Hornets Power Rankings- First Quarter Report Cards

I know that technically the first quarter was 20.5 games into the season, and that I should have issued grades at halftime of the Pistons game last week, but its not like we have any NASA engineers or mathematicians who frequent the site, so who cares? 24 games in with a 14-10 record is when I deem it time to look back at the first quarter, so it is written, so it shall be done.

The first quarter of the season, ironically, was really a tale of two halves. In the first 12 games the Hornets went 11-1 and you would have thought every player on the roster was flawless. The Philly and Toronto trades were being hyped as the steals of the decade, and the national media was claiming another victory after we got Jack from the Raptors for a turnover prone guard and a shooter past his prime. Since then, the Hornets have gone 3-9.

For the first quarter report cards, I have to take all of this into account and not be a prisoner of the moment. The second half of the quarter can not count more than the first half, and I can not project moving forward in the assigning of my grades either. I will take the whole body of work into consideration and grade each player based off of that. And with that said, here are your first quarter report cards:

Satisfactory/Exemplary Performance

Chris PaulA minus

I went back and forth between A minus and B plus on this one, but at the end of the day CP3 has been exceptional in the role that Monty wants him to assume on this team. I know fans have been frustrated as of late, but Paul is playing the same way he was playing when the team was 11-1. In that stretch where the Hornets were 8-0 to start, Paul was phenomenal at the end of games and was the best closer in the league. In fact, one of the only games he didn’t close was that Miami game and that was only because of that bogus charge call. If that call goes the way it should have, CP3 finishes the Heat with an And One.

Over the past twelve games, teams have simply figured out how to beat the Hornets, how to eliminate role players like Jason Smith and Willie Green from the equation. The perimeter offense has been horrible and Emeka has been a no show in most games. While it is true that New Orleans could probably have gone 5-7 or 6-6 in this stretch if CP3 had just taken over games by shooting 18-22 times per game, it wouldn’t have boded well long term. Eventually the Hornets need to find some guys other than Paul and West who show up every night, but the fact that they don’t have those guys shouldn’t impact Paul’s grade.

David WestB plus

So far, David West is having his best offensive year since he has been in the league. While he averaged more points per game in each of the last three seasons, he is shooting 53% (career high) and he is making better decisions when double teamed compared to years’ past.

The reason why he is not getting an A is two fold- his rebounding numbers are down for the 4th year in a row and he just is not getting to the line as much as a guy who touches the ball as much as he does should.  The rebounding isn’t going to change, but I do think that West could find ways to be more aggressive on the offensive end, especially if our wings can provide more spacing.

West also gets passing grades for his bluntness in the media. He has come right out and said what is on his mind since Day One of the new Williams/Demps regime. He has even gone on the record with regard to how frustrating the whole ownership situation is and I like directness from players, so I applaud him on that front.

Emeka OkaforC

A fitting grade for Emeka, as he is average in almost every way (except for in terms of salary!). He is not going to be the reason you win on most nights and he won’t be the reason you lose on most nights. In all honesty, if he was making 6 million per year, he would probably never be discussed by Hornets fans. He only comes up in conversation so frequently because of his salary. One camp says his contract will kill us, the other camp says you have to overpay for even an average center. Bobcats fans don’t have 50 post conversations about Nazr Mohammed. Why? Because he is an average center making 6 mil per who doesn’t win or lose games.

Emeka was amazing in the first game against the Heat, and there was reason for optimism at that point, as Emeka was 2nd amongst centers in PER, shooting 71 percent, and changing shots on the defensive end. Not surprisingly however, he has come back to earth and is basically having the same season he had with the Hornets last year. Not good, not bad. Just Emeka. He has become an adjective. You try out the fancy new restaurant in town with the overpriced fish that is just so-so and the next day your friend ask you how it was, you just tell him: “It was Emeka.”

In Danger of Being Left Behind

Trevor ArizaC Minus

His grade should not at all be tied into what Darren Collison is doing in Indiana, but in some ways it always will. With Paul’s future uncertain, Hornets fans will find themselves wondering if we gave up on DC too soon and if Ariza was worth the price. Thankfully Collison has not been the 18 and 9 guy he was here for a stretch, and it looks like Collison is destined to be an average starting point guard, not a future All-Star some predicted.

Either way, Ariza is here now and he can be graded independently of DC. Based on what we have seen so far, he is an exceptional defender when he wants to be and an inefficient scorer, at best. He is shooting 39% from the field, 30% from the arc, and 66% from the line. Honestly, I don’t know which of those numbers are the worst, though I tend to lean towards the free throw percentage since it is called a FREE throw, yet he misses 1 out of every 3, and seemingly every big one the Hornets need in tight games.

If the Hornets can get a true number 3 guy on the offensive end, Ariza can be a valuable piece for this team, but as constructed, he just does not have the skill set to fill all the holes on this roster. If Kevin Martin or Stephen Jackson were at the 2 guard spot, I have no doubt that Ariza’s numbers would rise and he would be the X factor those who supported the trade envisioned. For now, he is a poor ball handler who is trying to do more than he is capable of on the offensive end and nobody else is playing well enough to justify them getting touches as opposed to Trevor.

Marco BelinelliC Minus

You wanna know if the Hornets won? Just look at Marco’s stat line in the box score. You don’t have to look anywhere else. In wins, Marco is averaging 13.3 PPG on 48.5% shooting from the field and 48.5% from three. In losses he is averaging 9.5 PPG, shooting 32% from the field and 24% from distance. Need I say more?

Most will say the guy is horribly inconsistent when you look at his numbers, but I will argue the opposite. He is consistent. He is consistently poor against good teams and consistently good against poor teams. 20 against Cleveland, 22 against Detroit, 32 total against Milwaukee, 32 total against an undermanned Portland team, 18 against Houston. Meanwhile, 5 against Denver, 17 in THREE games against San Antonio, 17 in Two games against the Heat, and on and on.

Good teams have good players, good teams listen to their coaching staff and make adjustments, good teams force you to beat them with your plan B or C, not your plan A. Marco has a very limited toolbox and he can get by with that when there is not much work to be done, but against good teams he needs to be unpredictable, he needs to develop countermoves and use shot fakes more often. Luckily for the Hornets, the second quarter of the season is laced with below average teams, but if they are fortunate enough to make the playoffs they aren’t going to be facing Sacramento or Detroit.

Willie GreenC Minus

Nobody has been a bigger fan of Willie Green than I have, but his magic dust is starting to dissolve and those poor shots that were going in during the month of November are clanging off the rim in December. What I love about Green is his effort and respect/love for the game. Some of you might think that is a ridiculous thing to applaud a guy for, seeing that they are all making millions off this game, but you would be SHOCKED by how many NBA players really don’t care at the end of the day. It’s a paycheck and lifestyle to them and they only appreciate the game long after they retire and they can’t play it any longer.

To be fair to Green, he has had a merry-go-round of players joining him on the second unit. In the preseason, he was the primary backup point with Marcus joining him, then Bayless came and the Hornets used a 3 guard lineup for a few weeks. Then that lineup was thrown out in favor of getting Peja in some games. Then Peja and Bayless are traded and here comes Jack. And even more recently Green has been getting some minutes at PG again.

If and when Monty gets a rotation he likes and Green can assume just one role, I expect to see his numbers and his efficiency pick back up. For now, though, expect some 5 for 5 nights, followed by some 0-7 stinkers.

Jason SmithC Minus

I can’t tell you how much I got blasted when I listed Jason Smith as the 12th best player in my Week One power rankings. I once got drunk at a girlfriends’ family holiday party and proceeded to tell her entire family that I was only with her because she was good in bed (the PG version of the real words that came out of my mouth), and even then I got less flak than I did after that first column.

Surprisingly, now that the league has figured Smith out and his poor defensive rotations, bad fouls, and slow feet are not being overshadowed by 3-4 17 footers a game, nobody seems to be defending good old Smitty. Fact is that this guy is probably a good 5th big man on a playoff team and could benefit from playing with a better offensive unit, which would in turn get him some better looks. For now, though, he is just a below average 3rd big on a struggling team.

Jarrett JackC Minus

David Hume once said that there is no such thing as Causation, and that what we perceive as such is just a correlation between two variables that we label cause and effect based on our own experiences. Some Hornets fans see an 11-1 record without Jack and a 3-9 record with Jack as enough data to say that he is the cause, but I just think that is absurd. This team was not playing well even before Jack arrived (see wins 10 and 11 in which they played horribly against Cleveland and the Kings).

Regardless of wins and losses, however, Jack just has not been the player the Hornets were expecting to get when they made the swap. His numbers have been awful and he has yet to really grasp his role on the team. Because of that he is sometimes too hesitant, and other times he tries to do too much. He has yet to find a balance. He did show some good signs, however, in the recent game against the Thunder that were encouraging and long-term he still appears to be a better fit for this team than the turnover prone Bayless.


Marcus ThorntonIncomplete

By far the most polarizing player on the roster; people either think Thornton is the answer or they think he would just add to the problem. Outside of Chris Paul, nobody on this team can get their own shot as easily as Thornton and nobody else is as capable of lighting it up in bunches. You have to wonder why, with the Hornets struggling to score points, Marcus isn’t getting more minutes as a spark off the bench.

I know it is not a popular opinion around here, but I will voice it anyway. We have seen Marcus in the NBA for 100 or so games. Monty and his staff watch the guy in practice every day, analyze everything he does in each and every game, and spend hours discussing the guy as a staff. They have over five decades of total NBA experience combined and are the same braintrust that got the Hornets to an 11-1 start pretty much without MT5.

But now that the Hornets are losing, Thornton is the savior. How, then, did they go 11-1 without him? Look, I don’t disagree that he is an explosive scorer, but Monty is trying to build a very specific team here. Some teams would make JR Smith a part of their rotation, others would not. No doubt Denver would have won less games over the last 3-4 years without JR, but in my opinion (and Monty’s as well apparently), you are NEVER gonna win a title with JR Smith as a key part of your rotation. Never.

So, most likely, the fans just don’t agree with the teams overall philosophy and big picture mindset. When you are losing in the present, it is hard to not want to put in a quick fix, but Monty is committed to building this thing the way he wants to build it and that does not include offensive minded players who admit that they never focused on defense in years past. Maybe Monty changes, hopefully Thornton does, but for right now it is an incomplete.

DJ Mbenga, Aaron Gray, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, David AndersonPart Time Students

None receive a grade because none of them have attended enough to have justified a grade one way or the other. Mbenga has been decent defensively in spurts, but his offense is hard to watch. Of the other three, Pops looks the best in a suit when inactive, although his infamous “Jersey Foul” and him trolling the site as a poster named ‘rm’ will likely be his legacy here.

Quincy PondexterPromising Transfer Student

Q-Pon has not played enough to have gotten a grade for the first quarter, but what I have seen so far gives me hope for the young lad. He has a passion for the game and is usually in the right place on both sides of the court, which is impressive for a rookie. If he continues to develop that corner three and if he can add a mid range jumper to his arsenal, I think the Hornets can have a Ruben Patterson minus the attitude type player.

97 responses to “Hornets Power Rankings- First Quarter Report Cards”

  1. Not going to lie but the Marcus thing i think Monty doesnt want to see him play well. If Marcus goes in and is a beast then everyone will question why the heck he hasnt been playing all season giving Monty a bad look. I know thats like a conspiracy theory but there is no reason with how bad our bench has been scoring lately that marcus cant help this team. plain and simple. the only way to win games is too have more points than the other opponent. good defense is fine but u cant win if you cant score. done play marcus

  2. David West has been playing really well this season, of course Chris Paul has been great.

    Good breakdown of each player, Marco Belinelli opened the year great, but I think he is starting to play like the player he truly is now.

  3. “But now that the Hornets are losing, Thornton is the savior.”

    Of course he isn’t the savior. I don’t think many of us Marcus supporters believe that. He’s just a good player who should be playing. He’s not JR Smith, I think that’s a bit insulting actually. Smith has no basketball IQ, and no sense of shot selection. That’s not Marcus.

    Yes, you’d like to think that the guys with decades of NBA experience know more than the fans. And in 90% of cases I’m sure they do, but the fact is these guys make bad decisions all the time. Not playing Marcus is one of those, especially when you consider how much the Hornets are struggling offensively. To keep a guy who is probably the 3rd best offensive player sitting on the bench is a mistake.

    • Right now Marncus Thorton has not figured out his role and stands around on offense. I really think he is having problems learning the plays. Monty is trying to develope him into a basketball player but he can’t grasp the system. He is more use to just running up and down the court running and gunning and I think that is due to Bowers ina bility to coach him last year. I am a fan of Marcus Thorton but he is going to have to get his offensive game and defensive game together if he wants to be a contributor to the team because the bench is killing the Hornets with turnovers in the last two minutes of the 3rd periods and the start of the 4th periods. I can understand Monty Williams is trying to find the right combinationations but one more week of tryouts and I think it will be time to move on to the starters and run a seven man rotation.

  4. Isn’t clear to everyone – First Half of the quarter 11-1 Pops active. Second half of the quarter 3-9 Pops inactive. Obvious! 🙂

  5. Mike. GREAT breakdown of the MT5 situation. I’ve been saying it all season, and yet people have bashed me for it thinking Marcus would somehow provide something vital to this team, as if he were Kobe Bryant. HE’S NOT. He’s a JR Smith, or a Ben Gordon. He’s not even an Eric Gordon type of player.

    Steven, I mean this as politely as possible. Get your head out of your ***.

    HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY THINK THAT MONTY DOESN’T WANT MARCUS TO DO WELL?!?!?!?! Monty’s job is to get the team to do well. It’s not about individuals. It’s about the collective UNIT. Marcus plays like an individual. He did all of last season too. Stop being so enamored with scoring. Understand that we NEED to play defense. We can’t keep exchanging buckets with teams like last season, because MT5 ISN’T Kobe Bryant and he CAN be stopped.

    And when you think about the guys Marcus would have to go up against… What position has the most dynamic players in the game? Shooting Guard. Marcus gets worked on D. Players see them and they start calling for the ball. And then what happens? They go by him, and Emeka and D West get more fouls called on them.

    This is how you guys have to look at MT5. He’s a great scorer, and other than CP, and DWest, he is actually our best trading chip when paired with the exemption we got from the Peja trade. We need to land a player who can help us on both sides of the ball. And we can’t get that player unless Marcus goes too.

    It’s just the honest truth.

    • we r near last in offense stats we need offense …. maybe u should have basketball knowledge before you call out someone who played college ball

      and my comments about monty…. u need to get ur head out of monty’s *** . Im not saying thats the full truth. Im saying it would look bad in terms of his player evaluation if marcus comes in drops double digits and plays adequate defense. It is not an individual game as you said and his defense should not be individualized thats what the team is there for. Marcus would make the offense so much more effective. Here is where my actually playing knoeldge comes in and ur stupidty gets shat on. When you have a guy who can create for himself it helps the team out both on offense and defense since now team expend more energy guarding the team rather than only worrying about paul making plays. And no pg probably has the most talent right now. If you have been watching games lately our guard defending hasnt been great anyway and we r holding teams decently well but we cant score. u need someone who can score. if u know anything about basketball to win games u have to score more than the other team. ya u can hold them to 2 points but if u cant score yourself ur gunna loose. defense is important yes but equally as much as offense

      please leave some more idiotic comments so i can rebute them again

      • LoL. I also played college ball, and overseas Steven. And if it weren’t for injuries, I’d still be playing. Was a Varsity High School coach as well. I’m not clueless as to what I’m talking about either.

        Watch the offense when Marcus is in. In fact, go back and watch tape of him last season if you want to. The guy averaged 1.4 assists all last season as a SHOOTING GUARD and he started a lot of games too. He doesn’t pass at all, unless he absolutely has to.

        And as a ball handler, looking at the guys this team has, if I were playing against them, I’d want Marcus guarding me every time down the court. He doesn’t slide his feet. He allows his defenders to get to the middle of the paint, and he’s too short to defend their shots.

        Come on dude. If you played ball on that level you should look at him and know this.

      • he is a scoring guard we need him to score not dish out passes for more people to miss open jump shots.

        also there are plenty of 6’4” 2 guards in the league. being short has nothing to do with it. its energy and if u see his quickness on offense u can tell if he tries he is a better defender. he gets lost sometimes ya but when is in a defensive mindframe he is an adequate defender

      • He is NOT an adequate defender. And he is stagnant in the offense. Go look at every other teams SG in the league. I guarantee you 95% of them average more assists. Guards need to set up their teammates.

        You’ve just talked about how he can create his own shot. Yet you never question how he can’t create for others? Come on dude. If you REALLY played college ball, you’d have these questions too. Or were you the kind of guy your teammates hated playing with cuz you jacked up every shot you had, ignoring their back cuts, their positioning inside, or them being wide open for a jumper?

      • he is an adequate defender when he puts evergy in he fights through screens better plays tough on ball d… can get posted up at times but he is fine since his offense makes up for his d since now the other 2 guard has to guard him and waste energy on defense.

        now to your next off target comment— college ball is 100% different than nba ball. NBA is much more spread out a 1 on 1 game, the type of game marcus excels at. last year he didnt create for others that well since we needed him to put up 20 a game. Not many people in the league other than lebron and a few others score over 20 and have huge assists numbers. look at kobe his first years in the league he average 2.5 apg. and i didnt play much considering i played D1 a while back… i bet your community college misses having you out there

      • @AgentZiko:
        Marcus is scrappy on defense. He can come up with steals, blocks, and occassionally force turnovers. No he doesn’t play the best man-to-man defense but his other attributes make him at least an adequate defender. You and all the other anti-Marcus robots always call out Marcus for not doing enough on offense outside of shooting.

        CHECK YOUR FACTS AND LOOK AT YOUR BFFs BELINELLI AND GREEN. Green is averaging 0.9 ASSISTS, Belinelli is averaging 1.3 ASSISTS!!!!! How are they any better on offense????

        MARCUS averaged 1.6 assists in 25 minutes per game last season. GUESS WHAT? Marco averages 1.3 assists in 29 minutes per game, Green averaging 0.9 assists in 20 minutes per game!!! Get real.

    • Of course we NEED to play defense. This team is still in a defense-first frame of mind, that hasn’t changed. And we’re obviously doing it on that end. But you are hearing all of these “OFFENSE!” cries for a reason, and you know why. But offense isn’t going to just “turn on” like flipping a switch, when we are forcing the same things over and over and over and over, without it ever actually working.

      Right now we have one and a half players who are giving us consistent offense: West and CP3 (the half), needless to say. None of us are treating Marcus like Kobe Bryant. But it’s obvious, out of anyone on this goddamn team, that Marcus can AT LEAST provide us that punch/spark/threat if nothing else. It doesn’t have to be for 40 minutes a game, but it has to be more than 2-3 minutes a time. There’s no reason not to EXPERIMENT.

      And what guys would Thornton have to constantly D-up at a position you say is the “most dynamic”? I would say SG is one of the overall weakest positions talent-wise across the league, nowadays. In no order, you’ve got: Kobe, Wade, a fading B-Roy, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Monta Ellis, Jason Terry perhaps, Steven Jackson maybe, Iggy (if you consider him a SG). There really aren’t all of these top-notch SGs like you make it sound.

      I’m in full support of our defense-first persona, but it seriously looks like Monty is neglecting to make ANY offensive adjustments. But sure, we can keep bricking our shots and just hope they’ll fall in eventually.

    • To be fair to both sides here: Marcus is most often stopped my Marcus once he actually gets out on the court.

      I said it in the forum: I’d like to see Marcus for 2 mins a half for each game for a week. I’m not saying Monty should play him or not; I’d like to see him to evaluate him.

      Sometimes he seems way better than Green, other times he’s fumbling around. He has a great upside, but it’s all about mistakes with him.

      Sun Tzu says many interesting things about the offensive vs defensive mentality and actions. The offensive great shines more radiantly than the defensive one, but it’s the offensive mistakes that provide the enemy the opportunity to defeat you. Now, no one can argue that Marcus isn’t turnover prone. What can be argued is 1) Marcus’ good outweighs his bad, 2) Marcus’ good-minus-bad is larger than `the next guys’ good-minus bad.

      People seem to focus more on 1), but I think 2) is the more relevant quantity since we play exactly 5 folks at a time. I think hewhorocks will agree, but I’d like him to weigh in on this . . . if he’s not otherwise occupied . . .

      I don’t buy the Marcus = ticket sales thing mentioned in these comments.

      Let me add this: I want Marcus to succeed anywhere, and I want Marcus to succeed here more. I get a jolt when I see him succeed when given the chance. I’m a fan of Marcus. I’m just trying to understand what Monty is doing, and I’m not willing to send Monty down the river by any means. Let’s cut him the same slack we are cutting Marcus, eh?

      • Agree…
        And this coming not a Monty fan.
        But his system requires a shooting guard that is hitting, as do most.
        Right now ours are not.
        I am not sure ANY system works when the shooters are hitting.

        I would only ask of him 2 things…
        First, try to talk Paul into taking more drives to the basket when he sees his shotters hitting a wall.
        Second, keep MBenga off the court and keep consistent minutes with Gray and Smith as subs for Oak as well as with him on the floor.
        People need to know they are going to play and feel less worried about getting it all done in their few minutes of court time.
        This goes for Thornton as well. I think he has these guys a little shook up right now not knowing if their screw up destroy their court times and perhaps their season.

    • “This is how you guys have to look at MT5. He’s a great scorer,”

      So when the Hornets need points/scoring, there’s a great scorer on the bench that isn’t allowed to give us some of that great scoring? Does that sound right to you? Marcus moves well with and without the ball. He can make opposing defenses have to keep an eye on him. Not on the bench though. I’ve already said that I haven’t been one to complain about MT not getting PT but when this team needs points, you have to at least try to get it from another source. I’m willing to bet Marcus’ll play more at the rim than Emeka does. LOL.

  6. I’ve been supportive of the coaches’ decision to have Marcus on the bench in favor of defense for most of the year. However, the recent slide has shown that the team becomes offensively inept at times, esp in the 2nd half. That 2nd unit has no real scorers other than Willie Green’s off balance pull up jumpers. Get Thornton in there and see if he can pick up the efficiency of that 2nd unit. I honestly believe we were playing our best when Peja (who’s even more helpless on defense) came in for those couple of games and hit some shots. You can cover up one player’s defensive shortcomings but you can’t get consistent scoring out of bad offensive players. At this point, there’s nothing to lose by playing Thornton.

    I miss Peja because he could definitely hit those 2-3 shots in limited minutes and give us some juice on offense. Obviously, we were going to have to trade him to get under the luxury tax, so I don’t fault the Jack deal. Just wish this team didn’t have to penny pinch all the time.

    • That is just not a good analysis.

      We were under the tax line until we added Bayless. We didn’t have to trade Peja to get under the tax line.

      And how exactly does penny-pinching all the time jibe with being over the tax line a couple of years ago when we loaded up after the 56 wins?

      And how is it the bench’s bad scoring that’s causing issues when the starters put up numbers that are just as bad? The bench was causing issues in 2009, not now. They aren’t bailing the starters out . . . but then again, they are the bench.

      I get it. You are frustrated. Just say that. Say argh. Use CAPS or these!!!! if you wish. Don’t make stuff up. Or better yet, fill your head with as many facts as emotions before you get to typing.

      I, too, am frustrated.

    • Haha. Who has that defensive analysis of Peja vs. other SF’s the last few years? Peja was slow, but he actually wasn’t that bad of a defender. He was like the Brad Miller of SF’s.

      • It’s one thing to understand how to play D, but not have the physical capabilities to do so. And a completely different thing to have the speed to play D, but not understand how to.

      • Miller never could drain the 3s as consistantly as Peja.
        That is his skill.
        This year doing this even after being on the inactive list and not knowing if he would be back on after the game shows some stones.
        Wish he were still here.
        I think this team still misses his ability to stop the bleeding and get on the board.
        This is why I am hoping Paul understands the need for him to take up the flag and storm towards the basket when he sees his shooters hitting a wall.

    • Over the last few weeks or so Peja has been DNP-Swollen knee. He wouldn’t be able to help us right now even if he still were a Hornet.

      • Queen, you are forgetting that if Peja were still here, that he’d be 12 feet tall, have giant teeth, and would clear out the paint with whatever he ate at Taco Bell bedore the game to create his driving lanes.

        See, it’s easy to make stuff up until you bring in all these so-called facts and things that, you know, happen.

        Why can’t you take the best moments of someone’s career and compare them to the worst of someone else’s like a normal person?

      • I know QueenBee. I was being sarcastic about Peja. I just remember people bashing his D before, and someone brought out that analysis of how “good” his defense was.

        Don’t you guys remember that? LoL.

  7. Qpon gets a B. and hes got a mid range jumper he is just too hesitant on offense, he looks for willie green alot when they are on the court together. he looks a little scared to mess up on offense, but he is anything but scared on defense. Qpons boozy

  8. Or. . . .

    If you have a fragile fan base, psychically and economically, maybe you give them a bit more of what they think they want, especially if there’s not much to lose in doing so? How many 4th quarter games in garbage time should Thornton be kept out of in order to prove what to most fans is an academic point? (Not to mention that maybe the guy gets some confidence back in his offense?) There’s the beginning of a Monty-backlash forming, and the problem I see is that the stakes here are not the normal “things will sort themselves out eventually” kind.

    If your fan base is angry at the team performance and perceive that their feelings don’t register with the coach, they are likely to make an issue out of inconsequential issues just to get attention. Something concrete, even if silly, can become the flashpoint for expression of general uneasiness and turn into a full-scale revolt just because it’s easy for the average person to grasp. (See American political landscape, c. 2010.) So what if all knowledgeable people believe that it’s a fake issue? Knowledgeable people have been known to underestimate the kind of symbolism that appeals to the general public and lose their jobs.

    If Monty is perceived as a) having an unreasonable grudge against a popular (local) player to the point of not even giving him garbage minutes, and b) the team is losing anyway (so what difference does it make if he doesn’t fit into the long-range plans?), then there may not be a “longe-range” to plan for.

    The problem is perception. Clearly, Monty wants to build the team a certain way, and he sees garbage time not as a time to “get through” but as a time to teach and reinforce team principles. But do you really want Thornton to become a bone of contention and public distraction with so much riding on continued fan support?

    Marcus is a “situation” with an expiration date. He can be quietly let go at the end of the season, and it probably won’t register on most people’s radar if there’s new blood brought in. Given the big picture, maybe it’s a better course to try to diffuse the “coach hates MT5” story. If Mike is right, trying to get better productivity out of our current bench players isn’t going to result in any longterm benefits. They are who we think they are.

    So why not play Marcus? Is he less “short term” than D J Mbenga? As these grades show, the difference between Thornton and the rest of the team is not that great, now that they’ve leveled off. If Coach is right, Marcus playing 10 minutes spot duty won’t show much improvement and fans won’t have a fake issue to rally around. Everyone will realize he is who Coach thinks he is. If fans who want Marcus are right, they’ll feel their opinion matters.

    • Do you think Monty gives a whit what we think about his idea of how to construct a team?

      This is not a rhetorical question.

      Do you think the fans can influence Monty? Dell?

      • 42:

        That was not my point. In fact, I’m sure he doesn’t care. But that could turn out to be a bad thing.

        That’s my point.

      • I can coach-by-polling-the-audience for far less than Monty charges for his services, so I think the Hornets want to see what he thinks.

        And if the crowds leave, or never come, because Marcus isn’t getting regular minutes, then they need to take the team and put them in Green and Yellow because we are just messed up as a people.

        By the way, people still came when Deuce wasn’t getting minutes though all reports were he was fine. He wasn’t. Coach took the heat and Deuce saved face. But the people still came, and still renewed the next year.

  9. I just can’t fathom that Monty watched game film of last year, and thought, you know, that Thornton kid just isn’t even good enough to dress. Well, Marcus is now dressing for games, but is lucky if he actually gets in. Similarly, I can’t fathom what Monty sees in practice that makes him think that Thornton can’t and won’t get whatever he thinks the kid doesn’t have yet, especially when Monty has gone on the record saying guys need minutes to get their games right. Defense is great, but as Yeah Yeah said above, this team, without Peja, needs some instant offense off the bench. We’re missing that, though it’s staring us right in the face in Marcus Thornton.

    The “fans just don’t know” argument only goes so far. Gray has, and continues to be our 2nd best center, and fans have been clamoring for him. They’ve been right. In the short time he’s had this year (and in his time last year), he’s shown that he has improved since Chicago, and that his high foul %, slowness, and a few turnovers is nothing compared to his RB%, ability to pass in the post, efficient (though limited) offensive capacity, and defense. Other than running well, Mbenga simply cannot compare to Gray. Maybe, hopefully, Monty is starting to get that.

    Now Monty just needs to recognize that Marcus Buckets is someone who needs to play for the Hornets.

  10. My issue with Paul is this…
    to be a player that demands actions on the part of ownership, to be called the best at your position in the league…both of these require one thing: that you are the go to guy.
    Paul maybe the best set up man, but set up man doers NOT pull his weight in ownership meetings and player personnel calls.
    OK, MJ could, but didn’t.
    MOST great players would not place themselves into such a position because it is NOT first, it’s not their responsibility and second, it’s not what they do.
    I expected Paul to finish more this year.
    Instead he is content to be the set up man and then IF his options fail, he at least did his job.
    No, Paul…that’s not good enough, or great enough, to step out on personnel calls.

    • I think the first tier of PGs in this league are D. Will, Westbrook, R. Felton, and D.Rose. CP3 is now a second tier PG. In fact, CP3 will most likely hover to 14 PPG and 8 APG by year’s end. The days of 22 PPG and 11.5 APG are likely over. This type of player shouldn’t demand such respect from the front office or have so much control of the ball during the game.

      We need another player besides West who can create his own scoring opportunities. MT5 can, but if a trade comes up for an SG who score without having to rely on Paul feeding him we should take it.

      • You just put Felton as a first tier PG? You lost all credibility there dude. CP is still 2nd in Assists, and is averaging 16 points a game and 3+ steals a game. What are you talking about?

      • agree with Ziko. even with this “reduced” CP3 (stat wise) he is still a top tier PG. from what i remember, best in per, efficiency, tops in TS, AST rate, TO rate, all while using a low usage rate. Now the eye test might tell us otherwise, that he has succumbed to his knee or he is playing to passively. but cp3 is still top tier.

      • AgentZiko,

        I used three criteria to determine:
        1) Likely All-stars in East and West at PG position
        2) CP3 vs fill-pg-here. Head-to-head this year.
        3) In a 7 game playoff series who would dominate the matchup.

        Now R. Felton is likely a byproduct of Mike D’Antoni’s system and playing alongside a surging Amare. However, he is playing at an All-Star level. He outplayed CP3 in a head-to-head matchup. And because of his supporting cast I think he would dominate a matchup in a playoff series. I knew I would catch some backlash for his inclusion : ) Trust me. I am no Felton fan. I had to think twice or three times before adding him to the list. But you have to admit he is playing good bball.

      • Raymond Felton also played an entire quarter (12 minutes) more than Chris Paul did in that game.

        I don’t know why people keep talking about Chris Paul. If you don’t like him as your point guard anymore go follow another team or send a letter to Dell. Goodness.

      • Well…
        my main point is the finisher thing.
        I understand he is still one of the top set up guys, but there are a whole lot here and this is really stat driven and it helps IF you have guys that make the shot after the distribution.
        Just like a lot of rebound kings live on teams with poor shooting percentage.
        What I myself wants in a PG is somebody who can become a killer when his team is going stale.
        Right now Paul is not doing this.
        So, if set up is your portfolio, that’s a whole lot of talking for that one tool guy.
        There are really only 3 guys/players I would let have a say in my player decisions, and Paul ain’t one.

      • @nikkoewan-Word has it that if he doesn’t take over games and doesn’t average 20+ ppg, he isn’t a top tier pg. There are some great point guards in the league that have been considered top tier and never averaged 20ppg (Steve Nash comes to mind) but since CP is no longer averaging that or taking over games, he is no longer considered a top tier pg. I think Hornets fans are more worried about Deron, Westbrook and Derrick Rose averaging more points than CP3 than anything else. CP3 can continue to avg 20&10 and we continue to have his cast playing the same way and come playoff time, we’re one and done because every team wants to shut CP down because they know good and d*mn well his teammates ain’t gonna help him. They ain’t helping him now and they won’t then. He’s no longer appreciated and as much as I hate to say it, I hope he goes where he is appreciated. The guy has been dropped by his home fan base faster than a speeding bullet.

      • LOLOLOL.

        Now you’re saying he’s an All Star?!?!?

        Rondo. Rose. Jameer Nelson are all ahead of him on that list dude. Even John Wall would get the nod ahead of him. Feltons recent few good games (look at his MISERABLE first few games) IS a byproduct of the opportunity of more shot attempts, and also for playing with a dynamic big man like Amare. Pair CP up with an athletic big like Amare, or Howard, and he averages 15 assists a game.

        1. CP, DWill, and Nash will probably be the PGs in the West at the All Star game.

        2. CP vs. fill in PG here, CP averaged 17 and 10 vs them.

        3. In a playoff game, CP will dominate because he wont be holding back or be limited to 35 min a game.

      • @AgentZiko-Felton has a PER of 19 and he’s considered top tier? LMAO. So right now he’s in a D’Antoni system playing more minutes than he ever has in his career, turning the ball over a whole lot more, and that makes him top tier? Yeah, the guy is playing nice ball over there in NY but they’d drop his ass like a bad habit for Chris Paul. That’s right, they’d drop him for the no longer top tier Chris Paul in a hot second.

      • i do not want Paul to be a TOP PG and begin making scores his main thing.
        I would like him to take certain opportunities in those games where they have stopped his men from getting open. Inthese cases I would love to see Paul become the go to scorer, I want to see him break dow=n the defense and score.
        In a few moments, they will once again focus on him and his players fires will hopefully be lit.
        Paul is a unique players and we do not ewant to cookie mold him into being something he,s not…but this kid can shoot and drive and control the ball.
        A few drives when they are stalling will bring some life back to Belinelli and others.
        Bottom line…he has no choice.
        He needs to have more in his toolbelt.

      • Ha! Paul is leading the entire league in metrics like PER and Win Shares, but he’s a second tier PG?

      • sorry oki no chance felton is a top tier guard. let me throw names out there who are better, chris, d will, rose, rondo, westbrook, nash… just to name a few and u really consider felton in that category?

        felton is having a solid year due to 2 parts… the system and amare tearing it up has left felton to take advantage of teams who slide their defenses to amare. he has had some games where he has looked great but no chance he is a top tier all star pg

      • Perhaps I should caveat my statement of CP3 not being in the top tier. CP3 is not a top tier PG in the league when in Monty Williams’ system. Using the Bayless Exact Exchange Rate, or BEER for short, if CP3 played on even an average offensive team then he would average 43.73 PPG, 15.68 APG, 11.31 RPG, and cut down on turnovers : )

        Maybe it is the fact I am sick and hopped-up on several medications but I still feel as if R. Felton is playing at an All-star caliber level. Given some of the names thrown around Felton’s stats are very similar and New York is winning. And who knows? He does play in New York and fans vote.

        Anyway, here is to the next win streak so that my mind stops wandering on such crazy topics.


      • Okijeff: No need to say “Oops” out loud. Just say it to yourself and spare yourself the pain in the future of saying things like Felton is better than Chris.

        You are frustrated. We all are. We get it.

      • okijeff

        You’re saying he doesn’t have enough in his toolbelt….

        Are you watching the games? Do you not realize that if CP had more efficient teammates, he would be averaging more assists than Rajon Rondo, who’s playing with 4 HOFs?

        CP has gotten his teammates more open looks than ANY other PG in the league. He has TRIED to score less so he can develop his team. He is TRYING to get his team to play with confidence again. They desperately need to. For his sake, and theirs.

        I look at stat lines and see CP get 17 points and 10 assists, and then I look at his teammates FG%. Examples:

        Okafor, 2-7.
        West, 8-16.
        Ariza, 3-9.
        Belly, 4-10.

        Smith, 4-8.
        Green, 5-11.
        Jack, 2-6.

        I look at all these statistics, and see the team shoots 45% FGs, and 36% in 3FG. This is why CP ISN’T leading the league in assists. He has no efficiency from his team.

      • Ziko: Are you saying that to be credited with an assist . . . another player has to make a basket? Are you saying you can’t just point and grunt at the assist number when arguing about the quality of a point guard?


        The above was brought to you by: Sarcasm, and Mathematicians for Sarcasm, where two plus two equals the answer.

      • @42

        Let put this in way a prospective mathematician could understand.

        If (first conclusion != Second Post Conclusion)
        then oops
        elseif (first conclusion == Second Post Conclusion)
        then no oops

        In my first post I said CP3 is not playing at a first tier level. By first tier I meant 2 west PGs and 2 East PGs( most likely the amount allocated for the all-star roster.) And I stated that R. Felton is playing at that level.

        In my second post I stated that CP3 is not going to play at that level if he is shackled in Monty Williams’ system. Which team does he play for? I will wait. OK. And I still defended R. Felton at a legitimate All-star candidate based on names such as Nelson, J. Wall, and even Rondo being thrown around. First post == Second Post. Therefore, no oops.

        @Ziko — Good point. By watching the games I can derive demonstrative proof of CP3’s level of play, vice choosing statistical measurements that meets my end goal. I haven’t watched the Miami game, Philly game, or the third Spurs game yet. I will fire them up when I get home. I will look for specific instances of first tier play. Shhhhh….don’t tell me what happens….I want to be surprised.

        Anyway, I hope the Hornets and CP3 buck the trend tonight and grab a win.

      • Oki: Unless they are both oops, and your logic is specious in the assertion of equality. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure that out. I’m surprised you missed that obvious point, as you spent so much time on the post.

        Make up what you like and post it; it’s enjoyable to read.

        You do need to know that mistaking kindness for weakness is a common error. You should attribute my lack of I response to your poorly attemped digs as kindness on my part. Please try to do the same.

      • No worries 42.

        We can table this one for now. We can call it kindness.

        I think I will just until your next dumb ass post to rebuke. Shouldn’t be too long given your lack of critical reading ability that leads to things like attributing comments to posters that didn’t even make them.

      • Sure thing, sounds good.

        Let me met sure I get the quotes right, Oki, since I know how much you love being correct . . .


        OkiJeff: …The days of 22 PPG and 11.5 APG are likely over. (talking about Chris Paul, posted 12/14)

        Chris’ performance on 12/15: 22 points, 11 assists, plus other good stuff, no turnovers.

        Yeah, he failed to get that half-assist. You really nailed that one, Oki.

        Okidie Dokie, Oki . . . tell me where I’m wrong. After all, this isn’t an oops.

      • 42 Great he didn’t get the .5 assist. Perhaps they didn’t teach you about integer values or rational numbers during the PHD inquiry phase of your program. Is there something you want to come clean with?

        Or perhaps it is the lack of reading comprehension that I alluded to earlier? Surely you wouldn’t think when I specified 22 PPG and 11.5 APG numbers that it was a one game total vice a season average?

        In any case read my post again. I think it speaks well for what happened tonight. We need MT5 in the damn game as a third scorer.

        *BTW CP3 is my favorite player. I hope I see a lot more of tonight’s CP3 vs what we have seen in recent weeks. I hope I am wrong on my claim.

      • Trust me, I have sufficient knowledge of the subject.

        I had assumed, you see, that you had checked the stats and saw not only that CP3’s 22ppg+11apg days had ended just after the 2008-2009 season, as last season his averages were down. As such, it was clearly not a bold idea to suggest those days had gone. Anyone with a search engine could see that. As a top notch researcher, I’m sure you noted that, so clearly you are not talking about season averages. To do so would indicate a level of inanity that is so deep that it is not worth considering comparing you too.

        Also, if you go in and do the per minute calculations, as these more reflect what a starter does against a variety of competition, you will see that his points per minute are down around a percent and that his assists per minute are up. Conservatively factoring in that an assist is worth 2 points of effect-on-the-game, you’ll see that he is affecting the scoreboard more per minute than he was for much of the past.

        I’m sure you are capable of doing this, and of course know the insights that I’m detailing here, but I’m just being clear so you may see fit to chastise poor little me less.

        So clearly you are not talking about per minute production, since that claim would be absurd and, frankly, idiotic.

        My next conclusion, then, is that you mean he just won’t produce at that level: a constraint on the maximum production. Again, I am so kind to you. I do not know why you mistake it for weakness.

        And don’t worry. You are wrong in your claim that CP3 is second tier. As I said, no need to “oops” out-loud. Just move on.

        Also, I’ve gone through this argument before on here, as you may not new since you are new here, but I grow weary of it. Unless you really do something to entertain me, I’ll just leave you with a tip to go research previous comments by all on the subject, and once informed, if you are not wrong, bring it up again.

        Also, the ad hominem stuff you are engaging in is a classic logical fallacy, as I’m sure a person of you vast education is aware. I’m sure it does affect your thinking, but you may be setting a bad example for others. It’s better to stick to the facts, and to basketball.

        I’ll talk to you again when you next make a point.

        Thanks for the discussion, Oki; it was very nice.

      • 42 Sorry this reply took so long. I had to stop at the store to pick up graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey’s chocolate bars.

        First off, let me say I could care less.

        Second you are making this too easy. I have misplaced my logical fallacy list from my Philosophy 101 course. Please fax me a copy of your printed logical fallacy list. Surely, a person with understanding of logical fallacies wouldn’t commit the same exact fallacy he is ranting about. Stop reading from your list or improve your reading comprehension.

        Now on to my favorite part, statistics. What a convenient tool. It is almost as if we can just pull down a statistical measurement to justify the claim. You tried with the 22, 11, and 0 turnover game. I think I will write a program inputplayernametomineforrelevantstattowinarguement.c to do the data mining for me. I will call it absurd.c for short. My claim on CP3 isn’t based on /playing time averages, which don’t even translate to wins when the player isn’t even on the court in key situations. You know that.

        Finally, I have been on this site for the last three years. I am not sure what constitutes a new member or old member. Perhaps, it is 3.2 years or whatever arbitrary number you need to justify the argument. Or perhaps it is another example of your inability to do proper research.

        My claim still stands. D.Will and R. Westbrook in the West and D. Rose and R. Felton in the East.

        Happy Holidays

  11. I like the grades. Very fair.

    Banks = expelled?

    Hume . . . I like him . . . something tells me that was a quote of convenience, Mr. McNamara, but I like it nonetheless. Thanks for that. I have 3 Hume audiobooks . . . I make jump on one of those next . . . Fat happy Scotsman Books!

    @Mark: Yes, I have friends in high places . . . like space . . . I have a bookmark that was in space, actually.

    I was a prof for a while.

    What, you thought I was a slacker? Kal-El vs Clark Kent, my friends. What’s the internet for if not a masquerade?

    Life is a Cabaret . . .

  12. Every coach in every league has the “defense wins championships” mantra stuck in their heads. There’s no earthly way he believes that Anderson (who can’t define defense), Smith and Gray are defensive studs and have “earned” their minutes! The second unit gets out there and everyone (except Green & Jack) stands around and hopes when/if they touch the ball, they will already be open cause they can’t create for themselves. What good is it that your 2nd unit hold the oppositions reserves to 15pts and 25% shooting, when yours gets 7pts and 20%? It looks great on the stat sheet for defensive purposes, but then you look over at the final score and you lost by 10! At the end of the day no playoff births, trophies or rings are given to the TOP defensive team. If you can’t score, you can’t win! How many top defensive teams in any sport succeed when they also rank near the bottom on offense???? But, I bet you can find many that rank near the middle (+/-3 spots) in both and have success.

  13. i am a mathematician. 🙁 Mike just made me look bad. LOL. good grades. on a side note, how the hell does Houston get Terrence Williams?! WTF dude ARGH

  14. P.S. to Steven and any other High School prep stars, and College players blogging on this site.

    I have been a starting PG for every school/traveling team/Division 2 overseas league I’ve played in since I was a kid. But I did lose my starting spot at times for reasons that my COACH saw fit. Every coach has a different viewpoint in how to run their team.

    I had coaches who wanted to RUN and GUN and push the ball as much as possible.

    I had coaches to called plays EVERY time down the floor.

    I had coaches who ran princeton offensive sets the whole game and forced us to read the defense to score.

    I had coaches who didn’t give a damn about defense.

    I had coaches who lived and breathed defense.

    When I “LOST MY STARTING SPOT” for a few games, it was usually because I wasn’t giving my coach what he needed from me to fulfill his direction and desire of the team. There was always “coaches favorites”, and that kinda stuff. But no matter what, I always did and adjusted to what my coaches wanted from me. And when I lost my spot, I fought to earn it back.

    Honestly, after 24 games, the fact that Marcus hasn’t seen time on the court tells me that he hasn’t put forth the effort to earn back time on the court. If the coach tells you he wants you to play defense within his defensive scheme, then you BETTER learn that scheme and not be a liability. Otherwise, simple as that, you won’t see time.

    Monty HASN’T done everything right. He has made mistakes. Thats natural. But you know what? He actually TRIES to implement defensive schemes, and an offensive system. Even if it’s still flawed, and still being learned. Have you seen the Detroit Pistons defensive schemes and offensive system? Or how about the Kings? Monty does A LOT better than John Kuester and Paul Westphal.

    He’s in his first season. He’s learning. I give him SOME leeway.

    I would LOVE to have seen Marcus come out and decide, “Sh**, I wanna play. I’m gonna prove myself in practice, and shut Marco Belinelli, Willie Green, Q, and even CP down, and earn my starting spot back, and kill it on offense too”.

    We’re not seeing that from this guy.

    He’s Willie Greens size, and Eric Gordons size. Both those guys are hounds on defense who know they are short, but have learned how to adjust. So if Marcus has Willie Green in practice with him every day, how is it that he’s not learning or adjusting.

    Look at the times he has come out on the court to play. EVERY SINGLE TIME, his man blows by him. Whether it’s to the middle, or baseline. The guy just doesn’t move his feet.

    Lastly, again, remember something. I NEVER said Marcus was a bad player. I HONESTLY really like the guy. But he is our best trading chip aside from CP and West. He’s the guy a lot of teams would want. I just think it would be wise for you all to open up to that and embrace it rather than act like its a travesty that he isn’t playing.

    It was hard seeing Peja go. ESPECIALLY for that trade. But if we’re going to get better, Marcus is our best coin to toss into the fountain.

    • Well, you are assuming certain things in your post that need to be brought up.

      1) You assume Monty Williams is similar to the coaches you have.

      2) You assume the infallibility of Monty Williams’ system and ability to judge talent. This latter assumption is the main reason I think most people are annoyed.

      3) Marcus Thornton’s value is devaluing by the day every time he steps out onto the court in Monty Williams stupid a** , 10 minutes on, 5 games off scheme. If Marcus really is our best trade asset. Wouldn’t you sure as hell want to showcase that he can be a dynamic scorer and help get rid of Okafor using him?

      • agree with points both u are making… definately agree that right now we prob wouldnt get much for marcus

        but ziko your missing my point here. If your team is on a 3-10 slump which is pretty bad for a team wanting to be a playoff contender there has to be a change made. its not like we are loosing these games by a point or two. we have looked absolutely awful on offense when west is not on fire. thats where the change needs to be made the offense is what is killing us. you cant score 6 points in the final quarter to try and win on the road against miami. you cant score 23 points in a half on the road and expect to win… the coaches need to make a change not saying hey put belly and ariza on the bench but allocate playing time to the one guy on the roster who is a spark offensively. marcus will do that when we need scoring boosts thats why im making a big deal about this because you cant let your playoff contending team go on major slumps like this. lakers lost 4 in a row and guss what they are 5-1 since. great teams dont have prolonged slumps like this and keep things constant

  15. I think you had Belinelli and Ariza a little too low. Maybe they and Okafor are all the same player: not diverse enough on offense, not strong enough rebounders, etc. But those three are all certainly better the other same grade trio of Jack, Green, and Smith. (Glad to see you finally have Smith and Green at the same level!)

    The bigger problem is a three man bench, four man bench if count Q-Pon as the fourth bench player. This team has to get a better bench!

    Finally the Hornets are not just trying to win now at all costs. I am sure they have some ideas about players they can acquire this summer at the 2 or 3 spot and compete with Ariza or Belinelli for a starting position. I hope they have ideas about how to bring in a quality back-up 5, too.

  16. I know what it is. Hornets fans are more concerned with what other people on other forums are saying about Chris Paul and other point guards. If the Hornets were still winning as they were early in the season and CP was still playing the way he’s been playing, they might not care so much but now that the Hornets are losing and CP isn’t doing what they think he should be doing, with Deron Williams and other point guards playing great, CP is considered shit now. LMAO.

    Hornets fans (some of them) are saying he’s no longer top tier. Well if you really feel that way, stop looking for him to be top tier. Stop expecting him to take over games and score more. Top tier point guards don’t do that so stop expecting it. It won’t be happening ever again. You’ll be a lot less disappointed when watching him. Once you get it established that he is no longer top tier, you won’t be so disappointed.

    • You tell them, Queen.

      They need to make a point and stick to it for like an hour before changing their opinion to the other side. After all, no one gets mad when Smith doesn’t “take over.” The idea that a PG should shoot first, rather than shoot to keep the defense from concentrating on his teammates, is a little naive.

  17. I just don’t want to come here every day and read the same stuff about CP not being top tier anymore. We shouldn’t have to go through the entire season of this should we? If you just go ahead and lower your expectations now, it’ll be a lot easier on you. Kind of like Suns fans. Going into the 07-08 season, Steve Nash was the best pg in the game. After that 07-08 season, they knew Nash was no longer the best. They accepted it and moved on. This is what Hornets fans who know longer consider CP top tier should do. Accept it, and move on. Lower your expectations.

    • Not actually interested in top tier, middle or lower…
      Just want this team to win.
      In my humble, worthless opinion, I think Paul should drive and shoot more when he sees his shooters are hitting a wall.
      THIS is what team leaders do.
      And paul is THE team leader.
      But he cannot be satisfied with the set up role and still be a leader.
      Leaders are responsible for so much more.
      In this case, he needs to be a rally cry.
      He needs to be the guy that holds out his hands and calms the sea.
      Peja was a calmer by scoring when there was a dry spell.
      He’s gone.
      So Paul…take it to them, stop the bleeding, calm the storm, get some smiles on your guy’s faces.

  18. Thornton does us no good on the bench playing 5 minutes a game. If we don’t play him, let’s trade him and get someone that will contribute.

    And it would hurt to see him blow up somewhere else…but Monty has him so deep in the doghouse, he isn’t getting out.

    • I said in another thread that I hadn’t been complaining like most fans about Marcus not getting PT but when you need offense and you have an offensive player on your bench, it’s time to pull your head out of your arse and get the guy on the court. That’s all we need. We’re not looking for him to be the solution to ALL of our problems but I think the guy can help where we need it the most right now and that is offense.

  19. When your team is playing badly like the Hornets are at the moment, I think its natural to look at what could change. Our starters could play better – Ariza could pick his shots better, Okafor could show more of his “first 10 games form” rather than his “second 10 games” form. And we could also look at whether any of our existing assets are being under-utilized – and Thornton is definitely being under-utilized.

    Monty Williams has been given a pretty free run on the blogs because he’s new, he had that initial great winning streak, and he had the Hornets playing good D when they were awful last year. But he’s also a *rookie* coach with less experience than other coaches in the league. And I’m starting to wonder if the recent streak is exposing that: the Hornets have a good first half, then the opposition makes adjustments and suddenly we struggle.

    One of Monty’s selling points as a coach was his role in player development in Portland. I just wonder what’s going with Thornton’s development as a player. Monty will play him for a few minutes here and there, then he’ll disappear back to the bench for a few games. He simply doesn’t seem to have any scope to “fail” and still get playing time (as opposed to Jack and Green who look like they will get their minutes regardless).

  20. Orlando are having some issues lately as well, they just lost to the Nuggets 2nite, and that makes 5-5 for the last 10 with the last 6 being L L L L W L.

    Yet no one is saying Dwight is leaving and that Stan is making all the wrong calls…. Not to mention that they are a heavy luxury tax team in the freaking EAST who are basically in the same position as the Hornets over the last few games…

  21. I truly believe the reason for Chris Paul’s non-aggressive play is attributed to him trying to get traded.

    I don’t think he wants to be here, and he’s playing medicore to convince the team that he is tradeable!

    I make a statement like this about my favorite player in the NBA, because it’s the only thing -outside of whether or not he’s having knee problems- that explains his ‘half-ass’ play!

    10pts & 5asst the other night? He has sucked against other elite PGs and has not even attempted to close out games like superstars should. He is doing this purposely to become ‘tradeable’!


    • dont think so… i think its the knee personally and him trying to work back into playing shape… he to me has looked tired at ends of games his shots are coming up short about every time

    • Seriously!!!! In a month or so this guy will request for a trade. If the losing continues, might as well trade him. Whats the point of keeping him here. The NBA has a plan… and oh we are owned by the NBA now aren’t we?

    • That is crazy. Besides the complete absurdity of depressing your market value, thereby making the guys who decide where you play receive less by letting you go, the man has integrity and respects the game.

      More reading, less writing for a day or two.

      • um thank you 42….lol. No player is going to dog it if they want to get traded it just makes no sense. If he wanted to get traded hed let it known he does not intend to stay here in free agency, bring up the shit about going to the knicks again, throw out off handed comments anything to get the word out of dissatisfaction. The dudes just not 100% to score like he was, and he is hitting his teammates we just blow goats offensively so they miss the shot thus taking away his assists. Point and case belinelli shooting 1-7, that dude aent makin moves hes gettin the ball signed sealed delivered and hes brickin. The more the others brick the more that he loses dimes when passing to david cuz the defense closes in on him and hes gotta fade or make a move and rob cp of the assist.

    • No way.
      Paul is an athlete at the highest level.
      These athletes can’t play cards with their mothers without trying to take all her money.
      It’s in their veins.
      EVERYTHING becomes a challenge.
      You cannot reach this level of success without that desire eating at you even while you try to sleep at night.
      It’s what makes you work out even when every bone and muscle in your body cries out for rest.
      Perhaps the thought enters your mind, but then the ball is tossed up and damned if your not gonna let the other guy win.
      You can’t even stop it if you wanted.

  22. Many players have ‘dogged-it’ in order to get traded. That’s really the only way a franchise player would get traded, other than creating tension in the organization or understanding that the player will leave via free agency. Chris has 2yrs left, so, free agency is not an issue, and he continues to state that the knee is fine. We have to take his word on that the same way as if he stated that it was hurting. Creating tension in the organization would destroy his image.

    The only other thing that makes sense is that he is making himself tradeable due to average play, and not appearing to be an impact player, especially against good teams and elite PGs. Chris Paul doesn’t look like the best PG in the league … but it seems as though thats how he wants it to seem to (1) the media and (2) to management!

    Franchise players do this all the time in sports. The more recent happens to be in football: Albert Haynesworth … where he has dogged-it and created tension in the organization.

    Not saying Chris Paul is Haynesworth … CP3 is my favorite player in the entire league. It’s just the best way for him to get traded without appearing as if he is demanding a trade! This has to make sense to most of you, right? This isn’t brand new.

    Chris Paul probably doesn’t mind playing with David West, but no one else on the team impresses him. Hell, he probably recognizes David West’s limitations as unimpressive as well at times. Remember David West’s ‘bone-head’ inbounds pass last season led to Chris Paul injuring his knee in the first place.

    Point is: Chris Paul wants out! This is why he can post 10pts / 5asst one night, then 25pts / 3asst another night, and then 10pts / 14 asst on a different night. He has been inconsistent for a reason … he wants out. If the knee is bothering him that much, why not sit for a while? It’s not going to get better playing on it.

    He’s playing average to give Dell Demps the impression that he is tradeable!


    • Gray is dogging is way better than Chris. You see, he’s actually the best point guard. He just wants the inflated Center salary.

      Aaron Gray: World’s Greatest Point Guard.

      You can’t argue this. I called it. Done.

      Oh, and the media makes trades happen . . . that’s why Carmelo plays for the Knicks and the Nets. He’s like Bo Jackson, but with basketball for both sports.

      • Damn!
        So that is what Gray is up to!
        I thought it was his size 30 shoes.

        By the way…that behind the basket shot by LeBron?
        If you look it it in slow motion, it was actually a bank shot on top of it!!!

  23. You’re saying Chris Paul, one of the most competitive players in the NBA who is mentioned in the same sentence with guys like Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnet as one of the most competitive guys in the league by analysts is tanking it? You’re out of your mind dude.

    The reason the NBA bought NO out is because they WANT to keep the city and not lose the team. They know CP leaves, you can expect to see 3000 fans filling seats.

    I think the Peja trade was a HUGE goof on Demps part (unless he was SERIOUSLY advised to get under the cap for a specific purpose, like the NBAs desire to purchase the team). But we still have things players that we can work with and trade. Personally, I would make it be KNOWN that Emeka, Thornton, Banks, Anderson, and every penny of our trade exemption is available, and push HARD to get a better big man (or 2 solid ones) and difference maker like Captain Jack.

  24. ‘AgentZiko’

    Just because others say a player is ‘competitive’ doesn’t mean its true.

    One has to be smart enough to draw their own conclusion. ‘I don’t believe the sky is falling until I see it falling …. not because someone else says so.’

    Chris Paul usually is competitive that’s how I know he’s dogging it now! But why? I’ve seen him more competitive while injured a ton of times in the past! So, it ain’t the injury! His EFFORT in the 4th quarter ‘crunch’ sucks this season!!!


    • I just get the same gut feeling your preaching. I don’t want it to be true or necessarily think it is. It’s funny, a lot of people on this board are probably LSU fans who were preaching “where there’s smoke, there’s fire!” when it came to Cam Newton. Now, we are Auburn, and it sucks. Like I said, ****THERE IS NO FACTUAL BASIS BEHIND THIS CLAIM****

      Lest us not forget, he is best friend’s with Lebron James. That statement alone speaks volumes.

  25. I’m liking this $50,000 ticket pledge from the business association. We just MIGHT make the attendance benchmark. Now all the Hornets need to do is start winning again. . .

  26. I think I’ve seen this movie before with Marco. He got off to a hot start with Toronto, then he fell apart like a cheap suit, and removed from their 4 wing rotation.

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