Game On: Lakers @ Hornets

By:
Published: December 29, 2010

You know it is a big game because the “Banner Man” is back up and it is just in time, as the Hornets are coming off of perhaps their worst loss of the season to face the two-time defending champion LA Lakers. The Lakers are also coming off a somewhat embarressing loss to the Spurs. The fact that they lost to San Antonio isn’t embarressing, but the fashion in which they were defeated, combined with the post game comments from Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and some of the players are concerning for Lakers fans.

Our own Joe Gerrity did a Q & A swap with tonight’s opponents. Check out Forum Blue and Gold for Joe’s answers to their questions and look below for their answers to our brilliant preguntas:

1. Do you think the NBA in general is better off with the Lakers and Celtics being seemingly always near the top of the standings, or would the league by better off with more parity on a yearly basis?

Depends on what you like, and likely where you live. For more casual fans of the NBA, or fans in cities that also have decent teams, high profile, juggernaut squads are a positive. They draw interest, create a connection and tradition, and so on. Should you root for teams in Minnesota or Sacramento, it probably gets old to see the Lakers win every year. (In the case of fans in Sacramento, I know it does.)

But the NBA isn’t yet baseball, in terms of a big market/little market have/have not situation. Sustained excellence isn’t simply about being in a big city and spending a lot of money. Just ask the Knicks, who have tried it for years. Good management is much more important. It’s why the Lakers (big market) and Spurs (smaller market) have been so successful. Not to sound like a honk for the hometown team, but the Lakers have always been willing not just to spend but to take risks and make bold moves in an effort to win. Mitch Kupchak has done great work around the margins with smart trades and signings over the last few years, from the acquisition of Shannon Brown and Trevor Ariza to smaller signings like Matt Barnes. They have the freedom to acquire and keep superstars like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol (a trade coming totally out of the blue), but without the other moves, to fill out the roster, they likely don’t win at the same level.

San Antonio has done much the same, parlaying a little luck (landing Tim Duncan off their only awful season in memory) into sustained excellence, and without the ultra-high payroll. Oklahoma City has drafted and traded well, and is in position to win for years. It can be done.

Plus, seeing the Lakers and Celtics near the top is a relatively recent phenomenon. Not for the Lakers, but up until a few years ago, the Celtics were terrible. The Knicks have only recently become competitive again. The best teams in the league over the last few years haven’t been the classic big city, big franchise groups, save the Lakers. Going back to L.A.’s first string of titles, the big rivals were in Portland, Sacramento, and San Antonio. There isn’t necessarily tons of parity, but I’m not sure the problems are necessarily institutional.

2. Where do you stand on the best point guard debate? Does Derek Fischer’s bling make him the king?

Fisher fills a particular need very specific to the Lakers. Initiate the offense, be a trusted outlet for Derek Fisher, and provide some serious guidance and inspiration in the locker room, as well as a willing late-game shooter. He’s ballast for Kobe, who, despite developing a more collegial leadership style in the last few years, is still an intimidating, dominating force in the team dynamic. Fisher has Kobe’s respect, which allows him to provide a sort of moral conscience for the Lakers.

It’s that sort of stuff- the intangibles, really- where Fisher has the most value… which is good, because the on-court product- tangibles, if you will- probably makes him one of the worst starting point guards in the league measured by pure production. (It should be noted the team’s system and on-board star power means they ask virtually nothing of him from a statistical standpoint beyond hitting spot up jumpers. Plus, the triangle doesn’t lend itself to gaudy assist numbers for PG’s.) The irony of Fisher is that he’s consistently pilloried for his defensive shortcomings, when from my perspective his offense more frequently hurts the Lakers.

Fish doesn’t finish at the rim very well, nor pass artistically off the dribble, but still likes to take it to the rack a few times a game. Periodically, he’ll fall in love with the pull up jumper in transition, a terrible shot for the Lakers generally and for Fisher specifically, because he’s not exactly Steve Kerr. This year, after a red hot start, Fisher has cooled off from the perimeter, and historically he’s a very ordinary three point shooter, and at 40 percent for his career, not a high percentage shooter generally.

Defensively, he does struggle to guard quicker point guards on an island, but who doesn’t? I once asked Aaron Brooks if he had the quickness to guard Aaron Brooks. He said no. So to get on Fisher for the same problem seems silly. He’ll struggle on the pick and roll, which reflects not just his own shortcomings but the team’s as well. Meanwhile, he’s probably their best transition defender, consistently falling to the right level to break up plays, or taking charges.

He can absolutely be exploited on that side of the ball, but often fits in well with what they do on that side of the ball. Is he a great defender? No, but the damage he does is overrated.

3. Looking around the rest of the West, is there any team that you fear more than the rest?

San Antonio is scary, given their depth and skill. Dallas is as well, assuming this recent injury to Dirk isn’t bad. Oklahoma City should only get better as the season goes along and Kevin Durant overcomes his slow start.

I don’t trust Utah quite yet and the Lakers have absolutely owned them in the postseason, but they’ve obviously played well. Still, right now the scariest team for the Lakers is the Lakers. By squandering a stretch amounting to the easiest schedule in the NBA, L.A. has effectively eaten away most of its margin for error. Over the last two seasons, they’ve led the Western Conference at this point in the season. Now they’re chasing Dallas and San Antonio, are neck and neck with Utah and OKC, and still have a very burly schedule ahead of them. Among their 51 remaining games, the Lakers will see about 34 playoff or near playoff teams. As opposed to 12 or so in their first 30 games. Big difference.

When they play up to their full capability, they’re the best team in the west, no question. But most teams don’t do that, at least not consistently. The Lakers need to get more out of Ron Artest, who hasn’t been good, more consistency out of Pau Gasol, who has slumped after an MVP start, better defense, better ball movement, and so on. It can/should happen, but there’s work to do.

4. I know the Hornets fans will kill me for this, but how do you think a guy like Chris Paul would function in the triangle offense? Would it restrict his game to a fault, or enable him to showcase his strongest skills while avoiding his relative weaknesses to be exposed?

I actually asked this question of Brian Shaw a few weeks ago, though in reference to Steve Nash. Still, CP3 actually comes up, and the basic principles are the same: How to take a ball-dominating guard who absolutely crushes people in the P and R and put him into a system heavy on ball and player movement designed specifically to avoid one guy dominating the ball.

His answers are pretty interesting, but in short he says it can work, though said PG would have to be willing to adjust his game to accommodate what the Lakers do. Players as smart as CP3,Nash, Deron Williams (or Kobe, or Jordan) can always thrive in the triangle, assuming they’re willing to learn and run it. The offense would open up plenty of perimeter shots for Paul, plus great lines to penetrate and kick off the dribble, or just finish at the rack. His raw assist numbers might suffer (all PG’s seems to see a drop once added to the system) but he’d likely thrive in other ways. And the coaches will tell you the P and R is part of the system, so that’s not anything to worry about. The Lakers certainly use it a ton with Kobe and Gasol.

With good players around him able to take advantage of his skills, Paul would continue to be great.

___________________________________________________________________

Other News and Notes:

– I have trained for years to remove emotion and become purely rational, so I am not torn between my heart and my head on this one, but rather my head and my head. One tells me that Kobe will be mad after missing 13 straight last night and by being insulted by his coach and he will take it out on us. The other one tells me that this might be the time of the season to catch LA and they are struggling right now. You can really apply logic to both sides: either the Lakers and Kobe come out angry and look like the Champs or pouty, whinny Kobe sulks his way through 48 minutes and mails it in. Tune in to find out!

– Despite the Hornets being 13-3 at home, LA looking horrible last night, and the Lakers being on the second night of a brutal back to back, Vegas favors the Lakers by 2 in this matchup. What’s more is that gamblers are loving the Lakers in this one, with over 90% of the money being put on LA either minus the points or straight up.

– Hornets 2-5 in the last 7 meetings against LA.

– Lakers have lost 3 straight games this year. They have only had a 4 game losing streak twice in the last four years.

– Lakers are having tons of problems with quick point guards this season and CP3 has killed the Lakers at home over his career, averaging 23.8 PPG and 11.6 assists. West is also typically strong against LA, so the question is WHO ELSE will show up? Perhaps the Banner Man??!? If so, give props to its creator- Dariusz Ejkiewicz.

109 Comments

  1. QueenBee

    December 29, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Lakers will be mad because they’ve lost a few in a row and the Hornets should be mad because of losing to the what was then 7 win Timberwolves team. Hopefully this should make for a good game. GEAUX HORNETS!!!!

  2. 42

    December 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    First game on CST-on-Charter.

    This game should help with the attendance issue a bit. Our to-hit number should be something like 14,600 after this, which is less than the average of the last 4 games.

    Podcast? Or does Sarah need more detail to continue to beat me up verbally? I think she left off at beards . . . 🙂

    • Michael McNamara

      December 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      Podcast coming soon- I have been giving Sarah some lessons on holding back so as not to offend the 420foot Jesus- especially around his birthday.

      • 42

        December 29, 2010 at 6:44 pm

        Ha!

        Nah, I can take it . . . I just hope she doesn’t attack me on principle if she makes the trip this way at some point . . .

  3. 42

    December 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I’m mad!

  4. QueenBee

    December 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Not really surprised that they’ve said on the news that tonights game is a sellout.

  5. QueenBee

    December 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Trevor, please, please dude, try not to get killed by Kobe tonight. CP3, don’t get killed by Steve Blake. LOL.

    D-West, don’t get killed by Odom. Meka, don’t get killed by Bynum.

  6. bgalella

    December 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Glad to see the game sell out, crowd needs to bring it tonight, Lakers will be playing harder than usual after getting beaten by the Spurs.

  7. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    the lakers will be coming for out throats tonite

  8. George

    December 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Yes finally get to watch a game on tv. If your an Australian get around to someone’s house who has Austar or Foxtel this game is on espn

  9. JCS

    December 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I hope for one or more of the following in tonight’s game:

    1. Ariza has a monster night.
    2. Kobme continues to build a brick house.
    3. Hornets come out with a win.

  10. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    lets keep this up BEES

  11. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    got damn it marco

  12. NOLA ALL DAY

    December 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    bellineli sucks!!!!!! WHY DOES HE PLAY? never the less start

  13. George

    December 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    C’mon Marco, you have to make your shots

  14. 42

    December 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Smith got a call?

  15. NOLA ALL DAY

    December 29, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    CP always throws the ball where the refs arent!! haha i love that fool

  16. Go Blue

    December 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I’m really missing Willie’s defense. I can’t watch Marco guard Kobe any longer.

  17. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    WTF marcus that 2 in a row

    • da_freshness

      December 29, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      He was fouled on that second one.

  18. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    uuuugh. man i am so sick of having a stagnant offense. and these offensive rebounds we are giving them…..oy vey

  19. Ryan

    December 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Q-pon Looking ok with the Starters.

    • Hornet Seantonio

      December 29, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      qpon always looks good, dudes legit. great defender and as he shows he can drain shots too. he needs more minutes

      • 42

        December 29, 2010 at 7:59 pm

        I agree with that.

  20. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Damnit DWest GET UP!

  21. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    FUCK FUCK FUCK

    • 42

      December 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm

      Variety is the spice of life. You can do better than that.

      How about: May an open sore consume the world?

      • Forever504

        December 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

        YES MASTER!!!!!! :>

      • 42

        December 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        It’s a variation of a Hungarian curse. I can not take full credit.

  22. MaxALM

    December 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Belinelli should not start one more game. Seriously, what has he done in the past month to deserve his minutes?

  23. da_freshness

    December 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    DAMNIT!!!!!!!!!!! Be ok DWest.

  24. DownUnder

    December 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    This is vs Minni all over again, they cant miss even their really bad shots and we are just missing to many of open ones

  25. George

    December 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    About time Belinelli, finally getting aggressive. Bad news about D-West.

  26. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    FOUL!?!?!?!

  27. da_freshness

    December 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Ok refs, this is getting out of hand.

    • NOLABanks96

      December 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      of course the LA FAKERS get all the calls

  28. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    really marcus really

  29. Go Blue

    December 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Now Marcus air balling…this is going to be a long game if they keep this up. Sigh.

  30. George

    December 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Thornton is almost playing as bad as Marco

    • Forever504

      December 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      he is playing as bad as marco and this is coming from a marcus STAN

  31. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    fuck

  32. JLImagine

    December 29, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    This team is slowly but surely falling out of the playoff picture. Pathetic offense and I have to think a lot of this (three moving screens again!!!) is on the coaching staff. I still believe the talent is here though.

  33. DownUnder

    December 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I feel so bad for CP, he is by far the best player on the court tonight and yet his team is losing by close to 20 points

    • Hornet Seantonio

      December 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      best player on the court? hmmm lol he is out there with kobe freaken bryant pau gasol and lamar odom. hes ONE of the best players on the court

      • DownUnder

        December 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

        I only mean on the court tonight, Kobe is just making dumb shots, Lamar is taking advantage of poor match-ups and Pau is just tall

      • QueenBee

        December 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm

        Get out of Kobe’s arse. If he didn’t have Gasol and Odumb his arse would be losing too. Could Kobe win games with Paul’s supporting cast? Hell no. Not without the help of guys like Scott Foster.

      • Hornet Seantonio

        December 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm

        if you dont think kobe would be winning with a starting lineup of jarret jack, kobe, ariza, dwest and okafor you are plum retarded

      • Hornet Seantonio

        December 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm

        unless you talking about championships who knows, but that be a damn good team

    • Go Blue

      December 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      I feel bad for him also. I don’t want to say he’s the only one trying on the Hornets, but he’s the only one producing. I REALLY feel bad for Mek, poor guy just getting man handled.

  34. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    that offensive foul they called on ariza was criminal then saying qpon fouled kobe just because kobe missed a mid range absolutely absurd. We should start qpon at shooting guard let marco and marcus come off the bench

  35. hewhorocks

    December 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Everything so far makes me want to look away…..

  36. George

    December 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Chris Paul needs to play his best second half of the season in order for us to get back in this game

    • QueenBee

      December 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      Other players needed to also play their best 2nd half.

  37. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    screw defense cuz it aent working. can we get some offensive players, lord, somebody go get me CDR

    • NOLABanks96

      December 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      i know right. Im tired of Monty solely focusing on defense. GIMMIE OFFENSE

  38. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Bob Licht just said we had more turnovers than rebounds in the first half……….unbelievable

  39. Go Blue

    December 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Phil Jackson is lucky I’m not at the game, because he’ll surely get a middle finger for these ridiculous comments.

    “I don’t know if New Orleans can support [an NBA] team,” Jackson said. “It hasn’t been successful supporting a team up until now. So, all the situations that have gone on in New Orleans, unfortunate things have happened and you know if the franchise can’t make it, somebody is going to have to move it.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5968288

    He really knows

    • Go Blue

      December 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      opps. He really knows how to be a jacka**

      • hewhorocks

        December 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

        present company excepted New Orleans doesnt seem very interested in basketball. The NBA i trying to focus its market on “upscale” or “yuppie” urban crowd something which New Orleans has less of than many other NBA cities. NOLA doesnt seem to have either the media market or the big sponsors that many of the NBA teams have. If the crowds came every night it still might not be enough… 14K upper bowl seats at 20 a pop doesnt have the same financial fire power that sold out suites have.

    • QueenBee

      December 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      Phil Jackson talks shit about everywhere he goes. He talks about our city and he talks about opposing players. Eff you and the horse you rode in on Phil.

  40. 42

    December 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    D West back. Happiness.

    • Hornet Seantonio

      December 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      hes back but marcos still in ugh….

  41. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    why ariza

  42. Go Blue

    December 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Trevor should NEVER dribble the ball for more than 1 second…..

  43. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    can we please attack the BASKET

  44. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    marco is WORTHLESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  45. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    this is OVER

  46. George

    December 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Demps needs to give away Marco now to anyone who will take him. He is nothing but a liability getting in the way of Marcus’ development I would give him away for a future second round draft pick

    • QueenBee

      December 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      And here we thought we were actually getting something for Julian Wright. LMAO!!!!!!!!

      • Hornet Seantonio

        December 29, 2010 at 10:29 pm

        speakin of that is juju available lol

  47. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    December 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Why does bellineli hesitate on shooting the 3? I notice it puts him out of rythm

  48. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    2-12…..and why is marco not trevor or qpon on kobe bryant

  49. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    about time we get a FUCKING call

  50. George

    December 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Thornton in now with Kobe out

  51. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    gosh do we have to bash marco to get him to make shots

    • Hornet Seantonio

      December 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      yes, w/e works

  52. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    cp you sneakly lil bastard.

  53. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    WTF MARCO

  54. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    PLEASE take marco out

  55. George

    December 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Our own refs are aganist us

    • QueenBee

      December 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

      Hornets don’t have refs. LOL. It looks like the Hornets are one of the most least respected teams in the league. I know they haven’t won anything to get respect but it seems they really are little peons.

  56. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Wheres Marcus?

  57. George

    December 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I want to cry

    • Forever504

      December 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      we all do

  58. Forever504

    December 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    how do we miss point blank shots

  59. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Im done, im going to play xbox…call me when we have a new head coach. Im just happy we spend so much time focused on defense cuz if we werent such lock down defenders wed really be losing

  60. da_freshness

    December 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Not saying I want a trade, But who Do you think we can get for Ariza, Belinelli, and Marcus Banks?

    • Mark

      December 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

      We can get a 4-25 combined shooting percentage.

  61. Go Blue

    December 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Well atleast CP3 knows that they’re still playing a basketball game…………

  62. 42

    December 29, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    18,018

    • Hornet

      December 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      that is the only positive for tonight. thanks for posting that

    • Mark

      December 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      Had no idea of our capacity since our attendance has been abysmal. Unfortunate they had to witness us suck up almost the entire game.

      Come on Hornets, really?

  63. Go Blue

    December 29, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Someone want to tell me why Cp3 is on the bench..????? We give up already?

    • Hornet

      December 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

      it was probably monty’s rotation before the game :p

      don’t you know, he doesn’t change shit. byron scott 2.0

  64. Hornet Seantonio

    December 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    who the hell made this stupid commercial with the mardi gras indians….fing disgraceful. “we eat beignets and etouffes???” are you kidding me “got my ticket and im ready, we never falter cuz were steady” ….these people should be tarred and feathered

  65. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Remember when we were a Top 3 team in the league

    • Mark

      December 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

      That was, like, a month ago. How quickly things turn.

      • NOLABanks96

        December 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm

        Well yea, but i was thinkin when we had Chandler, pargo and dem… ’07

      • Mark

        December 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm

        What was amazing was that we were under the radar the entire season until that one last game against the Lakers (subsequently losing the game, and *possibly* CP3’s MVP). The media just did not want to give us the respect we deserved.

  66. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    fuck this im done

  67. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    December 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    This is embarrasing, our first sell out game and our team has NO pride and NO respect for themselves as competitors. I am ashamed 18,018!!!!!!!!!!!! Miserable fans thanks to bellineli

    • 42

      December 29, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      Second

  68. BAPEPPER

    December 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    WHY ISNT MARCUS THORTON ON NBA 2K11 ONLINE PLAY I CANT DO SHIT WITH ARIZA AND BELLINELI ON THE DAM GAME I NEED THORTON

    • Hornet Seantonio

      December 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      ROFL BAPEPPER dude preach to the choir man, ive been complaining ever since they took him out. I do all my work with chris paul, and you should put in pops for whatever reason hes a beast in the game. I play cp, ariza, pops, dwest, okafor.

    • Mark

      December 29, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      hahaha maybe Monty’s got the roster sheet from 2k11’s online play and doesn’t realize Thornton is on our roster either.

  69. George

    December 29, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I have to say up until now I have put up with Monty’s rotations thinking he has worked with under the best head coaches in the game, played the game, surely he must know better than me. But I am actually starting to think the judgment of myself and other fans on this blog is better than Monty’s. So many moves or an absence of moves this coaching staff has made I will never understand, and I haven’t heard any logical explanation made in their defense.

  70. NOLABanks96

    December 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Can we get a new coach? Monty is jus stupid. Demps make a move for someone already dummy. Ariza & Bellinelli for……………..

  71. QueenBee

    December 29, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    A shooting guard that can’t shoot.

  72. QueenBee

    December 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Anyone know the last time the Hornets won a game officiated by Tim Donaghy’s buddy Scott Foster?

    Not only did not many Hornets step up but the officials made sure the Lakers’ losing streak would end tonight. The Hornets are a top 5 defensive team in the league but they can’t play defense when a whistle is being blowing every other trip down the floor forcing you to relax on defense. Chris Paul looked up for the challenge but he, along with others would have to be Ray Charles to not be able to see no one else was up for the challenge. Jack and Pondexter were ok but who else?

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