The Thunder beat the Hornets

By:
Published: February 2, 2011

If a Marcus Thornton shot is Goaltended, does a referee see it?  Apparently, after tonight, the answer is no.  Seriously – this one wasn’t even hard to call like the Phoenix game.  You could see it in full motion.  No, it didn’t matter to the outcome of the game like the last one, but come ON.

Anyways, considering the Hornets were without Okafor and lost Ariza halfway through the game, they were in that thing a lot longer than they should have been.  The Thunder were raining shots from long range – typically the kinds of looks the Hornets wanted.  They were not getting much of anything at the basket until Ibaka started ripping down offensive rebounds in the second half.  Considering the Thunder started raining jumpers in that half, it hurt that when they did miss we had trouble ending the possession.

Chris Paul

I can’t figure out if I was irritated that Paul played after the ankle injury or not.  Yes, he kept the team in the game.  But no, he wasn’t in good shape.  He only drove hard a few times in the second half, and defensively, he couldn’t keep up with Eric Maynor in transition – and Maynor’s talents do not include speed.  He didn’t jump when rebounds came near him.  He didn’t explode towards the hoop like he was to start the game.  It was a little tough to watch.

Of course, regardless of the problems his footspeed caused on defense, he’s so damn savvy he’s extremely effective anyways.  He baited the Thunder into several stupid fouls – and he didn’t even have to flop because they fell for them hook, line and sinker.  In fact, Paul made Westbrook – one of my favorite players – look like a chump for most of that game.

Trevor Ariza

Holy crap Ariza’s offense was awful.  Repeated drives against three defenders in the paint, followed by layup attempts that had less chance of scoring than Joe Gerrity has with Megan Fox.  Here’s the rub, though.  He was the reason the Hornets were in that game.  His line is terrible, but he was crushing the Thunder’s passing in transition, and you just have to look at Durant’s shooting.  Durant got one look near the rim – and that was in transition.  Sure, Durant was hit his shots in that first half, but they were long and what Ariza wanted him to take.  Oh – and he only had 7 shots in the first half to go with 4 free throws.  In the second half he ripped off 12 shots and earned seven trips to the line.

Other Observations:

  • Pondexter got big minutes with Ariza on the bench and he made good use of them.  His energy was great and he became the first option when the starters began sitting down in the second half.   He didn’t back down to anyone, or show any fear as he attacked the basket.  Good on ya, Rook.
  • What the hell is with back-up point guards and New Orleans?  Jarrett Jack had a better than average PER for years before coming to the Big Easy.  And now he sucks.  Okay, maybe that’s not totally fair – he had a few nice passes to David Andersen – but other than that he was pretty bad.
  • Andersen will get some deserved props for the shots he was hitting.  He led the surge that put the Hornets up for most of the second quarter.  Sadly, in the second half, the Thunder were closing on him, and he wasn’t able to keep it up.  He also wasn’t able to rebound – and he became hard to keep on the floor.
  • Aaron Gray was good.  I liked what he gave us.
  • Jason Smith tried hard.  It’s a shame that his high energy level doesn’t always lend itself to smart basketball.
  • West did what he could to make up for Mek’s absence, pulling down 15 boards – which is one shy of half the Hornets total.  No other Hornet had more than 4.
  • The Thunder announcers were good at the start.  Then they became really, really bad.
  • Willie Green was not the drag some of you seem to think he was.  He was competing hard – and only struggled when he had to switch and cover Durant.  That, of course, turned ugly.  Still he gave some nice minutes as a backup point guard when Jarrett Jack proved ineffective, handling the ball under pressure and getting the offense going.

Hope the team invents the Ankle Revitalization Machine some time in the next couple days, or the game against the Lakers isn’t likely to be competitive.

49 Comments

  1. 42

    February 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    You could easily hear the clear thump of the ball on the backboard . . . twice. Shots don’t do that.

    Refs are deaf too?

    They never acknowledge me when I yell that I know where they park (I do).

  2. HiMyNameisSteven

    February 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    hate to say but i somewhat blame this loss on monty…. yes it hurt with ariza out and mek but we were in it and then brooks out coached monty the entire 4th quarter and half of the third. Why the HELL is monty having the lineup of cp3 willie pon d west and smith against collison i-blocka green durant and westbrook… they killed us in that match up and monty let it go until the game was out of reach. why not put marcus in there to make brooks change his line up ? no way jeff green and durant could have kept up playing at the 2 and 3 in that lineup …. i was screaming at the tv to switch the lineup to make the thunder change but monty was content with losing i guess

  3. 42

    February 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    The Lakers game only has a few singles and some high dollar tickets available. This is very good for the ongoing attendance horsehockey (lease).

    The above is what one calls lipstick.

    The situation is what I call a pig.

  4. QueenBee

    February 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I’m kind of glad CP did return. If he hadn’t then we’d be asking until Friday “any news on CP’s ankle?” We’ll still probably be asking that question but if we hadn’t seen him since departing for the lockerroom that question would be running even more rampant.

    Can anyone tell me why Monty didn’t play Belinelli after he had what seemed like a good 1st qtr? Is his ankle bothering him? It seems when Marco sucks, Monty tends to keep him out there when he shouldn’t be. But tonight after Marco looked to have his offense going a little, Monty sits him. What was up with that?

    • Calabrone Viola

      February 3, 2011 at 2:55 am

      Is possible Marco is not at 100%, i think have little problem of ankle.
      Paul and Ariza have the same problem and Okafor is out, 4/5 of starting line up have problem, very dangerous situation in this moment of season, i hope is not big problems.
      I want the Hornets win the big game with Lakers and Bulls.
      Geaux Hornets!

    • f.g. di bene

      February 3, 2011 at 4:39 am

      in the last 3 games marco was awful. and the bench was absolutely deserved, but today he seemed pretty confident, shoot 3 of 4 (if we dont count 2 long range shot clock beaters) and worked hard on defense…. i dont get it.

  5. QueenBee

    February 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Monty needs to get on the refs about those goaltendings. If the rules have changed they need to let us know then because obviously we’re getting screwed.

    a’Marcus Thornton is 1st player in NBA history to miss 2 shots in same week that were blocked after ball hit backboarda’ #fabricatedstats

  6. Forever504

    February 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    there isn’t a doubt in my mind that we can take this team in the playoff with a healthy mek and ariza

    • QueenBee

      February 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      And without biased assed officials.

  7. Mark

    February 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    This all*star break can’t come soon enough (obviously for rest, not the festivities).

    Didn’t watch, but sounds like we fought. Just hope CP didn’t aggravate anything whilst.

  8. 42

    February 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Hmmm . . . Is anyone going to say that Aaron Gray had the highest +/- on the team at +5 in an 11 pt loss, which is 9 pts above what is expected when playing 17 minutes, 7 pts on 3 shots, 1 block, 3 rebounds, 0 turnovers?

    Just wondering.

    Or will it be the 2 fouls and him falling down?

    • HiMyNameisSteven

      February 2, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      i did feel the ground shake a little bit here in los angeles when gray took that hit from maynor and went to the ground

      • 42

        February 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

        Ha!

        Nice.

      • AgentZiko

        February 3, 2011 at 12:16 am

        Steven. Los Angeles? Are you the guy from SC? Where in Los Angeles you from bud? I’m from the OC.

      • ur_gmas_daughter

        February 3, 2011 at 1:11 am

        Damn! I’m from San Diego. The three of us should get the Hornets247 crew together and go to a Hornets vs Lakers/Clippers game. Hornets West Coast!!! haha

      • HiMyNameisSteven

        February 3, 2011 at 2:03 am

        ziko-ya i just graduated from SC. I live downtown

        gmas- i go to every hornets game when they are in town

        lakers fans suck but clippers fans are more fun to be at games with

      • andy

        February 3, 2011 at 2:18 am

        Los Angeles here as well. Considering dropping my savings on courtside seats so I can rock my CP3 wake forest jersey when they come to town in March.

      • AgentZiko

        February 3, 2011 at 9:32 am

        That’s awesome guys. I was at the recent Laker Hornet game. If at the very least, I’d love to meet my fellow Hornet fans at the next Laker/Clipper vs Hornet game. Steven. Did you play at SC? A guy on here mentioned to me that you did. I used to play against A LOT of the guys from SC and UCLA in highschool, and sometimes in scrimmages when they got to college. Here’s my email: AgentZiko@yahoo.com. If you guys are down to meet at a game, coordinate something where we can all sit close to each other and cheer like maniacs for the Hornets, or even if you wanna play ball, email me. I’m down.

      • HiMyNameisSteven

        February 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

        ziko- ya i was a walk on my freshman year. didnt play but got to at least give oj mayo some high fives. i only was on team first year.

    • paul

      February 3, 2011 at 8:04 am

      I would like to comment.
      But hornet247 seem to have an ungodly number of anti gray participants that make me weary of dicussing the kid.

      I will say this, the one error coach made last night was to not use MBenga more.
      I feel allowing poor Smith to get abused was uncalled for when we had both Gray and MBenga with fouls to give.

      Their game was under the basket (well, other than the insane shooting of Durant) and when Gray was in this stopped.
      I think additinal time for MBenga would have helped as well.
      He cannot block out as well as Gray, or provide the driivig lanes for his guards, but he certainly has the size and shot blocking ability for gmes like last night.

      Very dissapointed he wasn’t usd more and Smith was forced into a lose/lose game.

      • Joe Gerrity

        February 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

        I actually wrote multiple articles last year about how awesome Gray was, and as soon as he plays like that this year I’m happy to do so again. After he lost so much weight I was expected a jump in his production, but as of now it just hasn’t happened.

        That said, he will get a chance to show himself worthy of minutes in the coming weeks.

      • paul

        February 3, 2011 at 11:02 am

        He has shown his ability.
        Many times.
        Returning from a broken leg requires tons of effort and it is very understandable to come back out of shape.
        It’s not lke you broke your hand and could continue your footwork and high energy owrk during rehab.

        I am not one to accept the collective speak on Gray.
        I have seen him over al his three years in the league, as any professional in the business would have as well.
        I can see fans here being a little unsure, but not the coaching staff.

        You will all be pleasantly surprised my his ability, although limited to back up roles, at center.

        The constant irritating fan speak demanding an athletic, fast, tall, great hands, great passer, BIG, hot shooting center drives me nuts!
        These are rare men and everyboy wants one.

      • paul

        February 3, 2011 at 11:06 am

        And again, if you read my original post, I am a little disturbed by the non use of MBenga last night.
        Again, I think these nights are THE nights where your big men need to use all thier fouls and keep you safe under the basket.
        I feel asking Smith to do this last night was an error in judgement.
        No big deal, just a lost opportunity.

  9. JayRey

    February 3, 2011 at 12:03 am

    ” New Orleans’ team bus got caught in the snow after making it to Oklahoma City early Wednesday, and Ariza and Paul both hit coach Monty Williams with snowballs while the bus was being freed.”

    This is hillarious haha…I could see this happening

    • JayRey

      February 3, 2011 at 12:04 am

      “It was a tough situation but I thought we turned it into a fun one,” Williams said

    • AgentZiko

      February 3, 2011 at 12:17 am

      Ironically, they end up being the 2 guys who get hurt?

      Rule of thumb. Never throw snowballs at your coach.

  10. chiefyoungblood

    February 3, 2011 at 12:52 am

    the only good thing I think we can take away from okafors absence is that hopefully all these minutes for these other guys can have an impact down the road in the playoffs , or in the case of players like Anderson create some kind of trade value.

    also , their is a definite goal-tending conspiracy at work.

    westbrook seems to really hate chris paul , what an asshole.

    oh , and it was good to see gray’s hands are as soft as ever ( if only he didn’t move like an action figure from the waste down) .

  11. NolaHog

    February 3, 2011 at 2:36 am

    I actually was NOT disgusted by this loss. I thought the bench played well and they stepped up in the face of multiple injuries. We just had the misfortune of running into a red hot Durant with Ariza injured. With a healthy starting 5, we take these fools out behind the woodshed.
    And what’s with the fucking goaltending?!

  12. MaxALM

    February 3, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Damn I’m glad that’s it for the Thunder this season, good riddance. If we play them again, it’ll be in the playoffs where they won’t be so lucky to escape from our injuries, and the refs (knock on wood). In the playoffs, the refs will make the calls.

    If we absolutely MUST deal with injuries, better now than later on. We know what the team is capable of, but they need to make sure they don’t rush back from injuries. CP could use a couple games off at some point. No way he’s not hurting. Monty….play Marcus. 10 mins tonight? What was that about.

    • QueenBee

      February 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      “In the playoffs, the refs will make the calls.”

      That’s what they’re doing now. They’re making calls and for the most part, they’re the wrong calls. So the Hornets can’t even get a goaltending call now? Or is it just Marcus can’t get a goaltending call? Or perhaps we’ll get that call when more people are watching (in the playoffs). During the regular season I guess Monty should tell the players don’t go for a layup off the glass in clutch moments because then we’ll probably lose. SMH.

  13. Diane

    February 3, 2011 at 6:57 am

    @ Ryan – didn’t like that comment about Chris Paul and he must have a card to the screen actors guild?
    Westbrook wasn’t at the top of his game – coach had him sit more than usual.
    Eric Maynor stayed within himself. He really never gets nervous and runs the team pretty good.
    Didn’t The Hornets get Pondexter from The Thunder?
    I like Gray, always have.

    • Ryan Schwan

      February 3, 2011 at 8:28 am

      No – I don’t mind that comment actually. I thought it was funny. It was more the way they were going out of their way to support it. Like the charge he drew on Durant – and the time he got hit in the face by Westbrook on a rebound. They refused to show the replay and instead spent the next two minutes talking about how he faked it, and it was clear he faked it because Westbrook argued the call.

      It just seemed that they had a few talking points lined up for the broadcast, and were more interested in making those points and ignoring the the reality on the court.

      The Hornets traded the 11th pick and Morris Peterson to the Thunder for the 21st and 26th pick, and instructed the Thunder to pick Pondexter at 26 for them.

  14. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    February 3, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Did anyone else see that Westbrook straight up disrespected CP3 on that final 3 point shot at the end of the game? He really really hates Paul, and he he was mouthing off and Giving that Constipated Frog Grin to paul and to the bench..

    • Ryan Schwan

      February 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

      I don’t get mad about this stuff. Paul talks trash all game long, so turnabout is fair play.

      • QueenBee

        February 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm

        Paul said he talks trash when trash is talked to him. Whether it’s true or not, it’s possible.

        But yeah, you can tell Westbrook dislikes Paul by the way he never gives him credit and how hard he goes AT him. Hell, CP3 gives credit and compliments just about all the guards when he’s asked about point guards. So eff it, if they don’t like him he’s probably doing something right. Haha!

      • QueenBee

        February 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm

        Thunder Guard Russell Westbrook
        On if he raises his level of play against Chris Paul and the Hornets:
        “No. It’s another game for me and another game for our team. We came out with the win.”

        This was after the 12/10 game. Now most guys usually say something like ‘well yeah when you play against a player like Chris or one of the top players in the league you always want to play well’ or something to that degree. But since they ‘came out with the win’ he sounded like he was feeling rather cocky. I’m sure if Paul still plays in the ASG, Westbrook will be seething to see CP3 dishing to his teammate.

      • QueenBee

        February 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm

        Thats the truth. Guys trash talk a lot on the court. Has CP reached KG’s or Gary Payton’s level? Probably not.

  15. Brazilian Hornet

    February 3, 2011 at 8:42 am

    The Toronto’ Jarrett Jack has not arrived in New Orleans. The Raptors sent us an impostor. It’s the only explanation for all this horror.

  16. BIGBREED

    February 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Why every time the HORNETS lose a game, its Coach Monty Williams being out coached & the lack of playing Marcus Thorton w/ a better rotation?

    Its the same bloggers w/ the same lame blogs. The National Basketball Association coaches/players(his pers) seems to appreciate Monty Williams coaching expertise. Most of your guys are on the “Marcus Thornton Bias Band wagon” -and- don’t give me that “Point per MIN” crap bcuz Carl Landry scoring rate is pretty high also, and he’s not even a quality backup in the NBA. The HORNETS are ranked higher then anyone predicted, and its bcuz of MONTY WILLIAMS coaching/defensive scheme…..bcuz lord knows we lack talent!
    Change your complaints, its getting pretty boring!

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      February 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

      FACT – Monty Williams got the Coach of the Month award in January for finally playing Marcus Thornton.

      Would you care to give us your rationale for Willie Green getting double the playing time of Marcus.

      BTW, the first sentence is a joke.

    • Joe Gerrity

      February 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

      Is our blog lame because we criticize decisions that don’t work out?

      Perhaps you have only read one article, but we have given Monty tons of credit this year. If you are a regular reader and can’t see that then I don’t know what to tell you. He’s my pick for coach of the year, and Michael pointed out that his transformation of the defense is historic. What else could we possibly say?

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  18. Dontae

    February 3, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I knew this loss was coming. I really didn’t think we could win without Okafor. This is an especially bad loss because not only do we lose the game but Trevor Ariza as well. CP3 look like he tweeked that ankle again too. That’s the third time in a little over two weeks right? Hopefully we can bounce back and upset LA.

  19. bgalella

    February 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    It’s cool how the Hornets never get the wrong end of a goal tending call.

  20. QueenBee

    February 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I’m getting tired of questioning Monty’s rotations. Perhaps he’ll do better in his 2nd year. Perhaps.

  21. HiMyNameisSteven

    February 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I have one comment on marcus and this is the first and only negative comment i will give him …. why isnt he going up stronger with those final layups? he sort of just lightly sets them up there prime for a block. i know he can throw down and ya the phoenix one he wouldnt of been able to dunk probably but the one yesterday he easily could have

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