Hornets Hand the Wizards Their 25th Straight Road Loss of the Season

Published: February 1, 2011

The Hornets beat down the Washington Wizards 97-89,  in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated. Throughout the second half the Wizards were down by double digits, and it wasn’t until the closing minute that they were within seven points in the second half. Even then it was only for a moment.

This game was all Jason Smith, as he was slamming home dunks, rolling for sweet layups, knocking home his signature jumper, and really just keeping the offensive wheels rolling for the Hornets. In the first quarter alone he scored 10 points and pulled down 3 boards to go with a steal on 5-5 shooting. For one game, he made Hornets fans forgot all about Emeka Okafor.

Smith finished with 20 points (all in the first three quarters) on 11 shots. He added five rebounds and an MVP of the game award from Hornets fans. Needless to say, this is not what was expected of Smith coming into the game. He’s not going to bring this every night, but for tonight at least, he was the man.

Nick Young was one of the one bright spots for the hapless Wizards, who lost their 25th straight road game, scoring a game high 30 points on only 18 shots. The Hornets struggled to guard him all night. The other two players who were effective were big men Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. Surprisingly, McGee saw very limited time, despite the Hornets having nobody to match him. Flip Saunders really didn’t make many good adjustments tonight, choosing to match whatever Monty threw at him rather than utilize his size advantage. McGee and Blatche were +2 and +4 respectively, the highest on the Wizards squad.

I’m going just about all bullets tonight, along with video of the post-game press conference, and some locker room quotes.

Game Notes

  • The usual offensive forward, David West, wasn’t required to do too much, scoring only 10 points on 10 shots. He added 7 rebounds.
  • Monty said DJ Mbenga would back up Jason Smith in the pre-game, and then gave him only 3 meaningful minutes. The benefactor was Aaron Gray, who came in and acted like a monster. Sure he’s one of the slowest guys on the court, but he went to the floor at least three times after loose balls, grabbed a team high 7 rebounds, and went 2-2 from the floor in only 13 minutes.
  • Chris Paul just owned John Wall all over the place. Sometimes when I watch Wall play I’m fairly sure he’s going to at least get close to Paul’s level in a few years. Tonight I was wondering if there was something wrong with him. Perhaps playing on Washington takes it’s toll. Wall finished 2-10 with 4 points, 7 assists vs 3 turnovers, and 6 rebounds.
  • Paul on the other hand did whatever he wanted, scoring 15 points on 9 shots, dishing 9 assists vs 2 turnovers, and recording 5 boards and 2 steals.
  • Rashard Lewis and his contract are a joke. The guy fouled out after scoring 4 on 6 shots and grabbing 3 rebounds in 28 minutes. He made a quarter of a million dollars ($250,000) for that effort.
  • If Thornton seemed to score just about all his points on intentional fouls late in the game, it’s because he did.
  • Attendance was 13,921. Not great, but considering the walk-up attendance was proabably about 13 people total, and the game was against the Wizards, it’s not too bad.

Monty’s Postgame Press Conference (partial)


  1. whodat504

    February 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Does anyone have an attendance # for tonight?

    • Stew

      February 2, 2011 at 5:38 am

      13 something

  2. JNR

    February 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Really happy to see Jason Smith bang down low as much as he possibly can. Also, “Click Click Boom” as his scoring sound? Is he 15?

    But really, I’m happy we could end the recent slide and hopefully we’re louder and crazier for the Lakers on Saturday.

  3. Caleb

    February 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t think Wall ever gets to CPs level, even if he does improve considerably, because CP’s level is just so freaking high. He’s a “once in a generation” type point guard.

  4. rmorales07

    February 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    haha in one recent podcast they were talking about how bad jason smith was and people should watch a video of him playing to learn how not to play center. Today he proved them wrong. Instead of regretting those words, we should be thrilled that someone stepped up in meka’s absence.

    • Ron

      February 2, 2011 at 12:13 am

      His offense was great (82% FGM is always impressive), and his energy needed.

      However, the 2 DREBs, no Blocks and 4 PF are a bad sign. Also remember that this was the road-Wizards. Home-OKC will be a different story, I fear.

  5. L_REAZY

    February 1, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    …Since it’s curtains for Belinelli … would any of you start Pondexter with Ariza?

    F-West, F-Pondexter, C-Okafor, G-Ariza, G-Paul ?

    F- Smith, F-Belinelli, C-Mbenga, G-Thornton, G-Jack


  6. QueenBee

    February 1, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Yeah if it wasn’t for Nick Young the Wizards would’ve look really bad tonight. I thought Javale would have a good game but he didn’t even get much PT. Listening to the Wizards’ fans they seem to think he’s an idiot anyway. LOL!

    I was happy to see Jason Smith step up tonight. He had himself a fine game. I’m scared we’ll probably see another Jason against OKC though.

    Belinelli. SMH.

  7. DownUnder

    February 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Joe, whats the hornets record when you do the pre game and post game write ups? You seem to allways tell us about wins.

    • cp3 for MVP

      February 2, 2011 at 12:08 am

      that’s coz he and Michael do the home games

    • Joe Gerrity

      February 2, 2011 at 1:09 am

      Yeah, I do just about every home game, and it seems like the majority of the ones I miss are losses for some reason.

  8. Monty'sDoghouse

    February 1, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Monty said in an interview today that “any big men available at this time of year are there for a reason”. It seems that they’ve been looking around but he seems content to go into the stretch run with what he’s got. He said that guys just need to step up. His Jason Smith postgame soundbite was hilarious too. He pretty much said that he played with controlled energy.

    For Thornton to be finishing games while not shooting the ball well, Monty must really be warming up to him.

    I’m starting to really lose faith in Belinelli. I just don’t think he brings anything to the table that’s worth mentioning. He does everything below average or worse as far as I’m concerned. His ability to keep perimeter players in front of him is about the only thing he does slightly above average. I really only think people consider him a “deep threat” because he is white, European, SG. We have about 4 guys on this team I consider better deep threats than Belinelli from three land if that was their sole role on offense like it is Belinelli’s.

    I didn’t see the 1st half as I couldn’t get to the Hive in time, but Willie Green got schooled by Nick Young whenever he was matched up against him in the second half. I don’t know why Monty considers him a lockdown defender. He isn’t anywhere close. He needs to be guarding the slowest wing player on the opposing team and taking the type of shots he did tonight in moderation. That will allow him to be a contributor for this team. 3 steals? Yay. I will say this about Willie. He is scrappy and seems to be ready whenever his number is called. He was diving around like Smitty and Gray tonight and his attitude is refreshing at times. Whereas Beli looks confused or worried, Green just looks ready.

    One thing that is underrated regarding Thornton that I’ve been noticing over the last few weeks. He gets the Reggie Bush treatment from the opposing teams. You just do not leave him wide-open. As long as he continues to get better at making decisions within the flow of the game, our starters + Thornton should only continue to develop into a more finely honed weapon.

    Props to Smith and Gray for stepping up. 11-13, 24 points, 13 rebounds in 40 combined minutes. I’ll take 75% of that to the bank every night until Emeka gets back.

    1 game winning streak!

    • 42

      February 2, 2011 at 12:10 am

      I was thinking about player availability today. Monty may be playing the game with other teams with those comments. Most players are available given the correct assets, and talent is only one kind of asset.

      • AgentZiko

        February 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

        He was talking about the availability of FREE AGENTS. They aren’t going to try to sign anyone to fill the last roster spot, and instead, Demps will be trying to TRADE for someone.

      • 42

        February 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm

        I didn’t see the original context, but I agree with him. I, poorly I suppose, was saying that our likely avenue for improvement is through trade, which had been thoroughly vetted, making the oringial question that Monty answered . . . probably an ill-advised use of time with him.

  9. Ron

    February 2, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Where’s the post-game press conference video?

    • Joe Gerrity

      February 2, 2011 at 1:09 am

      It disappeared, but now it’s back.

      • Ron

        February 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm


  10. Kevin

    February 2, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Let me start off by saying that I’ve never really been a fan of Belinelli starting.

    That said, I’m not sure playing both of his backups more than him is going to help his confidence any if you’re going to continue to start him, especially when Thornton wasn’t playing particularly well. There were two points late where I thought Belinelli would come back in, but it was Thornton and his free throw barrage both times.

    It’s kind of sending a mixed message. Maybe this will spell the end of him starting? Otherwise, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to start him if you’re not going to let him see the floor at all in the second half of games.

    Sidebar: The Paul-Green-Thornton-Andersen-Smith lineup made me laugh. Three 6’4″ and under guys and two essential seven-footers – no middle ground.

    • m_W

      February 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      I feel bad for Belinelli. He seems to have the same disconsolate look that Marcus had after he came in and missed a shot. Now Marco’s the guy looking over his shoulder for the quick hook.

      It just seems a better approach would be to bench guys that aren’t producing. Tell them it’s not permanent, but that he just wants whoever that person is to focus on film, doing the right thing in practice, and watching the game unfold from an outside perspective so as to improve when he returns.

  11. NolaHog

    February 2, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Jason Smith! Return of the Mack!!!

  12. 42

    February 2, 2011 at 7:47 am

    This is a good attendance number for a bad weather Tuesday with likely no real attention from the Hornets Business Council.

  13. bgalella

    February 2, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Nice to see Jason Smith step it up when given the opportunity. Might buy him a few more minutes in the rotation.

  14. Diane

    February 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Hornets arrive safely in OKC, game on – start shoveling!!

  15. L_Reazy

    February 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Jason Smith is more productive going ‘inside-out’ VS ‘outside-in’, as he hit most of his jumpers after all of his cuts and posts-ups to the basket.

    I think the Hornets have been using him wrong when he comes off the bench by only utilizing him as a ‘pick-n-pop’ guy. David Andersen is more of a ‘pick-n-pop’ player! Jason Smith is really a ‘move-to-the-basket’ player or ‘pick-n-roll’ player, first, and then secondly, a player who is able to ‘pick-n-pop’. Good game J-Smith!

    Belinelli ……? I think I’m starting to lose faith!

    I wonder if we could get the Anthony Randolph and Roger Mason Jr. deal for David Andersen and Marco Belinelli? Maybe if the Hornets sent Marcus Banks’ expiring deal with Marco instead … maybe a deal could get done.


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