Hornets play well but come up short in LA

By:
Published: January 8, 2011

In the last month the Hornets have lost road games at Minnesota, Detroit, Philly, and Indiana yet they went to Boston and got a win and played the two-time defending champions tough on Friday night before falling to them 101-97.  In some ways, this game was similar to the one these two played in New Orleans, but in most ways it was quite different.

For starters, the Lakers did not dominate the glass the way that they did in the first meeting, as New Orleans actually had the advantage tonight, 39-38. In fact, both West and Emeka attacked the offensive glass despite being undersized, as they came up with a combined nine offensive rebounds. Unfortunately for the Hornets, however, the Lakers also focused on an area of concern, as they cut down their turnovers significantly in this game. In the first matchup LA was sloppy, and as a result, they totaled 20 turnovers, but this time they cit that number down to 11, with Kobe having zero (compared to 7 in the first game).

Their were some similarities, however, as LA did control the paint again, winning that battle 50-32. In fact, the bucket that all but clinched the game was a floater from Kobe that came in the lane, while the Hornets spent much of the fourth quarter taking mid-range jumpers or three-pointers. Luckily for the Hornets, they were hitting their 3’s at a better clip than we had seen recently on the road, going 8-19 (42%), and that includes a huge one that Marco hit to pull the Hornets within three with just over 1:20 to go in the game.

The Hornets had their chances in this game, which serves as both reason for optomism in the future and a reason to be frustrated that they couldn’t pull this one out. It is rare that you get the chance to go into an elite teams house and pull out a victory, and getting this one would have been nice, especially when you consider the schedule the Hornets have over the next week. Here’s hoping they can get a win in Denver and go home with a split for this two game road trip.

Other News and Notes:

– Oh no, here we go again. Excluding Bellineli, the other four starters read as follows: 42, 41, 38, and 38. Does anybody remember when the Hornets were winning games and CP3 was averaging under 34 minutes per game? Now they are playing more minutes AND losing? This is troublesome and it shows that this coaching staff is beginning to panic early in January. They have tried different combinations and now they seem to be throwing their hands up in the air and admitting defeat.

They gave Aaron Gray a chance tonight for 8 minutes and he responded with no pints, 3 rebounds, and a assist while registering a -10 over that span. Jack played well in the first half, at least offensively, but couldn’t hit anything in the second half, and the bench as a whole went 5-19 in the game and only registered that 1 assist by Aaron Gray. Meanwhile all you have to do is look at one guy on LA’s bench, Lamar Odom: 17 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks. Wow, it must be nice.

– The Lakers shot 61% in the first half. 61 percent! The Hornets are supposed to be a top 3 defensive team in the league? Does anybody really believe that after what we have seen tonight and against Golden State or Minnesota, etc? Above average, I will give them that, but we are fooling ourselves if we believe this is an elite defensive team that just needs a spark of offense to fix all our problems. Eventually the Hornets are going to have to find a way to lock down that paint, or they will be one and done come playoff time- if they get there at all.

– Even though both guys were better in the first half than the second, I will say that this game gave me some additional hope for Ariza and Jack moving forward. Both played horrible during the first three weeks or so in December, but each has shown signs of late and perhaps they are starting to find their place on this team. To be fair, Emeka looked horrible last year and has finally found his way after playing about 50 games with CP3 (41 last year and the preseason this year), so maybe we will see the same from our new guys this year.

– Q-Pon got more minutes (17) than any other reserve and looked like he will be a valuable part of this roster for years to come. He still needs to add some strength and possibly improve on his lateral movement, but his IQ and desire are traits that are apparent, which is good because those are things you really can’t teach.

– Best bench ratings according to Hollinger, from 5 to 1:

5. Houston 4. SA 3. Philly 2. Denver and Number 1…..

Toronto Raptors. Yes those same Raptors that have Bayless, Peja, and JuJu coming off their bench.

And with that, I say Good Night.

59 comments
bgalella
bgalella

I don't think it's a secret New Orleans has a weak bench, Jarrett Jack is an ok backup player, but nothing to get excited about.

Cp3_4_Mvp
Cp3_4_Mvp

Man, this is crazy. I never thought that after a great team effort imo by the hornets I would see armageddon in the comments. This is what happens with modern day sports coverage and fans, everything is instantaneous. a bad stretch means we are the worst team ever...a good stretch means we are nba finalists. The eddie murphy "what have you done for me lately" is in full effect these days. I want to illustrate something that many seem to have forgotten. We have a rookie head coach. We have 2 starters and a completely new bench. We have new coaches, personalities, new offensive and defensive systems, new rotations, and many new issues not related to game play. We are a team searching for chemistry and identity. Things are not just supposed to perfect themselves automatically. We are supposed to learn and grow together. That is what rebuilding is all about. Stop being so atypically american and relax, we are getting better. Things could be much much worse. Just to cheer you guys up, I'm going to throw these out. Devin Brown. Darius Songalia. Ryan Bowen. Morris Peterson. Julian Wright. Still depressed hollinger doesn't like our bench?

42
42

Woah, woah, woah . . . What you are saying makes sense. How could it be true? Where's the conspiracy theory? Where is the analysis ofe very detail that matters and doesn't until he tail is wagging the dog?

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

A) That bench is outplaying the current bench over the past 10 games. B) What would you expect when a rookie from LSU posts a PER of 17.5 at the SG spot over the span of 82 games (LESS of a fluke than an 8-0 start, even though Ziko doesn't seem to admit that) and he is not playing at all? Mind you, this is coming at a time when we do not have a single player besides West/Paul/Okafor that has a PER over freaking 12, although I expect Q-Pon to be there by the end of the year. C) Monty has alienated a giant chunk of fan base by picking on one player that made basketball fun last year and trading the other player that made basketball fun last year, all this while CP3 is acting like Lebron James little brother. (Flame Dispersent Alert : I do not want us to get rid of CP3 or anything of the sort. He is just not the lovable tiny terror he used to be. He is an amazing basketball talent and that is it.) D) Willie Green has and will always be amazingly mediocre, if not borderline really bad. His mediocre production comes when he gets time on the floor with the starting lineup. And get time he does. His really bad production comes when he has to play with the bench. We are getting better? Based on what? 1 game against the Lakers when they've been playing mediocre basketball? Remember when, after last year, we had nowhere to go but up? We had found 2 shiny diamonds in the rough in the draft and we had a ton of expirings going into this season? What have those assets brought us? What have those fricking assets brought us? What has Monty done lately to earn any trust from the fan base that this dogterd offensive play is going to get better? I thought BS was frustrating with his overly simplistic offensive scheme. Little did I know. You know what's even more frustrating? NO OFFENSIVE SCHEME. "Read and React" is not an offensive scheme no matter what Ziko tries to tell you. That is code name for street ball pretty much. I "Read and React" when I'm playing at the gym. "Try to get wide open" is pretty much a synonym for "Read and React".

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Doghouse (and I'm presuming this is formerly BeesGivingEffort). Chris Paul himself announced to media himself that he had to explain the difference to Marcus Thornton of putting up big numbers on a losing squad, and trying to do the right things on what is trying to put together as a winning squad. Marcus had a green light last here. There was no offense. It was "here, take the ball, do what you want". And your so called diamonds in the rough in Collison and Thornton only amounted to 37 wins. Look at BOTH players this season. They are UNDERPERFORMING. You keep thinking I am "hating" on Marcus, but you keep looking over what I am saying: 1. I WANT TO SEE MARCUS DO WELL, BUT MARCUS IS NOT A GOOD FIT ON THIS TEAM. 2. MARCUS THORNTON IS A GREAT SCORING GUARD IN THE MOLD OF JR SMITH, BEN GORDON, AND JAMAL CRAWFORD. 3. ASIDE FROM CHRIS PAUL AND DAVID WEST, MARCUS THORNTON IS OUR BEST TRADING CHIP. I knew from the beginning Marcus doesn't fit in with this new group of guys. I've been saying that all season long, right Doghouse? The best situation for Marcus is for him to go to a team where he gets "the green light". How does this tie into Monty's offense? DOGHOUSE, WE HAVE CHRIS PAUL ON OUR TEAM. HE IS THE BEST POINT GUARD IN THE LEAGUE AND A TOP 5 PLAYER IN THIS LEAGUE, ONLY BEHIND KOBE, WADE, AND LEBRON, AND AHEAD OF DURANT AND DWIGHT HOWARD. WE NEED TO KEEP THE BALL IN HIS HANDS!!! If I were coaching this team, I would do the exact same thing. When you have a PG who can create the way Chris Paul does, the main focus should be to have proper spacing for him to operate. Thats not "gym ball". "Gym ball" is what we played last season when Bower just gave the ball to Collison and Thornton and told them to do whatever they wanted. I DON'T WANT MARCUS THORNTON TO HAVE THE BALL. I WANT CHRIS PAUL TO HAVE THE BALL. Yea, Marcus can score. As great as his PER was last season, he only managed to average 1.6 assists. Even Monta Ellis, a GREAT scorer in this league and someone you can compare to Marcus, averages 5.6 assists a game. Marcus plays for himself. He has EMPTY scoring numbers because he doesn't contribute anything else on the court other than points. And then when you include the mistakes he makes, and bad shots he takes, and passes he refuses to make... Dude, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD OPEN YOU EYES!!! He's nothing more than a JR Smith clone. We've dealt with this before! And what happaned to JR Smith? He's the 6th man on a decent a team, has bounced around the league, is a streaky shooter, and considered to be a spoiled brat in this league. Now, is that due to the fact he is a former Hornet? Or is it maybe just the kind of player he is? The kind of guy who has coasted since high school as the best player on his team and who coaches have given the "green light" to do whatever he wants, made it to the NBA, proves he can score, but lacks the fundamentals to do anything else because... GASP! He doesn't know how? Yea, Marcus and and Collison had great individual seasons last year. But what did they REALLY do? They looked to score for themselves. I have played against Collison since the guy was backing up Jordan Farmar at UCLA. I have NEVER been sold on him being a starting PG in this league. I think he makes a GREAT back up. But starter? I am WILLING TO BET YOU Doghouse, that in 2 years, Indiana will be looking to draft or trade for a new PG, and bring Collison off the bench because he wasn't as good as they thought he'd be. I will BET YOU that. And as for Marcus? Dude, we shoulda traded him at the start of the season. We coulda got more for him when his stock was higher. Now? I hope we can still land a good veteran (which we desperately need) to fill in at the starting 2 spot for him. Either way, I'm telling you again, he is OUR BEST TRADING CHIP ASIDE FROM CP AND WEST. GUYS I WANT TO KEEP IN NEW ORLEANS BECAUSE I WANT NEW ORLEANS TO DO WELL FOR YEARS TO COME. So stop pointing the finger at me and putting words in my mouth. Monty Williams played the RIGHT lineups, and RIGHT rotations against the Lakers 2 nights ago. If Marcus was in the game, the Lakers would have jus exposed him on on offense by attacking his side of the zone and forcing Okafor/Gray/West/Smith to pick up fouls. And on defense, they would have baited him into taking stupid shots by forcing him to drive the lane into 3 guys who are 6'11 (Lamar Odom), 7' (Pau Gasol), and 7'2 (Andrew Bynum) and probably blocking his shots. Think realistically. Lakers were home. Marcus wouldn't have gotten any calls his way.

42
42

Let's take Monty's effects, whatever they are, as given. What else is causing Marcus to put up 0.5 points per shot? Remember 1 point per shot isn't considered good, and that's what Willie, Marco, Trevor, and Jarrett are putting up.

paul
paul

Monty looks like he's progressing. I say this not because he used Gray...and I am a big Gray guy...but he actually tried some nice rotations and combinations. I thought I was watching real basketball strategy. Next...I wish we could find...on our team first...that second PG. That somebody that makes others BLIEVE that IF they hustle, IF they move around...they will get rewarded with a pass. Do we have this guy on our team? Is there anybody that can be taught that skill? If not, we cannot succeed. Paul MAKES the first team know they will be involved. We need another that is at least decent. If we don't, is there any available? So far I see JJ as a Ben Gorden type player...somebody who would rather move around and get ready for the ball to score. Not really one to set up and pass to others. The Bulls got rid of him because they didn't need this. The Hornets need it...but they also need the PG to set up the shooter. Telling you...I see lots of open players not getting the ball. Sooner or later everybody STOPS moving becuase what's the point? Nice post above. Some really good input. OK...I'll sit down and wait for an answer now.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

P.S. You guys need to get off Monty. Last night, with his rotations, he showed that he can adjust. He played 10 players like usual. But he actually played the RIGHT 10 players. I'm going to call ALL of YOU fans out right now. Are you guys New Orleans Hornets fans? Or Marcus Thornton fans? I live in LA. Home of the f*****g LOS ANGELES LAKERS, and I am a NEW ORLEANS HORNETS FAN. I wore a CP jersey to a LAKER GAME! (not the first time either) Monty coached a VERY good game last night. I honestly thought that we'd get ROCKED last night, the same way we did last week. But think about this... Chris Paul took 6 shots... only had 10 assists... and we only lost by 4 points. Monty HAD to do something good last night. Whether you guys like that he didn't play Marcus Thornton or not. He did. And I'm telling you he did a very good job with the personnel he has.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

1) We are on pace to lose more games than the '09 team consisting of a 50% Chandler, West, Paul, Peja, Butler with a bench of Devin Brown, Antonio Daniels, Melvin Ely (all 3 are super lol's), Sean Marks, and James Posey. You are meaning to tell me that this team is less talented than that team? Considering you said earlier in the year that Marco Belinelli was the best defender in the NBA at staying in front of his man and are infatuated with Pondexter and Jarrett Jack, I find that hard to believe. 2) We aren't 10 games into the season looking slightly lost on offense with a bunch of new players. We are 40 games into the season getting progressively worse on offense, spiraling into what could end up being the 30th spot with the best PG in the league. But, again, because of the 8-0 start you will find a way to defend him no matter what.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

I don't think he'll be a super star, but I think everyone in the league will know his name one day. The kid is every coaches dream for a rookie on a team where rookies probably won't be playing. They've been talking on the radio round here since the Hornet game and a lot of people are impressed with his patience, NBA ready body, work ethic, and defense. Constant comparison: Bruce Bowen. I even heard someone call him a young Michael Cooper.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

woa woa woa.....woa. who says Quincys not gonna be a super star?

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

LoL. My poop colored eyes don't usually leave much of an impression.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Huh? I said Marco was the best defender in the league? When did I say that? And I'm NOT infatuated with Jack. I actually HATED the trade for him, and have said multiple times the trade was done to GET UNDER THE CAP, not to "acquire" Jarrett Jack. I said Marco is a SOLID defender. WAYYYYYY better than the guy who's in "Monty's Doghouse". You know, the guy who comes down court and jacks up a shot when it's ONE ON FIVE! The guy who gets the ball, and is ready to shoot the second he gets it, regardless of who else is open. But NEVER once have I said he's the best defender in the NBA. And yea, I do like Quincy. He's going to be a VERY solid NBA player. Not a super star. Probably not ever even a starter. But a great reserve that a lot of teams will LOVE to have off their bench. Something in the mold of Bruce Bowen. A tough defender who just knows how to play basketball. And no, I don't defend him because of the 8-0 start. I'm defending him because I understand basketball enough to know WHY HE'S DOING WHAT HE'S DOING. Yet its people like you who come on here bashing him for... Marcus Thornton? Open your eyes dude. There's a reason he's in the doghouse. Stop thinking he can do no wrong. If he did no wrong, HE WOULD BE PLAYING AND NOT SITTING ON THE BENCH.

42
42

You don't have to say it, Ziko. You say it with your eyes. You say it with your eyes

42
42

Nice post. A good bit in there. Quincy.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Hey guys. Was at the game last night, rooting my Hornets on big time. I was center court, but on the other side of the camera, so I don't know if any of you got to see me sportin my CP jersey. Believe it or not, there were A LOT of NOH fans there. Shockingly, a lot. We all banded together and were rooting like crazy. I got there pretty early. Said whats up to a lot of the guys. Trevor gave me a high five and Aaron Gray tossed a ball to my kid brother to let him try to heave one from the first row of seats. LoL. I was also told that Trevor was the FIRST player to the arena, getting up shots 3 in a half hours prior to the game. He shot the ball a lot better last night. I think he should do that every night. Things I observed... I think Monty might have told Marcus he wasn't playing last night. In warm ups, I saw him sitting down a lot. I saw him not going hard, missing lay ups. Their definitely seemed like there was some attitude going on with him. Quincy, on the other hand... God that guy is full of energy. No matter what he was doing, it was EVIDENT that he was doing it harder than anyone on the court. during warm ups, the guy was attacking the basket hard, drilling jump shots, and when he missed a shot, you could see his frustration, and desire to make the next one. I think he's really going to be a SOLID NBA player, and I'm really feeling more and more he's going to be a better overall player than Marcus is. I was actually impressed with Aaron Gray last night. I could tell he was a little rusty, but he really used his body well against Andrew Bynum. Bynum is a BIG guy. He is the BIGGEST guy I have EVER seen aside from Shaq. His body is just enormous. SOOO many guys are razor thin in person. Bynum is not. I honestly thought Gray did better on Bynum than Okafor did. Okafor just isn't big or strong enough to guard Bynum. Not a lot of people are. But Okafor has no chance whatsoever. Gray REALLY tried hard, and used his body well. He lost his balance on one play and hit the floor. But it wasn't because Bynum made a good move, it was because another players foot got tangled with Gray. I want to see Gray go up against other guys like Bynum. I think those are the games we need to really utilize his size. I've said it before... I'll say it again. I'm a Marcus Thornton fan. But I still think Marcus Thornton is our best tradable trading chip. I don't think any of us want to trade CP or West. After them, Marcus is our best card we can play. I think we're all going to have to open up to having him off of this roster. Last night, Quincy showed us why not playing Marcus doesn't really hurt our future. We need a better starting shooting guard. Marco would be a GREAT 3 man off the bench for us, and allow Quincy to play more as a 2 guard (which I think he's got the PERFECT body for). And we need one more big man off the bench. I did like what I saw from Gray last night. But I don't think he's the answer to our problem. Carl Landry, PLEASE? Lastly... Aye... There REALLY are a lot of Marcus Thornton fans here. I understand WHY. He had a great rookie season. He showed that he is going to be one hell of a scorer in this league. But he's also showed us what KIND of scorer he will be. He is in the mold of JR Smith... Ben Gordon... Jamal Crawford... Guys who are streaky scorers, poor defenders, and have attitudes that will only work on specific teams. I like Marcus. But I no longer like what he brings to this team. It's not what we need. And I'd rather trade him for a veteran player, EVEN IF IT'S IN A MISERABLE CONTRACT LIKE RIP HAMILTONS, than wait to see if this kids attitude will adjust, and watch CP leave because the team isn't doing enough to improve it's roster. We won't be winning a title this year. But who's to say we can't next season? Building for the future starts NOW. And I just don't see Marcus being part of this future. Just like JR Smith, I see us letting him go/trading him for a veteran. It's what we need. We need that stability. Stephen Jackson and Rip Hamilton are our two best options when you consider what we need. So if we start now, I see us putting ourselves in position next season to be a SERIOUS contender in this league: STARTERS: Tyson Chandler David West Trevor Ariza Richard Hamilton/Stephen Jackson Chris Paul Emeka Okafor Carl Landry Marco Belinelli Quincy Pondextor Jarrett Jack Jason Smith Willie Green That is a team built to win A LOT of games, and at LEAST go to the western conference finals. That is the direction we need to go towards. But if you guys are ok with watching a group of Okafor, Smith, Ariza, Thornton, Jack be your starting line up 2 years from now... Then I guess we just look at things differently.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Well no doubt Marcus may have an attitude because he wants to play. He's probably frustrated as heck. He had like 3 straight games after not player where he played great and then all of that seemed to go to h*ll no long after that. He just doesn't strike me as a guy who just doesn't mind sitting on the bench collecting a check. I like Marcus too and am a fan but I'm a fan of the team first and foremost. If he is able to help the team, then hopefully he'll get more chance to do so. If not, Demps had better get the guy somewhere where he can play (before his career ends up over before it really gets started) and get us someone who can help us. Too bad the Hornets couldn't get a win for you and all the other Hornets/CP3 fans in attendance.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

It was SOOO weird QueenBee. I thought if I saw any, they'd all be CP jerseys, and maybe a DWest. But Marco's? There are a lot of Italians in this area though, so it does make sense.

QueenBee
QueenBee

AgentZiko, must've been weird indeed to see many Belinelli jerseys. Hahaha! But yeah, they must've been Italians or something. Cool though.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

On that note, Queen, believe it or not, the Hornet jersey I saw most at the Laker game was not CPs. But instead, there were #8's ALL OVER THE PLACE. I had 7 other people in my section with Hornet Jerseys. One other guy had a CP jersey like me. One had a D West, and the rest had Marco's. I couldn't believe it. I think they must have been Italians or something. And then walking through the halls of Staples Center, I saw a few more Belinelli jerseys. It felt kind of weird seeing it. I know they don't sell those ANYWHERE around here. Even finding a D West jersey round here is tough. They HAD to have ordered it. I was REALLY hoping that the Hornets would win. But I went to the game with the understanding that they were VERY much the underdogs. When that Laker team is healthy, I think the ONLY team that can REALLY compete with them is a healthy Boston Celtic team.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

LMAO, the Hornets will never be able to afford that starting lineup along with that bench.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

NOLA bud. I'll bet you that if anyone on this team gets traded this season, it will be Marcus.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Oh? If we trade Marcus Thornton and our exemption to Charlotte for Stephen Jackson, they would take the deal. They're not making the playoffs, and bringing in Thornton would be great for Paul Silas's system, and save the team 8 million next season. Landing Carl Landry is more tricky. But in a 4 team trade, it could be done with ease. Minnesota is looking to dump a PG to clear space for Ricky Rubio next season, and they really want OJ Mayo. Well, how bout this: http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=35ba4uw This way, everyone gets what they're looking for. Sac gets a GREAT PG they can build with, next to Evans. Memphis gets rid of Mayo. Minny lands Mayo. We get Landry. As for Tyson Chandler. I saw Tyson this past summer before he got traded to Dallas (he comes out to LA and the OC every summer and has camps because he was born and grew up here). He RAVED about Chris Paul. For 15 minutes he just sat and told me how amazing of a person, friend, and teammate Chris Paul was and that it sucked not playing with him anymore. I have said it before, and I am willing to BET you Doghouse, Tyson Chandler WILL come back to New Orleans. He didn't opt out of his contract this year because he knew due to the looming lockout, he'd never make the money back. But after pocketing 12 million a season for the past 5, I don't think he'd mind taking a smaller contract to play with CP again. And I don't see too many teams willing to give him more than the mid level exemption anyway. And the teams that can, are teams he wont want to play for. So there ya go. I just made it affordable.

NOLABanks96
NOLABanks96

Highly doubt we are trading for any big name player like rip or SJAX. Actually i doubt we are doing any more trades because of our ownership unless it is a minor one for some bench players. **Marcus isnt going anywhere this season

Mark
Mark

I forget who said this, but earlier we had a comment from a user suggesting the lack of movement from our offense while CP has the ball. Having set shooters spread the floor to force the defense to commit to CP is an understandable offensive scheme (CP is a God amongst men there), but I don't know why we don't preach some off-ball screens or general movement WITHOUT CP having to dominate the ball. Naturally, I don't see anybody really being able to score off a screen other than, at times, Thornton, but I think at least trying wouldn't hurt. Especially seeing as we're near the bottom of the league on offensive possessions, and how every game I just see people taking ill-advised shots and settling for jumpers. Oh, and take it to the rim, thanks.

QueenBee
QueenBee

JuJu has had like what ..... 3 good games this season?

JCS
JCS

Come the summer, Marcus, Marco, Trevor, and Gray need to see the door and these guys should be brought in: Francisco Elson 7-0 235 lbs Center Thaddeus Young 6-8 217lbs Small forward Maurice Evans 6-8 220lbs Small Forward Aaron Afflalo 6-5 215lbs Shooting Guard In the meantime, JuJu and dem will continue to impress Hollinger as our bench won't....I hate plateaus.

Rocco
Rocco

The frustration among the Hornets faithful is very apperent. Frustration borne out of the knowledge this is a solid team which has consistency issues. Consistency within games, in stretches of games over the course of the season. They can be better than what we've seen against the 76ers in Philly (The SA and Boston road wins, even last night's though loss to the Lakers). They lay an egg against GS after controlling the proceedings through three quarters. The club has shown great defensive improvements over last year. It has bought into a team first concept and has a number of better than average players to be a success defensively on a fairly consistent basis. So, they've had some remarkable individual game successes, and laid some dinasaur sized eggs. What's the point? We have only one Chris Paul. I know, 29 other teams wish they had the same problem. But really, we have only one CP3. He's a special, once in a generation talent. . Yet, Paul is such a force that even the team concept revolves around him when he's on the floor, and it struggles to find an identity when he's not. News flash-Jarrett Jack is not the penetrator, distributor, or ball hawking defender that Chris Paul is. Does that make Jack a bad player? Of course not. How this team becomes effective, and consistent without CP3 on the floor is the question which if answered correctly will lead to success in the playoffs, and probably keep the Bugs in NOLA. I think the coaching braintrust need to think outside the box. Shuffle line ups during the course of games, maybe CP3, J Smith and Okafor for extended periods. As Smith extends the floor a big on the pick and pop allowing Okafor more space in the lane. What little I have seen of the combo, when the Hornets go small, I like the way Belinelli and Thorton can work together. Marco is comfortabel giving up the ball to a scorer in shooting position. Why not to Buckets as opposed to Ariza or Okafor. Enough of this rambling. But, just some thoughts to ponder. :)

42
42

Nice work.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Good and true things said in this post Rocco.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Last but not least, Marcus will probably be gone after this year, doing bigger and better things than being Monty's whipping boy. Really sucks that, once again, we have coaches that can't develop talent. Where is Monty's accountability in this? Where is the outrage that we had a SG that was a top 65 PER player last year as a ROOKIE? SG's normally take a year or 2 to adjust to the NBA level. Not Marcus. Monty had a sniper rifle available and choice to attack his opponents with the dullest, used up knives he could find at his house.

George
George

I don't understand why Marcus didn't get any minutes tonight. I know he has been struggling recently, but Green has been mediocre at best. Green's upside pales in comparison to Thornton's. I think Thornton's slumps are in some part aggravated by the pressure from Monty. Coach needs to put faith in him to see his true potential.

42
42

I agree on upside. If we could play the upside, I'm sure we would. If we have to play the slump . . . Do you think it's more likely, not more `likey', more likely, that Green is a symptom of Marcus' recent play or that Green is the cause of it? Consider also that it started at least 3 games before Willie's return. Check the journals for the data.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Marcus' confidence is most assuredly not shaken by the way. If he didn't believe in himself he wouldn't be visibly pissed off every game that he doesn't get any playing time when he knows he's the 4th best, maybe 3rd best in volume, player on the team. Marcus KNOWS he's the shit. What Marcus DOESN'T know is what the heck Monty Williams expects out of him. Get better on defense? OK! He's been a better defender lately than the rest of bench guards (minus the 4 minute spurt in the GSW game vs. Monta. You know who else allowed back to back WIDE OPEN threes vs. Monta? Willie Green. Oh, the 2nd time he "lost" Monta, he was expecting David West to hedge out and come under him. David stood there like a bump on a log while Monta drove around him.) But now, Monty wants him to score 15 points a game or he doesn't play? Monty's expectations with Marcus are inconsistent and it shows while Marcus is out there second guessing everything he's doing. Here's an example: The 0-2 FG Philly game. In 7 minutes, Marcus had 3 defensive rebounds (Monty's forte), 1 massive block (Monty's forte), and 1 assist. That is the type of hustle and effort that would have kept Willie Green in the game for the next 8 minutes. Instead, Marcus gets ganked.

42
42

I think we see this too differently at this point. Let's see what the next week brings us. I think we both hope that Marcus lights up Denver and Orlando for 40 each game, whatever the reason.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

There's a difference between "pressure" and trying to do exactly what Monty wants so he doesn't pull you out of the game. Pressure is taking that big 3 when you're down 2 with 15 seconds left. Monty doesn't put pressure on Marcus. He makes Marcus second-guess everything he does and over think virtually every play.

42
42

"Coaches, pressure, and more things play into that." Agreed. And you are identifying something that is probably a factor, but to pick on it to the exclusion to other factors limits the analysis.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Here's the thing though. The whole bench is slumping. So why not attempt to play upside?

42
42

It's a matter of degree, not of kind. And Quincy isn't slumping. One of Marcus' issues last year was confidence. Coaches, pressure, and more things play into that. However, if you can't play when your confidence is shaken, you can't be counted on. Am I talking crazy here?

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

In a world controlled by a 39 year old man's massively confused ego, Marcus is trapped in...

Brazilian Hornet
Brazilian Hornet

If Chris Paul had played harder, we would have won the match...

QueenBee
QueenBee

If he (any Hornet player) could have had at least 5 more assists, the Hornets would have won the match. How's that for logic? SMH.

42
42

If Aaron Gray had played harder, we would have won the match. If David West had played harder, we would have won the match. There . . . my comment is twice as pithy as yours.

paul
paul

You needn't explain as I am in full agreement. Tll the truth, and sometimes I guess I have to, I really don't know what is wrong with the team or how to fix it. It's really above my pay grade. I get the stupid get to go fan pass that allows me to throw out FAX and then shuffle off into the shadows when my opinions don't work. Gray is one of my opinions, but not THE opinion. I just feel he is a much better option than MBenga and we wasted valuable NBA time for him to get his feet solid. 42...I really can't express my position on real time game experience. And depriving players of it, then putting them in and praising or damning them on how they do is really stupid. Probably what this team really needs is a second PG to distribute the ball half as well as Paul does. This would make us competitive longer into the game. Such a person would make everybody better, which is basically what Paul does for that starting group. Let's face it...if Paul were not there, nobody would be doing what they do. So mu\y very outstanding and bright as a twit opinion is better bench coaching help for the young coach and a pretty good 2nd PG would make the Hornets a deep playoff team. Also, as a side note, I think Monty did some real growing as a coach these past games. NOT because he's playing Gray, which helps, but because he is actually mixing and matching players with some kind of plan. It's not just the first vs second mentality he's had.

42
42

Agreed on Monty. Yeah, analysis is hard. Ryan makes it look easy. What mean, mean man for that!

42
42

To be clear: I just named two guys. In fact, I had another guy listed but put West in there since he's my favorite Hornet. I was more saying, as you expected, it's easy to x should have played harder, but that is empty criticism. I want to see more of Gray for a bit. I don't think he's some jinni in a bottle, but I personally want to know what we have there given that I've seen him play well in some stretches.

paul
paul

I think Gray did play hard...but i get your point or hit. I guess my worry, 42, is if he is playing his BEST. If so, them I am worried as I am a big Gray fan. I think in a few games, if allowed, he will get his NBA stability and comfort zone and we should see a better Gray. By they way, I am confused because I saw him put a ball in off a tip. The LA feed gave him it, but then it never showed in the stats. I presume the official scorer gave it to another. Still, it was his and I think another nice thing is he didn't do his usual foul per minute thing. There was a very silly touch foul given him under the basket. And I think once thrown the ball...e will score. How the hell can you score if nobody gives you the ball???? Be patient with Gray...at least for a few more games.

MaxALM
MaxALM

yeah, there will always be that one missed FT or missed easy layup. Thats just going to happen. You can't really blame a good effort like this on any one player.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Tough game for Aaron Gray to see minutes in. Hopefully he bounces back. I'm beginning to wonder if Monty knows WTF he is doing at all and whether or not he will cut it as our long term coach. Oh, concerning the CP3 to NJ rumors. What the hell do people think NJ can offer us if they give up all their assets for Melo?