The Warriors beat the Hornets

By:
Published: January 5, 2011

In a lot of ways, the loss to Golden State(Box Score) was inexplicable tonight.  The Hornets threw together three quarters of solid defense, and then completely forgot what the hell they’d been doing for a four minute stretch and threw away the lead they’d held for most of the game.  On seven seperate positions, a simple side screen and pop released a shooter on the wing, and there wasn’t a Hornet for miles.  Open shot, easy points.  My head wanted to explode.  It was mostly the second unit too, as Monty pulled all the starters to start the fourth.  Now, yes, he’s trying to show trust in those guys, but they haven’t earned it the past few weeks.  Leave one or two guys in.

I was going to glow about Chris Paul after he spent three quarters obliterating the Warriors, but then he stopped attacking in the fourth, and I’m going to get petty revenge, skip talking well about the team, and simply get to the bullets.

  • Okay, I lied.  CP3 was amazing the first three quarters.  He carved that Golden State defense apart, getting into the paint at will and generally torching the abysmal defense by Ellis and Curry.  He was hitting floaters regulary, which wasn’t something he’d been doing a lot of recently.  He finished with 24 points on 12 shots, 6 rebounds, 13 assists, and a steal.  And it was wasted.  Sigh.
  • It would have been nice to have a backup center tonight with Okafor struggling both with foul trouble and effectiveness.  Smith isn’t enough off the bench.  Never has been.
  • Ariza was solid for most of the game.  Not brilliant, but solid.  If he could play like that every game, we’d be a lot more dangerous.
  • Belinelli was playing with energy and aggressiveness for most of the first half and was shooting and cutting extremely well.  Even when he wasn’t hitting, he was forcing the other team to account for him.  Then – he got pulled after a heat check three, and was kept on the bench way too long.  His defense on Ellis had been superb.
  • Which leads me to my next point.  I was horribly frustrated by Willie Green in the last quarter.  Yes, he’s giving it all, but he was ball-stopping on offense and had me snarling “Is Willie Green our first option?  Really?”  If the ball hit his hands, he was making a move – and the results were spotty at best.  He’s also not the defender Belinelli is.  If Marco is making his shots, Willie should not be on the floor instead of him.
  • Pondexter played well in his limited minutes.  He misses shots every once in a while simply because he’s not strong enough yet.  That should change as he stays in an NBA weight-lifting regimen.
  • David Lee is a terrible, terrible defender.  Lee probably thinks he’s fine, because he contests his guy as much as he can, but he doesn’t exert any effort on keeping his guy from the spot he wants.  West simply ran to where he wanted the ball, received it, and then waited for Lee to close on him before making his move . . .
  • Which made me grumpy.  Why wait?  Attack him before he arrives!  Of course, before the game, it was noted that West was fighting illness, and that does make sense.  Even on offense, where he usually puts in the work, he seemed tired in the second half.
  • For those of you calling for Thornton, don’t bother.  In his four minutes on the court, he lost the guy he was guarding, Ellis twice, Williams twice, completely.  I didn’t blame Monty for pulling him.
  • 18 turnovers to only 8 by Golden State.  Doesn’t matter if you shoot better, out rebound them, and even get one more free throw if you have that kind of issues in holding on to the ball.

Night.

44 comments
JCS
JCS

I wish CP3 would take over games like he did under Byron Scott. These 4th quarter meltdowns are getting on my nerves.

Mikey
Mikey

That 4th quarter makes three craptastic defensive quarters in the last 12 home quarters. That said, this was still a winnable game, but you can't expect to beat anybody when you leave 7 or more points at the FT line and have a -10 turnover differential. Most frustrating trend to me: The Hornets have got to lead the NBA in offensive fouls called against them as a team. Its got to be at least 4 or 5 a night. Most of these calls are moving screens. That is a coaching issue, period. Setting a screen is basketball 101, and our bigs are terrible at it. Its pretty clear that this is not worked on or emphasized in any way in practice. If you don't work to improve something, but think you will get a different result night-in and night-out, you are flat out fooling yourself. Most of the calls are legit too. Are some of the calls bad, yes, but I liken it to baseball when a player has a reputation of swinging at bad pitches. Umps expand the strike zone on that batter; right or wrong, it happens. I think that is the case here with the Hornets. Refs are anticipating the Hornets bigs setting moving screens. Refs watch tape too.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

I think part of the problem with the bench is the lack of consistent rotations. Let's face it. These guys aren't talented enough to play with different people every single night and figure it out on the fly.

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

Also funny to note that every Hornet not named Paul, West, or Okafor from the '09-'10 season has either been traded or relegated to cheerleading duty.

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

We are not a small ball team. It hasn't worked well once this season that I can recall. All the advantages of going small are null and void in Monty's system. We don't run fast breaks and we don't move around on offense.

paul
paul

When Phillip The Great was coaching the Bulls, he had to great minds on the bench... One that brilliant mind knew the triangle offense and the other a defensive genius. These guys were his minds during the game. Phil substituted so often dealling with a situation going on player wise. No such thing as THE first team. A starter was not as important as a finisher or what was needed at any specific time. The very last guy on the bench often played right along with Michael Jordan or any of the Starters. And many times early in the game. He'd pull one of the starters immediatey if they weren't mentally in the game. If he didn't...MJ told him to!!!!

42
42

I agree that this is how it should work. Let's give Monty half a season to get up to speed with Mr. Wanna-see-where-I-keep-the-11th-ring? since this is his first gig.

paul
paul

I don't have a problem with MOnty slowly getting his coaching legs underhim. Hell, I don't even care if we get far into the playofs IF I see we are making strides. So far, I guess we have. Not when comparing to last years tea, which I think is a wrong comparison. That team was hobbled by inguries and such. We SHOULD be better than that. But we ARE better defensively. WE have a solid coach for a few years, which means a lot to players and how they respond. But I really dislike this staff. This young coach needs to be surrounded by some real tallent. He needs to be surrounded by men so secure in their skills and stations in life they stand up and speak when they feel something needs to be said. They feel the game and lean into coach's ear and point out little, yet GIANT things happening and offer ideas. They need to point out sudden mismatches and offer substitutions. They need to individually be in player faces at time outs pointing out assignments missed or things to watch for. Sorry...this I do not see happening. I see them looking down at paperwork. I see them looking down at the floor. By the way...I hate that popus ass Phil. He took more credit for things others did.... Wait, I am trying to get past this.

42
42

You are totally right that a good deal of what Phil does is surround himself with the `right' people. It takes time. Similarly, Monty is rightly getting blamed for things that fall on his staff. Not making the adjustments to the coaching staff when they can be made . . . that will fall on Monty. Absolutely. So, Malone? He's basically the offensive coordinator, yeah? Is it him? An under-underling?

paul
paul

What is with this First team vs Second team???? I don't think I see this very often. Don't coaches mix and match bench players with starters as if they are all moveable pieces ina matchup game against opposing players? Still need a capable second point for distribution when Paul is resting. Still need to laern a more complex player rotation. Time has been wasted with Monty firmly going with his mindest, so we will see if going into the new year he finds a way to mix and match players better. I still think he is not getting good information and opinions from his bench. Okafor should have been pulled immediately after his second foul.

HornetsGoneSoft
HornetsGoneSoft

Monty is trying to get CP3 and David ample rest night-in, night-out without sacrificing playing time with each other. Realistically, how much would David help the second unit? I don't know, to be honest.

MaxALM
MaxALM

All of these teams we play are just terrible, aren't they? So terrible that we forget how to play BASKETBALL WHEN IT MATTERS MOST I.E. AT THE END OF GAMES. Like I said, NO games are "gimmes" with this team. Monty needs to stop favoring players. It's just a contradiction to his philosophy of "team" basketball. Willie Green is not 6th man material. It's just the simple truth. He doesn't have enough explosiveness or all-around game to be one. I'm not even saying play Marcus instead of him. What I'm saying is, favoring players can cost you a game or two. It can also cost you an entire playoff series. That is to say if we are strong enough to make it there in the first place.

42
42

What's the alternative? What should he be doing? I have a friend. Let's call him River. River says the best burger in New Orleans is at WOW Wingery. Some people's favorites are based On something I find unfathomable, but what are they to do? Eat what I say? The Seantonio answer is "yes, they should." I'm, again, with him in this matter, but I really don't have the expectation of that being met.

Taquito
Taquito

thats good, get us exited by winning impressively and then lose to the warriors, consistency? whats that?

Stefan
Stefan

I was shaking with frustration and anger.....

Brazilian Hornet
Brazilian Hornet

Terrible, absolutely terrible. An inexplicable defeat, a result that will make us a huge shortage. Especially now that we have a lot of very tough games. I came to this conclusion: you can not trust this team. No way.

42
42

14,931 is the need-to-average for the 5 games.

MaxALM
MaxALM

The truth is harsh.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

I have to mention the absolutely horrible officiating. In three consecutive bad calls they took two points from Emeka and gave 6 points to Golden State, fouling out Emeka in the process. CP3 got sat on at the end of the 3rd, with no call. He got a tech after arguing another horrible no-call. The turnovers by West and Ariza hurt, but the missed free throws absolutely killed. 4 FT misses by CP3 is ridiculous. CP3's defense was sorely missed as we lost that 10-point lead in a few minutes in the 4th. He absolutely shut down Ellis and Curry. As soon as he sat down, the open 3s and jumpers were everywhere. Green and Jack looked slow and lost at the same time.

MaxALM
MaxALM

Agreed. I know people say that Jack looks better each game. I've never really warmed up to that idea. He's just as horribly inconsistent as anyone else. Frankly, I never feel secure when he plays the point. Our stability is on a thread with our bench unit playing the way they are. I don't know if that's a trust issue, coaching issues, or just plain talent issues. When we win a game or two, feelings warm up with regard to team weaknesses. It's all of a sudden not a big deal when we win. Jack and Green don't make a good backcourt combination. There is just nothing there. Pure blandness. They are both the exact same type of player in my eye. One is just a better ball handler than the other, and dribbles it up court more frequently. I don't really know what I'm getting at exactly, just venting. But honestly, this team is just bland and uninspired since Jack has gotten here. It could be that this team was hiding their mediocrity at the start of the season, or it could be pure coincidence that we started sucking the moment we made that trade. Regardless, Bayless and Green had two different roles, and they were two different types of players. To me, Jack and Green are the exact same. Smith should not be our 3rd big. I'm seeing way too many similarities between this team and the Byron team of 08-09, as well as flashes of the (God forbid) 09-10 team. There isn't enough variety in our bench units. Whatever post came out today that detailed the effectiveness of our different units, I'm pretty sure stat-wise that the combo of Paul-Thornton-Green-West-Okafor was by far our most effective unit. Whatever. Maybe we are overreacting to a loss. But I'm thoroughly unimpressed. We can't maintain enough energy or focus to even win a streak of games against losing teams.

42
42

Variety is a problem. This is something I was poking at with my toy chest idea from a few threads ago. Bear in mind that a team that wins 2 of 3 games is considered very good. 2 of 3 is not consistent.

thechosenuno
thechosenuno

I like what Monty did in the first half -- I think there was always a starter or two in with the bench guys. In the second half, the whole bench was in, and our lead just started slipping away. Monty just needs to be more proactive. I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- trying to keep CP3 "fresh" for the post-season by keeping his minutes down isn't worth crap if we can't win games against sub-.500 teams because CP3 and other starters are resting. Curry and Ellis played nearly the whole game.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Curry and Ellis, especially Ellis, always play nearly or the entire game. And they're still 14-21. Ellis leads the league in mpg I think. I absolutely HATE when the opposing team has at least a starter or two in and Monty has all bench players in. Damn trust. Throw that out the window Monty. These guys aren't showing they're worthy of it.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

+1 . don't trust them if they don't deserve it.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Sounds like Monty is willing to work on his rotations.. The buzz on… finding a solution to the drop-off in play from New Orleans’ reserves. While sounding frustrated by the bench’s lack of production Wednesday and in recent games, Monty Williams discussed altering how he distributes playing time in his postgame interview. “We have to get consistent production out of our bench,” Williams said. “It’s not me calling these guys out, but too many times our starters are giving us leads, and we’re not sustaining. That’s unfair to the starting lineup. “We have to be able to have balance. Trying to change the rotation on a night in and night out basis to cover up some of the mistakes we’re having, it puts us in a tough spot… I have to address it with minutes. Guys have to know when they come in the game that we can’t give up leads. I’m not going to put this all on the bench. We made a lot of mistakes tonight. We missed a ton of free throws and had a ton of turnovers. You can’t call yourself a good team when you can’t put teams like that away when you have a lead.” http://neworleanshornetsblog.blogspot.com/ I think he needs to start each quarter with at least 1, maybe 2, starters in the game.

42
42

He said, talking of the littles, Chris, Trevor, and Willie are aggressive, and we need that from others. I hope this means Quincy minutes.

Jamal D
Jamal D

why monty always become stupid in the 2nd half because he always some how get outcoach? Losing at home is not helping the hornets stay in new orleans

OkiJeff
OkiJeff

"Now, yes, he’s trying to show trust in those guys, but they haven’t earned it the past few weeks. Leave one or two guys in." Thank you. No more 5 man rotations. It isn't working. I not sure it ever did.

42
42

I think this wholesale subbing was not done in recent games. Maybe the lead made him buck his recent trend. I noted this to my neighbor ominously during the game.

Rohan
Rohan

"For those of you calling for Thornton, don’t bother. In his four minutes on the court, he lost the guy he was guarding, Ellis twice, Williams twice, completely. I didn’t blame Monty for pulling him." Sure, but Willie Green also failed to box out Reggie Williams (in an *easy* box out situation) and stupidly fouled RW on the play that tied the game in the 4th. He also inexplicably allowed Monta Ellis a free catch of the ball in the backcourt and allowed Ellis to run for 20 feet straight at him before drawing the game clinching foul. All in all, we ceded 110 pts on 90 possessions. It's not like anybody was playing even remotely good defense outside of Chris Paul. So I think "don't bother" re: Thornton is a little bit harsh, given his offensive capabilities and considering who else we have.

42
42

Check out his recent stats in the journal, The Little Things. Capability is one thing, and the dude has it. He's not producing, and we all know from last year that confidence is an issue with him. I think of the part in Parenthood where the kid gets mad because he screws up in his baseball game. Monty is a better coach than Steve Martin. Go figure. King Tut . . .

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

P.S. to people watching the game. Center court, 7 rows up. Keep your eyes peeled. Will be wearing a CP jersey and a white cap so you can all recognize me.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

who would dislike this?, turds

42
42

People log on here just the dislike me. Yeah, magnetism. One day you may get to this rare air as well . . . keep up the good work!

42
42

Nice.

Sid the Squid
Sid the Squid

Lee was only at about 60% tonight..elbow, knee, ankle and back issues..His D is much improved this year when healthy

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Just a terrible game to watch in the 4th. I am SOOO fed up with the bench. Chris Paul and David West should have a RIGHT to get their rest. ESPECIALLY at the start of the 4th quarter. We had a 10 point lead and went down by 10?!?!??!?!??!?! That is just ridiculous. I don't care who we're playing. But you want to know what? We just lost a game we SHOULD have won, and now we gotta face the Lakers, Nuggets, and Magic in the next three games? Well... Looks like 4 straight losses is on the horizon, and we look at a 21 and 18 record, 3 games above .500. Just a terrible and inexcusable loss. I think Demps needs to make a move SOONER than later. He can't wait til the deadline. If he does, we'll only have a deeper hole we'll have to try to dig out of. And for the love of god, please land a big man Demps. We don't need to see Trevor play the 4 when Emeka fouls out because Monty doesn't have a better big man option other than Trevor or Jason Smith. This is the most frustrated I have been all season. I will be going to the Laker game vs. the Hornets this friday. I pray to god a I don't see a terrible game from them. Last thing I want to do is knock out a Laker fan in my frustration and have to be chased by an angry Laker mob. Thats right, I'll be wearing my CP jersey to the Laker game.

MaxALM
MaxALM

Couldn't sum it up any better Ziko. Exactly, "for the love of god" land a big man. I've been saying all season long that it's appalling to me how Monty and Demps have been content with Smith as our 3rd big man. Thin as F**K in our frontcourt. And yeah, after this Laker game, @Denver game (who have a better home record than we did before tonight), and RED HOT Magic team after that, we'll probably be sitting just above .500, right there with measly Portland, Houston, and Memphis. Wow is all I can say to that.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

I don't mind Jason Smith as a rotation big man. I really like Smith. But we desperately need ONE MORE guy to have a 4 man rotation. Only the Lakers have the luxury of playing a 3 big man rotation. Not even Boston can do that because of Shaqs age. Thats why they have so many. We need a 4th guy. Mbenga's/Gray aren't bad as a 5th big man. But they can't be the 3rd/4th guy.

42
42

We do need a big, agreed. I wrote a journal about how, basically, I thought a backup for D West was our greatest need. We shoild be far from satisfied with out talent insude, but we have improved. We should also trust, to an extent, that we are trying to make the right deal. The beat deal available may help you only a little, but a bad deal will hurt you way more.

QueenBee
QueenBee

LOL AgentZiko. I agree with everything you just said.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Don't forget the missed free throws. The Hornets can't keep leaving all those points at the line like that.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

well said. 2 tough roadies. expecting a loss to Lakers AGAIN and a close win against Denver. Good morning(in the Philippines) good night :)