Game On: Nets @ Hornets

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Published: December 22, 2010

The Hornets hope to put an end to their two game losing streak as they welcome the New Jersey Nets and their 3-12 road record into the Big Easy tonight. The Nets are on the second night of a back to back, as last night they beat Memphis thanks to steller efforts by Brook Lopez and the newly acquired Sasha Vujacic. The win snapped a ten game road losing streak for the Nets.

Recent reports have New Jersey very much in the hunt for Carmelo Anthony again, and the team has basically let it be known that any player outside of Brook Lopez is available. For now, the Nets will go with what they have, which is a decent mixture of young talent and middle of the road veterans.

As for the Hornets, they have hit another rough patch after a couple of wins that made it appear like New Orleans was on the right track. They could have easily won either Sunday’s game at Detroit or the following night’s game at Indiana, but they instead suffered heartbreaking defeats in both. Recently Monty Williams called out the supporting cast, saying point blank that some of the other guys have to step up.

I, for one, could not agree with him more and I have said such on several occasions- as have many of you. We’ve seen some of the other role players put together two or three solid games in a row, but then they disappear for a week or two. Ariza looked great against Utah, but was miserable in the last two games. Marco shows up against bad teams early in games but is often nowhere to be found down the stretch and he tends to have his worst games against good teams. Emeka looks like an All-Star against Miami and Indiana, but kills the team with defensive 3 seconds, missed free throws, and offensive fouls. What this team needs is a 3rd guy who will be there night-in and night-out and I think what Monty is saying is that he will give the guys currently on the roster every chance to prove they can be that guy, but if they don’t, then they are outta here.

Matchups:

Point Guard: CP3 vs. Devin Harris

Advantage: Hornets

Harris is a middle of the road point guard in a league where the position is simply stacked, and it seems likely that he will be moved before February’s trade deadline. He scores the ball fairly eficiently and he can play above average defense when he is focused, but he turns the ball over too much and takes too many 3-pointers for a guy who has only made 30% from distance over the course of his career. Based on basketball IQ and fundamentals, CP3 should dominate this matchup.

Shooting Guard: Marco Belinelli vs. Stephen Graham

Advantage: Hornets

Stephen Graham has taken the place of Anthony Morrow in the starting lineup since Morrow went down with an injury last week. This will be Graham’s 3rd straight start and he actually played fairly well in his first two starts, averaging 9.5 points on 60% shooting in just over 31 MPG. Marco, meanwhile, tends to shine against poor teams and is much better at home this year than he is on the road (13 PPG and 43.5% vs 10 PPG and 39.6%).

Small Forward: Trevor Ariza vs. Travis Outlaw

Advantage: Even

I’m sorry, but I just can’t give Ariza the advantage right now over any small forward in the league with the way he has looked these past two games. The only ray of hope that I can find in the stats, is that Ariza actually has played his best games coming off of 1 days rest, averaging 2 more PPG than when he has zero days rest and 4 more PPG than when he has 2 or more days of rest. Man, I am really reaching to find something positive, huh?

As for Outlaw, he has been solid, but like Ariza this season, he is showing that he is not worth the 7 million dollar a year contract given to him. He is averaging pretty much the same stats as Ariza across the board, although he is shooting higher percentages in all 3 categories. Ariza holds the advantage on the defensive end and in the assist column, but these two are basically a wash at this point.

Power Forward: David West vs. Kris Humphries

Advantage: Hornets

What a banner year for Kris Humphries. He goes from NBA also-ran to starting power forward on a team owned by the Russian mob and is reportedly dating Reggie Bush’s old girl. The Nets acquired Troy Murphy this summer to be their starting power forward, but Humphries has been holding down the spot since early November and is doing quite well. He is only averaging 7.9 PPG, but he is shooting 54% and has been one of those hustle guys other teams hate to face, as evidenced by his 9.1 rebounds per game in just 25 minutes.

I have a gut feeling that Reggie will get in West’s ear and get him to go off on journeyman Kris, but it should be an entertaining match-up to watch. Expect to hear a lot of “And One!!”

Center: Emeka Okafor vs. Brook Lopez

Advantage: Nets

Emeka straight dominated another up and coming eastern conference center on Monday night, as he simply owned Roy Hibbert. Hibbert, however, isn’t exactally the most nimble of NBA centers, and Emeka was able to exploit his lack of balance. I doubt he will be able to do the same thing to Lopez, who is one of the more gifted and athletic centers in the league. The best Emeka could hope for is to push Lopez out of the paint and hope his jumper is not falling. On the other end, hopefully Emeka can be aggressive and get Lopez into foul trouble.

Bench: Jarrett Jack, Marcus Thornton, Quincy Pondexter, Jason Smith, DJ Mbenga vs. Troy Murphy, Derrick Favors, Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar

Advatage: Nets

The Hornets bench has been a no-show as of late, with the exception of two stellar performances by Thornton last week and some improved play by Jack. Meanwhile, the Nets have a guy in Murphy who has always given D West problems, two ex-champions in Farmar and Vujacic and an exciting young rookie in Favors who gives that team plenty of energy.

Other News and Notes:

– Nets have the best WAGS in the NBA: Beyonce (Jay-Z), Maria Sharapova (Vujacic), and Kim Kardashian (Humphries) and they all probably pale in comparison to the type of women their owner pulls. Just hoping they all bring their lovely ladies to the game, that’s all I’m sayin.

– Okay, watch these two clips and tell me that Lopez will not be the man to beat for the role of Giant when they remake The Princess Bride.

– Vujacic is averaging 10.7 PPG in the three games since joining New Jersey.

– The Willie Green tragedy just gets worse. Reports say that his cousin was well over the legal limit at the time of the crash. I know it is the holiday season, but everyone- please be careful and lean from this tragedy.

-The Save Our Hornets Foundation is sending over 50 kids to the game. Thanks for helping out the cause. Pictures/video of the smiling youngsters will be available afterward.

– Thanks again to Dariusz Ejkiewicz for the banner. Guy does such good work, I am going to hire him for some outside projects of mine.

60 Comments

  1. Caleb

    December 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    The other guys can only step up if they are put in a position to do so. The offensive gameplanning has been horrendous.

  2. thechosenuno

    December 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I agree — we need someone in addition to CP3 and D West who will consistently put up good numbers. MEK takes games off, Ariza daydreams, and Beli (as much as I love him) leaves his shot at home more often than he brings it.

    Has anyone heard anything about Dell working the phones to get us another good, solid, starting piece? Now that Dec 15 has passed, I’d think we’d hear something…

  3. hewhorocks

    December 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Uno: Last Hoops hype rumors has anything listed is December 10. Note the Hornets are about 4 million under the Luxury tax. With Banks going out that would put the Hornets with about 8.5 million to play with and be under the tax. Banks and Peja ‘s expiring might not get Wallace out of Charlotte but maybe add in a second rounder?

    • hewhorocks

      December 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm

      *expiring = trade exemption.

  4. Hornet Seantonio

    December 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Ariza to have a big game tonite 😉

  5. bgalella

    December 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Key match-up is the point guard, if CP3 can limit Devin Harris, the Hornets should win easily.

  6. Nets Fan

    December 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    The Harris-Paul mathcup, obviously you guys win. But Harris is a very good and underrated point guard and can off for 45 on any given night. Him and Lopez make a deadly combination

  7. 42

    December 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    They are remaking it?

    Paul Wight….

  8. MaxALM

    December 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Lets go Marcussss grab those rebounds hit those shots

  9. Hornet Seantonio

    December 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I heard benny grunch n da bunch r playing tonite too. giddy up

    • 42

      December 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      True

  10. Zwie

    December 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    deep, deep, heart felt apologize to willie greene and his family, my heart sank immediately when i got news of this tragedy.

  11. BeesGivingEffort

    December 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I hope we see the real CP3 tonight, not this fake one that’s been rearing his ugly head up far too often lately. Marcus. Be that third!

  12. paul

    December 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    What in hell is going on with Gray!!??
    Enough of the blakout, the team owes us something!
    He’s not even mentioned here as a bench option!
    What is the situation?

  13. Foerever504

    December 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    dont forget to vote for the all star game

  14. Joe Gerrity

    December 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I will be on chris steiner’s radio show out of mississippi in about 10 minutes if anyone is interested in listening or calling in.

    Wish I had more info and notice for you, but the holidays are beating me up.

  15. NolaHog

    December 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Please win this f*@king game Hornets! I predict Jason Smith is going to have a big game tonight.

  16. Michael McNamara

    December 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Marcus is back on the banner!!!!!!!!!!!

    • mbdtf

      December 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm

      Guaranteed win now.

  17. Cpthree4mvp

    December 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    anyone got a link for the game tonight. i’ve tried several but haven’t had any luck

  18. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    29 points is too many doggone points for the Nets to have in the 1st qtr. I remember not long ago the Hornets said one goal was to keep opposing teams under 25 points. Tighten up that D Hornets!!

  19. john doe

    December 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    atdhe.net has the games 99% of the time.

    • Cpthree4mvp

      December 22, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      thanks i had tried that site earlier but i guess it might have just been too early

  20. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Come on Jack. Control the ball dude.

  21. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Then he follows that turnover with a jumper. Thank you.

  22. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Jack for 3!!!

  23. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Watch that lob Hornets!

  24. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Nice finish at the rim Marcus!

  25. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Good block Mbenga!

  26. ollie

    December 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    mbenga hacked, no call

    lopez walks, and 1

  27. peronas

    December 22, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Mek making Lopez’s life miserable right now.

    Ariza can’t finish a lob… sigh…

    • AgentZiko

      December 22, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      I don’t understand why he didn’t dunk that. Thats not the Ariza I know. The lob was perfect. I think he didn’t know where he was or how close to the rim he was.

  28. da_freshness

    December 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Poor Humphries just got schooled by Cp3.

    • AgentZiko

      December 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      Haha. That made me laugh. Wish we had a hustle guy like Humphries though.

      • ur_gmas_daughter

        December 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm

        Really? I always saw Jason Smith as OUR Varajeo, Humphries, etc

      • JCS

        December 24, 2010 at 11:57 am

        Humphries is dating Kardashian. He ain’t poor by any means.

  29. peronas

    December 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Ha ha West for 3!

    • AgentZiko

      December 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      Great shot. I’m surprised he doesn’t step out and shoot more of them. He’s got the range.

  30. mbdtf

    December 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Key stat: CP3 has 8 assists at half.

    The Hornets play so much better when Paul is racking up the assists.

    • Hornet

      December 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      and he’s got 10 pts. He’s being more aggressive in general.

    • AgentZiko

      December 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      Yea. Great half from CP. I hope he keeps it up. 20 points. 16 assists. 6 rebounds. 2 steals. That would be a CP3 type of a game.

  31. 42

    December 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Landrieu sitting with Weber and Sperling. They are right by Morris Bart. Chouest in the house.

    Gerry V quote: the only way the Hornets lose this game is if God is mad at them.

  32. da_freshness

    December 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Marcus is Killing them………

  33. mbdtf

    December 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Thornton banners are extremely effective.

    • Hornetsky

      December 22, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      like 🙂

  34. peronas

    December 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Marcus with the hustle!

  35. Foerever504

    December 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    why is CP3 still in this game

  36. da_freshness

    December 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Does Anyone Know if MT5 got invited to the Rookie/Sophmore game?

    • Foerever504

      December 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      neither him or DC got invited last year which was a shame

  37. 42

    December 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    15423

    • CP3nBrees

      December 22, 2010 at 9:18 pm

      the attendence for tonight?

      • 42

        December 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm

        Oui. C’est bon.

  38. ollie

    December 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    why does ariza play so much. we were up by 20 with 6 to go, put Q-Pon in monty

  39. CP3nBrees

    December 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Whos the dude with the Mbenga mask lol…

    • 42

      December 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm

      I was looking at that guy. Hilarious.

  40. ur_gmas_daughter

    December 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Kinda curious: Does anyone have any insights or opinions on why, when we were up by 22 with 6-7 mins to go, did that Monty put the starters BACK into the game. At first, I thought maybe to try out some new set plays but nothing was really ran and it looked kinda sloppy. Then I thought for conditioning reasons but there were games earlier in the season when most of our starters sat almost the entire 4th quarter. I am all for securing a win especially after the last two losses but I can’t for the life of me understand why Monty decided to re-enter the starters. Anybody? Cause on one play CP fell to the ground came up holding his elbow then on a fast break D West was shaking his hand awkwardly…that could’ve been bad

    • Joe Gerrity

      December 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm

      I’ll ask him when I get back to New Orleans. Good thought.

  41. Hornetsky

    December 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Ahhh. the comfort of home. I’d wish we were doing these type of games on the road. Anyway great job defending the Hive. Hornets win!!!!

  42. QueenBee

    December 22, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    That’s the Hornets I like to see. Let’s get more consistent with that kind of play guys. Trevor, do better man.

  43. JCS

    December 24, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Excellent win. Merry Christmas everyone!

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