Game On: Jazz @ Hornets
Matchup: Jazz (18-8) @ Hornets (15-10)
Off Efficiency: Hornets 101.4 (21st), Jazz 106.4 (11th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 99.3(4th), Jazz 103.2 (12th)
Pace: Hornets 92.3 (27th), Jazz 93.6 (19th)
What to watch:
- As always, all eyes will be on the Paul vs Williams match up. Deron is one of the few players in the league that has an advantage over Paul (note this does not mean that heâ€™s a better player) due to his size and skill set. Iâ€™ve long expected Paul to as some point have a big game against Deron, and with his best supporting cast in years this might be the best chance he will have to even the score a little bit. The Hornets need to stop Deron from executing the pick and roll with Paul Millsap to do that.
- Marcus Thornton. After leading the comeback against Sacramento, itâ€™s going to be interesting to see how Thornton is used. Has he turned the corner and proven himself to Monty? Or was that game just that, a game?
- Rebounding. The Hornets are a better rebounding team than the Jazz. Most of the time we know what we are going to get out of David West and Emeka Okafor, but itâ€™s Trevor Ariza who really holds the key tonight. He needs to do a better job boxing out on the weak side to stop the Jazz from getting offensive boards. Despite their poor overall rebounding, they are adequate on the offensive glass.
In the attendance world, the Hornets Business Council has pledged to buy 200,000 dollars worth of tickets to boost attendance. The Save Our Hornets Foundation is sending another group of boy scouts to the game today, and in order to beatÂ the lease the team has to average 14,970 ticketsÂ sold for the next 11 games. Iâ€™m still hearing that Charter and CST have a deal done.
Mehmet Okur is set to make his season debut, coming off of an injury.He’s going to come off the bench and is only expected to play about 5-10 minutes. Don’t expect him to do much, but still he adds another big body for the Hornets to deal with.
Notes from the arena
Hornets are 10-3 at home.
Utah has won four of the last five in New Orleans.
Pops, Banks, and Aaron Gray are inactive. Pops is still nursing an elbow infection.
The crowd loves Thornton, even the Jazz announcers know it, saying they cheer more when he makes a shot than anyone else on the team.
Wondering if Monty ever gets an credit for this long term? ANY chance this has motivated MT5 and/or humbled him? If so, I am willing to have sacrificed a few early regular season games to get a 100% focused Thornton
There's just nothing, nothing, that has ever indicated Marcus shouldn't play heavy minutes. I can forgive Monty for being dumb, but he was being dumb.
I'll give Monty the benefit of the doubt that coming out of preseason and early on Marcus didn't show him enough to earn playing time. An I think it would be naive to think that Monty hasn't had an impact on Marcus and challenged him to grow his game. Like 42 said though the timing is where Monty takes flak, mainly because what he was trotting out in his place wasn't getting it done, and changing things up and giving Thornton a shot wasn't gonna be any worse. Also, while it's fair for the most part to evaluate players by what the coach is seeing in practice, practice will still never be the same as actual meaningful game time and a player needs some run in actual games to be comfortable executing and being a part of the team game when it matters. You can practice it all you want but the speed and variance of an actual game isn't easily replicated. So throwing Marcus out there for just a couple of minutes then pulling him at the first mistake or only throwing him out there in garbage time isn't going to help his confidence or comfort level with the team. But Monty is a rookie coach so he's going to have growing pains as he gets acclimated so I wont call for his head.
Marcus' issues last year could be tied to things like confidence and focus. His defense is clearly improved from last year, so credit Monty with that. The timing is probably the issue for most. Why not trying him more when the offensive woes were apparent? That's a legit beef. I'll chalk it up to Monty being a rookie and won't take him to the shed for it.
I liked him driving at the basket. He looked like a little bench time might have done him some good . . .
we will never know the full story from Monty's point of view, but who cares now? As much as I loved Thornton last year, this is the best I have ever seen him play ALL AROUND. Setting up teammates, pulling the ball out at crucial times, hungry on defense. If this keeps up, all we need is one big. By the way- lost in all this- how confident did Ariza look tonight against AK47??
Wow the Jazz announcers are trying out every excuse as to why they are down so far... No respect for the Hornets
Marcus needs more minutes in the second half if we want to keep putting points uo, he is +13 at the half.
I'm trying to just remember the Spurs game and contain my glee . . . but it's nice to just bust this myth of invincibility of the Jazz against the Hornets. 17 pts at the half . . . I'd rather 16, if you know what I mean . . .
From Licht's twitter... Hornets' MontyWilliams was addressing questions from media about why Thornton doesn't play more. He wants MT to buy into TEAM concept better 15 minutes ago via web Hornets' Monty Williams w/the line of the night : "I don't wake up in the AM thinking of ways to make Marcus(Thornton's) life miserable..." 16 minutes ago via web Team concept. Is he saying Thornton is all about getting his? Is he saying Thornton thinks it's all about him?
OT: But a heads up anyways... "NBATV Exclusive interviews with @Oneandonlycp3, Derrick Rose, and @dwadeofficial on One on One with Ahmad Rashad, Dec. 23 at 7pm ET on #NBATV! 10:49 AM Dec 16th via web Retweeted by BrittanyHornets "
Hornets' color analyst Gerry Vaillancourt tweets... "Hornets vs a Jazz team that ave 24 att's "at the rim" top 5/ hornets have hard time vs teams that attacks with weakside actions half a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerryÂ® "
Has anyone voted Deron for the All-Star team? I've voted numerous times for various players, but always selecting three Hornets. This was my last vote before Joke'em Noah got hurt: EAST D. West Durantula CP3 Spicey Curry Okafor WEST Amare Granger Flash Rose Noah I take it all the MT5 stans will be writing him in as a guard with CP3.
I just did. Some picks 'cause they deserve it. Some just 'cause I like 'em. East: D. Rose and D. Wade K. Garnett and Shaq Amare West: CP3 and Manu D. West and B. Griffin Mek. --- Where would I be if I couldn't see Mek getting it stuffed every night? lol And my write in: MT5 : )
I like it, I have much the same on all of mine. West Durantula CP3 Kobe Okafor LBJ Amare Flash Darren (just because!) Sing-Song Time
I didn't want to mention the X-Factor (Chinese voting) but the reality is it makes a huge difference. Last year, Aaron Brooks and Tracy McGrady were projected to be starters! Not only did that go against every stat in the book, it lacked common sense.
Yeah that would be sweet. Crab Legz doesn't deserve it. I can't do it, he is just too much of a wreck still. Granger is just tragic, he is stuck behind some major talent. Kind of like West in the PF for the W.C. They really do need to do something about the voting. Or just allow the captains as voted by the top 10 vote getting players in each conference pick the starting 5 regardless of votes. That way the Chinese get to see Yao and any other crappy Rockets player they know of, yet they don't get to start over player that actually have played during the year.
Kobme, LeBail, and Sing-Song Time will make it with or without our votes, b/c they're so popular. Danny, Darren, and CrabLegz McGee probably won't. IMO, a gang of good players are going to be left out this year because the talent pool runs deep. Maybe $tern should consider doing it NHL style and let team captains pick and choose who they want from either conference. That'd be sweet.