Hornets Survive the Magic in a Thriller

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Published: January 12, 2011

In a game that will surely be remembered by everyone in attendance, the Hornets survived a barrage of threes by the Magic late in the fourth quarter to escape with a much needed victory. MVP goes to Emeka Okafor, who despite being outplayed by Dwight Howard, did enough to get his team the victory. The final score was Hornets 92-Magic 89.

Despite a 6-0 start to the game, things got scary early on for the Hornets. First off, Marco Belinelli suffered a game ending ankle tweak only a minute in. Then the Magic started playing their usual basketball and took a fairly substantial lead. With a minute gone in the second quarter the Magic were up by eight and the Hornets looked out of sync on both ends of the floor.

Enter Marcus Thornton.

Buckets was the difference maker in the first half tonight, playing 14 big minutes and scoring ten points to go along with four rebounds. His timing was perfect, as a couple athletic drives to hoop resulted in pretty buckets, energizing a crowd that seemed on the verge of turning on what was at the point a fairly apathetic Hornets team. It took him ten shots to get those ten points, but one of them was a desperate heave to beat the shot clock that barely found the backboard.

The second half wasn’t as kind to him, but make no mistake- Without his play in the first half the game could have gone much differently. The one glaring negative in his game tonight was his three point shooting. He went 0-5 before knocking one down with nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter, and two of the misses had the potential to put the Hornets up by double figures.

He had a straight hustle play in 8:15 to go in the fourth quarter. With the shot clock dwindling Jarret Jack threw up a prayer which somehow caught some rim. Marcus ran to the corner, caught the ball while falling out of bounds, and pegged it off a Magic player. Hornets ball. They wasted the extra possession, but it was nice to see nonetheless.

With 4:06 to go in the fourth the Hornets held a razor thin 2 point lead, 74-72. Marcus Thornton entered the game, and Hornets fans got to see the closing lineup that so many of us thought we would before the season started. The first time he touched the ball was on a one on one break, and he drew a rare foul (he had only taken only 22 free throws on the year prior to tonight), knocking down both free throws in the aftermath.

Jason Richardson knocked down a big three pointer to pull the Magic back within four with just over a minute to play. Then Okafor got fouled and stepped up to take two big free throws. He was 1/6 at the time and clearly didn’t have a lot of confidence, but he stepped up and made the first one. Huge. That’s what happens when you practice as hard as anyone else in the league. True, he missed the second, and the Hornets got screwed around on the subsequent out of bounds call, but that first one was big. Missing both could have really affected the team’s confidence.

Down five the Magic gave the ball to Jason Richardson who knocked down yet another three, taking about two seconds to do so. All of a sudden the lead, which was seven only 20 seconds earlier, was all of a sudden down to just two. The crowd stood up for the final time, and loudness ensued.

Paul wasted 22 seconds of time, and then missed a shot. Guess who came up with the big rebound? BUCKETS! Well, Okafor sort of got it. I’m not sure who actually got credit, but Marcus was crucial in us retaining the ball.

As the Magic fouled Paul he desperately tried to get off one of his patented three foul shot shots, but was unable to successfully plead his case to the ref. He made one of two free throws and the lead was three. Then Hedo knocked down a wide open trey, tying the game up with seven seconds to go.

So obviously Chris Paul is going to shoot it, right? Yup! Oh wait, no! No! NO! He passed it to David west for a contested jumper! Nooooooooooooo! <– You know you thought this exact thing.

Overtime

The Magic went right at Okafor to start overtime, successfully I might add. Marcus answered with a tree, and then Dwight dunked yet another ball home on the other end. After Marcus barely missed a driving layup, Ariza made a real heads up play and took a charge. Paul then missed an easy jumper after a sweet move and yet again Howard put the ball in the basket.

Okafor answered on the other end after another missed Buckets layup. The Hornets caused the Magic to commit a shot clock violation on the other end that resulted in double technicals for Paul and Brandon Bass. Either way, the Hornets gotthe ball down one with two minutes to go.

Ariza made a nice cut for an easy layup to take the lead, but Richardson would answer with a driving layup to take it back. Then Marcus knocked down a huge jumper to a thunderous ovation with 34 seconds to go. Hornets 90, Magic 89.

After a series of fouls, Dwight Howard stepped up to the line with 11.6 seconds to go. Blink. Brick number one! AND BRICK NUMBER TWO! BOOMSHAKALAKA.

Shakalaka

Laka.

After a sweet inbound pass (nah I’m just kidding), Paul got fouled. Next time it was Thornton. Marcus headed to the line with a one point lead and eight seconds to go. Swish. Almost swish but still in. Three point lead. It was a great feeling watching him be the difference maker in overtime. Hopefully there is more to come.

Reddick missed the game tying three and Paul threw the ball in the air as the Hornets began celebrating their victory before it even landed.

Howard vs Okafor

At first it looked like Dwight Howard was going to have a typical dominating game against Emeka Okafor. On the offensive end, he did, but Okafor didn’t get discouraged and managed to play relatively well. He finished the first half with 8-5 as opposed to Dwight’s 14-7.

The second half started with some good plays on both ends of the floor by Okafor, and even though Dwight found an open dunk, he wasn’t able to get into the same rhythm he had in the first half offensively. Credit has to go to Okafor, who remained active throughout the game on both ends. He really gave Dwight a taste of his own medicine with all those dunks, and might have changed some minds in the process. Still wish he could finish strong on a regular basis, but tonight was a nice effort.

They battled with 8:45 to go in the fourth for a rebound and when Okafor got the call Howard was visibly upset. He few a technical on Dwight with 2:20 left, adding a valuable point to the Hornets lead. Dwight is obviously not used to Okafor putting up a fight against him. Too bad, big guy. Those days are over (hopefully).

The game ended with Okafor putting up 18-14 and Howard with a whopping 29-20. It seems like a huge difference in production, but considering how Dwight normally destroys Okafor, I was thrilled with the performance of Okafor. I guess I should mention that Emeka finished 2/8 from the free throw line. That’s some quality stuff right there.

Am I actually crediting Okafor for allowing his mark to go for 29-20? Yes. Will I regret that after the excitement wears off? Probably not. It was an impressive performance and he stayed out of foul trouble the entire game. It was key having him in overtime.

Player Notes

  • Thornton finished with 22 points on 18 shots, and nine rebounds. His rebounding remains remarkably improved.
  • Aaron Gray saw some time in the first half, but none of it was against Dwight Howard. Too bad, because I was looking forward to seeing how he did now that he didn’t have a big weight advantage to go with his superior height.
  • Trevor Ariza had a quietly efficient night on both ends. He harassed Hedo on defense for most of the game and managed to score quite a few himself. I didn’t write much about him, but he very well could have been the player of the game on both ends. He finished with 16 points on 12 shots, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. He had only 1 turnover.
  • After Marco got hurt in the first half, it was possible that we would see Marcus Thornton start the second half, but it was Willie Green who trotted out there with the starters. If Marco does miss some time, it appears for now that Willie Green will somehow be a starter yet again. Looking at his numbers it’s pretty incredible how many games he’s started in his career.
  • West (13 points on 18 shots, and 10 rebounds ) just kept staring at Ryan Anderson while knocked down open three pointers. Did he not see the scouting report on the guy?
  • Paul spent most of the game he was focused almost entirely on controlling the tempo, finding open players, and keeping turnovers down. I say this not as a negative, but as a matter of fact. He added in a missed free throw with 15 seconds left, when two would have put the lead at four. He finished with 12 points on 12 shots, 13 assists versus 1 turnover, and 5 rebounds.

Other Game Notes

  • The teams combined for only seven first half free throws and eight personal fouls. They had 19 the rest of the way.
  • In the past I’ve talked about how some of the halftime shows are pretty awesome, and tonight was what I’m talking about. How often do you get to see a soul electric violin player? I’m not saying it’s something I want to go and listen to for two hours at a show, but for 10 minutes in between some hoops it’s great.
  • Remember how in past years we would see three or four players taking absurd shots when warming up? Not this year. Everyone seems a lot more focused on actually getting in the right place mentally.
  • A couple of minor bumps to the head really slowed down the game late in the third quarter. The good thing about head injuries in the NBA is that you can generally tell right away if they are serious or not. These clearly weren’t.
  • Anyone want to say anything about the officiating? I certainly don’t. Who knows what might come out.
  • Attendance was announced at 13,688, a far cry from what is needed. It looked like there were more than that, and there was clearly more traffic to this game than there has been to other games which had low attendance. I saved this for last since it’s crappy news and has no place on this otherwise joyous day.

100 Comments

  1. BIGBREED

    January 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    1st

    Great Game..but I’m tired!

  2. L_Reazy

    January 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    As much as I criticize Marcus Thornton at times … I have to admit ….

    I’m very proud of this guy’s performance tonight!

    It’s not as if I don’t want this guy to play well. The better he plays, the better the Hornets are. Why would I wish for him not to succeed?

    Any of us who have been critical of him have been waiting for this performance / opportunity … especially against an elite team not named San Antonio!

    Now that Belinelli will be out for a while the stage is set for Marcus to prove that he can do this on a good team, night-in-and-night-out!

    I like Marco but, the Hornets do not win ‘this game’ if Belinelli plays his regular minutes!

    L_REAZY

    • PeeDee

      January 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      right

    • Stefan

      January 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      You posted this in the preview thread. Way to be original…..

      (;

  3. PeeDee

    January 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    west should not get the ball unless hes wide open under 2 minutes……

  4. nikkoewan

    January 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    im in my partial differential class and i almost shouted. thanks Hornets, you really almost screwed me in my class. GREAT WIN!

  5. Thechosenuno

    January 12, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I wonder if we got lucky. I hate to say this, but if Marco doesn’t sprain ankle in first minute, Willie green doesn’t effectively become a starter and Marcus doesn’t play as much as his backup. That doesn’t happen, I think we would gave lost.

    So, in a way, thank you, Marco. Hate to say it but I will.

    • bywas225Hornets4ever

      January 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      same thing i said, are we bad people? lol of course not, but we wud have lost if he had stayed in.

  6. NOLABanks96

    January 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Marcus stay hurtin the competition

  7. bywas225Hornets4ever

    January 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    This was a good game!!! excellent play on the defensive end except on dwight howard, but i credit dwights play to the refs being Bitches. Come on man, dis dude almost always elbows someone in the face everytime he makes a move, i dont like that type of play. the refs never call an offensive foul on him either. wat a cheater. anyway, good play from marcus, and trevor has been playing exceptional the last 3 or 4 games, so im grateful to that, now all we need is orlando to beat the lakers so we can say we beat orlando. it works lol

  8. Stefan

    January 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    You can tell Joe is giddy with all of these jokes incorporated into the recap. It’s okay, I am too 😀

  9. DownUnder

    January 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I just loved this game, best win of the season for me. Those three’s at the end of regulation, lol rediculous but it did make the game epic.

    Ariza is starting to make me smile again!

    Clips beating the Heat right now haha, streak killer day!

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      January 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      This is the Ariza we traded for. I completely agree.

  10. nikkoewan

    January 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    should i get marcus thornton in fantasy basketball now?

  11. Monty'sDoghouse

    January 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    22 points on 18 shots on an off night. I’ll..uh..take it?

    I expect Ziko to come in and continue to tell us how Marcus can’t be a godsend when, yet again, he was a godsend to us tonight.

    Fact is. Marcus with the starters has been extremely successful EVERY TIME this season.

    If Marcus doesn’t get called for that BS charge where Arenas was visibly moving AND half-assed the contact, it’s more than likely 25 points on 19 shots on an off night. Are you kidding me? The kid just does…work…

    Another thing to ponder. Without MT5’s selfishness in OT that is so abhorred by the likes of Ziko and Co., we probably would have lost the game. Yes, he also missed a layup and turned the ball over. But this is the type of game where our starters would have flat crumbled towards the end when the chips are down. The difference between Marcus and the rest of the team? The ability to forget the last shot. His nuts were equitable to Dwight’s shoulders in OT. Almost every possession ran through Marcus and guess what happened? We won. He literally decided the team would win or lose on his shoulders. Who else has that type of courage on our team (Chris hasn’t been that guy this season most games. David is rarely that guy. Rest aren’t even worth mentioning.)? Who would argue that this trait in him is a bad one?

    And ya’ll wonder why I bash the heck out of Monty Williams daily for sitting this guy on the bench. Wonder no more. This game is proof enough. (Don’t give me the defense BS because our other guards allowed the same wide open threes to Richardson, Redick, and Andersen tonight.)

    I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that Monty Williams defense was more than half the equation to our win tonight. Okafor’s interior defense coupled with our guards making their guards shoot over us was the reason we won this game. Monty Williams deserves all the credit in the world for our defense on one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. That does not excuse the fact that many of us can sit here and wonder what our W-L record would be if his prideful ego didn’t use MT5 as his example of how tough of a coach he is.

    GREAT WIN! GEAUX BEES!

    P.S. Shout out to Thornton’s Thunder for their massive sign in the Arena. Way to rep MT5!

    • 42

      January 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm

      I was excited to see the sign again.

      Every is a big word.

      I’m thrilled that we had Ariza and Thornton going with West and Chris drawing attention. It really shows where we can get to in time.

    • AgentZiko

      January 13, 2011 at 1:01 am

      Wow. Did you actually give Monty a compliment?

      Dude, did you not read my last post to you? Stop putting words in my mouth. Never said any of that.

      Honestly, I’m very impressed we won tonite. Great win against a good team. Great game from Emeka, Trevor, and Marcus.

      Really hope Marcos ok. Hate seeing anyone go down. Ever.

    • Joe Gerrity

      January 13, 2011 at 1:33 am

      “His nuts were equitable to Dwight’s shoulders in OT.” – I liked that line.

      Thornton’s Thunder rules. I literally sat right in front of them until this year.

    • nikkoewan

      January 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

      on most nights, thats going to be a bad trait. i promise. in the playoffs? that’s going to be really bad.

      Look i love Marcus, just as much as you. He is one of those players(along with Paul and West) i’d like to retire as a Hornet. I wish he’d never play in any other uniform. But guess what? he’s playing awfully bad the past few games he’s played. and that’s because of his unselfishness. Yes i thank him for the win(and for the win in Sacramento). but he’s gotta learn to play within the offense. There was this one play where he backed down Quentin and pulled up from mid range. I cringed. I’d love to see Marcus go back to his attacking the rim or shooting the 3s offense. I’d rather have him force the issue by attacking and putting the pressure on the ref’s to call a foul, than for him to take that semi contested mid range jumper. I think that’s what made him so exciting and so efficient. He only took shots that were efficient.

      Now with respect to Monty, if this is all for Marcus development then i’m all for it. I think Monty is trying to make Marcus earn his minutes. not by JUST blatantly scoring(as his tried, jacking up shot after shot), but by playing within the flow of the offense. another thing where Marco is better than Marcus – he plays in the offense. Yes, he gets bad scoring nights but at least he doesn’t destroy the balance(although i argue if its a good balance, nonetheless that’s a topic for another time) of the offense.

      If Marco’s injury turns out where he could miss some time, another chance for Marcus to shine. as i’ve always said, i believe Marcus needs to do two things in order to get the consistent minutes EVERYONE OF US has been craving for: play average D(mind you, he’s been doing this) and score within the offense. if he does that. he will get 20+ minutes. and i pray that happens sooner rather than later.

      • AgentZiko

        January 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

        It’s falling on deaf ears Nikko. I’ve said these same things MANY times now. Look what happens? I’m now a Marcus “hater”.

      • Monty'sDoghouse

        January 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

        All he did last night was attack the rim and take threes.

      • Hornet Seantonio

        January 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

        if marcus’s name was kobe or dwade or melo or etc etc nobody would be complaining about him running around and getting his own offense. we won because of marcus, selfish or not. and he had a great assist to emeka down low, not to mention the rebounds and dish outs he had. Marcus played FANTASTIC last night no complaints

      • m_W

        January 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

        I fail to see what the problem is with someone who “only” comes in and scores? Um, the team with the most points wins, right? We have “defensive stoppers,” who are often offensive liabilities, but people love those “hustle guys.” What about the dude who may not be the best defensive player but can make it rain on the O side? I’ll take that too.

        And once and for all, can we not simply agree that regardless of whether Marcus could do better, he IS better for the team than Willie Green?

      • 42

        January 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

        We need many types of players so we can give different looks and play different ‘games’.

        I’m all for it when he’s on. He was on and got his minutes accordingly. Very nice.

      • Gec

        January 13, 2011 at 10:59 am

        it’s not true he “only” scores or he mostly takes bad shots.

        Marcus ALWAYS attacks the basket, even if he hasn’t the ball he’s not passive on the three point line, he cuts, he moves, he has the strenght and speed to do that and be a problem for the D. He’s what this team need: a third option in our offense that makes our opponents focused on him instead of only on DW and CP3, and the third option to establish Ariza as a 4th offensive resource, that’s his natural spot. He also give us a fastbreak option (we NEVER get 1on1 or 2on2 fastbreaks).

        Maybe Marco is a better fit in our starting five, but Marcus it’s what we need to end the games.

        And i want to say that Marcus put a lot of HEART and PASSION in the game.. And you can see that even when he’s on the bench

      • 42

        January 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

        A third option is key: you can’t double team 3 spaced players.

      • AgentZiko

        January 13, 2011 at 11:13 am

        @m_W

        There is nothing wrong with someone who comes in to score. I’ve said it time and time again. Marcus is a DAMN good scorer. But I have tried to set a reasonable expectation as to what he is as a player.

        I feel like some people put him on some kind of pedastal. Talk about him as if he’s a better player than he is. He is a VERY good player. But when you compare him to guys he’s similar to, I’d have to say those guys would be JR Smith, Ben Gordon, Jamal Crawford. Would you agree? He’s a dynamic streaky scorer that when he’s ON, he’s killing it. When he’s off? 6-33 like he was the games prior this one.

        I’ve said before, I would RATHER trade Green. But I don’t think Monty will do it. Marco and Marcus would be a great 1-2 punch if they can both build some consistency. Marco with his scoring, Marcus with his defense.

        And I DON’T KNOW WHY but many of you (specifically Doghouse) think this is a bash on Marcus when it’s a compliment. Aside from Chris Paul and David West, Marcus is our BEST trading chip. If we DID go after a guy like Iguodala, other than Chris Paul and DWest, who do you think they’d want? Ariza? Belinelli? Come on. It be Marcus.

        I have NEVER said I’d trade Marcus for someone like Brandon Wright of Golden State. I’ve only considered him in trades where we get a BIG NAME player. Because understandably, I KNOW Marcus would have to go to get someone like that.

        I’m just being honest.

        If Marcus learned to play defense the way Eric Gordon of the Clips plays defense, then I’d NEVER trade him. He needs to learn to be a BULLDOG. He has the body for it. He just needs to play with more effort on Defense.

        Lastly, Sean. I don’t know bout Melo or Wade, but ANYTIME Kobe goes for a poor shooting night, he gets bashed BEYOND belief by analysts and fans out here. Everyone here wants Kobe to be a facilitator. And either way, aside from Melo (who SOMETIMES decides to) those guys play BOTH sides of the ball, and with a lot of pride.

        Thats ALL I want of Marcus. If he came out and played TOUGH ass defense, I wouldn’t trade him for Melo if Denver asked for him straight up. If he played both sides of the ball with the same tenacity, I wouldn’t care how many shots he chucked. Because he’d be OUR Eric Gordon. Not a superstar. But a DAMN good player.

        Is that too much to ask for Doghouse?

      • m_W

        January 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm

        @AgentZiko, good comment. Well reasoned. Never saying Marcus is perfect. But I note that you compare him to “JR Smith, Ben Gordon, Jamal Crawford.” Can you please explain to me which of those guys have trouble getting off the bench? Answer: none of them. Why? Because they are all so damn talented, despite their being mostly offensive players. Marcus can’t even get into the game! I put the blame on Monty. I just don’t see how he doesn’t want to play Marcus 15-35 minutes a game (depending upon who’s hot, him or Belinelli).

      • 42

        January 13, 2011 at 6:18 pm

        I have yet to say taking Marcus out was a bad idea.

        I have said and will say that not putting him in is a bad idea.

        Anyone else riding that wave?

  12. Stefan

    January 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Thornton better not be taking 18 shots night in and night out. That would be a ticket straight to the bench.

  13. QueenBee

    January 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    LOL! I swear I was thinking about going to find that Thriller video when I read the postgame title. Didn’t even know it was already at the bottom. LOL! Good job.

  14. m-W

    January 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Marcus won this game. Let’s hope Buckets can use this as a confidence builder to go nuts and take over the world. Or, at least, help us win a few games.

    • 42

      January 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      I so want him to stick around.
      At ~1.25 points per shot and his improving defense, he’ll earn minutes. Like anyone else, there are things to work on.

  15. thekeymaster

    January 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    hope we pull out a W against those pesky rockets on friday, they’ve been playing a lot better ball since the first meeting this season.

    • thekeymaster

      January 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      also if we don’t got at least 3-1 in our next 4 i will be disappoint

  16. Stew

    January 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Great game. Most exciting one I’ve been to this season by far.

    But…let me be the first to bring up attendance. It was miserable for this game that was expected to be a sellout. Didn’t even look like 14,000.

    Maybe NOLA is not a basketball city afterall. 🙁

    But hey…we had some surprising celebs in the house, and the fans who did come out were rowdy as hell.

    HOOP DAT

    • Hornet Seantonio

      January 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      Don’t say hoop dat, it’s unbecoming

      • m-W

        January 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

        Hoop dat! Hoop dat! Hoop dat! Hoop dat! Hoop dat!

    • Hornet Seantonio

      January 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      please stop my eyes are bleeding, and my ears are still bleeding from that blonde annoyance sayin that nonsense before the game

      • Stew

        January 13, 2011 at 6:11 am

        One man’s “blonde annoyance” is another man’s treasure.

  17. otherMark

    January 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Not to be a buzzkill, but Dwight actually got 29-20, not 29-10. Still, Emeka’s one-on-one defense meant that the rest of our defenders were free to stick closer to the Magic 3-point shooters.

    Also, if MT5 had gotten another rebound we would have had 4 players with double-doubles!

    • Joe Gerrity

      January 13, 2011 at 1:37 am

      Sorry about that. Thanks for catching it.

  18. JCS

    January 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    EPIC WIN. Great job Marcus. Keep playing like that and you won’t be traded.

  19. Hornet Seantonio

    January 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    game was miserably sweet. Too much emotion for one night I’m drained. The fans were really getting into hedo’s head in this game, he was yelling at us and pointing and generally making himself look like an ass. And man did we embarrass Jameer Nelson over and over again, too sweet. The stats are tipped high towards dwight with a 29-20 game but Emeka still played a good game, he bodied dwight on every play and was rough down low i was glad to see it. Dwight gets a lot of favorable no calls with all the bows he throws and the non stop walks, all in all everybody looked great. Awesome game, awesome win. We are vicious at home

    • Hornet Seantonio

      January 13, 2011 at 12:22 am

      check me on the highlight reel on espn, im standing up behind monty when ariza dunks on the steal break away clapping and you can see me hide my face in despair when hedo hits the three to tie the game.

  20. Stefan

    January 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    The attendance would have been closer to 17,000 if it was on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Wednesdays usually kill us no matter what. People who work or have school on Thursdays aren’t going to drive for over an hour to catch a game like they would on the weekends.

  21. LSUhornet17

    January 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Re: Marcus rebounding

    The desire and ability was always there. Marcus rebounded well in college especially considering he was the one taking all the shots. Last year, both Byron and Bower’s sets had the guards getting back on defense early to prevent fast breaks or getting out in transition to start them, I remember Marcus saying he was used to crashing the boards more, especially on offense.

  22. Forever504

    January 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I feel disrespected why is this story of us putting a beating on the magic not front page news on nba.com or yahoo.com sport section what do we have to do to ger respect

    • DownUnder

      January 13, 2011 at 2:41 am

      And on ESPN’s website there is a John Hollinger article (he was at the game wasn’t he?) that pretty much says the main reason the Magic lost (it mainly focuses on the magic) was because of the officials, specifically Steve Javie hating on Dwight and giving him a costly tech for no reason? Which if it hadn’t happened the hornets may have lost by one at the end of regulation. John also gives credit for the Hornets win to Dwight for missing 2 free throws.

      Not one bit of credit to the beez at all. He actually goes so far as to say the Hornets played terribly in the last minute of regulation. Well i got news for you, not being able to stop crazy jacked up threes on the run or missing free throws doesn’t count as a badly played last minute. A few bad choices yea but we didn’t play horribly bad in the last minute.

      He forgets about the officiating that cost the Hornets that crucial offensive rebound and he fails to mention the effort on the part of Hornets players like Marcus. Arrg it just annoys me when the NBA in general, as you say disrespects us.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/23845/untimely-tech-looms-over-magic-loss

      • 42

        January 13, 2011 at 7:13 am

        Ariza went down after a Magic rebound of a late Hornets miss. Slow to get up, his man raced down the floor and scored while the other Hornets were stuck to their charges, realizing the error too late.

        That, too, was a huge reason for overtime.

      • m_W

        January 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

        Dwight was pushing off all game and throwing elbows, and Javie failed to call a lot of those. Not to mention the HORRIBLE charge call Buckets picked up late when his defender was clearly still moving. Yet Hollinger points to 1 tech as bias? Dwight and other Magic argued several calls, and could have gotten more techs under the current rules. It’s absurd to suggest the refs helped the Hornets if you watched the entire game.

      • Gec

        January 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

        We also HAD A FOUL TO GIVE in that last possession. So it’s true we didn’t play well in that last minute, we must say it all.

        Hollinger may be good with numbers but he’s not in understanding basketball. I agree that tech shouldnt be whistled, but He talks about Refs when they stole 5 points to Marcus fastbreaks and give the Ball to the magic after ‘Meka miss when it was CLEARLY a nonpossession out of bounds for the Hornets

  23. NOLABanks96

    January 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I was thinkingCan we trade gray for Anthony Randolph or Etan Thomas?
    Matter of fact:
    Bellinelli & Gray / Dajuan Summers & Wilcox

    • thekeymaster

      January 13, 2011 at 12:17 am

      i’d do that trade, gives us a lot more front court options. plus summers is only in his 2nd year so he’s got some upside.

    • JCS

      January 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

      Yes we can. Etan has been in my radar for a minute. It’s interesting how he along with all the other back up centers in ATL are free agents at the same time.

    • m_W

      January 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

      That’s a horrible trade. Randolph and Thomas? Wilcox? Please, I’ll take Gray and Beilinelli over any of them.

      • JCS

        January 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm

        Gray is horrible. He made a donut collection on the stat sheet b/c his speciality is ZERO IMPACT. I’d rather roll the dice with Etan Thomas, but my personal preference is for the following 2K11 FAs:

        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

        FYI-
        Aaron Afflalo PER 12.55

        Rank 28

        MPG 35.4

        TS .624

        USG 12.8

        Marco Bellinell PER 11.25

        Rank 37

        MPG 28.4

        TS .548

        USG 17.3

      • AgentZiko

        January 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm

        Maurice Evans of Atlanta is 6’5. He used to play for the Lakers. He’s shorter than Kobe by a SOLID inch or 2.

        Utah would NEVER make a trade to help the Hornets. Too much pride for D Will to do that.

        Thaddeus Young is reportedly NOT available.

        I like Aaron Afflalo a lot. But I think his numbers are a little inflated because he plays more minutes than Marco. He’s good. But I think he and Marco are pretty even overall. He doesn’t bring a strength over Marco. He’s just been more consistent because it’s his second season as a starter now.

      • JCS

        January 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm

        @Ziko
        How are Afflalo stats inflated if he only plays 5 more minutes than Marco and gets less usage?

        Elson is a free agent this summer so a trade won’t necessarily be necessary.

        Evans is 6-5 and that was a typo, but Young is 6-8 and I’d prefer to start him. If need be, he can be your Kobme stopper.

      • paul

        January 13, 2011 at 4:33 pm

        JCS

        You’d only roll dice because you ain’t paying for nothing.
        You get, like all fans, to shout out opinions, then shuffle off quietly while the people with actual responsibility pay.
        You talk up trades as if this is a board game at home.
        It ain’t.
        Gray is useful, wether you understand it or not.
        His cost is minimal for a 7 footer.
        And IF you understand what he is doing, you’d be thankful you have him for his cost.
        The last game he posted well and shut down the middle.
        This game he was used little and the second time in, his guards went on a shooting dry spell.

        This is silly…
        In fact do he and I a favor and trade him to a place where he gets NBA playing/playing time time.

        Now I’ll sit back and await your sophmoric come back.

      • paul

        January 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

        JCS

        Francisco Elson!!!!
        JesusHChrist!
        He’s 34 years old!
        You want to trade a 7 foot kid 3 years into the NBA for an old man!?
        Are you freeking nuts!?

    • AgentZiko

      January 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      NOLA bud. That trade doesn’t make us better. If you’re going to give up a starter, make sure you get a starter in return. And either way, wouldn’t give up Marco in general.

      • NOLABanks96

        January 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        That trade improves our overall depth. Plus, there is no need to keep bellinelli since we have MT5 and Green. On most teams Marco probly wudnt be a starter. Id take wilcox over Gray and Summers has potential to be a good player

      • AgentZiko

        January 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm

        Aye…

        No it does it make us deeper. It makes us THINNER. Marco is better than both those guys combined. That trade makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.

        Trading a starter for 2 guys who average:

        Summers: 8 min a game, 4 points
        Wilcox: 13 min a game, 6 points, 3 rebounds

        Makes no sense what so ever WHEN THEY ARE GETTING THOSE MINUTES AND STATS ON THE DETROIT PISTONS.

        Come on bud. You can think of something better than this.

        Marco’s the third leading scorer on this team. That trade makes no sense at all. If you really want to clear room for Marcus to play, then look to trade Green, not Marco.

        Marco brings a dimension to the team we NEED. He’s 6’7, long, lanky, a good defender, a good shooter (when he’s on, just like Marcus), and he plays really well alongside Paul.

        Dejuan Summers will be a career NBDL guy. Wilcox is on the down side of his athleticism. It doesn’t make us better. It trades away stability.

        If you’re going to trade a guard, trade Green.

  24. 42

    January 13, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Bass is a knob.

    Howard hit a fadeaway 3 in warmups, then pantomimed high 5’s from folks since his teammates didn’t react.

    • AgentZiko

      January 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      He is a knob. I wonder what the conversation was between him and CP on that double T?

      • 42

        January 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

        I thought I heard Chris speculate on the employ of his mother at the time of his conception. I guess Chris has an interest in such things since little CP3-2 is around. It’s good that he’s always trying to learn to benefit those around him.

      • AgentZiko

        January 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm

        LoLoLoLoLoLoL.

      • QueenBee

        January 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm

        According to Tony Blare at Slam Magazine…

        “-There’s a scrum for a rebound on the other end and CP3 gives Bass a little sneak punch, then barks at him to back up after the whistle. Both get techs. Kinda ish you love about Chris if you love him.”

        http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/game-notes-magic-at-hornets-2/

        I went back and looked at that moment twice to see what the fuss was about. Didn’t see any sneak punch but they were both tussling, flailing for the ball.

      • 42

        January 15, 2011 at 12:12 am

        That’s what makes it sneaky?

  25. thekeymaster

    January 13, 2011 at 12:19 am

    too bad if bellinelli is cleared to play on friday i’m sure MT will still only play 5 mins since monty probably was looking somewhere else everytime buckets did something positive.

    • m_W

      January 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

      Monty said on the radio Marcus wouldn’t have played if Belinelli didnt’ get injured…crazy.

  26. MaxALM

    January 13, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Marcus = MR. CLUTCH.

    He was THE MAN in overtime. HUGE PLAYS. WOW. it was great to see him take the game over. He rushed a few shots at the 3pt line yeah, but holy SHIT he made some big shots. Drew fouls, hit his open jumpers, created his own shots, and on. This was IMO the BEST GAME OF THE SEASON!!!! Jesus Christ if Marco didn’t get injured, i don’t know what would’ve happened. To say one more time,

    when Marcus gets minutes, HE PRODUCES. Thoroughly outplayed JJ Reddick. Reddick had a bunch of open shots but they were all rushed because those open looks were on the break, when he HAD to rush them. Marcus was the aggressor, and he needs to play. I don’t care what “deficiencies” he has on the court. THIS TEAM IS VISIBLY BETTER WHEN HE PLAYS. Team defense=solid as ever. Team offense? Not stagnant. He won the game from a 23 point deficit, and played a crucial role in beating a 9-straight-win Magic team because Marco was injured. When Marcus is given a meaningful role, HE PRODUCES. GIVE HIM THE MINUTES!!!!!

    • Mark

      January 13, 2011 at 1:50 am

      I would actually hand the best game of the season to either the first Miami game (when every Hornets fan became optimistic), or better yet the Hornets-Kings game where, essentially, Buckets erased that 23-point deficit.

      Free Buckets!

  27. downnout

    January 13, 2011 at 12:50 am

    maybe marcus is the 20 ppg sg we all were wishing for

  28. NolaHog

    January 13, 2011 at 2:28 am

    I knew something special was going to happen when Thornton’s Mom sat down in front of me at the game. That lady can yell! She and I made up a very vocal Marcus cheering section. Marcus played great, but I was especially happy for Ariza. He hit some open threes on kickouts, punishing the Magic for collapsing on Paul, and he had two great steals for breakaway dunks. All that, coupled with his usual tough D. This little resurgance has had a lot to do with his improved production.
    Big win for the Hornets. It would have been easy to collapse after losing that lead at the end of regulation, but Thornton’s lack of fear in tense situations made the difference. When Paul or DWest get shut down, no one else on the team except for Thornton seems to want the ball.
    On a sour note, what was with all of the people that left at the end of regulation? It wasn’t a great looking crowd, but it looked like more than 14,000 to me. Is that number based on turnstile numbers, or actual tickets purchased?

    • 42

      January 13, 2011 at 7:09 am

      Tickets distributed.

      I was perplexed by that too.

  29. Jeff

    January 13, 2011 at 2:37 am

    after some crowds of 14,000plus against bad teams recently. I was surprised the turnout was so low.

    can it be due to the new Variable ticket pricing? If all the tickets were priced the same this year, would this game have attracted 16000-17000 fans. I think so.

    • QueenBee

      January 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      They had more than that at that game. Looked like there was more there against the Magic than at the game against the Sixers and that game was also a reported 13K.

  30. Pingback: The Point Forward » Posts The Opening Tip: Thursday, Jan. 13 «

  31. NolaHog

    January 13, 2011 at 9:32 am

    When are we having another watch party?

  32. paul

    January 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I projected a win for us last night, but was surprised at how it happened.

    I think Howard got away with murder last night.
    I feel he was allowed to play his style, most likely to avaoid getting fouls on our man.
    When I saw Gray AND MBenga activated, I got chills because I thought I was going to see the Hack a Howard plan.
    I thought I was going to see that 1972 Bull’s mean defense played.
    Not In Our House mentality.
    Howard should have awoken today wondering what happened and why the black n blue spots all over his body.
    He should have lived at the free throw line…bouncing shots off the rim or backboard.
    Their game plan of Howard First, then pass out to a 3 shooter is all they have.

    Other than that I was so excited I finished three bottles of red without even noticing!!!!

    • Gec

      January 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I projected a L. And i was right. We would have lost this game with Belinelli and Willie Green.

      And it’s WRONG that the only offense for them it’s howard or three’s. Their best way to attack the basketball it’s high Pick’n’Roll that lights up all their player and offence. We countered the magic game challenging Howard to take shots and go one on one, their shooters didn’t go on cause they never touched the ball and Redick+Nelson bricked. Van Gundy was outcoached in the gameplan imho, they went to overtime because of great treys and some our errors, not for VG adjustments.

      • AgentZiko

        January 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

        This is where I get frustrated with people.

        I don’t get how people can say we would lose if Marco didn’t get hurt. There is something that is just wrong with that mentality.

        What if Marco came out firing and had 22 points on 18 shots and we had won?

        I bet the conversation would be “Marcus would have scored more on 18 shots”.

        We went 12-1 with Marcus playing limited minutes to start the season. Would we have lost if he had played more? I don’t think so.

      • JCS

        January 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

        cosign w/Ziko

      • paul

        January 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

        If we challenged Howard to make shots…he did well.
        And we failed.
        His numbers are off the chart.
        I don’t think that’s what happened.
        I think he had his way inside.

        Oh, and before another mistakes my opinion on Okafor..I love the Chemistry major!
        In fact, everything about him speaks well of him.

        I simply think playing against Howard last night there was a strange plan.
        If I am wrong, then there would have been a great deal more fouls called as Howard plays brutally with his body.
        There is no way a smaller center can play hard against him without getting killed with fouls.

        So, if there aren’t fouls getting laid on Okafor, then the refs are turning away or the guy is being let through.

        Personally, I would not have liked my players to have given him 29 points, 13 of 19 BUT ONLY 7 shot from the line.
        3 for 7 (7!!!?) at the line!?
        That’s what we called playing Howard hard?
        No damn way.

      • m_W

        January 13, 2011 at 6:18 pm

        @AgentZiko, yes we started the season off well, but with Peja coming off the bench scoring at a super-efficient rate. So with him gone, we need a Marcus. Though, you are correct, Marco could have been a big scorer, last night, we’ll never know.

        @paul, I think the Hornets strategy was solid. Let Dwight get his, avoid letting him foul out your bigs (look what Okafor did on the O end), crash the boards with guards (who were effective) and stay home on your 3 shooters. Normally we choose to give up the 3s, and defend the paint, but against a team that shoots the 3 so well, you can’t do that. And despite Dwight’s big game, we won, so hats off to the Hornets coaching staff.

      • Gec

        January 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

        @AgentZiko : Marcus won the game for us, he did it being active and producing. Marco Belinelli in the NBA cannot produce points, he can score what the team gives to him, and it’s not because he’s not good or he’s stupid but beacause he’s not fast and strong enough.. You think that Belinelli could have taken that last rebound in the fourth? No, because he never slashes to the basket and because he’s not such an athlete as Marcus.
        In the OT Marcus simply created his own shots, and even when he misses when he drives he took a lot of attention from the D that Emeka could rebound and dunk it ALONE in the pain. Belinelli can’t give that to you on regular basis in this league.

  33. Gec

    January 13, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Emeka showed both why i don’t like him in a team who want to become a championship one and why i like players like him. He can’t compete against longer centers and has an hard time even against SF with long arm and jumping ability on both side of the floor. But he worked very very very hard tonight, he was smart not commiting fool fouls, he battled against Dwight with passion and brain (Howard didn’t have those in this game) and in the postgame interview you can see he’s really tired not only in a phisical way and shows what a great guy he is.

  34. bgalella

    January 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Marcus Thornton played out of his mind, liked the 22 points, loved the 9 rebounds he was able to chip in, big win for New Orleans.

  35. Forever504

    January 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    can we just say it marcus had 25 the ref blew the fucking call

    • thekeymaster

      January 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      that was such a b.s. call, i woke up my g/f who was sleeping on the couch b/c i was cheering pretty loudly. then when she wakes up she’s like what the f is wrong only for me to yell back at the T.V. that what a f#@#%#? offensive foul!!!

      • AgentZiko

        January 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

        LoL Keymaster. My GF has banished me into the second bedroom to watch games from my laptop from now on because I freak out so much and drive her crazy. She refuses to be near me when I watch games. LoL.

      • thekeymaster

        January 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

        ya my gf is almost to that point as well, her dog is scared of me b/c i yell so much during the games and throw things. maybe i need to go to anger management for the hornets or something?

      • 42

        January 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm

        I started keeping popcorn, etc. as treats during games for my two. I yell, they run, they get treats . . . Eventually it all works out.

  36. AgentZiko

    January 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    LoL. Now 42, I have to ask, are your little two kids, or puppies?

    Either way, I’m sure Popcorn would do the trick in either case. LoL.

    I can’t use Popcorn. I can’t watch the game if I do. Otherwise 2 little 10 lb Papillions with glossy eyes sit right in front of me attentively, desperate for me to flick some their way, begging for the whole bowl to fall… LoL.

    • 42

      January 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      Two women! You overlook that possibility, man . . . Why?

      Nah, pups, mostly lab, going on 11.

      You may have heard of them since they are the best dogs in the world and all . . .

    • 42

      January 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      No kids.

  37. Brazilian Hornet

    January 14, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Didn’t say that Mr. Howard lost his composure and used his elbow against Emeka on several occasions. In two of them, he hit the Okafor’s face, and the referees did nothing. When your team is struggling, Mr. Howard begins to play dirty. The referees should already know that. However…

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