Game On: Thunder @ Hornets

Published: January 24, 2011

Matchup: Thunder (28-15) @ Hornets (29-16)

Off Efficiency: Thunder 107.4 (6th), Hornets 103.0 (17th)
Def Efficiency: Thunder 105.0 (16th), Hornets 98.5 (3rd)

Pace: Thunder 95.8 (11th), Hornets 91.1 (30th)

The Hornets look to continue a fantastic January against the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in front of what is expected to be another big crowd. With the last two games being absolutely blowouts, anything less than a huge win is going to be a bit of a disappointment. I say “bit” because in reality a win of any sort against OKC would just be one more step along the way toward relevance, both in the national media and in the minds of locals who don’t already bleed Creole Blue.

Since the New Year struck the Hornets have won 10 of 12 games, putting them in a position to move into the third seed out West with a win tonight. They’ve done it behind a stifling defense which just shut down both the high powered Spurs and Hawks on consecutive nights.

“We can’t be satisfied,” coach Monty Williams said.

Well coach, the locals are satisfied and they are showing it through ticket sales. The team has averaged 14,963 fans in the month of January. For what it’s worth, that’s brought the team’s average attendance all the way up to 14,367. Not only is that not place last like the Hornets were earlier in the season, but it’s all the way up to 24th, ahead of big market cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia and New Jersey. Now obviously those teams have a much easier time finding corporate sponsors, and for the most part can charge more for tickets, but still, the Hornets are averaging more fans and filling a higher percentage of their building than all of them.

Combined, the on court performance and willingness of fans to buy tickets has led to what Ryan Schwan has dubbed “New Orleans Resurgent”. Personally I prefer to use phrases which reference the Hornet being a flying insect that can sting, so I’ll call it a Bee-Surgence for lack of a worse made up word.

The national media is already starting to take notice of the Bee-Surgence, and you can bet your sweet behind that if the Hornets win tonight, the casual flirting is going to turn into a full fledged love affair. Think of it this way- Nine in a row is nearly ten in a row. Ten is a big round number. Big round numbers are shiny. The media likes shiny things. Therefore if the Hornets win ten in a row, the media will like them, just like they did earlier in the season.

The love could even reach levels unseen since 07-08 because of all the drama that has surrounded the team lately. From a sad summer riddled with rumors of Chris Paul’s alleged unhappiness, a complete front office overhaul, and a winless preseason, to the ownership situation falling apart, and an attendance problem, this has been a tough year to be a Hornets fan. They are just about the ultimate underdog in the NBA. Hell, they don’t even have a real owner. And national TV? I think there has been one game on so far, and there is one more scheduled. It’s about time that changed.

This is the third time (first and second) the Hornets and Thunder have matched up this season, with the Thunder taking both contests. Dating back to last year, they have won four in a row over the Hornets.

The Thunder (9th) and the Hornets (5th) both are in the top 10 in total rebounding rate.

The Thunder (2nd) have an advantage over the Hornets (11th) when it comes to turnover rate.

As far as strategy goes, it remains the same as it was in the other games. Pound the ball inside to West and Okafor over and over and over and over.


Thunder: None

Hornets: Trevor Ariza — right ankle tendonitis (probable), Aaron Gray – high sprained ankle (out)

A few more things that have little to do with this actual game

  • Nene is supposedly unhappy in Denver and wants out. That’s my pipe dream for today.
  • There is a pre-game press conference with the mayor, governor, Hugh Weber, and Jac Sperling taking place at 5:00 today. I’ll be there and I’ll put up details as soon as I possibly can. Hopefully it’s not just the official news that we beat the attendance deadline, since we already know that.
  • Chris Paul is getting absolutely no love from MVP predictions so far, even though he should in all reality be one of the favorites so far. I’ll get into that tomorrow, though.
  • All of the Hornets starters average double figures in scoring.

Notes from the Arena

And check out our friends at Daily Thunder.


  1. Brazilian Hornet

    January 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Our Hornets also is featured in the Brazilian press, where the Hornets have loyal fans. See what the journalist wrote about our time:

    Note: Use the Google translator and pass from Portuguese into English.

    • Mark

      January 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Woo Brasil!

  2. QueenBee

    January 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm


    Let’s just pray the Hornets don’t get 5 techs in 10 seconds. LOL!!

    And yes, CP3 should be garnering more MVP talk. I know Rose has been playing well but I don’t see why he supposedly has this huge edge over other players. Boozer has missed a good number of games and Noah has been out perhaps. But it’s not like Deng and Korver are straight up bums. But ok, whatever.

    As for tonight, CP will need to control the pace of this game. I know the Thunda will want to run, run, run, kind of like what the Magic wanted to do but the Hornets should control the pace. Don’t get into playing the Thunder’s game.

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      January 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Korver and Deng are not Okafor and David West to be fair to Rose. He has been pretty awesome.

      • QueenBee

        January 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm

        No they aren’t but lets not act like Boozer has been out the entire season either. And not too long ago some were ready to get rid of Okafor. But now that he’s playing well it’s not fair to Rose? LOL.

  3. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    January 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I agree with u Queenbee, D Rose is good but overall CP3 has a better overall grasp of the court. He also defines MVP in every angle, from making the players around him “better” to making the right decisions on the floor.

    I can’t name another player in the NBA that can straight out yell at the top of his lungs at a teamate on the court infront of thousands and still get the respect from the same player who just got yelled at. Sucess breads Sucess and we deserve this sucess as does CP3. He genuinely wants everyone to improve and what better way to show his unselfishness than he has! He isn’t always trying to “get his” he’d rather put up 6pts and have a win that to walk out with 30pts have everyone sweat him and lose. That right there my friend is MVP…

    As for tonite, I have a feeling we gonna win.. That’s all ill say… Maybe one more thing… Thornton fans!!! Let’s gooo

    • QueenBee

      January 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      “I can’t name another player in the NBA that can straight out yell at the top of his lungs at a teamate on the court infront of thousands and still get the respect from the same player who just got yelled at”


      Not getting any nationally televised games as a number of other teams are doesn’t help his case either.

      • berlin-hornets

        January 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm

        It is amazing to see what the other teams are. Its like Toronto, New Jersey and those likes. The Hornets could be the three seat and dont have any relevant games televised nationally?? that is a joke. I am surprised CP3 gets the love in the All Star voting despite everything. I am loving it though.

      • QueenBee

        January 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

        Fans are voting for him because they want to see him. No nationally televised games=not seeing CP3.

      • berlin-hornets

        January 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

        I guess you are right. So, fans are more intelligent than I give the masses credit for. 😉

    • JCS

      January 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      Derrick Rose deserves to be MVP b/c his team is in 2nd place~ in the Eastern Conference and he has lead the team whilst having Boozer and Noah on the sidelines. If you consider that, plus the fact that he is a top 5 PER guard, then you’d understand why he is an MVP candidate.

      CP3 is a more efficient guard, but since the departure of Player-Coach-Champion Byron Scott, his stats and team record have yet to reach their peak. That’s just a fact.

      • QueenBee

        January 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm

        MVP candidate. Not MVP.

        And I’m saying that CP3 necessarily deserves to be MVP right now but to not at least include him in the conversation is a bunch of crock.

      • QueenBee

        January 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

        Or better yet, how about Rondo? Sure, Rondo’s missed a handful of games but his team is #1 in the Eastern Conference and they managed to win games without Perkins and intensity master KG. Perhaps if Rondo threw down a few more dunks and raised his ft%, a case could be made for him too heh? 😕

      • 42

        January 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm

        Sounds good when you cherry-pick. Kudos.

      • JCS

        January 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

        Derrick Rose leads his team. Rondo not so much. C’s have been in first place with him sitting on the bench, which in turn takes him out of the discussion.

  4. MaxALM

    January 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Thornton is gonna own James Harden tonight.

  5. QueenBee

    January 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    #Hornets now 29-16. Didn’t win 29th game last year until Feb. 19.
    10:09 PM Jan 22nd via web

  6. TopherPrice

    January 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    If the Hornets have a top 6 team in the NBA record wise, or a top 3 in the west seed going into the playoffs he will be a lock for the MVP. I take that back, all of that and if we beat the Bulls in our head to head match-up, as the national media LOVES to gauge an individual head to head off of how their team performs.

    When the media begins to frame the playoff stories within the context of the off-season expectations for the Hornets, some will get wind of the PER disparity of the complimentary players CP3 has versus any other candidate, he would be a lock if the Hornets are in that top 6 in NBA area.

    • thekeymaster

      January 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      CP will probably end up getting 2nd place behind Lebron or some nonsense. Then if the hornets enter the playoffs with a top 3 seed they will be dismissed by everyone like 07-08′. I dont know if anyone remembers when we went into the playoffs that year and in the first round were matched up against the mavs and all the analysts and writers thought we would lose to Dallas in like 6 games. Then in the spurs series everyone thought we would lose in like 5 games. The hornets have never gotten any legitimate respect from anyone it seems.

      • Stefan

        January 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm

        I remember that like it was yesterday. Almost every “expert” thought Dallas would take us in 6 games.

  7. thekeymaster

    January 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    all i know is that i will be very upset if the hornets end up with a top 6 record in the NBA and CP3 has the same numbers or better and the same PER and then Rose ends up winning the MVP. That would be completely ludicrous since I doubt Rose’s numbers will be anywhere near as good as CP3’s were in 07-08′ too. Everyone outside of Lakers fans and Kobe homers knows that CP should’ve won the MVP in 08′ but got munsoned. That is all I have to say regarding the MVP talk aaaaaaaannnnd that i don’t think Dwight Howard should be in the conversation at this point with all the talent Orlando has. It would be a different story for Dwight if his numbers could compare to Shaq’s in his prime or if Orlando as a team embraced the defensive intensity that Dwight plays with a la Boston with KG in 08. I think Howard just looks so good in the current NBA b/c A. he’s very athlectic B. there’s no other centers that really stand up and compete with him stat wise. If this were the mid 90s Howard probably would be the 5th best C in the NBA behind Hakeem, O’neal, Robinson and Ewing.

  8. thekeymaster

    January 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Oh and another thing does the NBA do any type of flex scheduling for nationally televised games? If they don’t than they should b/c its super lame to base a teams national tv visability for the whole year before the season even starts and the jury is still out on weather a team will be good or not. I remember a few years ago when Miami was absolutely terrible yet they were on national tv I think close to 20 times…b.s.

  9. Go Blue

    January 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I’m so looking forward to this game. CP3 better show Westbrook what a prime point guard is and wipe that smug look off this face. The Hornets owe the Thunder a butt kicking for the first two games.

  10. QueenBee

    January 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Alright yeah, whatever. Let’s just get this win tonight because after tonight we’re back on the road.

  11. Mikey

    January 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I know this comment isn’t exactly related to this game, but I just got done reading David Aldridge’s article on where he talks about a disgruntled all-star PG NOT named Chris Paul. It was just a refreshing read. Thought I’d share.

  12. cro_CP3

    January 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I GOT A FEELING AGAIN!!! THAT TONIGHT the Hornets blew out the Thunder, and CP3 guess what goes off on the Russell guy lol…

    GO NOLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Ron

    January 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    CP3 has fallen off the MVP watch-list because his FG% and PPG are *way* off.

    Gimpy wheel, I think.

    Of course, he’s still The General and a Past Master at Passing/Assisting, but that’s not sexy. Steve Nash is probably the only “QB PG” who will ever get an MVP.

    “They” want scoring (lots of it), slam dunks and alley oops.

    The Spurs over the years have proved that it’s a winning combo, but Consistent Defense and 90 PPG aren’t ESPN-worthy.

    • QueenBee

      January 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      Chris Paul’s fg% is way off? His ppg is off but that’s all.

      • QueenBee

        January 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

        Yeah, slam dunks and alley oops. Wooo hooo!

  14. JCS

    January 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Hornets Power Ranking is 7. Los Angeles and San Antone are the only Western Conference teams above them.

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      January 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      “Hero Team of the Week – Portland” … super-UGHHH

  15. CP3nBrees

    January 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    “West, 31, had a strong relationship with past GM Jeff Bower, who drafted him, and has grown fond of Demps and coach Monty Williams. Nevertheless, he’ll likely resist re-signing with the Hornets now to go into what will likely be a post-lockout free-agent market.”

    Part of the article from Yahoo, was West really drafted by Bower?

    • QueenBee

      January 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Is this clown trying to imply that West misses Bower? If so, LMAO.

    • 42

      January 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      How could he draft West when he didn’t draft Paul?

    • Joe Gerrity

      January 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Bower was the GM in 2002-2003

      • 42

        January 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm


    • JCS

      January 25, 2011 at 12:26 am

      No one gives a flying 747 about Bowser.

  16. QueenBee

    January 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Besides, the media will probably punish CP3 as long as he’s in NOLA.

  17. QueenBee

    January 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    How about LaMarcus Aldridge for MVP? Their star Brandon Roy has been out and they’re doing pretty good. No, his team isn’t #2 but this is the tough Western Conference and people expected the Blazers to not win many if any games without Roy. How about Aldridge then?

    • Hornet

      January 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      No, because the team isn’t good enough and he doesn’t have the numbers nor take over games in the way that even a Blake Griffin does.

      • QueenBee

        January 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm

        Well he was just named WC POW so obviously he must be putting up some kind of numbers. And who is the 2nd star on the Blazers team after Roy? Aldridge. They’re managing to hold onto an 8th seed right now without Roy. So should Blake Griffin be MVP since he has the numbers can ‘take over games’? He can be rookie of the year without his team being good enough so why not MVP?

    • Icebird

      January 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      I think there was a Utah blogger who made the case that Paul Millsap’s numbers were as good or better than Aldridge’s, but he isn’t even on the All-Star vote radar (to be fair, power forward is a fairly stacked slot in the West).

      Let’s face it – when it comes to MVP consideration, scoring gets you attention. Paul gets his points, but not in particularly flashy quantities. Where Paul excels compared to other point guards are in secondary areas (like not turning the ball over) and defence (which is still difficult to quantify beyond steals, blocks and rebounds). Paul is the connoisseur’s PG candidate for MVP. but probably hasn’t imprinted himself on the minds of the general public yet.

      • QueenBee

        January 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm

        Yeah, I’m not really worried about CP3 being MVP. Honestly I’m not but for some to act like Rose is tearing the league up and is posting the best season ever by any player is just funny to me. Ok, my ride is here. I’m out. Later Hornets fans!! Have fun!

    • cp3pdx

      January 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      I live in Portland Queenbee, so heed this warning: expect more than a few marriage proposals from every Portland sportswriter for giving LA props

  18. QueenBee

    January 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    How about Dirk? Mavs found it awfully hard to win games without him. He must be MVP.

    This is crazy. Off to the game.

  19. JayRey

    January 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the last two losses against OKC. I think it’s time to have some sweet victory. GO GET EM HORNETS!!!

  20. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Just got a whole lot more respect for Monty after that pre-game interview.

    9 in a row tonight!

    • Michael McNamara

      January 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      Yeah- that guy is a top level human being and that is why I know the whole Thornton thing wasn’t about personal issues or “pride”. That guy is above that stuff and we are lucky to have him as a leader of this team.

  21. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    So many whistles already…

  22. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    westbrook is killing us

  23. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    There’s no way Paul is 100%. If so, he just can’t guard Westbrook.

  24. Jeff Law

    January 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    what happened to the 14,000 that was suppose to be in this arena….

    • 42

      January 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      They were in the rain. Traffic was a nightmare. It’s cool.

  25. thekeymaster

    January 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    wow i missed the first half of the 1st. besides durant and westbrook ballin’ whats going on in the game?

    • mbdtf

      January 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm

      No defense from the bees.

      • thekeymaster

        January 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm

        that just sounds counter intuitive b/c you think they’d be pumped up to play okc and to try and top their recent defensive beastness

  26. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    33 pts in the first quarter is not going to get it done. Need to get this game back into our pace and get stops

  27. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    where the hell is west

    • thekeymaster

      January 24, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      looks like he got 2 fouls in the first qt. but i can’t verify the legitimacy of them since i didn’t see them.

  28. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 7:46 pm


  29. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    MT5 keeping us in it.

  30. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Beautiful pass by Thornton

  31. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    damn MT thats ok just hit the next 1

  32. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    That DUNK!

  33. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm


  34. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Freaking ridiculous….

  35. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Amazing 2nd quarter!

  36. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm


  37. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    12 points for OKC that quarter. Much much better.

  38. pinoyballah

    January 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    so far D and Offense picking up in the 2nd quarter just like the last 2 games… lets hope it continues in the 3rd also like the other games!

  39. thekeymaster

    January 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    what a great 2nd quarter, Mbenga and Marcus coming up big. It seems like Marcus has worked a lot on his playmaking skills judging by his last 8 games or so.

  40. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    man you just gotta love CP3

    • thekeymaster

      January 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      ya i love cp3 but i hate it when he’s hitting the deck as often as he is tonight.

  41. JayRey

    January 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    WOOT! We will win ths game hopefully….never count out the Hornets

  42. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Damn these refs suck.

  43. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Man our guys can’t stay off the floor tonight

  44. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    damn it ref get your eyes checked

  45. Matt

    January 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    One of your announcers is impossible to listen to. (The other is quite good)
    I mean, I know he’s a Hornet announcer, so you expect bias, but I don’t think I could even listen to him if I was a Hornet fan.
    Nice 8-0 run btw & GL!
    Disclaimer: Thunder fan 🙂

  46. peronas

    January 24, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Willie Green = this evenings cleanup crew

  47. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I was about to give Green credit for running the floor twice to finish, and then he fouls Harden on a 3…..

  48. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Chris Paul is an insanely good defender!!!

  49. pinoyballah

    January 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    aiight…cp3 gets in for a cuople sec and makes his mark…now to get green out and put in ariza to guard durant

  50. thekeymaster

    January 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    great the hornets are trying to give me a heart attack again…

  51. Ryan

    January 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Win or lose………………….. GREAT GAME FELLAS!

  52. pinoyballah

    January 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    haha….i dont know what play was drawn up, but i would rather have west or paul shooting it not thornton

    • Ron

      January 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Yeah. 3 of 12 tonight. Brrrrrrrr!!!

      But he was +19 in 27 min (and was “only” +15 at end of 3Q), so even though his stat line stinks, he seems to have done *something* right…

  53. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    damn it Thornton

  54. Ryan

    January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm


    • cp3pdx

      January 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      pleeeease be ok

  55. George

    January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    How many times do they have to hit Chris tonight! far out I can’t stand to see this

  56. pinoyballah

    January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    im watching this on espn gamecast and it says cp3 stole the ball!!! damnit… screw you broken streams!!

    • Foerever504

      January 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm

      he did steal it and then he went down

  57. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    FUCK man

  58. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 9:24 pm


  59. Ryan

    January 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm



    January 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm


  61. mbdtf

    January 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm


  62. thekeymaster

    January 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    holy mother of god!!!! i just went through about 70 different emotions in 2 minutes

  63. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    when paul went down i think my heart actually stopped

  64. Ron

    January 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    How the heck did the Bees win?

  65. Foerever504

    January 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    3rd in the WEST 🙂

  66. George

    January 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    That was a strange ending, I hope Chris is alright looked like he was in a lot of pain. If it wasn’t for that steal though we might not now be on a 9 game win streak! That last shot by David was beast.

  67. JCS

    January 25, 2011 at 12:28 am

    The Captains save the day. Fitting.

  68. NOEngineer

    January 25, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I’m very disappointed in Joe Gerrity’s column in ESPN’s daily dime today. After a few semi-positive comments to start, he proceeds to say that (despite beating 3 playoff teams in a row by a total of almost 70 points) we have no chance in the playoffs. Citing the names of our bench players as proof, he says we need a trade for some other team’s back-up. I saw our bench hold their own against San Antonio’s fabled deep bench, and start the come-back against OKC last night. Mbenga and Smith looked pretty good in the process.

    Thanks for a brilliant use of your national platform, Joe….

    • 42

      January 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

      I think we will make the playoffs and do some damage. I don’t think we can win the title as constructed.

      We are on an upward trajectory and have great hope, but this year is not the year.

      To win the title in a poor as fashion possivle, you have to go 16-12 againt, probably, stiffening competition. I don’t think we can ‘Spurs’ the Spurs 4 more times, for instance.

      I hope we can, I just don’t think we can.

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