The Warriors beat the Hornets

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.



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