were Mek I would practice 5 hours a day against the best shot blocker on the team — Mbenga — just so that finishing becomes second nature.

        I felt really embarrassed for Mek when he did retarded sh*t with the ball three straight plays on perfect scoring passes.

  4. He should’ve played Paul more, months to blame. Btw the hornets suffered 2 years of losses so the should be hungrier? The Knicks have had consecutive loosing season season for almost a decade now, so we need these wins a little bit more then.

  5. Monty doesn’t seem to know how to ride his hot hand. Or he doesn’t know how to come back to it. Doesn’t seem to stick with what’s working. Looks like he’s trying to keep all players happy by giving everyone he can playing time. Chris Paul can play at least 35-38 minutes when the situation calls for it. If the team is down by double digits with 7 minutes left, is there some kind of written rule that says Chris should come in somewhere around the 5 minute mark? 30 minutes tonight? Give me a break. Oh well. On to the next one guys. Such a long season.

  6. Just got back from the hive. Disappointing. Why didn’t the Hornets ever send a double team on Amare’? I know (after tonight) that the Knicks can shoot threes, but send some help for Mek down there! Monty kept these extra small lineups in; like Trevor at the four for long stretches. I know West was sick, but that’s what Smith, Mbenga, Pops, Grey, and Anderson are for; lots of fouls. At least make Amare’ earn it from the line and ding him up a little.

    • Yeah, it seemed earlier in the season Monty and his staff made better substitutions. Not so much right now. I remember West tweeting that the coaching staff plans with purpose. Not it’s just looking like they’re sticking to the same thing.

  7. I disagree with you Joe, CP didn’t really try to take over at any point. He made those two 3s but that’s not trying to take over a game. Attacking the paint is trying to take over and he didn’t really do that. There were a couple times this game where Paul got the pick and was by Felton and there was a crease in the lane, but instead of attacking it and either drawing people or making one of his brilliant layups he did his little side step fall away jumper from 15. I mean yes he was 1-2 on those, but that’s a very passive move considering what he had to work with.

  8. This loss is on the coach, plain and simple. Monty has a good system, but he doesn’t manage games well. How Jason Smith only gets 15 minutes is beyond me. In the first quarter he looked to have stepped in for David West very nicely, but then he’s gone. He was playing great ball and didn’t get floor time to match.

    Monty’s rotations are too predictable. Monty lets games get away from him. I think the “sense of urgency” he talks about has to apply to him too. He’s a mellow dude, and that’s good in general. But he needs to have more of an edge to his game personality, and he needs to tighten the rotation and play to win. What in the world Marcus Thornton is doing anywhere near the court continues to baffle me. Knicks’ announcers could not believe Paul was not on the court when things started to slip away in the early part of the fourth quarter. Monty seems to be trying to show confidence in Pondexter, Thornton, and Jack without much regard for what’s actually happening. The second unit plays scattered. No balance.

    Marco defended Landry Fields most the first half very effectively and denied Gallinari the ball most the second half when they were on the court together. That’s why Marco is such a good defender. He denies his opponent access to the ball…prevent defense.

    Again, where was Jason Smith?

    • “This loss is on the coach, plain and simple.”

      That’s bull. The lost is on Chris Paul. There are at least 2 or 3 people here, maybe even more that will tell you that. 😉

      • The loss is on Monty — and maybe ‘case D-West is out : ) He needs to instruct Chris to be more aggressive in scoring. Perhaps run plays for Chris to score.

        Also, he needs to fix his substitution patterns.

      • @QueenBee. I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not with a couple of your post. I rather enjoy reading your post during/after Hornet games.

    • I agree. Monty needs to get in the teams face when urgency is needed. Not individual players but the entire team. When a player isn’t hustling, don’t yell at him, just don’t play him. He’ll get the idea. And confidence is needed on offense. It’s hard to be confident offensively when we’re constantly working against the shot clock. Our offensive tempo has to speed up. The notion that running the shot clock down helps our defense is rediculous.

  9. I feel like on defense the Hornets switch too easily when it’s not necessary, leading to many, many mismatches. This happened time and time again in the second quarter with Amare dunking on what seemed like 5 straight possessions.

  10. “With regards to MEK, he often looks like a deer in headlights when CP3 drives to the lane and then dishes it off to him. He always seems to bobble the ball, and he rarely takes it hard to the rim”

    @thechosenuno-when Meka bobbles the ball it drives me crazy! When on the floor with unhealthy Chris Paul, ALL HORNETS have to be ready for crisp, bullet passes. ALL OF THEM. That is until CP’s arms fall off like his knee is and he can’t make those passes anymore. Gotta be ready to receive them Hornets.

    • Exactly. One one would think that any player on the floor with CP3 should be ready for the ball to zip their way in a moment. When MEK isn’t ready for it, he bobbles and puts the ball on the floor. It’s all down hill from there.

      There was a pass early in the game where my man J Smitty set the screen for CP3, and then CP3 gave him a behind-the-back pass that he wasn’t ready for at all, bobbled a little, had to dribble and then pass. Had he been waiting for the ball and ready for it, he would have had the open shot.

      ARIZA — I’ll just add in here…he had a great game. We need him to keep up the offensive intensity and his driving to the lane when D West comes back. Hopefully this will give him the confidence he needs. If we’re going deep into post-season, we need more than a CP3/D West pick and roll offense.

      • “When MEK isn’t ready for it, he bobbles and puts the ball on the floor. It’s all down hill from there.”

        LMAO. Described perfectly!! LOL.


    Oh man. BeesGivingEffort doesn’t look like such a moron now that Chris Paul is getting outplayed for 43 minutes by Raymond Felton.

    I’m ready to see Marcus in the starting lineup. Try something. Anything. Our offense is just plain sad. If we are content to let people go 1v1 every single play than let our 3rd (behind CP3, DWest) best 1v1 player on offense get some dang playing time. Sorry all you Marco fans but it seems to me that the rest of the league has figured out how to play the kid, much like they have Jason Smith on most nights. Defense be damned. I’ve seen him and every other 1/2guard on this team make multiple defensive mistakes but Marcus is the only one held accountable for some reason.

    For the love of god, please explain to me why Jason Smith (12 pts, 5 rebs) only got FOURTEEN minutes of playing time? Are you freaking kidding me? Monty’s reluctance to settle on a guard lineup has him playing a small ball lineup that quite frankly is not hacking it right now.

    Jarrett Jack sucked it up again tonight. Again. Hate to bag on the coach, but my boiling point for seeing Marcus sitting on the end of that damn bench has officially been reached. “Oh, but Marcus isn’t a point guard and doesn’t facilitate the offense!” Bull…bleeping…crap… Jarrett Jack doesn’t facilitate crap on offense for other players either. Marcus can hand the ball off to people at the top of the key too. Hell, Jordan Jefferson could hand the ball off at the top of the key. Sorry, but if I’m trying to get one of our guards into the swing of things, I am playing our 2nd most dynamic scorer on the team. I am NOT extending playing time to someone who has limited upside on a night when they are clearly not cutting it already.

    That is all.

    BTW, losing when we actually have people in the stands sucks. The Hornets offense is so bad I think it actually takes the crowd out of the games. Most of the people there currently have seen our recent offensive collapse.

    You might think I’m being negative, but Monty is being fairly stubborn (a la another bald headed wonder we’ve had for the last 5-6 years) and will not play Marcus for some god forsaken reason and we saw what a mistake Byron Scott made. Why he comes in and puts our 3rd best player into a corner he seemingly can not get out of is beyond me.

    • I am with you Bees. Perhaps it is our advanced understanding of B-ball compared to those who only consider stats as a delimiting factor. lol!!

      You got a lot of flack but who is laughing now?

      • Understanding many aspects of the game is different that understanding one.

        Please stop with the insults to people who are kind enough to give you a forum to speak and talk bad about the Hornets instead of your peers.

      • 42 – Come on man. Are you serious? I have people insulting me daily for suggesting something isn’t right with Chris (half of QueenBee’s posts are sarcastic jabs about CP’s health) and we can’t be happy that someone agrees with us? That’s silly. You are taking this personally too.

        Besides, you JUST insulted him and than asked him not to insult others?

      • I am not taking any of this personally. I take comments directed at me personally.

        I did not insult okijeff. I’m sorry if it came across that way. I’m trying to humorously point out that D West was hurt, which seemed to be absent from a bunch of comments here.

        I read all of your posts, am skeptical of your points, just as I am many others as that is my nature, and have been asking you about and researching your points. I still don’t see that he’s `not the same.’

        I did, based on the commentary of you and others, bring my binoculars specifically to look at Paul when he’s playing and when he’s not playing. I noticed that he has a little strut at times when he walks to the sideline during a stoppage. It could be the same strut as he’s always had, something to do with the brace chaffing or something, or something with his knee. Again, I’m skeptical about all those points, including saying it’s the same as before (so no injury) or it’s new (injury, recovery, just the brace, etc.).

        I may be terse and have an odd sense of humor, but I’m not insulting anyone here.

        I did, however, take these comments about people who understand stats etc. as a jab as some members of the community, and I just think that’s not what most of the people are about, so I said something.

        If you want to `enjoy’ being agreed with, have a good time. I love it when people agree with me. I love bashing the figurative brains out of people who knock us and this city. I don’t want us turning on each other here. That’s all.

        I’ll buy you a beer at the watch party.

    • We really need movement on offense. Not really a particular player, but just anybody to move, cut backdoor, curl screens and open up the offense. Having shooters does no good when nobody is cutting inside the 3 point line. Players don’t move because it takes effort and people are more interested in their individual stats and Monty is being stubborn with the lineups so players know they can get away without playing hard. Monty can use his substitutions as motivations. Players play a lot harder when they know they’re battling for playing time. Cutting even if you dont get the ball (which you dont a lot of the time) opens up the court because defenders have to move. You always want to keep the defense moving.

      • No one runs around more than Marcus on offense. Problem is it isn’t always productive and he seems to run into crowds. I think that problem would be fixed if he didn’t play with a mix/match of people every single game. At least he’s playing hard.

      • totally agree. I could not watch the Knicks game but I remember saying “come on guys, move the ball! ball movement, ball movement!” numerous times starting from the 3rd quarter of the Spurs loss last Sunday.

        Seems like we were winning with our defense for the first 12 games and we are know losing due the lack of good offense in the last 7 games. Yes, I understand that the other teams have scouted Marco and Jason. But, if we cannot respond trying different things and if we keep on losing the same way. All I can say is: There is something wrong!!!

  12. @NOH Domination-

    “Haven’t been seeing that lately.”

    Nope. Haven’t been seeing it lately at all. It seemed at the beginning of the season, Monty and his staff would plan for each team individually. Now it seems like that’s too much work and they’re just playing every team the same way. I hope that’s not the case but that’s what it kind of looks like. We’re just about 1/4 way through the season now with a lot of season to go so hopefully we’ll continue to build positively and start looking better. All is not lost.

    I don’t guess anyone here knows but does Monty plan on playing Andersen ever?

    • Lol QueenBee, your description of CP made me think of the knight that got all his limbs cut off guarding the bridge in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But seriously he’s fine. If the whole meniscus thing is going to affect him, it won’t be for a couple years when what remains of it starts deteriorating, much like Brandon Roy.

      • “Lol QueenBee, your description of CP made me think of the knight that got all his limbs cut off guarding the bridge in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”


    • I also thought we would see Andersen tonight at some point when I found out West was hurt. Jason Smith was playing well though so if he didn’t get playing time, you knew Andersen wasn’t.

      • Sorry! all the negativity and I didn’t see it (yes, I contributed to the negativity!). Ariza’s play is really the only good thing to take from the game…

    • I thought he had a nice game.

      And unless Smith’s legs are about to fall off like his teammate or unless he had a stomach virus like his other teammate, he should’ve gotten WAAAYYY more time. I really don’t understand why he didn’t. We didn’t have West so that should’ve been Jason’s time.

    • Ariza did some good things especially on defense, but 9 for 21 isn’t really great offense. It’s better than most everyone else on our team tonight, but there were a lot of weak drives, missed threes, etc. that keep me from getting too excited about his offense.

    • Ariza is just frustrating when he has open looks for the 3 ball, then second guesses and drives to the basket.

      We need someone to step up and shoot 3s in games like this in addition to CP.

  13. Hey guys don’t worry. CP3 is statistically playing his best b-ball ever!!! Keep in mind that statistics ARE the game of basketball. They are not a model or approximation of real life occurrences on the court. That is why statistics are kept for every action on the court such as loose balls with no effort to secure them. Also, that is why programs that use statistical models are so good at predicting outcomes for games. Think 2K11. In addition, we don’t use current stats to make linear predictions on future outcomes.

    To recap this is CP3 at his best!

    • Feel better? Let it all out, because losing a game with David West out means Chris is hurt, Monty is a moron, the team is moving, and 20 turnovers in an 8 pt loss don’t matter as much as a hill of beans.

      Oh, and the past has absolutely nothing to do with the future. Zero.

      Anything else the loss means? Hmmmm?

      • You act like this one loss is why we’re criticizing Monty and Chris. It’s been the last few weeks as a whole. The last few weeks have looked like this with or without David West. Btw I dont think CP is hurt, but he is being more tentative than I’ve ever seen. The past does matter and right now the Hornets aren’t playing like they did to start the season. Monty needs to revert to those rotations and CP needs to revert to being that player. When Monty and Chris work that out the Hornets will continue to excell.

      • We are all frustrated in one way or another and it’s pretty apparent. The fact of the matter is this frustration stems from something and that something is the terrible offensive display the Hornets have been putting on lately. The level of basketball we are playing is very worrisome. After a hot start and many people questioning it’s validity, we look lost and confused. This isn’t the Spurs clanking 21 threes against the Clippers. This is ugly basketball. It is reason for concern as Monty’s lineups have no fluidity to them and it shows on the court.

      • The rotations confuse me too. Joe Block had some good points to consider on the radio show, but they didn’t quite explain things to me. He said Smith was out because he couldn’t really run with them Knicks on defense and he’s more limited offensively as he likes a few spots on the floor and being a trail man. I agree with that . . . but I think we needed that exactly. I would have cut Emeka’s turnovers and sort-of-turnovers in half.

        Monty all but said the offense would lag the defense in terms of implementation, so while it’s frustrating, I’m trying to wait until January, which is basically what his comments in October told me would be a good time to see the offense / start criticizing.

        I’m very frustrated that his rapid-subbing-when-something-is-wrong has all but ended. That is something that really bothers me. Where’s the attention to matchups. It seems like we’re more locked in to a script that gets edited when defense is blown rather than by plugging and working and fiddling.

        Yeah, there’s alot of frustration around and it all stems from us believing we can do better. This is 100 times better than knowing we suck. It’s a good time. We need to focus on that.

      • Yes not the the loss, but the 2-5 record over the 7 games. On top of that the offense has been bad. Real bad. Defense has been OK — great.

        BTW. I didn’t say anything about Monty. I think he is a good coach. Need to work on offense and rotations on defense and substitutions.

        I didn’t say anything about the Hornets moving.

        And the 20 turnovers most likely should be attributed to Willie Green : )

      • You are right. I replied to you when I should have posted in the thread. That’s an error on my part. I just hit the reply button right there and didn’t scroll down.

        I was addressing the big themes of the day and tossing it out there to everyone . . . so I thought. I think you can see that was the intent.

        Give me a do-over. Oh, and you can call me a dick.

    • He is actually less efficient this year (27.4) than the 07/08 (28.39) and 08/09 (30.04) season with his usage rate also down 5 (27.9 to 22.6) from those years. BTW, his usage rate is not even top 50 in the NBA.

      • Now stats matter?

        I wonder if it’s because he doesn’t have to initiate every play because he has better teammates? Or if it’s because he’s rotting before our eyes? Hmmmm . . .

        What does our record say about this?

      • a) I didn’t say they told the whole story.

        b) If they did tell the story, they’d show a decline.

        c) Counting clutch stats, they’d show further decline.

        d) Him not initiating the offense has led to inspiring offensive performances lately in your eyes I’m assuming.

        e) You are blindly defending the Hornets no matter what. I’m hoping it’s for a good reason. Not just to be an ass.

        f) We comment here mainly in hopes that someone will see our comments that matters to the Hornets or at least I do.

        g) You’re being a hypocritical dick and I’d advise you to not be so polarizing considering you are a moderator of this site now and people see you as a main figure. That is not a threat by the way. Simply a friendly suggestion because previously I’ve enjoyed your work and comments AND this is the best Hornets site around..

      • I’m not going to link to it, but I explain myself pretty well elsewhere in the thread.

        I added some info to your post. That’s not a rude things to do. I know you are trying to make a point with those numbers, I just don’t think they make the point you want them to make is all.

        Maybe we should get a forum topic going on this and we can work some stuff out on this. We can pull together stats that would show a difference and look at them, work them over. We can add to that some particular references to some upcoming games.

        Let’s see where that takes us.

        And to be clear: I don’t moderate anything. I just post news and the occasional article after the boys read it. I don’t approve anything, I don’t have a say. I just try to help out as I have some time, am good at research, and I know some interesting folks.

        And I’ll take the name-calling here. I don’t mind people calling me such things, and I come off that way sometimes, so I won’t judge and will just let it go. I just don’t want people lobbing bombs at people who aren’t here. That, too, is not a threat. It’s just a reminder for when the passion cools. Passion is good.

  14. the curse of Peja.. with West out wouldnt you want peja jacking up 21 shots instead of Ariza.. They will miss the 3 pointers and depth of the 3 point assassin Peja..

      • 3-14 from three.. bench 8-23 FG .. I’m just saying it would be nice if they didnt give up on Peja.. shooting against a bad defense like the knicks? these are the the type of games he would really help.. Plus bayless is looking good in Toronto

  15. For everyone questioning why Smith got shafted on PT… When he came back in during the 2nd quarter he gave up 2 or 3 long balls in a row to Gallinari. That’s why he didn’t play much, but in fairness it’s Montes fault he had to guard him. Smith can’t match with Gallinari, but we should’ve seen him on Stoudamire a little more. He generally plays good positional defense and makes you shoot over the top. Not saying he stops Amare but definitely better than how we guarded him. I still can’t get over Montys strategy to switch the pick and roll with Paul and Okafor. Okafor can’t guard a PG and Paul can’t guard Amare. Then he tried it with Ariza and Okafor. Ariza can do alright on Amare, but once again Okafor can’t guard a PG. The best way to guard the knicks is to completely take away the roll with the helpside guard and make them skip the ball then rotate all 3 of your guards out as the ball swings, chasing them off the 3 point line.

    • NOH Domination: Excellent point about the close outs on Gallinari. BUT the question is, what kind of defense has a big 4/5 running out to the 3pt line to close out on a 3? That doesn’t play to his strengths as a defender and takes him away from the boards for a rebound. Blame the strategy, not the player in this case.

      What Smith was giving them is more than what he was taking away in any case and he should not have been taken off the floor completely.

  16. I promise Monty Williams this. If he starts Marcus Thornton (what I consider to be the 3rd best player on our team), I will not cry or bitch about his rotations/personnel groups for the rest of the season. My problem with his rotations rest squarely on how he has seemingly destroyed an important asset that we will almost assuredly need come playoff time if we are to go anywhere. Make Marcus sweat it out for the next few games and then reward his effort in practice and off the bench by playing him in his rightful spot in the starting lineup.

  17. Whether Monty will admit it or not, he needs Marcus to be there by the end of the season. I just don’t see Belinelli as the long term solution at shooting guard. He is just not dynamic enough. He needs to move off the ball to make things happen on offense and is not athletic enough to drive to the hoop and create for himself or others. Let’s be honest. Between Okafor/West/Arize, I have zero confidence in them being able to get Belinelli going in a best of 7 series. Okafor can barely set screens for the best PG in basketball for crying out loud. Ariza simply doesn’t care to move around at all and West is just too absorbed in his own place in the offense. Especially with the lack of penetration from Chris Paul recently, we need that 3rd scoring punch that can provide something unique for our starting lineup. Tony Parker, as much as I hate him, admitted that Chris needs that 3rd scorer to get over the hump in the playoffs.

    Regarding Belinelli, he could be very serviceable off the bench as Jack and Green both can penetrate into the lane and create. Hell, having him there would actually prompt them to pass out of the crowded paint. Peja had his fair share of open 3’s before he was shipped out of town. Put him in the small forward role off the bench and give him those looks. He could even play with the main unit during certain points at the end of the 1st, 3rd. I’d like to limit Marcus to 30 minutes a night anyways to allow him to play with the full throttle intensity that makes him so dangerous.

    To me, it’s a no brainer. If they want to have any shot at a playoff run this post-season, they need Marcus to be more than a confused pup off the bench he clearly does not fit in with.

  18. I was going to send this to the boys to see if they’ll address it in the podcast, but you are touching on it now, so I’ll see what you think.

    I think everyone would be happy if we added a piece. The biggest places of need are the 3 and the 5 (in my mind).

    Now, we can use exceptions and Banks to basically just add a player if we are willing to pay. Great. Whatever. That’s a debate for another day.

    Now, we are set up, so here’s the questions: To add a piece (I’ll say a 3 or a 5, but you can pick a piece, starter or bench) . . . what is the piece we are willing to trade away? Realistically. What do we have to give away to get someone in for Okafor? Just a backup big? Carmelo?

    We’ve been talking trade Peja for 3 years . . . well now who do we trade?

    • I’d like to see Marcus get a chance in the starting lineup first with a 3 guard bench lineup of Jack/Green/Belinelli/Smith/Mbenga rotation that stays the same from game to game before closing shop on the whole team. I think Belinelli has what it takes to guard SF’s off the bench. Barring that not working. I would package Thornton and Q-Pon to get rid of Okafor at all costs to get back either a big that works better in the pick n roll or an expiring contract (I know, eww!) If it all goes to hell, I want Okafor out of the picture as soon as possible. He can not play screen n roll defense and he can not release with any celerity off the screens he sets for Chris which pretty much makes him a disaster the way the team is being run. As much as I’d hate to give up our 2 biggest young assets, it doesn’t appear that Monty will take advantage of their talents at this rate anyways so I’d ship Okafor out before he becomes our next Peja and pursue an athletic big (Chandler again if healthy? plus a backup) for the price tag of what we lost.

  19. When Non-Hornet fans visit this blog, the first thing they’re going to see is “Knicks Continue their Domination over the Hornets.”

    ¡Ay, caramba Joe Gerrity!

    How about some titles that are less flattering to opposing teams? And how about some more optimism from the users on this blog? Considering that there are 10 new players on this team, all led by a rookie coach and GM; they are completely overachieving. There’s still 3 quarters of the season left to go, so let’s keep are heads up and move on.

    • I liked your comment solely on the basis that I’m amazed at your ability to make an upside down exclammation point.

  20. after a 8-0 start people have set high expectations, but the hornets are full of problems they are a 1st round playoff team at best. they rely on cp3 way too much(on offense), guys like ariza and belinelli are bench players, they are not starters, emeka is undersized at center. paul has lost a step since 2007 or he doesn’t like to push the ball forward any more, they gave up on chandler and peja because of injuries, instead of working on improving the bench which was the only reason why these guys (including paul) were getting injured, no descent backups pushing the starters minutes every night. now they changed the entire team philosophy. they let go a proven coach like scott and pick up a rookie coach. hornets fans enjoy the roller coaster for the rest of the season.

  21. I think Monty needs to address Belinelli’s role in the starting lineup. I know I’m not the only one out of Toronto who wondered before the season started whether he could be the shooter Dell Demps was looking for, because up until now his rep has always been that of a scorer who needs the ball in his hands. That said, I am impressed by his 3pt shooting this season. I think he’s put in alot of time & effort to improve his consistency and I think he will get out of whatever slump he’s in right now.

    But I think Beli’s really hamstrung by playing with the starters. It’s not his nature to be strictly a shooter and he’s not athletic enough to drive to the basket without some help picking off his defender. This isn’t an admission of defeat for him, I just think Monty allows the 2nd unit more freedom on offense than he does the starters, and that would help Belinelli just tremendously. If he’s allowed to handle the ball with the 2nd unit, he’ll be doing what he does best, which is create for others. Plus, playing with Smith and Mbenga helps him because they’re better at the PnR than West and Okafor.

    Of course the other option is to keep Beli in the SL but create better (not necessarily more) opportunities for him, that is, allowing him to shoot off screens or drive on PnRs.

    • You make very good points about Marco’s game. He stands frozen on the 3pt line or he runs around setting picks for bigs. Sometimes he just takes the initiative to drive the lane into traffic out of sheer frustration for not getting scoring opportunities.

      Marco is trying to complement Chris as much as possible. He plays off Chris every minute, trying to balance the floor. That helps everyone else get space, but Marco ends up not getting into the offensive flow naturally.

      The Hornets taut Marco’s “basketball intelligence” (according to the announcers from OKC). By that they mean the Hornets like how Marco reads Chris and does what he can to keep the offensive set in balance.

      Marco’s passing is another unexploited resource. If others would move when he’s got the ball, he’ll get it to them, as we’ve seen with some very nice passing from him lately….more of this!

  22. Want to know the biggest reason we are sucking on offense right now? The lack of a true 3pt shooter. We only have 2 players on the team shooting above 36% from the arc. One is CP and the other is Marco. The problem with this is that Marco doesn’t shoot consistently well. He is either lights out or completely cold. So on nights when he is cold our pick and roll is much less effective. Their has to be a 3rd option on that play which makes it deadly. The defense has to cheat in order to defend it properly, and when they cheat they should die from the 3.

    After we traded Pejas we are 3-5. Yes he got some DNP earlier in the season when we were winning, but Monty is no dummy and put him in when he saw why our offense was stagnating. And he lit it up for us a few games because we had that consistent 3rd option. When that option hits the three 3 of 7 times it’s effective. Just as effective as hitting it 5-7 like Marco does when he’s hot. Defense stops cheating, Paul and West create havoc. When Marco is cold and shooting it 1 of 7 it’s game over offensively.

    Emeka is useless offensively. He does not have the skill set to score on the above average/elite centers in the game, which means he is useless in the playoffs. No way to sugar coat that. Glad you can play against weak competition, they don’t have too many teams with weak centers in the playoffs.

    Ariza is over rated to hell on the offensive end. Another streaky 3 pt shooter and I cringe when he puts in on the floor, he has no ball skills at all. Marco isn’t great but atleast he looks a hell of a lot more effective than Ariza when he drives, maybe coach should encourage it more.

    Only player that will fix our offense is Thorton. He can shoot the 3 well, but he needs the green light to do so. And he can drive better than anyone on this team, prob better than CP3 they way his knee is looking.

    Coach needs to make better substitutions. When our offense is hurting thorton needs to be in for Bellenelli. Willie Green with Paul is useless. He can’t shoot the 3, so if Paul is running the offense Green is a non factor other than for the midrange-J.

    Our team was so good offensively in 2007-2008 because of these reasons:

    CP3 and Tyson primarily did the pick and roll, allowing for West to pop to the top of the key similar to another open 3 pt shooter since he is deadly at that range.

    Pejas and Mo Pete both shot over 40% from behind the arc CONSISTENTLY.

    Chandler is a much better Pick and Roll Center than Okafor. Matter of fact Okafor has no offensive skills other than soft layups ala Yao Ming, except he is about a foot shorter.

    My rant is done, but this game had me all types of pissed off. This isn’t football, defense doesn’t make you a powerhouse like the Steelrs, Jets, and the Ravens. If you can’t score, it doesn’t matter you are holding the other team under 100.

  23. It is getting real depressing watching these ugly games. Not so bad if it turns into a win but when it doesn’t it is so hard to watch.

    I am confused why, if West sat why Pops wasn’t made active. Monty stayed small so that he could keep up with Knicks pace as Smith and Mbenga and I guess he thought andersen wouldn’t. Pops would have, as he plays best with and against fast teams. He would of been some help for Okafor and also gave Ariza some time away from the 4. For me it shows that Monty has lost complete faith in Pops and he hasn’t got a future with the team. So why isn’t he cutting him?

      • Aaron Gray.
        I believe he has been given around 10 minutes this season.
        Really…this team has no center.
        You give Gray a few weeks and 10 minutes a night, you have a good second team.

  24. so now there is no person out there to space the floor? When Beli has a bad day we become a one-trick pony.

    and cp looks disinterested? Monty seems to be doing what cp wants. if he leaves on the summer, cp is a big traitor.

  25. Ummmm….

    Nobody is talking about the 7 footer in the room.
    This has to be the Twilight Zone today. MBenga get 4 points and is listedas their 6th man award for the night.

    The day that MBenga becomes a focal point on this team is when I begin to drink single malt in the mornings. There will never be a more inept, fouling, moving pic center in the NBA.

    The fans are beginning to look at their cool-aid glass and wonder why it doesn’t taste as strong as it did.

    Facts…The other NBA teams have realized stopping Paul is stopping NOH.
    They have realized there is NO power up the middle game. The Monry “run the center out” style is messed up. MBenga nor Okafor can block out…MBenga because he is out of position, Oak because he is to small.

    The 7 footer in the room nobdy is talking about…
    Aaron Gray!

    • Its beyond baffling to me. Gray was in uniform and practicing, was in the lineup during the player announcements THEN was sent back to get into a suit. WTF was THAT about?

  26. I watched the last 4 minutes of the third quarter and the first 5 of the last one, turned it off, i have yet to watch the hornets win and watch CP play like the CP that we want

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