Hornets Get Revenge on 76ers

By:
Published: January 3, 2011

Avenging their previous loss in Philly, the Hornets withstood a late charge by the 76ers to escape with their 21st victory of the season. While not the Hornets best performance, the 76ers apparently carried some of their energy over from their previous loss to the Lakers (as many, not me, expected), and gave the Hornets a run for the their money late in the game. Philly could have rolled over late in the fourth when they were down eleven, but instead they fought back and turned it into a bit of a nail biter for Hornets fans.

The first half lacked energy (both on the floor and in the stands), with both teams struggling to find any consistent rhythm. The Hornets in particular were struggling to grab defensive boards and gave up a bunch of unnecessary second chance opportunities. Monty was not pleased. With 3:14 left, the Hornets took a time out, and boy did it work.

The three minutes that followed saw the Hornets go on a 12-0 run, behind strong play by David West. Speaking of West, he is officially underrated again. I was on the DDL talking about the Hornets and the number of comments ripping on West were shocking. After I pointed out that he was having a career year in some regard, people seemed to change their tune. He’s gone from underrated to overrated to underrated, and now, perhaps he is on his way back to being overrated. It’s hard to keep up, I know.

Quincy Ponexter came in for the first time with about 3:00 to play in the second quarter. After snagging a defensive rebound (something that was eluding the Hornets for much of the quarter), he wound up with the ball just outside the arc on offense. There was no immediate pass available, and knowing that he’s not a particularly good playmaker, he patiently waited until an easy pass was available. Then he immediately found an open spot on the floor, received the pass back, and nailed an easy jumper.

Sadly, I’m not sure that I’ve seen Trevor Ariza make the same play the entire year. He normally just fakes the drive and takes a contested long jumper instead. Needless to say, I prefer what Pondexter did.

In the second half he came back on and saw about 9 minutes, playing nice defense, grabbing a couple boards, and knocking down a smooth three pointer. He’s quickly turning into one of my favorite players for a number of reasons. First off, like I said, he knows his limitations. The nice thing about rookies who aren’t high draft picks is that they tend to be a bit more humble and willing to listen. It’s clear that he’s paying attention to what the coaches are saying, and it appears to be working well. He’s far ahead of where I expected him to be this early in his career. That said, he’s not at the point where Trevor has to worry about his starting job. That’s what next year is for.

Speaking of Ariza, he had a pretty awful game on offense. If you’re out there, Trevor, please stop shooting so much. Please. You’re not a jump shooter. Well, I take that back. You’re not a successful jump shooter. The thing is, that’s ok! Either take it to the rim, or give it up. You’re a great defensive player, and there’s just no reason that you have to insist of taking such a large role in the offense. This is just getting ridiculous. On defense he was better (as he usually is), but still it wasn’t his best day. In the first half he gave up quite a bit to Nocioni.

AND CAN THE DUDE BOX SOMEBODY OUT AND GRAB A BOARD? That’s what infuriated me the most tonight about his performance. Time and time again defensive rebounds passed right by him and into the hands of the 76ers.

There was lots of ugly ball early on in the second half with turnovers, three second violations, poor rebounding, and a few strange calls. Chris Paul didn’t mind. In the first few minutes he did just about whatever he wanted in between the “basketball” being played around him.  A CP3 three with three and a half minutes to go in the quarter put the lead at eight.

By the end of the quarter that lead was ten, and after withstanding a brief 76ers run to start the fourth quarter, the Hornets bench kept Philly at bay. Paul came back in with six minutes to go, with the Hornets up 11. Before West could even check back in, the lead was down to only four, and a game that was seemingly over just a few minutes before was all of a sudden causing the loss of fingernails throughout the Arena.

Paul’s layup with a dwindling shot clock gave the Hornets a five point lead with 20 seconds left, essentially sealing the deal. The crowd gave a scream of joy, and that was all she wrote.

Other Game Notes

  • The Hornets went with a heavy guard lineup much of the game, choosing to leave Aaron Gray on the bench for entirety, and giving Jason Smith only 11 minutes.
  • Jack Started out hot, and I really thought that he was going to justify my pre-game prediction that he would have a big game. Although he played pretty well, I wouldn’t count 6 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as particularly huge.
  • Evan Turner hit a long buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of the first quarter. At the end of the second quarter, Elton Brand nearly hit another.
  • With 32 seconds left in the first half, Philadelphia inbounded the ball and didn’t even try for the two and one. I just don’t get how you get to be an NBA coach if you don’t know about that. It seems so simple and obvious. The benefit is clearly apparent.
  • Excellent halftime show. Had some Mardi Gras Indians singing “let’s go get em” with a Hornets twist. I love live music, and this was authentic. I was desperately trying to get a recording of it live, but my garageband wouldn’t open in time. Anyone get one?
  • Paul came up grimacing with 8:30 to go in the third quarter. Ten seconds later he got a steal and then fed Ariza a sweet alley-oop which fortunately found the bottom of the net after some deliberation. Apparently he was OK.
  • During the conga dance segment some dude started stripping. Im fairly sure he wasn’t part of the act because after taking off his shirt he started to take off his belt. Hugo seemed legitimately worried. It’s strange to see a mascot concerned over the behavior of someone else.
  • Marcus Thornton remained the odd man out in the back court, getting only 7 meaningful first half minutes. In that time he did manage to snag 3 boards and record a sweet block.
  • Dick Bavetta (the really old looking ref, no offense intended) is hilarious. I love how animated he is when he makes he calls, studder stepping down the court, holding Chris Paul close, and just being am obviously cool old man.
  • Attendance was 13,433. Not good enough. We need to do better the next six games. Help make that happen by attending a comedy show to benefit the Save Our Hornets Foundation
75 comments
Westbank Ripp
Westbank Ripp

Well "Thornton's Thunder" that's the same game I've been watching all season. Chris holds the ball entirely too long, and I would kill to see other players lead a fastbreak instead of always waiting to hand it to Chris. Can he fill the lane?

OkiJeff
OkiJeff

Sorry rm. No more Pops : (

Thornton's Thunder
Thornton's Thunder

Sorry AgentZiko:( I meant the overall comments in general. I saw many different perspectives which is precisely what these forums are intended! As I personally agree with some of your comments, I wish to see CP3 take this offense to the next level. I believe when Paul is in the game, it isn't that our players aren't 'smart' enough to read the offense, it seems they are genuinely unsure of what is expected? We know CP3 is spectacular (when he decides to take the game over) but what happens the rest of the time? Our offensive pace is very slow and often times boring. We seem to push the ball on the inbound up to midcourt, then... now the defense is in position, a few guys move around (we all know Emeka does his part) but mostly it seems that guys are standing, watching, waiting! More often then not, the shot clock runs down as CP dribbles, and at the last moment, the ball is passed off! It doesn't seem to be the most effecient way to run an offense given the athleticsm of our very young team. I realize you can't necessarly compete with every team the same way, but I'd just like to see more of guys given an opportunity earlier on rather than late in the clock. Hats off to Monty and Demps for what they are trying to do, I know it isn't easy.

Thornton's Thunder
Thornton's Thunder

Excellent comments! I appreciate a forum where we 'Hornets Fans' can voice our 'opinions', since very few of have access to the inner workings of our Hornets organization. I certainly do not see this as a forum for 'complaining' as stated earlier, but rather an opportunity to voice some of the things "we" see! Please understand, as I have stated in many of my posts, I am an Thornton Fan yes, but more importantly, I am a Hornets Fan. I believe the important thing is to not be satisfied simply because we got a win. I am concerned when I see our 'Franchise Player' call out his teammate in the media. I see Chris Paul as a fenom in this league; however, he isn't perfect. What he said should have clearly been kept within the confines of that team. As a player, having these opinions brought before the media cannot be positive for team morale, not to mention player morale. Let me be very clear, I see the fight in some of these players, and that is what I come to the hive to see...win or lose (obviously we want to see more in the win column), but we need to do so much more to compete with the better teams in this league. I believe most of us can agree on that. Geaux Hornets!!! Marcus, Paul and the rest of you guys, keep fighting as we believe you are! As you guys continue to fight on the floor, don't worry, we've got your back in the seats! Geaux Hornets!!!! Wheeeeeew!

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Which comments are you talking about Thunder?

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

Ok, I've got a serious question that maybe a few of ya'll can answer. If our offense is generally downright terrible, we constantly use up 15+ seconds on the shot clock, and we are not allowed to leak out for fast breaks before securing rebounds, than why do we not run set plays almost every time down the floor, especially for our bench? I can understand letting CP3 improv, but letting each of our bench players take their turns at 1v1 basketball seems wrong.

42
42

I agree with your observations. I've been seeing new plays every week. This is consistent with the observation made early on that the offense would lag behind the defense and wouldn't be installed until late December/January (now). Even then, I expect new plays and wrinkles. Going back to mid-December we are play mid-playoff-pack basketball and winning at an associated rate. I want more plays and more movement from Marco and Ariza. I'm seen an uptick, I think, and part of me think, while all of me is hoping, that Ariza going from consistently gut-wrenching offensively to more inconsistent (an improvement) is due to this.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

"Excellent halftime show. Had some Mardi Gras Indians singing “let’s go get em” with a Hornets twist. I love live music, and this was authentic." To invoke Hollywood squares: I disagree 'circle gets the square.' Our section (granted in the balcony) felt kinda rooked out of a half-time show. WE could barely hear the commercial we've seen about 300 times and were hoping for a juggling bear on a tricycle.

42
42

Neither of us are in the Joan Rivers kinda seats, true. Jim J. Bullocks of the world unite!

Rocco
Rocco

Solid defensive effort tonight. Also, Okafor, Belinelli and Green all show better than 50% from the field (12-19). Willie and Marco were both 50 % from 3 pt and accounted for 20 points between them. . Beli also had three rebs and four assists. Steady play at the two guard spot for that combo. Pollenators may be finding their grove again.

Kevin
Kevin

Perhaps I missed it, but no mention of Ariza's rejection via backboard on that baseline dunk attempt? That about sums him up. I often wonder what he does in between games, because it can't be working on his offensive deficiencies. At what point does he realize he's hurting the team on an almost nightly basis?

MaskedTalent
MaskedTalent

In the words of Otis Williams of the Temptations,"Ain't no one man is bigger than the group." In this case it would be the team. But....Until we sink into a losing record and look totally lost night in night out...The criticism of Monty should be minimized especially if its because the bannerman isn't getting his fair share of play time. Hey I do think Marcus deserves more pt but....we didnt lose and have been winning as of late. I say we all drop the excess complaining and vibe off of these victories and support our team AND coach. Not just the favorited players. Geaux Hornets!

Thornton's Thunder
Thornton's Thunder

I totally agree with most of the comments regarding tonite's win...it wasn't the best but it was indeed a WIN?! I remember a time when a player didn't even have the opportunity to dress out with his team because his coach was not pleased with his defense performance; wow, what must it feel like, as a player, to be told that you do not deserve to put on your uniform and take your seat beside your brothers in battle... (that's the coach's absolute right), but what does it say when you have players who consistently lack on the offensive side of the court, but seem to find their way to the court, regardless? I'm certainly not saying that they, too, shouldn't be allowed to dress out...I'm not saying that AT ALL, but I am saying is that there are other guys on the team who 'seem' to be held at a slightly different standard; I'm just saying. As for Thornton, yes, I do believe he should have the opportunity to see the court more, his hustle is so amazing and he seems to play like he really wants to be there! As many players get into slumps, give me that guy who recognizes that and tries like hell to give me something else. I see that in Marcus. Its refreshing because what he may lack in shotting percentage, he seems to make up in all other areas on the court. I believe this translates in immeasurable ways for his teammates. You can see it and you can feel it each and everytime it happens. I like that very much... (do you hear the crowd's cheer when he enters the game). It's awfully discouraging when your team is not playing good ball (I realize it happens to the best of teams), yet there are players on the bench who, for whatever reason, find it hard to see the wood. C'mon coach, give'em a break and let's see what happens...afterall, what do you have to lose! Keep fighting, Marcus...keep working hard, you'll get your shot...it'll come!!! Geaux Hornets!!!!

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

The funny part? No defensive lapses from MT5 tonight. He played exceptionally well on that end of the floor and didn't leak out on offense. He also had a mammoth block. The other 2 guards? Green and Jack had multiple lapses and I can't for the life of me understand why we can't try a Beli/MT/CP lineup when Ariza is playing like he was tonight.

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

Honestly 42, don't waste time with stats unless we are going to compare the players in similar situations. I don't think Thornton having to create for himself while knowing ANY mistake= no playing time is equivalent to Chris or West creating for Belinelli while Belinelli gets to fight through shooting slumps knowing he is guaranteed to play. I'd say compare Belinelli/Green/Jack/Thornton with the other starters but Thornton's sample size is too small, even though it would slaughter the other 3's. If you have someone looking over your shoulder at work hawking every single move you made trying to prove you incompetent, or had space all to yourself to just do your job, which one would come out with the better result? If you are an honest person and cared about getting the work done to the best of your ability, the answer would be the latter almost every time, especially if you knew that the boss favored the others more over you. The few times that Monty actually showed FAITH in Marcus to get the job done, Marcus has responded viciously.

42
42

I put it all together while this thing at work was running. It's in a post in the journal section. It's basically just preamble and data. Feel free to read it or not, as I know you have your reasons for questioning the relevance of the data as it relates to Thornton's play and potential. Regardless, it's there, and maybe others are interested.

42
42

As a preview of this: Marcus in the 3 games before Green came back: He played for 60 minutes, went 8 of 30, and scored 17 points on those 30 shots.

42
42

No problem. I may pull the numbers together, maybe not. Workload will determine it. Just trying to do what I can, dude.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Prior to the season starting, Monty had Marcus as part of his projected starting 5. It was he and the coaching staff, and even Chris Paul who stated that Marco Belinelli came in and WON that starting spot over Marcus. I don't think he was treated as "turd" from the get go. I think in reality, there is more to it than we all know. I think the best we can do is try to read between the lines we are given. For instance, Chris Paul announcing to the media that he pulled Marcus Thornton to the side and explained to him the difference between getting points on a struggling team (last season) versus a team TRYING to do the right things this season to put itself in a serious position to win. WHY would Chris Paul choose to have this conversation with Marcus? Does it not make any sense to you guys? As much as Chris Paul loves his teammates, he is BLATANTLY saying here to Marcus, "What you did last season isn't that special. It did not give you a 'do whatever you want' free card for this season". That's why it wasn't just Monty who got angry at Marcus when he does things like pull a three pointer on a 1 versus 5 fast break. Chris Paul jumps in and has to explain to him what he does wrong. I think Marcus is a good player. He's going to be a version of JR Smith. A GREAT 6th man in this league. I would LIKE to see him get more time. But I UNDERSTAND WHY HE ISN'T GETTING MORE TIME. I think you guys need to open your minds up to why as well. As much good as Marcus has done, many of us have looked the other way with the bad he has done. Lets try and look at him without the horse blinders.

42
42

Monty's alleged forte: Player development. Who else on the team is having a worse year than last year? I want Marcus to play well. I'm frustrated when he doesn't, but it's not Monty keeping the ball out of the hoop. Ziko: Could you get us those quotes? I'd feel a good deal better seeing them.

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

But the thought of Monty treating Marcus differently from everyone else is just plain lunacy and I'm just some nutty conspiracy theorist so what do I know? Monty is freaking killing MT5 just like Byron Scott did to Julian Wright and every other young talent we had not named Chris Paul or David West. He is in Marcus' head. Don't believe me? After the win, Marcus got up and walked straight to the locker room while the rest of the team met up to celebrate. The funny part? Most of ya'll would blame Marcus for his attitude without realizing that this kid has been treated like dog-terd from the very beginning and he has suffered through it without asking to be traded and worked hard in practice. All the while, when he is finally starting to get it on the other end of the floor, he is getting pulled for his offensive struggles? HUH? The same struggles that it would be blasphemous to pull Green or Jack or Ariza or Beli out of the game for? Marcus had a few games where he displayed he is head and shoulders above our other 2 guards talent wise and he gets rewarded jack s*** for his efforts now that Willie Green is back. Apparently it is OK for the Hornets to go small-ball unless that includes Marcus being on the court. If you think we can beat good teams in a playoff series scoring 80-90 points a game, you are very, very, very, mistaken. Yeah, we won. We won because for once the officiating was terribly lopsided in our favor, Louis Williams went 1-a ton, and we played above average defense. Most teams worth a salt would have buried us with the effort we put into the offensive side of the ball tonight.

42
42

Bees, I'm willing to grind out the following stats over the last 6 games for the non-Chris guards, Ariza, and Quincy: Minutes, FG made, FG attempted, points. I'll put them in a nice table. I'm choosing 6 games since it's manageable and gives 3 with Willie and 3 without. I don't know what the answers are, but if I do that, would you care to discuss each of the players results with at least me? If you would like a modification to the discussion, I'm open to that. I'm trying to work with you to get a place where we can talk about and see the same things while keeping it from getting into to some conversation where you think I (and others) are down on Marcus. This is supposed to be a good thing. Let me know.

42
42

What do you actually want someone here to say/do?

MaxALM
MaxALM

He's just had no margin for error this season. It's discouraging. One thing that baffles me is that he isn't seeing time with the starters. His huge games against the Spurs (1st meeting) and the Kings comeback win had Marcus playing with the starters for considerable time. Highly efficient, and played major minutes. Shouldn't we be seeing more of that?

ur_gmas_daughter
ur_gmas_daughter

I have a legitimate concern and I hope somebody can help me understand this. What is with the Hornets and the consistent 3 seconds in the key calls. I've never seen a team get 3-4 calls a game. It costs us possessions, momentum and points. Maybe its not putting this team in grave danger and I know there are bigger fish to fry but it seems ridiculous. Now I am NOT attributing this to any of our losses but I just don't get it. I understand that D is the key but can't we do it with out giving them 3-4 free throws a game? Its almost always Emek or D West and I know they're the "muscle" in the middle but step out every couple seconds and stop camping out in the key. It has been consistant all season long thus far. I cant be the only one who's picked this up...

OkiJeff
OkiJeff

I see it too. Any one got the stats on 3 sec calls/game?

42
42

The damned things are like a turnover, but we don't have the ball. They are basically worth about 0.8 pts per call and can lead to a extension of the shot clock for the bad guys. The offensive ones are literally turnovers. They sicken me and we seem to be the worst in the league at it. I'd say it's where we need to improve our defense the most.

ur_gmas_daughter
ur_gmas_daughter

I was looking but I couldn't find any official stats. It's lapses in focus is what it comes down to. They should always be able to know where they are on the court. I mean these defensive 3 seconds calls turn into an extra couple of possessions for the opposing team and against good teams they could literally contribute to us losing close games.

42
42

That was the band from the CST commercial that Seantonio hates. I didn't mind them.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

lol atleast im gettin through to somebody. I feel heard. oh and i know your with me when i say our main issue is not enough QUINCY. Nocioni didnt do anything with quincy guarding him, quincy is down there boxing out for boards draining the open shot looove quincy.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

since his names quincy. i think the nickname "the president" will suffice till i can come up with something better.

42
42

I totally not feeling Q-pon, mostly because I say "koo-pon" not "cue-pon" for the money saving gimmick. Loving the Adams family, eh?. He's a second generation of sorts, yeah? I'm a fan of Q. Of course, I call David West D.

42
42

I got a fever, and the only prescription is more Q-Bell.

James Grayson
James Grayson

Very painful game to watch. I wrote in my recap pretty much the same things, Trevor Ariza is killing me though. It just seems like he loves jacking up shots no matter what and I'm pretty sure he's the most inefficient player in the league. Drive or pass Trevor, drive or pass, simple no?

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Or if you're going to shoot shoot in rhythm. If your open and dont "catch and shoot" you must then drive or pass dont wait for the D to rotate to you. Ariza seems to give up open looks to try and make tough shoots. It really seems like a lack of confidence. The nervous 1 second stare and dribble is making him look like Okafor at the foul line. Oh or Ariza at the foul line. Hmmm.

42
42

Change his number to 0?

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

I would love to see Marcus justify more playing time. I hate Dick Bevetta. Hate him. He likes to make stuff up so he can show off his "style". He needs to recognize we came to watch basketball.... Slightly off night for CP3, but he had some key spots where he saved the game. Really horrible night for Ariza. He didn't defend and he couldn't rebound or shoot (even free throws). YET, he had more minutes than anyone else on the team. Negative six during his 35+ minutes, versus plus twelve for Pondexter. Scratching my head.... Okafor is very solid right now. Keep it up!

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

I hate Bevetta normally too, but tonight we were the beneficiaries of a TON of terrible calls. I was just laughing when Elton Brand got flat hammered in his forearm with no call.

QueenBee
QueenBee

"Slightly off night for CP3, but he had some key spots where he saved the game." Haha. Pretty much the same thing Sixers' guard Jrue Holiday said. Chris Paul had modest numbers with 15 points and just five assists (half his season average), but his lay-up with 20 seconds to play sealed the Sixers’ fate by putting New Orleans up five. “He shows leadership, down the stretch getting big baskets when they needed them,” Jrue Holiday said. “That is the sign of a leader in your point guard. Not always having to be out there to score, but just to run the team and still pull out the game.” http://www.csnphilly.com/01/03/11/Sixers-rally-falls-short-vs-Hornets-to-e/landing_sixers.html?blockID=384399&feedID=694&utm_source=Philadelphia&utm_medium=twitter

Mazon
Mazon

Ummm... I think Monty is also part of the reason for us being top 5 in defense... The guy isn't perfect but I think hes doing a fine job as a rookie. I would love to see him play marcus more tho!

QueenBee
QueenBee

David West looked like he was getting ready to give Nocioni the cheek tap. LOL!

BIGBREED
BIGBREED

...and thats the DWest i love to see! I haven't seen that from him since the Playoffs a couple of years ago, against Dallas! Hello Dirk....{uppercut, body blow, body blow..... MAN DOWN} DWest is the only intimidating presence the HORNETS have on the team. When he plays like a PF supposed too, he's one of the best in the Western Conference. GREAT JOB DWest! 17pts 8 Rebs 3 Bkls 3 Ast {Hidden stat - Intimidating players inside the Paint}

42
42

Yes, he looked very ready. We were saying the same thing.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Dick Bavetta isn't just old looking...... HE'S OLD! LOL!

Mikey
Mikey

I was totally doing the "Dick Bavetta" out of the arena last night! In case you all don't know what that dance is; its when you skip and give a travelling call at the same time... and you have to do it for at least 47 feet (1/2 the length of a basketball court).