Hornets Whoop the Jazz

Published: December 17, 2010

The Hornets destroyed the Jazz 100-71 to even the season series at 1-1. It was a game that left little doubt that the past dominance of Deron over Paul is over, and might just get those still talking about it to reconsider their position. No, Paul didn’t do anything statistically incredible, but he did exactly what was needed on both ends of the floor and the end result was an easy W.

There probably hasn’t ever been a Hornets game in which they dominated the glass like they did against the Jazz, at least not one that I’ve attended. The Hornets led 48-18 in total rebounds with about 6 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Credit will go to David West and the bench for this win, but the overall team rebounding is what made the difference tonight. It was a real team effort.

Monty Williams opened the second quarter with a three guard lineup of Thornton, Green and Jack. Ariza was on as the four, and Smith as the five. It worked, and the trio led a 19-8 run over the next six and a half minutes. When the starters got back on the court there was a comfortable lead and momentum was clearly in the Hornets corner. Utah would never recover and the Hornets coasted to an easy victory from there.

Throughout the rest of the season you should expect that group to see a lot of time together in a small ball lineup. They work well with each other and it forces other teams to adjust accordingly. Too many times in years past the Hornets have been the team  who made major adjustments based on the other team’s lineup. It wasn’t often that they forced adjustments from the other team. It seems like Monty prefers to be acting instead of reacting, which in my opinion is the better choice. When our bench plays their game, they are at an advantage.

The Hornets played that same lineup late in the third and into the fourth quarter, first with Paul and then with Jack at the point. The lead was 22 when they came on actually increased by the time they started being swapped out midway through the fourth quarter

Jarret Jack is looking better every game. He struggled right off the bat and a lot of you seem to have written him off. Cut that out. Make no mistake; he’s a damn fine ball player. In his seven minute spurt in the second quarter he racked up 6 points on 4 shots, 3 assists, and played some quality defense. When we got him for Peja a while back it was widely known that he was the most talented player in the deal. He remains that same player.

Thornton continued his offensive brilliance, and showed that his defensive performance on Wednesday was no fluke. He’s also rebounding on the defensive at a rate nearly twice that of last season. We all scoffed when he was sitting the bench, but don’t you think that the ends justify the means. Getting DNP’s caused him to work harder to improve and the end result is going to be a better overall player. It’s good to know that he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t expect things to just be handed to him.

David West’s first half performance shouldn’t be understated. He was critical in setting the tone on both ends of the floor, and his intensity seemed to wear off on the rest of the first unit. He scored 18 points on 8 shots in the first half.

Other Game Notes

  • That halftime show was one of the stranger things I’ve ever witnessed. How does one even think up something like that?
  • Watching someone get a pie to the face is hilarious, even when you know it’s coming and that the fan is a plant.
  • Since Marcus came on during the second half of Wednesday’s game against Sacramento, the Hornets have outscored their opponents by 55 points.
  • 100 points= Free Chicken. Marcus scored the deciding bucket with about 40 seconds left in the fourth. It was a fitting finish to an excellent game.
  • Only 14,414 attended, well below what was expected.


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