The Suns beat the Hornets

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Published: January 30, 2011

There were some questionable calls in that game.  They went both ways.  That’s all I’ll say about that, because here’s the rub: the Hornets should never have been in that situation.  Their defense opened the game allowing four straight shots at the rim, and the defensive intensity didn’t show up at all during the first quarter.

And then Okafor went down.  You can apply the label “MVP” to a lot of things, and there are good cases for several Hornets players to receive that label.(It’s still Paul, people!)  However, the MIP for the Hornets is Emeka Okafor.  And I don’t mean Most Improved Player.(a label which I still would probably apply to him)   I mean Most Irreplaceable Player.  Marcin Gortat had his career high in seventeen minutes against the aimless flailing of Jason Smith and flowing locks of David Andersen.    Can any of you remember a single good play moving towards the basket that involved Smith or Andersen?  Do you remember any defensive resistance in the paint? Me either.

Observations:

  • Ariza had some huge plays at the end of the game to almost get the Hornets back into it, and I loved the switch of him onto Steve Nash – Nash doesn’t have the jets to burn Ariza, which gives Ariza’s defense an advantage.
  • Thornton cleaned glass tonight.  I wish a few more of his layups could have been finished, but I can’t complain about the guy.  He even got four assists!
  • Willie and Thornton led a nice blitz to get back into the game in the second.  When the could coax the ball out of Jacks hands.
  • Anyone know why Jarrett Jack either sucks or is excellent?  There is no in between for him.
  • West was a game-low -14.  I have no arguments there.  He got in early foul trouble, and when Okafor went down he didn’t help at all defensively.  Not one iota.  If he hadn’t put down some big shots in the fourth, his stat line would have been absolutely abysmal.

We’ll have the podcast covering the fourth quarter of that game up in a bit.  If you want to go back through that game again.  I think you’ll find us somewhat defeatist, as the lack of Okafor tore out our souls and filled our beings with emptiness.  Seriously.  We couldn’t even muster lots of outrage at the end of the game.