« Game On: Grizzlies @ Hornets
Hornets beat Memphis in Overtime
My adrenaline is still going after that finish.Â After crushing Memphis for long periods in the second half, for almost all of overtime, the Hornets defense was struggling to get any sort of stop.Â Randolph was simply a load in OT and hitting some tough shots over Okafor.Â With less than a minute, Memphis finally got some separation, going up by four.Â I was already telling myself the game was over.
Then Paul hits a off-balance set-shot from three feet behind the three point line, and it’s a one point game.Â A foul later, and Thornton tips the ball on the inbounds, Paul collects it and is off to the races.Â And who does he find in front of him to receive his pass?Â Emeka Okafor?Â WHAT? And what does Okafor do?Â Why, of course he collects an overthrown ball, turns, and calmly feeds Thornton a bounce pass, through traffic, for a reverse layup.Â His only assist of the game.Â Hell, he only averages half an assist a game.Â 103-102 lead.Â Six more seconds of tight defense and the game was over.
What can you say?Â 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.Â Big pressure bucket after bucket.Â Hard-nosed defense on an admittedly slow OJ Mayo.Â His energy was tremendous.Â However, this is the weirdest thing about the game – Belinelli had been playing alright, and Willie Green actually had a good stint in the first half – yet Monty still gave Thornton a whirl in the third rather than play them.Â Clearly it was a good thing and the Hornets needed an offensive burst, but I’d love to find out what Monty was thinking when he put Thornton in.Â Typically he rides whichever shooting guard is doing well to start the game.
Thornton did it in a burst, but Okafor did his work all game long.Â His line, again, isn’t that impressive, but he anchored that defense so well while taking on the toughest assignment in the post with Randolph.Â He limited Zach to an ordinary day on the boards, holding him down while West and Ariza cleaned the glass, and then harassed him into 17 points on 20 shots by forcing him out to a mid-range spot on the floor where Randolph isn’t at his best but is still willing to let fly.Â Oh, and of course, he was the one who got his hand on the ball to deflect the lob that turned into a Paul-Thornton fast break, and then assisted on the final offensive play for the Hornets as I listed above.Â Great game for Mek.Â I’m fully on board with an Emeka Okafor for the All-Star Game push.Â I’ll admit, after last year?Â I NEVER thought I’d say that.
- Great defensive game from Ariza.Â I don’t care if he missed a ton of shots, he still got to the line for some freebies to keep from being a detriment,Â cleaned the defensive glass, and harassed Rudy Gay into 22 points on 23 shots.Â In fact, of Gay’s 8 made jumpers, Ariza was only guarding him directly for 3 of them.Â Lock. Down.
- The Grizzlies ran a play where Randolph and Gasol would set cross screens for each other four times that game.Â Every time they ran it, either Gasol or Randolph would get the ball in deep post position, and they ended with 2 baskets, 2 free throws, and a point blank miss that was cleaned up on an offensive rebound.Â I’m glad they only ran it four times.
- Paul had a nice game and some vital baskets, but you can tell that wheel is slowing him a little – he was having trouble getting that little bit of seperation needed on his drives.
- West and Paul struggled defending the Gasol-Conley pick and roll at the end.Â Either West kept hedging too much, or Paul would get cleared out completely by Gasol and be out of the play.
- In that first half, the Grizzlies long jumpers were going down.Â In the second half, the Hornets contested them, and they stopped.
- David West had a quiet 19, 11 and 3 blocks.Â He did a nice job on Gasol, despite giving up a lot of size to the Grizzlies big man.Â He also, for about the sixth time in recent memory, poked loose a guard’s dribble(Conley) on a crossover during a crucial posession.Â Great anticipation and basketball IQ.
- How did Aaron Gray register a +7?Â He was pretty awful out there.
Six in a row.Â Let’s hope they get 7 against Atlanta on Friday.Â Without needing overtime.Â Sheesh this has been a tense stretch of games.
BTW UGHHH http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3935 Ike Diogu is starting to do work.
Ur rite 42...I couldn't agree with you more. I often think back to understand why the Saints were so special last season. Were they the absolute best team in the NFL? I believe it was that they had tremendous talent, but more, they had a coach with a vision but more importantly, they felt he believed in them!!NO MATTER WHAT, that transcended into so much more on the field. It's what great teams, players, are made from! I challenge anyone to think otherwise. Regardless of your motivation as a player...no one can argue that believing that the guys around you (and coach) believes in you...can only give you the best chance at success! Points well taken!!!!!
"You live for the fight when it's all that you've got" -- Bon Jovi I don't know what's going on, but I'm trying to be a charitable an observer as possible. I know different things motivate me at different times, different situations, different people. Why? To borrow a phrase: I'm a monkey with keys. I just unloaded on a guy bashing New Orleans. Why? It gets to me sometimes. Why? Lots of reasons. I react to the same comments from different people differently. Why? Lots of reasons, but, really, I don't know. I try to be a good boy, but, alas, it isn't meant to be always. I'm just assuming Monty, Marcus, etc. can be a little 42-like. I got happy with some on here, and vice versa, so that brings me hope for Monty, Marcus, etc.
Thanks for remembering the line. By the way, I can't remember who I stole the monkey with a set of car keys line from. I steal so many words and thoughts I forget where I stole from! My favorite saying, well...for now, is from one of my absolute greatest heros...Bret Maverick. He said "He who runs away lives to run away another day..." So I guess what motivates me most of the day...is getting through to morning and the next day. We should all celebrate every morning with a birthday cupcake...right? Post note, sort of off subject. I purchased a new house in S FL and found out my neighbor was one of THE original Green Barets. Did 7 tours of Viet Nam, beginning in 1957. When I told him of my hero uncle who did 27 jumps behind enemy lines in WW2, he softly told me he did 1400. 1,400 jumps behind the Viet Cong lines!? His wife tlod him to shut up and not to discuss these times anymore. But before he did, he added, and I never carried a gun. He is a retired army colonel. Somehow, when he stares at me with those steely deep blue eyes. I just KNOW he sees the brand "C" on my forehead that stands for Coward!!!
CP3 was good last night...I mean he really was good! I saw what I had been missing for quite some time. We had pretty good ball movement and we pressed the defense quite a bit. CP3 even pushed the ball in transition and the overall results were good! Thank you CP3 for sticking it out and helping to bring alittle life to our often non-eventful offense. I felt the difference and I believe everyone else felt it too! I believe we can work the heck out of San Anton by creating the very same type of offensive atmosphere! Let's make them play our game...these guys are older and cannot keep up...we can take them to. For now, let's go get ATL...! Whewww!
Topher Price, I agree with most of your comments:) the problem for me, though, is you mentioned that, 'Jack, Willie, and Marcus all looked ok but not like they had a â€œtake over the gameâ€ type of performance in them last night', you are right, SORT OF! The problem was that Marcus hadn't entered the game whatsoever until approx. 5 min. left in the 3rd. I've heard various sources state that Marcus is often one of the first in and last out...he's relentless in the film room and his asst. coaches have totally taken to him, but far too often he seems to be the last option. Why? I pray no one uses stats again. If that were the case, Ariza, Bellineli and Willie would have fallen victim to that theory, BUT THEY HAVEN'T! I'm elated to see 'ANYONE' get a fair shake, but being the absolute 'last option' or being the recipient of 'what do I have to lose' is sad-it rarely helps anyone! In the Orlando post game, coach briefly mentioned how good Marcus had done, after defending why Trevor had not done so well, and then he went on to say how it wasn't so bad since Marcus WAS NOT GOING TO PLAY TONIGHT! Tell me what you all think this does to a player's confidence? How do we expect anyone to respond! He's a warrior, I KNOW that, but he's human too. As a player, if I worked my tail off (practice in/practice out), only to be told that I cannot even dress out with my team!!! On a brighter note, I'm pleased that it all worked out. I love to see these guys fight till the end!!! Geaux Hornets!
Thunder that was a typo. That was supposed to be Marco. In my speed of writing that comment in between work and calls, I didn't fully proof-read the comment and notice that I typed Marcus instead of changing the "us" to an "o".
If you read my novel in response to Mikey above you see we have much of the same opinions on the bench rotations. I am sorry my typo in that sentence confused my main point. I wish the staff would put an edit comment button that would allow us to correct such errors.
Some play from love, some play from hate. Some play because someone believes in them, some play because someone doesn't.
Maybe I was one of the only people who remember the way they were feeling mid 3rd quarter, but the inserting of Marcus was not confusing to me at all. Hell, like 2 minutes before I tweeted a request for him to come in the game. Last nights game was the perfect example for those out there who argue, "Defense is huge, but you also need to score to win the game. So sometimes putting in an offensive vs. defensive player is the only way to win a particular game.' I like the idea of going with the hot hand with regards to our wings. No-one was the hot hand in this game. Belly was making shots, but he was not really pushing the issue against the Griz defense. Ariza was OFF, OFF I say. His defense was great, but he was not doing anything to help us get any points. It was actually best if he had the ability to defer to another offensive option. The problem was that D West and CP3 was off as well all the way into the mid third quarter. Memphis' defense was doubling CP3 and West anytime they touched the ball. Their length in the paint was going to limit Mek. So our offensive options were few and far between because we didn't have a 4th scoring option if you assume that you have lost 1 of 5 by keeping Ariza on the court just for his stellar defense. We needed SOMEONE, ANYONE to step up in that 2 spot. Willie, Jack, Marco, Marcus, Q, I didn't give a damn. But no-one showed that they were going to be that "on fire" guy last night. Jack, Willie, and Marcus Marco all looked ok but not like they had a "take over the game" type of performance in them last night. Q had some flashes, but also missed a few open shots and looks a bit hesitant. So the only spit ball Monty hadn't shot at the wall was Marcus. So after being down 10 starting the 3rd and as much as 15 before we clawed back to down 11 at that jump ball mid 3rd quarter. There wasn't any real feeling like we were going to stop them from scoring or that we had it in us to score in bunches as we were just trading baskets for the past 10 or so possessions. Before that jumpball I was thinking, and obviously so was Monty, why don't we throw the Marcus spitball and see if it sticks, what do we have to lose as we aren't going to win this game the way things are going. The rest is history. I just hope Monty starts to go more with the hot hand and not pick a favorite or sticks with guys to long at the 2 guard in games. I generally don't like that kind of rotation but in my opinion none of our potential 2 guards are heads above any other, so I think until one takes the roll or we pick up an undeniable starter this may be the best option for the Hornets. Edit by 42, per TopherPrice
Topher, I agree with your "hot hand" theory. Lets dig a little deeper. Why did that player have the hot hand? Sometimes a guy is just feeling it, and, as a coach, you just have to be receptive to that. Other times (the majority of the time), its scouting and preparation that lead to a player having the precious "hot hand". I think during that stretch in the 3rd, coach Williams, remembering some scouting nuggets and situations from the 1st half, inserted Marcus because he saw a matchup he could exploit. This is not the end-all be-all of the Hornets' SG issues. This team will continue to use a SG by-committee, as they have all season. I think the coaching staff is still figuring out how to use these guys' skill sets in ways that will make them successful. I think the team grew a little tonight. One more thing, we all need to remember to give Monty his props for his rotations when they work and the answer is NOT Marcus Thornton on that particular night.
The "hot hand" idea is more about who plays in the second half and not limiting ANY option. What I feel like we have seen this season is Monty has limited his own options. I am not one of those who has ever, or will ever, call for Monty's head over the lack of time Marcus has seen. I, as all of us should if we are being honest, recognized Buckets pathetic defensive skills at the beginning of the season. (The poor guy couldn't figure out how to get past a screen, EVER.) I think Marcus is a MUCH improved all-around player for this whole experience. My feeling is that now that his defense is much improved, although far from perfect, the argument that his defensive issues is worth keeping him off the court is a becoming a reach. There has been many a game that coach just doesn't even call Marcus' number, even when every other wing is struggling offensively and the opposing team is producing steadily on their own offensive side. If I were coach, I would start throwing guys out on the court to see if anyone can change that situation. I really think Monty did that last night. I don't think it had anything to do with some epiphany Monty had about how to crack the Memphis nut. Hell, at that very moment in the game when Marcus was finally called upon all he did was insert Marcus for Belly after the Griz inserted Mayo. It wasn't like oh, your inserting Mayo so we will insert Marcus. Belly had just passed up an open-ish shot that led to a turnover. It was the second or third time his hesitation and subsequent attempt at an off-balance layup or pass resulted in a turnover. It was more like coach Williams decided, I am not going to have hesitant players out there, I haven't seen anyone really throw any offensive spark yet, and I am not going to put Jack in as Memphis is still too long for a CP3/Jack backcourt, who do I have left... Marcus get in there. I don't think Monty purposely seeks out ways to keep Marcus down. I don't think one needs to be that deliberate to have someone in the proverbial "doghouse" either. I personally think there is something that Marcus does on the court that is Monty's pet peeve or his pet peeve just for Marcus. And like an overbearing parent or teacher, when he does it Monty reacts more than he does to a similar slip up by other players who he hasn't keyed in on. I personally think it is Marcus' problem with hedging into the paint on help defense when he is not really needed and leaving open jumpshooters on the perimeter, but that is just a guess. He did that a few times last night, and was blessed that the shooters missed. He does that FAR FAR LESS now than he did last season and the beginning of this year, but he always seems to get pulled after you see that, or that situation and then he jacks up a super quick shot without running an offensive set. Enough about Marcus... HAHA In answer to your other question, YES. YES, YES, YES. That is my main point. If Marcus or Green or ANYONE is having an off night on offense and their defense is not better than the other wings then I would like to see Monty put them on the bench, and I would laud his rotations. This even goes for Trevor in many cases. Some nights the dude phones it in and for some reason, maybe because he is paid $6 mill he doesn't get yanked. Some nights, Monty has pulled him and it made the difference. (I am looking at you Sactown comeback!) Marcus was half of that comeback, Trevor being pulled was the other half. Think about if Jack had not been given time in the Houston game to go NOVA at the 2 guard spot. All of our wings are streaky, so I would like for the coaches to continue to show the signs we are now seeing: A willingness to try them all fairly and see who is the guy for the night.
All these guys shouls see minutes until Monty gets what he wants or realizes it isn't happening that night. Sample, sample, sample.
HOW DID GRAY REGISTER WELL? ARE YOU SERIOUS? DO YOU WATCH A GAME CAREFULLY AND UNDERSTAND WHAT REALLY GOES ON? OR DO YOU SIMPLY LOOK AT THE GLORY BOYS AND VOTE BY hOME rUNS AND NOT BUNTS OR sacrefices during baseball ames? Look, IF you watched closely, you will see WHEN Gray was put in, all inside basketball by Memphis was stopped. IF you watch closely, you will see the rebounds for NOH went up. Why? Because he KNOWS how to block out and open lanes for his guards. I get so bored trying to explain the dirty details of the game. Sometime, do yourself a favor and actually locate details of events during games and you will see the lttle things.
Well... I agree my words should not have been capitalized since they made me sound as if I was yelling. I forgot to undo caps lock. Sorry....really. I saw this after I sent. But you are all wrong. IF you look, and I did, at the play by play before I posted, as well as watching, there were ONLY 2 drive up shots during his first period. The other shots were outside jumpers. He was put in again 4th qtr and again the inside dunks stopped. You must understand this part of the game. Enough of the bashing of Gray, wich YOU started by calling his game awful. This was the error and sign of a biased anti Gray stance. I normally enjoy you postings, but you just gotta open up to what the size of this guy does for your defense as well as your offense. I not calling Gray ht eend all...just able to understand his role and abilties. In fact, it is my opinion he will only get better now that he is getting actual game time.
JCS. I was indeed from Chicago and attended perhaps 5 games a year. I always tied to get tickets in sec 110. Expensive, but real good. Can I come up with Gray pluses as a Bull? Let me put it this way... Gray, in my opnion, actually outplayed a puk kid Noah who not only pissed off his coach, but his teammates. Suddenly Gray begins to sit and Noah begins his set times. Evntually Noah does begin to develop into a decent center, but still nothing like he would be, eventually. He has, however, gotten injured both yeras and sat major parts of the season. Gray, at least those around me, knew Gray was sat due ti Noah's extremely high cost and draft pick...he HAD to develop, or it was an embarrasing pick. Now you can, if you want, dissagree with this assesment. I don't care, I saw what I saw. Gray gets traded. He BREAKS ihs freeking foot before the season, and sits. Upon his return, he is out of shape. No kidding, it was a broken foot, not a hand. This ingury requires a great deal longer to return from. As it is, he has worked extremely hard, losing 50 pounds. He works hard and is a bright guy. If given the choice between Gray or MBenga, the decision is stupid simple. The ONLY thing I miss most from Chicago is my seasin tckets behind home plate at the Cubs games. However, my doctor says this is THE best baggage to have thrown for my long term health!!!!!!
@paul If I'm not mistaken, you're from Chicago like me, and if I didn't know any better, I'd say you attended Bulls game from 07-09, when I was season ticket holder. Now if you would, please be honest: Do you remember Gray making any positive impact on that team? Did he average any stat over 6? Did he takeover any games, or was that Rose, Gordon, and Noah? How is the Bulls inside game since his departure? Again, I'm just asking for your honesty. I'm not trying to be funny or back you into a corner. I just want to know why you are defending him. He is one of the 15 tallest in a league of 430 players, yet the most he scores is a touch down if any points at all. He consistently gets 2+ fouls in less than 5 minutes, and every other stat is normally a zero. Sometimes when I look at his post-game results, I think it's Groundhog's day. Hornets pay him a 1000000, and the statistician just copy and pastes. Why?
Sure. He played great. If you like lame defensive fouls on the perimeter, two rebounds that were largely uncontested and struck him in the hands and he couldn't catch, and his usual solid rotations in the paint being a step slow. He had a bad game tonight. No need to get your panties in a bunch.
cosign w/Nimoy When Gray was put in, all inside basketball by Memphis was turned on. Rudy drove to the basket - Gray fouls him. Thabeet drove to the basket - Gray watches him dunk. Conley dribbles around the perimeter - Gray commits a blocking foul. In two instances where Gray could have grabbed uncontested rebounds, one bounces off his leg, the other out of his hands - both of them land out of bounds. @paul Maybe you should do yourself a favor and locate the details, and while your at it loosen them thangs up.
Are you suggesting commando? His foul was moronic. It was right in front of me. Through no 'fault' of his own, he did push them away from their scoring strenghts.
Vitriol aside, I agree with the assessment of Gray's play. I mean to comment last night, but forgot as I had a backlog of new (cleared!) He was in when the bench was chipping away at the Grizzlies' lead. I think it was because it made them take the outside shots more, though I could be way off base.
Monty, you are the MAN! Tremendous job on exploiting a shortfall in your opponent, especially when Belly and Willie were playing pretty well. Monty could have just as easily stuck with those guys, but coach knew he needed some more help off his bench to try and get back into the game. What could he do to shuffle a few chess pieces to get a competitive advantage? Well, what do neither Sam Young (a guard/forward tweener) nor O.J. Mayo possess? Answer: speed; in comes MT5, and the rest is ancient history. I loved watching it. Great job of putting a young player in a situation where you're confident he can succeed. Marcus, great job of playing under control and filling your role on the floor at both ends. From what I was actually able to watch, I saw drives to the basket when they needed to be made. MT5 didn't look like he was forcing anything, which usually leads to him committing an offensive foul. I'd be remissed if I didn't at least mention his defense. Again, his speed bothered whoever he was covering. I saw a better Marcus Thornton tonight than I've seen all year. Chris Paul, thank you thank you thank you thank you for taking 3pt shots when they are there. You are the best on the team at the 3-ball. You need to attempt at least 3 more per game. If nothing else, thats 3 fewer attempts that Ariza will get, which is a good thing.
"I'm happy for him. Marcus, he and I have had rough times since I signed. I've been up his tail like you know what. For him, I want him to succeed. Sometimes he thinks I'm his worst enemy. It does me no good if he's not playing well, and I want him to do well. When he has those moments, if he knew how happy I was for him, he'd be surprised. So when he made the basket, I was happy for him. I know you can't draw it up any better than what he had tonight. Close to home (Baton Rouge native and former LSU player), hometown team and to hit the game-winning shot, you can't draw that stuff up. ... I probably lost my composure a little bit. I'll get it back." -Coach on Marcus
If that doesn't get everyone to look at Monty differently, I don't know what will. Who saw him with his arms held high after the game? I was seriously expecting him to do some jump-chest bumps cuz he looked sooo excited. LoL.
P.S. This is something I love about young coaches. They show more emotion, have more fun. I absolutely HATED Mike Dunleavy while he coached the Clippers. Now that tool is gone, the team finally has the potential of a bright future. Same will happen with Sacramento if the Maloofs swallow their pride and fire that moron named Westphal, the worst excuse for a coach since John Kuester.
We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves but after looking at the passion of the crowd during highlights of the game, we can safety say, THE BUZZ IS BACK
since i was watching online and the resolution wasn't the best i wasn't sure either and i missed the replay but it looked legit. if i remember correctly thornton blocked it after it had hit the glass.
YEEEEAAAAAAH BAAAAAAABBYYYYY!!! Is it possible for the Hornets to actually win a game without it going down to the final minute? This season is going to take 4 years off of my life. Everyone played well. I'd like to give a shout out to Emeka Okafor, who was a beast tonight. He has phenomenally quick hands for a big man. He's great a grabbing loose balls in traffic and gathering them in. Huge free throw to send the game to overtime (after he missed his first one). Unfortunately, I received a page from work just before the big steal and bucket in overtime, but I heard the roar of the crowd while I was in the concourse on the phone and knew that something SWEET had just happened. I'm about to watch the highlights. GO HORNETS!!!
yea i think ariza is definately doing his part on defense. Best move we made in offseason. Thorton played great on both sides tonight. It is nice to have a superstar on your team to nail a 3 pointer from 30, when you are down 4 with 24 seconds left. CP3!!!!!
Like most on this site I cringe every time Ariza shoots an off balance shot or clangs a wide open 3. With that being said he has earned the right with his defensive play to do that in my opinion. He plays 40 plus minutes against the best perimeter player with little to no help every night n doesn't say a word. If given the choice of him going 6 of 9 with average D as one option, give me 2 for 12 n stellar defense any day of the week. Just my opinion.
it also helps that ariza has been hitting his FT at a better rate as of late. hope we keep up with the athletic hawks on friday, the hornets have played a lot of games in the past 8 days (3 in OT) so i hope their legs aren't too tired.
Watching it on League Pass, 13 seconds left in regulation with the scores tied, ball in Mike Conley's hands. Then 'We are experiencing technical difficulties, thank you for your patience while the issue is resolved.' What a day (shaking my head) Dont know if any of you had the same problem if you watched the game on league pass, let me know if you did.
arr-well i'll just have to try again tomorrow and hopefully catch up if they fix it, might have something to do with international league pass on broadband
Is it weird that I think "Ryan Schwan" every time Schwann Cells are mentioned in my Anatomy/Physiology class?
I think of what we call The Schwan Man: http://www.schwans.com/ My buddy was a manager for them for a while to boot.
others were complaining. http://www.hornets247.com/blog/2011/01/19/game-on-grizzlies-hornets-2/#comment-14337
No. My League Pass was running smoothly today. The stupidest thing mine did was not broadcast BOTH games versus the Mavs at the beginning of the season.