The Nets beat the Hornets

By:
Published: February 9, 2011

How many tries does it take for the Hornets to close out the Nets?  Apparently – more than five.  That’s how many chances they had to win.  That’s how many times they failed.   So many rimmed out jumpers.

Anyways, the Nets hit more three pointers in that game than they did all season and hit more than 50% of them.  Oh, and this is a team in the bottom half of three-point percentage.  The Hornets couldn’t hold on to the ball, they got few free throws, they got out-rebounded, and the only thing that saved them from a blowout was Marco Belinelli and Willie Green’s hot shooting – and David West’s 32 and 15.

Those are all worthy subjects to spend more time on, but in the end I wanted to focus on one thing:

Chris Paul looked broken.

I’ve said that before this season.  He’s looked slow and non-explosive in the past.  Tonight, though, it was different, and it’s not that his shot wasn’t falling, because that happens sometimes.  It was the rest of the game that bothers me.  The team got several fast breaks, with Jack or Belinelli leading them – and Paul didn’t run.  On two of them, he was passed by the ball-handler, and simply jogged to the three point line and waited to see if that guy could do anything.  All game long, he never exploded.  Every one of his forays into the paint was generated by clever ball-handling, not speed.  He didn’t attempt to split any double teams.  He didn’t try to run down the back of any big men as they retreated into the paint.  He didn’t try to post up Harris – something he does every Nets game.

Hell, I didn’t even see his mean streak.  He kept getting bumped and having offensive fouls called on him – and he didn’t even bark at the ref.  That’s not Chris Paul.

It’s freakish how good he can still be when he’s slowed like this – but he hasn’t been dominant except in spots for more than a month.  It hurts to watch.

Other Observations:

  • Marcus Thornton played 6 minutes, and they were terrible, terrible minutes.  Every time he touched the ball, he dribbled back and forth at the top of the key trying to get some sort of advantage off a pick – and nothing opened up for him.  So each foray ended with him simply wasting shot clock.  The one foray into the paint he made, he threw up some awful shot that I went back and watched a couple times because I thought he MUST have been trying to lob it.  But he was shooting it.  It was bad, even if it did land in Gray’s hands for a layup.
  • Jack’s line is respectable.  His play was not.  Horrible decisions. Terrible shots at the end of drives.  Awful passing.  Horrendeous defense.  Two of CP3’s unusual number of turnovers were due to Jack making horrible passes that Paul was trying to save and couldn’t.
  • If any of you are going to trash Belinelli or Willie Green after tonight’s game, then you’ve lost all perspective.
  • Wait, did you hear that?  I think it was the sound of Vujacic hitting another three while Jack was cheating off of him.
  • West was a hoss all game long.  Humphries and especially Favors couldn’t do anything with him.  It’s too bad his game-winner drew iron, because he deserved a game-winner after putting in that work.
  • Andersen hit one shot and missed another.  He also gave up three offensive rebounds.
  • Here’s how much the Hornets are used to having Okafor clean up the boards:  Three times in the first half, the ball came off iron and almost hit the floor before a Net arrived from outside the area to scoop it up.  On all of them – no Hornet made a move towards it.  Usually, it was because Gray had contested a shot – and West had simply boxed out his man, and wasn’t moving towards the hoop.  West did make a concerted effort in the second half to change that though.
  • Did you see that awesome putback?  It was brought to you by Jack’s unwillingness to box out his man.
  • Sasha Pavlovic got the start over Q-Pon, who got no minutes because he was nursing a sore ankle.  Pavlovic proceeded to show us why he was available to sign a 10-day contract.
  • Jarrett Jack had a -14.  That sounds right.
  • Aaron Gray had a +14.  I guess that makes Aaron Gray the answer to “What is the absolute value of Jarrett Jack?”
  • Yeah.  That’s right.  Math humor.

Night.

65 comments
QueenBee
QueenBee

CP's leg is falling off again I guess. :?

f.g. di bene
f.g. di bene

anyway the cp3 bashing does not make sense. like the other guys on the floor that more often are blamed, he's human, sometimes the effort isnt there, sometimes the ball rims out (if that triple dropped the discussione would be "cp3 plays bad but he still wins, MVP MVP). i'll tell you something. kobe has bad nights, melo has bad nights, lebron has bad nights, and they lose games too... I know, we as fans want to see the hornets blowout the other team 82 times in the regular season: but sadly, it's not possible.... great teams lose games to bad teams, but they are still great, we, at the moment are not great, but good, and we can keep up. ps: a positive note, I liked to see the bond of the teammates, all of them cheered for their teammates and were very supportive... when I read so many fan wars about one player or another, it's nice to see that they are a team.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Great post by the way f.g. di bene. All those players have bad games from time to time. But when Paul does it (and yes, he did last night) it's either because his leg is falling off or he's 'uninspired'. SMH.

QueenBee
QueenBee

At this point I'm just looking for games to end without any more Hornets injuries. Hahaha!

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

P.S. CP had a terrible game. But as far as I can remember, when he has one bad one, the game that follows that is usually COMPLETELY reversed. Could use a monster game from him against the Magic.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Looking at everything that happened last night... I REALLY think Dell might have told Monty not to play certain guys. I think there might have been a trade that was being seriously discussed and Marco was possibly involved at first (didn't start), and that the trade could potentially involve either combination of Marcus/Quincy/Anderson/Smith/Mbenga/Banks. Think about it seriously. Monty went COMPLETELY away from what he always predictably does. He NEVER plays CP or DWest this much. All season long he's been completely against it, and wanted to cut their minutes. And tonite, against the NETS? he wanted to cut his rotation? Against the Magic, I might understand. But NETS? Coaches tend to pull their players, or not play them very much when a situation like a trade is potentially occuring. Lets see if any news comes up this week. If anyone reads anything, inform the rest of us.

42
42

I was thinking about this and you certainly have a reasonable explanation. In the interest of adding a discussion point, it could be that Chris was trying to prove something, like he wanted to lead the team the majority of the way. This is simpler, but makes less sense.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Chris mentions Willie often. Especially when Willie has a good game. I've even seen Chris jump off the bench yelling "Yeah Willie!!".

42
42

I remember that. It was nice.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

That's true too 42. Maybe he came to Monty and told him Jack needs to be out on the court more? I can picture him standing up for his buddy. I don't know how close Willie and Chris are. Actually haven't heard or read Chris ever say anything about Willie Green. Ever.

42
42

Entre nous, I hope you are right. I hate seeing Hornets players leave. Wright didn't bother me, nor did James and Daniels before him, but the other guys the past few years had a little place in my heart, even Devin. But it's omelette time.

QueenBee
QueenBee

We're looking at a potential 6 game losing streak. At least. I don't have high expectations for Friday OR Saturday.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I wasn't able to log on all day yesterday but I just have to say now that that was a terrible loss last night. CP had what seemed like his worst game of the year and Belinelli seemed to have his best. Bright spots=West, Belinelli. Green did a pretty good job as well. Hornets got nothing from Sasha. Why is it that it seems at least one starter will give us absolutely nothing on most nights? Uggh.

bgalella
bgalella

David West had a good look to end it in regulation but I still can't believe that shot by Chris Paul didn't drop.

AllBall
AllBall

Joe G, thanks for that first post, gave me a little perspective. That being said, I'll be honest, I was heartbroken watching CP's 3 rattle out. That's the worst game I have seen him play, but I will still take him over any other guard, until he retires.

PeeDee
PeeDee

I really dont remember Chris Paul having that bad of a game it was hard to watch ...:(

Mikey
Mikey

So this is what staring down the barrel of a potential 6 or 7 game losing streak looks like. It's not pretty. The all-star break can't get here fast enough. Look, we all knew that, at some point, the depth of this team would be tested (or exposed, however you want to put it). We'll see the true grit of this squad when Okafor and Ariza come back. Can this club bounce back and this thing back on track. The really depressing thing is that I just can't see some trade miracle happening by the deadline, not when the league owns the team. I know the Hornets have a "governor", but ultimately he's not the guy writing the checks. I'm not much for conspiracies, but that's my belief.

SJ
SJ

I rarely complain about the refs...but this game was atrocious. DWest gets no respect in this league. People wonder why he settles for jumpers instead of driving for layups and floaters more often since he often can beat his man and I've seen it all season but specifically tonight....he gets no calls. He yells and one for a reason...he is hacked on at least 50% of his shots in the paint and might get a call a total of 10%. If you aren't calling real fouls on the shooting arms of players, I dunno what the hell you do call. Also Jack and Green got fouled on a few drives to the basket during the 4th. They weren't heaving up terrible lay-ups for no reason (a first). CP3 on the other hand did not earn a call this game. Even on his 1v1 break to the basket he avoided contact rather than initiating it and botched the layup and didn't deserve the call.

SJ
SJ

Sorry meant the layups in the 2nd, not the 4th. Our entire 4th quarter was an array of jumpers and frankly I miss Ariza's offense because at least he takes it to the rim 3-4 times a game.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

So, the role reversal of Green starting and Belinelli off the bench prove to work wonders tonight. I don't want to take anything away from their performance tonight by pointing out how the opponent was the Nets, because as you saw some players still weren't able to play well against a bad team, mainly Thornton in the 6 minutes that he played. Belinelli might not be a better player than Thornton overall, but he definitely seemed to be a more reliable role player off the bench than Thornton tonight. Maybe Willie Green continues to get the nod as the starting two-guard for the remainder of the season until his contract expires. McNamara, Schwan, or Gerrity, I'd like to see a stat-line that displays which of our two-guards has a better FG% in the paint. I have a feeling it's Willie Green, proving that when he becomes aggressive towards the rim he usually finishes better than both Thornton and Belinelli. I really enjoyed watching Belinelli come in off the bench. He really looked more comfortable going against the second unit opposed to starters. I think out of the three shooting guards Willie Green has the mental capacity to handle a starting role. What do yawl think? L_REAZY

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

I tend to think so. But I also like to think of Stephen Jackson starting instead of any of them.=)

MaxALM
MaxALM

I couldn't watch the game today so I had to follow the super exciting Gamecast. All I kept seeing was "Chris Paul misses layup" about 7 or 8 times, along with myriad "missed layups" from everyone on both teams. Were the refs total dbags or was it just freakishly bad basketball? CP :,( I will not bash Willie since he's usually a consistent player, and he was red hot tonight. I will not bash Beli for having an excellent game. But Ryan, all I'm going to say is this--when the Marcus Lovers and I get hyped up after a huge MT5 performance, the non-Marcus Lovers say "That was great, but x, y, and z." I have not lost all perspective by saying that Beli was awesome, but one great performance doesn't cancel out all the bad ones. I commend him for how he played (should've taken over Jack's bogus minutes), but this team would love to get even half of that production on a night-to-night basis. Since Mek went down, we'd be 0-6 if it weren't for the Wizards road curse. 14 days until the trade deadline. 4 more games until All-Star break. Demps and Monty are disturbingly patient with this joke of a backup unit we have.

42
42

We win games by getting 4 or 5 guys going. Chris is going most of the time, D 4 of 5 games, and Emeka is getting to that level. So we've needed 1 or two others on most nights to do it. Now we need more, and it's just hard. We need to replace the guys who are good 2 of 5 games with guys who are good 3 of 5 games and we'll get a round deeper in the playoffs than we will with the current roster (when healthy).

MaxALM
MaxALM

@Greek, most of our backup guys aren't good defensively, either.

GecGreek
GecGreek

in all the L we had since Golden State we gave up 100+ points. That's not how the Hornets had the 10-0 run. The problem it's the D (in the fourth quarter more than ever)

42
42

Ah. By D, I mean D West. And I agree, the defense is suffering now. I think is why Monty is making a change, as opposed to himnotmaking a change when the offense was languishing.

GecGreek
GecGreek

CP3 and DWest played too much. That's why 'Mek and Ariza injuried, they were playing too much minutes. The nets are bad, the Hornets could have won this game but were both unlucky (what about Humphries jumper in the OT and four times in the last 6minutes of the game the ball danced on the iron and went out?) and not focused enough defensivly in the crunch time (uncontested shots, Humphries all alone to dunk and tie the game). Probably a little tired in the crunch.. Ryan, how can i be happy about Willie Green? He played as usual, took his usual bad shots. example: Marco is alone in the corner (NOONE between him and the basket) and he shot from the FT line with two men near him. He scored but he didn't play well. A bad shot if scored it isn't a good shot. It's a scored bad shot :p

mbdtf
mbdtf

Chris either was very tired from all those minutes, his ankle/knee was giving him issues, or he just doesn't feel the need to assert himself more on the offensive end. I can't help but compare the Hornets' current situation to Chicago's. The Bulls have been without Noah for quite some time and Boozer for stretches yet their record shows no signs of it. The main reason? Derrick Rose. Every single game he goes out there with a chip on his shoulder, fully aware that his team needs him to step up in order to get a win. I don't necessarily think Chris needs 25 a night, but tonight's mere 9 points were inexcusable in my opinion. I understand his jumper wasn't falling, but in the past that hasn't stopped him from getting into the lane and getting his. D West had an amazing game. No need to say much more than that other than it would have been a perfect ending if that shot goes down at the buzzer. Green and Belli were also bright spots. Pavlovic's 14 minutes weren't too good, but I still feel like he should be our back-up SF once Ariza gets back. Jack was pretty awful. He had a few alright stretches, but overall it was not a pretty sight. I specifically remember one pass he had that was supposed to go to Paul that went straight out of bounds. It left me clueless. Mbenga, Andersen, and Smith were useless in their short minutes combining for a whopping 2 points. Gray did alright for the most part I guess, but I feel like he just plays so soft at times, and his defense on Lopez on one specific play near the end was absolutely terrible putting Lopez on the line to give the Nets the lead. Thornton's 6 minutes were okay I guess. I kinda wanted him to get some more minutes to see if he could spark something out there, but Belli/Green got the job done tonight. Our problem right now seems to be a few things. First of all, we really need Ariza and Okafor back obviously. But we're just not playing good enough defense out there. We've been giving up so many 3's lately. As far as tonight's game goes, we basically played right at the Nets level. Just by looking at the numbers you can see how similar the two teams were tonight. The difference was that down the stretch our shots were going in and out. Also, Paul got hit pretty hard yet there was no call. Still can't figure that one out. And what's up with random players having career nights against us every game!? Tonight Vujacic was the guy with his 25. I'm not sure if I want to watch the game in Orlando on Friday. Let's just hope we come out with the energy we had against the Lakers, no random guy goes off, and CP3 plays like an MVP out there.

MaxJD_Nola2NYC
MaxJD_Nola2NYC

I live in NY and my good friend Marco is the head MC for the NJ Nets and he said that the Hornets were less vocal on the floor than he has seen them in the past. Before the game started I told Marco G. "You guys (nets) have your best shot tonite of beating us" so I'm not upset as a matter of fact I was prepared for this loss, good thing I was at a business meeting off broadway and gave up my seats. I spared the demeaning feeling of walking out of newark with my head inbetween my legs. This should have been a win, not because we are better but simply because they are the NETS! FML FML FML FML, I said it after the wolves loss " this year is our chance to put something together" Chris was not broken but he was sitting back and watching us lose. Does anyone want to bet we lose to Orlando? We are at an all season low right now and I hope monty has a serious meeting on the plane tonite.. SMH

QueenBee
QueenBee

No one has to bet on losing to Orlando. It's a forgone conclusion right? And to Chicago too.

Hornet
Hornet

i'd bet my house we lose to orlando by 10+ if okafor and ariza are out. injuries west and paul just gave 50 minutes and west prob had his best game of the year we're facing the magic in orlando honestly this could get REALLY ugly.

paul
paul

Tell you what...I'll wear an bright Yellow shirt. I am sending pics to Rohan at Atthehive during the game.

paul
paul

Section 102 Row A seats 1 and 2. I'm treating my son for his birthday....except he hates basketball. So it's really a treat for myself for taking care of him for 24 damn years!!!! He is attending FIEA there and is the head artist. Who knew? An artist in animation and special effects!!!!

NolaHog
NolaHog

That's funny. What would Monty do if you walked out there into the huddle with hime and Mike Malone? You'd be rubbing your chin and nodding alot while wearing your DJ MBenga jersey. . .

paul
paul

The refs will not give Gray the fouls Friday. And without a starting center, it will be tough. I will be within a few inches of the bench, so I will advise Monty throughout the game. If you see me walk out onto the floor at a time out with the staff, things have gone really badly.

42
42

Dude! Nice. Wear a distinctive shirt and tell us what it is on game day.

Jeff
Jeff

somehow, the hornets are still #5 in the west. Yeah, 2 years ago CP3 would have taken over in games like these.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

i think pauls off night had to do with how many minutes he logged... can someone find the last time he played 51 minutes in a game? i think this had a lot to do with it

Hornet
Hornet

http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200802060PHO.html That was the last time Paul got 50+ minutes.

thestradiosmiles
thestradiosmiles

Holy...!? I vividly remember watching that game, but that stat line laid out visually is mind-blowing... 42 points on 33 shots (55%) , 4 3-pointers, 9 assists, 8 steals, 5 rebounds, only 1 TURNOVER and 2 FOULS in a double OT game. I miss these kind of Chris Paul stat lines, though of course it is arguably one of his best stat lines.

SJ
SJ

I look at that box score and all I can think of is how much better an old out of shape Pargo would be than JJ...

Hornet
Hornet

He's had a lot of 48 minute games but never 51... I really think tonight was just an off night for Paul. He was awful to start. 0 points at half time.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Avery Johnson put in Quinton Ross specifically to guard Marcus Thornton and bother him and it worked. The reward? 25 minutes of Jarrett Jack at SG. Advantage tonight? Avery.

Hornet
Hornet

lol when did Quinton Ross become this humongous defensive stopper? If he was such a good defensive player what happened to him when Belinelli was hitting and Green was hitting?

Hornet
Hornet

I've been negative all night so my optimistic side will come out Aaron Gray might actually end up being our answer to back up C! He's actually looked very solid, and tonight it wasn't because of CP like the Lakers game was. Paul was AWFUL and Gray still put up a double double and played great defense on a top 10 center and top 5 offensively. West is a warrior. Green + Belinelli stepped up, hopefully this continues especially from Belli. Okafor looks like a stud in a sports coat. That's about all my optimism for tonight. EMEKA COME BACK. I LOVE YOU <3 ....

MaxALM
MaxALM

I pray to God that Gray is not our answer.

Hornet
Hornet

he's got potential man. lopez really struggled against gray and gray put up 10 points on 7 shots while also grabbing 10 rebounds. i was impressed

paul
paul

God will require a little more in that request. You see, he was at the game last night. In fact, I believe he has been at all our games. He saw Gray play pretty well at 95 percent of these. So, if you are presenting a prayer, write down the specifics.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

i dunno about gray man... i think he matches up well with certain team but he is simply too slow. against big big slow teams like the celtics he fits well but i dunno i really doubt he is the answer at back up center

Hornet
Hornet

well im thinking LA whenever i think match up with bigs since they're the best in the west in terms of bigs by far, and I see Gray matching up well vs Gasol and Bynum. I didn't say he's there YET, but I think he's got potential. I'd still like to get another back up big because relying on just Gray and random stretch 4 is really asking for a one and done. But for the C position, I think Gray could end up being good.

Trackbacks

  1. […] you are looking for recaps of yesterday’s game check out Jake’s post here, Ryan Schwan’s of Hornets247 and postgame discussions over at SB Nation’s At The […]