Hornets beat Memphis in Overtime

Published: January 19, 2011

My adrenaline is still going after that finish.  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.  Randolph was simply a load in OT and hitting some tough shots over Okafor.  With less than a minute, Memphis finally got some separation, going up by four.  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.  A foul later, and Thornton tips the ball on the inbounds, Paul collects it and is off to the races.  And who does he find in front of him to receive his pass?  Emeka Okafor?  WHAT? And what does Okafor do?  Why, of course he collects an overthrown ball, turns, and calmly feeds Thornton a bounce pass, through traffic, for a reverse layup.  His only assist of the game.  Hell, he only averages half an assist a game.  103-102 lead.  Six more seconds of tight defense and the game was over.


Marcus Thornton

What can you say?  17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.  Big pressure bucket after bucket.  Hard-nosed defense on an admittedly slow OJ Mayo.  His energy was tremendous.  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.  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.  Typically he rides whichever shooting guard is doing well to start the game.

Emeka Okafor

Thornton did it in a burst, but Okafor did his work all game long.  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.  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.  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.  Great game for Mek.  I’m fully on board with an Emeka Okafor for the All-Star Game push.  I’ll admit, after last year?  I NEVER thought I’d say that.

Other Observations

  • Great defensive game from Ariza.  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,  cleaned the defensive glass, and harassed Rudy Gay into 22 points on 23 shots.  In fact, of Gay’s 8 made jumpers, Ariza was only guarding him directly for 3 of them.  Lock. Down.
  • The Grizzlies ran a play where Randolph and Gasol would set cross screens for each other four times that game.  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.  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.  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.  In the second half, the Hornets contested them, and they stopped.
  • David West had a quiet 19, 11 and 3 blocks.  He did a nice job on Gasol, despite giving up a lot of size to the Grizzlies big man.  He also, for about the sixth time in recent memory, poked loose a guard’s dribble(Conley) on a crossover during a crucial posession.  Great anticipation and basketball IQ.
  • How did Aaron Gray register a +7?  He was pretty awful out there.

Six in a row.  Let’s hope they get 7 against Atlanta on Friday.  Without needing overtime.  Sheesh this has been a tense stretch of games.


  1. Stew

    January 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Honest to God, the energy that pumped through the Hive the second that coach called Marcus’ name is what lead to that victory, in my opinion. The crowd had a lot to to with this victory.

    It seemed like the crowd reaction totally shook Memphis and energized the entire Hornets team. It felt like the game was over early in the third, and then….BAM.

    • 42

      January 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      The crowd went wild, for sure.

      I know I did.

      Marcus seems to do best in 3 guard line-ups, so I was hoping Chris would sub in for Ariza, but I thought Ariza’s D was too good when it came time. Good sub, Monty. I stand corrected.

      • m-W

        January 19, 2011 at 11:17 pm

        Respectfully disagree 42. I really dislike Thornton at the 3. Doesn’t have the size or strength to do it. And, generally, I am not a fan of smallball. Seems like Thornton has been at his best at the 2 guard.

      • 42

        January 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm

        I don’t think he’d be at the 3 in that case; Jack or Paul would.

        Paul, Green, Thornton has great success, with Willie or Paul taking on the beefier guys on D.

        Looking at 82games and the 5 man lineups, it looks like Paul+Thornton+guard+bigs is the way to get some points up.

        I, too, don’t like `small ball’, but I’m thinking about opening my mind a little again, giving it another whirl, especially if we may see it with more frequency. I’m thinking maybe Paul likes slow tempo overall, then to shatter it with things he creates using his quick guards.

      • HiMyNameisSteven

        January 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm

        m-W… when marcus gets in there with 3 guards we always stick him on the least efficeint offensive player whether he is the 1 2 or 3 so is not a matter of him being a huge defensive liability

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      January 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      It’s hilarious when Marcus enters the game. I was just cracking up listening to the crowd react like that. I’ve seen them get pumped before when he comes in, but tonight was a completely different animal. It’s like Marcus is the 5th and 6th man on the court. The team plays with more confidence with him in the game too. I don’t know whether that is attributed to him constantly attacking the hoop or his bringing crowd into the game, but our starting lineup is a damn near different animal when he’s in the game with them.

      We might as well call him Manic Marcus. Because as infuriating as it is to see him wrack up DNP’s, it is pure exhilaration when he comes into the game like a fricking superhero and saves the day. You can’t help but come out of the arena with a beaming a** smile on your face wanting to shout “woooo” in the tunnel.

      I forgot to check the schedule before San Antonio. I was hoping we’d go into Saturday without playing Friday so we could have the hype machine rolling for Saturday’s game. Just gotta take care of business Friday.

      Oh, and, CP3 was as clutch as “10001110101” tonight. It’s funny that even at 75%, the guy just makes you go “wow”. You just get lost in it. I guess he read all the articles talking about how he hasn’t been scoring late in games .

    • CharmedHive

      January 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      I have to admit- I am one of the many thousands that were guilty of screaming their lungs off when Thornton checked in. But my blown lungs aren’t a big problem when we won the game and Marcus had a huge part it in!

  2. JayRey

    January 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    WOOOOT LOOKOUT WESTERN TEAMS……we’re right on their heels muahaha. We are in striking distance of 3rd in the West.

    • Stew

      January 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm

      Dallas beat the Lakers tonight.


    • 42

      January 19, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      I was looking at the standings this morning. Spurs on their own for now. Then the Lakers. Then a clump. Denver dragging behind with Portland even farther back but in no immediate danger of dropping out of the playoff slots.

      Today, I feel good.

      • JayRey

        January 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

        I feel quite good too 42 lol

      • Hornet

        January 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        I feel really good especially considering Dallas has to go to Chicago tomorrow and try to beat them. I’d be shocked if they win that. 3rd place is up for grabs and I believe in CP3.

        If CP can end up averaing let’s say 18 ppg, 10.5 apg, 4.5 rpg, 3 spg, and shoot the %s hes shooting now, and the Hornets get the 3rd seed, he HAS to be a top MVP candidate.

  3. Chris

    January 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm


    • Stew

      January 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

      A little over 15,900 I heard on the post game show.

    • pschafer

      January 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm


    • 42

      January 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      I had it in the last thread:

      15951 tonight.

      14931 in each of the next 2 closes the ‘out’ in the lease. It may be a little conservative.

  4. pschafer

    January 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    It was a great crowd at the Hive tonight, and the crowd frenzy definitely made a difference. Not sure about the attendance numbers, but it did seem that most of the upper bowl was filled.

  5. Brazilian Hornet

    January 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm


    GO MT5!!!

  6. JNR

    January 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Attendance was in the 15,900 area.

    Great win for the Bees. Something I really liked towards the end: CP3 comes in, but for Jarret Jack instead of Thornton. Then Jack ran over to Thornton on his way to the bench and pounded his chest. I really liked this because it was like Jack was telling him, “Okay, this is your shot, do it big.” And he did.

    Really tense game in the Arena, but I like the close games better anyway. Love this 6 game streak, hopefully we ride this momentum into the game against the Spurs.

    • Gordon

      January 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      The chemistry has been big, that’s why I don’t forsee any trades that will blow up the team, maybe just minor trades with our expiring contracts. The post game huddle/prayer, the little chest pound, these may seem like little things, but they collectively make a big difference to helping the team win together.

      • AgentZiko

        January 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm

        Totally agree Gordon. It’s the building of a bond amongst guys who spend SOOO much time around each other. The 07-08 team was very close knit. This team is showing signs of growing together that very same way by doing things like you mentioned.

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      January 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      I agree man. I’d like to see Marcus buy into the team attitude. I feel like it’d actually earn him more playing time, believe it or not. He tends to pout a lot on the sidelines and butt heads with Monty when Monty is trying to correct him. If I had a gripe about him, that would most definitely be it. Jack is starting to be that player we saw back at Tech that could hang with the CP3’s and Raymond Felton’s of the world. More Jack + Thornton. Less Green. I’m good.

      • AgentZiko

        January 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm

        Guess what Doghouse? Thumbs up man.

        Great freaking game. That one was SOOO fun to watch.

      • 42

        January 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

        How great is it to see him rock it on offense and on defense?

        People were talking about `instant offense’ leaving the game, and I was thinking (to myself) the dude was instrumental in a couple of stops, too. The dude essentially scored 4 points in 6 seconds (or whatever): 2 on each end.

        I want him to work on the turnovers. If he can get to the point where they happen infrequently enough to not occupy any thought-space, his offense will ratchet up, I think.

      • m-W

        January 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm

        Marcus was a one-man fastbreak. He kept getting those steals and just tearing down the court. No one really breaks like him. So, that’s another component he brings to our normally slow offense. Always good to mix it up on the other team.

      • AgentZiko

        January 19, 2011 at 11:36 pm

        That’s all I wanted 42. Defense is effort, understanding angles to cut people off, and rotating as the offense shifts, or someone gets beat. It’s not that hard. As long as he keeps that effort on both ends, he’ll get playing time.

      • Ron

        January 20, 2011 at 12:20 am

        I’d like to see Marcus buy into the team attitude.

        Why don’t u think he has a team attitude?

      • MaxALM

        January 20, 2011 at 12:39 am

        I LOVED that fastbreak at the end where it was just Paul and Marcus, leading to a Marcus dunk. Ryan or McNamara were saying once that it’s sad to see Paul gun it down court with no one running with him. But Thornton was right with him, he does that for CP. That’s good to see.

      • LSUhornet17

        January 20, 2011 at 9:25 am

        I don’t see the TOs being a long-term problem. Throughout college, and during last year, Marcus had a minuscule turnover rate. I think the uptick this year may be due to him pressing when he gets minutes. It’s definitely a key component of his slide this season, I just don’t see the trend continuing.

      • Monty'sDoghouse

        January 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

        Ron, of all the people on this board, I am probably in the lead for Marcus Cheerleader of the Year. That being said, when we are playing uninspired basketball, I naturally keep glancing at the bench while he’s racking up pine time. I also notice that you will never see him cheer for Willie Green. And very rarely see him cheer throughout the game while the rest of the team is cheering. If he only plays 5 minutes, he will be the first one into the locker room and skip the team prayer. If he plays, he will participate in the prayer. Even from the Balcony, I can tell when he disagrees with Monty during opposing FT’s, etc. All observations. I’m trying to garner some insight into what Monty is thinking when the whole world is wondering what Monty is thinking. My #1 guess is Marcus’ attitude. I legitimately think those two don’t 100% get along.

  7. Gordon

    January 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Good to see the crowd numbers close to 16,000, I don’t live in New Orleans but I love this team and I hope you guys keep them there so when I grow older I can go to NOLA for a game! Keep it up guys!

  8. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    January 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Holy crap I have to admit when we were down 4 in OT I thought we had lost it, can u believe paul hit that 3 from 30′ damn! Great game by Thornton, come to think of it I like him off the bench as long as he gets at least 20-30 mins kind of like J. Terry plays at Dallas

    • pschafer

      January 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      No kidding! That LONG 3 was incredible. The defense forced Paul to pick up his dribble, but then both of the double-teamers backed off, respecting the CP3 pass. He collects himself and nails the three. Awesome.

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      January 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm


      In particular, look at the the clutch statistics. Also of note, the 5 man lineup with Thornton + starters will balloon even more after tonight. It is damn hard to figure out what is going on with such a small sample size with each lineup though.

      • 42

        January 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

        Yeah, I try to `bundle’ some of them: like how does Marcus do with 3 other guards (good).

        It’s not great, but it helps tease out what may be going on.

        That, and chicken bones.

      • TopherPrice

        January 20, 2011 at 10:07 am

        This is something that I think is very important in the discussion on where Marcus would be best utilized by the team. I have been a long proponent for him to be a Jet or “old school” Manu style 6th man. You know, the heavy minute guy that comes off the bench vs. start. However, I have been starting to form the opinion that maybe he just isn’t mature enough in his game to be utilized in that fashion just yet. I hadn’t found the numbers to back it up, until you pointed out the above.

        It just seems like if the team had him with the “starters”, and in that I am mainly concerned with him playing with CP3 and West, it would be the most effective use of his skills on the court for the Hornets. The numbers in the above link point that out to maybe be the best situation.

        The difficulty is that it also points out that when its the full starters and him, it is one of the worse defensive lineups we put on the floor. I am not saying it is all Marcus, there are a lot of factors in those numbers, but it is telling.

        I would like to see Monty give it a shot, just to see how the team fares with Marcus in the starting lineup. Even if he plays the same 15-20 minutes a game but is more consistent while he grows with Monty and the system it would be for the teams best, both short term and long term. And, if things work out even better, then great.

  9. Forever504

    January 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Now damn give us our RESPECT

  10. Mark

    January 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Ariza is a great defender, but he seriously needs to limit his shots. With a low-possession team, it’s all about efficiency and his low percentage offense WILL hurt us come playoff time. Aforementioned, I’d rather he 0-6 than 2-12.

    Winning really cures everything, so let’s keep the trend, Bees!

    • LSUhornet17

      January 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

      I was surprised looking at the box score and seeing Ariza put up 12 shots. I don’t fault him too much for this, as he played 48 minutes and sometimes shooting is the only option. He received the ball late in the shot clock a few times and he also took a couple open 3s that I had no problem with. Normally, I’d be all over him with you, but after playing 48 minutes with that defense? I can live with 11 points on 12 shots.

      • Mark

        January 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

        Didn’t really think of his minutes: good call. But he still needs to be a bit more selective come playoff time.

  11. Stefan

    January 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    What a win! Great way to end my birthday. I just hope we meet the attendance benchmarks, so I can watch the games regularly if I end up at Tulane next year.

    • QueenBee

      January 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Happy Birthday! 🙂

    • 42

      January 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      I don’t think they’ll be gone next year regardless (if the season starts on time).

      The next year, I think, is the interesting year.

      I could be out to lunch.

      Regardless, I think the benchmark will be met and it’ll be at least as hard to leave here as it was Seattle, I think . . . and that happened, so that’s not a feel-good-comparison, mind you.


      • Stefan

        January 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm

        Thank you QueenBee. And yes, finally 18. Now I can legally go to bars in New Orleans. I’ll actually be making my first trip to the Big Easy in two months, but unfortunately I’ll only be there for an event at Tulane. I really wanted to see a game. I’ve only watched the Hornets live once (@ LA Clippers), and I saw Chris Paul play one other time during the Rookie-Sophomore challenge in Vegas.

      • 42

        January 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm

        If they are playing in town, we can see about getting you there. Two months . . . March Madness here may be screwing you . . .

        Let me know if you need any info about the town, school, area, etc. Not all bars are created equally.

        Speaking of which: http://www.flickr.com/photos/56488434@N08/5213821766/sizes/l/in/photostream/

      • OkiJeff

        January 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm

        Nice 42! Wish I had that when I was there in December : )

      • 42

        January 20, 2011 at 12:06 am

        The guy who does it, Ian Hoch, is quite a talent. Check him out online. Full disclosure: he’s a buddy of mine.

  12. Monty'sDoghouse

    January 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    HAHAHA New Jersey told Denver to go F themselves after playing hardball with them for 3 months. Awesome. I thought NJ was giving up way to much under the circumstances and am glad to see the Nuggets in a compromised position. I love how Denver thought they were being geniuses throughout the whole process and they just got boned.

    • AgentZiko

      January 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      Seriously, huh? Denver’s been dumb and greedy about everything. I couldn’t believe how much they were asking for. They shoulda taken the deal and shipped Melo before NJ realized he wouldn’t have signed the extension. LoL.

    • 42

      January 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      It’s never over, but I do like the turn of events, frankly.

      I just like the `experts’ getting boned. Oh, THAT I love!

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      January 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      All I got to say is, karma is a b****. Denver is probably my least favorite team. I grudgingly respect the Spurs, Lakers, Dwight’s, and Lebron’s of the world, even though I hate them all. But Denver just brought it to another level. They’re attitude throughout the playoff series in ’08-’09 was humiliating and aggravating. I have never seen a group of thugs gloating over a first round playoff series so much before in my life. Act like you’ve been there before. But they haven’t. And their management, who also hasn’t been there before, just royally screwed up. I’m glad to see they just got embarrassed by the New Jersey Nets of all people.

      Hope they enjoy getting low-balled by the Knicks.

      • 42

        January 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm

        Actually, I think the Knicks will present them with someone I think is much more reasonable, as opposed to low ball, but that just makes them all the more stupid since these are business people who have to know the market.

        They don’t.

        The upside is . . . who knows . . . maybe some other teams will get involved.

    • JCS

      January 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      LMAO @ “just got boned.”

  13. AgentZiko

    January 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Great game. And I want to say that I’m VERY happy with Thorntons defense tonight. He made an effort and TRIED on every play. And thats what we need. I think playing against Mayo might have pumped him up. That was a fun match up to watch.

    TEAMS win basketball plays. And tonight, with so many guys buying into that, we won in heart stopping fashion.

    SOOO proud of all the guys tonight. Way to rally together, come back THREE TIMES, once behind CP in the third, the other behind Marcus in the fourth, and the last as a unit playing DEFENSE and forcing the win.

    SOOO happy right now. Can’t wait to smack the nasty grin look on the Hawks faces on Friday.

    LETS GEAUX HORNETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Cloud520

      January 20, 2011 at 12:37 am

      Hey now, Chris Bosh would tell Marcus to stop hustling so much.

      • jib

        January 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm


  14. DownUnder

    January 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    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.

    • Stefan

      January 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      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.

    • 42

      January 19, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    • Ryan Schwan

      January 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm

      Didn’t happen here. I pity you, friend. 🙂

      • Stefan

        January 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

        Is it weird that I think “Ryan Schwan” every time Schwann Cells are mentioned in my Anatomy/Physiology class?

      • 42

        January 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm

        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.

    • DownUnder

      January 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      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

      • James Grayson

        January 20, 2011 at 3:56 am

        Down Under, it is, didn’t work for me either, but there’s highlights out there of the OT.

  15. Ian H.

    January 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    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.

    • thekeymaster

      January 19, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      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.

      • thekeymaster

        January 19, 2011 at 11:57 pm

        also looking at the hornets schedule in the next month and a half they have quite a few back to backs and are playing 3 to 4 games a week on avg. i hope fatigue doesn’t start to set in and spoil what has thus far been a good season. only good break they get is the all star game.

  16. Seb504

    January 20, 2011 at 12:04 am

    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!!!!!

  17. NolaHog

    January 20, 2011 at 12:32 am

    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.


  18. 42

    January 20, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Was that goaltending real?

    I had a bad angle.

    • thekeymaster

      January 20, 2011 at 12:44 am

      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.

    • Ryan Schwan

      January 20, 2011 at 1:01 am

      It was real.

      • 42

        January 20, 2011 at 1:08 am

        Gotcha. I’m at the other end and we didn’t get a replay. My ladyfriend had my radio. I was adrift.

  19. Gordon

    January 20, 2011 at 1:56 am

    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

  20. cro_CP3

    January 20, 2011 at 7:53 am

    My predictions were awesome lol…GREAT WIN!!!

  21. Stew

    January 20, 2011 at 8:28 am

    “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

    • AgentZiko

      January 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

      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.

      • AgentZiko

        January 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

        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.

  22. Mikey

    January 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

    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.

  23. paul

    January 20, 2011 at 9:29 am


    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.
    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.

    • 42

      January 20, 2011 at 9:33 am

      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.

      • Stew

        January 20, 2011 at 9:49 am

        A minute of Gray’s playing time was without a shoe. lol

    • Ryan Schwan

      January 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      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.

      • 42

        January 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

        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.

      • JCS

        January 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm

        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.
        Maybe you should do yourself a favor and locate the details, and while your at it loosen them thangs up.

      • 42

        January 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

        And, yet, we gained on the Grizzlies.

    • paul

      January 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      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.
      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

        January 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

        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?

      • paul

        January 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

        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!!!!!!

      • JCS

        January 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm

        Never thought I’d hear a Bulls fan call Noah a punk kid. *shrugs and turns away*

  24. TopherPrice

    January 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

    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

    • Mikey

      January 20, 2011 at 11:45 am

      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.

      • 42

        January 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm

        All these guys shouls see minutes until Monty gets what he wants or realizes it isn’t happening that night. Sample, sample, sample.

      • TopherPrice

        January 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm

        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.

  25. Thornton's Thunder

    January 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    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 “take over the game” 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!

    • 42

      January 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      Some play from love, some play from hate. Some play because someone believes in them, some play because someone doesn’t.

    • TopherPrice

      January 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      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”.

      • TopherPrice

        January 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

        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.

      • 42

        January 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

        Topher: in these cases, if you make the change clear and give explicit permission, it’s not too disruptive to followups and it’s key to the point. We all have to live with mere typos.

        Same for others.

      • TopherPrice

        January 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm

        please make it so Number 1.

      • 42

        January 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

        Topher, my beard is much better than Riker’s . . .

  26. Thornton's Thunder

    January 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    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!

  27. Thornton's Thunder

    January 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    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!!!!!

    • 42

      January 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      “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.

      • paul

        January 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm

        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!!!

  28. Monty'sDoghouse

    January 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm


    Ike Diogu is starting to do work.

  29. JaeAmazin

    January 20, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Yes the Crowd was awesome.. I can’t wait until the playoffs..17,000 is Gonna be Crazy!!

    • 42

      January 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      April/May 2008 was awesome.

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