I am beginning to think that Dwight Howard is the biggest thug in the NBA. Kudos to the Hornets for a job well done.
Philadelphia Hornets Fans?!? »
Game On: Hornets @ Magic (With LIVE CHAT!)
The last time these two teams met, the Magic had a 9 game winning streak going and were simply destroying teams after making two massive trades to shake things up. The Hornets, meanwhile, were struggling, having gone 11-15 in their previous 26 games after an 11-1 start. The game was a turning point, however, for the Hornets. They went nose to nose with the bully and walked out of the arena with a 92-89 overtime win that helped propel the Hornets to a franchise record 10 game winning streak.
Marco Belinelli sprained his ankle two minutes into the game, and as a result, Marcus Thornton got 32 minutes and scored 22 points while pulling down 9 rebounds. He wasn’t terribly efficient in that game, but his energy and effort woke this team up and gave them the boost they needed to defeat the hottest team in the league. With Ariza and Okafor both ailing and the Hornets defense suffering as a result, somebody other than Paul and West is going to have to step up with a huge game if the Hornets have any hope of walking out of this game with a W.
When the Hornets Have the Ball:
The last time these two met, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor combined to shoot 15-23 for 34 points. Neither are expected to suit up tonight. Honestly, it is going to be difficult for the Hornets to put up points against this Magic team, as Dwight Howard will be able to cheat off of Gray and keep CP3 and West out of the paint. In addition, the Magic have been great at keeping most teams from scoring on them in transition. Add it all up and there are only two ways the Hornets win this game:
1.) They play their first great defensive game since Emeka went down, hold Orlando to between 80-85 points.
2.) They start raining threes (somewhere between 10-15)
Which one is more likely? Honestly, it will hard to see either one happening. But hey, that’s why they play the game. Right? …. Right?
When Orlando has the Ball:
Dwight Howard went off for 29 and 20, and that’s when the Hornets had their best defensive player on him. Tonight he will be guarded by Aaron Gray, David Anderson, and DJ Mbenga. Hornets fans all remember the game last year in New Orleans where Aaron Gray outplayed Dwight Howard in the 4th quarter to lead the Hornets to a 100-93 victory. What they might not remember, however, is that Gray picked up 5 fouls in just 24 minutes against Howard. Dwight is a much better player now, and this time Orlando will be at home. Just sayin’, don’t be surprised if Gray picks up 2 fouls in five minutes (especially with the way refs have been treating the Hornets as of late).
Outside of Howard, it is impossible to predict whether anybody else will show up for Orlando. They have seven other guys who can go off for 20 points on any given night (Nelson, Reddick, Arenas, Anderson, Bass, Richardson, and Turk). Each and every one of those guys are equally capable of going 1-9 like Nelson did the last time these two met. The danger for the Hornets will be the fact that they must double Howard, and if you give the Magic shooters enough open looks at home, they are likely to blow you out.
Other News and Notes:
– Join us for a live chat during the game. 7 EST/ 6 Central.
– As usual, thanks to Dariusz for our gameday banner.
– Last time the Hornets were in Orlando, a 135-81 preseason loss that left most Hornets fans thinking that this would be a loooong season. Lesson learned, next preseason I will take nothing positive or negative from a preseason game.
– Hornets have given up 100 or more points in 7 of their last 8 games. All-Star break can’t get here soon enough.
– As you can tell, I am not to optimistic about this game and I am still reeling from back to back losses against Minny and the Nets. Cheer me up by Captioning This Pic!
Player of the game rankings 1. Gray 2. Green 3. West Gray did a GREAT job on Howard and if it weren't for Gray, Howard could've dropped 30-40 on us just going off how Mbenga looked against Howard. He also gave a lot of effort on the offensive glass and pulled some down against Howard. Green was the offense for parts of the game and he was very good. West once again with a dominating rebounding performance. Paul played well even though his shot wasn't falling. Still good to see him taking the shots instead of being hesitant and passive. Ariza's shots just weren't falling, but I'll give him a pass since it was his first game in about a week and a half. Good job on Turk, Turk was awful tonight and threw away the game for Orlando. Overall very good win, and I'm proud of this team right now. We needed this badly and this could definitely end up being one of those we remember if we can finish strong into the break.
solid and very suprising win... player of the game has to go to aaron gray cant believe i just said that
well yall marcus didnt play i'd like to see him play but we got the W knock on wood so monty= Great game coaching
See, I think CP should be out there right now. This is how the game stays close and we end up coming up short.
The Hornets need to play good defense and make their shots. Don't let the refs decide this game. They will certainly come out on the losing end if they let it come to that. Eff you Redick.
That wasn't a foul. Dwight goes up ball flies out of his hand. I'm guessing (since i'm on mute) he yells so the whistle blows. SMH.
Last time Stan Van Gundy said the Magic wasn't able to play their pace. CP needs to control the tempo of this game the way he did the last time these teams met.
I think I'll go ahead and mute this because I really have no interest in hearing the word "Superman" all night long. Supposedly Arenas has been struggling. Here's hoping that continues tonight.
LOL! Monty fussing on the sideline. "THAT'S A HORRIBLE CALL!!" Hornets bigs are going to foul out. SMH.
i wish david west would give cp a little glass of what hes been drinkin all year. I love cp i just wish i could understand why he doesnt wanna go out there and score. on a side note Last game monty had us running dual pg's i was thinking why couldnt we have just scooped AI for a minimum contract beginnin of the year, dual pgs with the answer right now. man
It's possible Monty may not want much scoring out of his point guard. I mean it may be CP3 but anyone ever thought it could be Monty not wanting a scoring point guard? Ever since CP has been in the league paired with West, how many times has CP been the leading scorer on the team? And how far has the Hornets gone with a scoring point guard? IMO, Monty seems to want to get the most out of the PF position than he does the PG position. He loves West and his 'big hands'. LOL! Monty seems to like to comment on West's hands. LOL! Just my opinion. Or, perhaps CP's leg is falling off so he no longer knows how to score. :?
I don't really get how people keep thinking that Monty is "only focused on one side of the ball". What we run is a very specific type of offense. We LIMIT possessions in a game. That's an actual offense, people. Don't believe me? Go watch a UCLA game coached by Ben Howlin. Or how bout an NBA game coached by Larry Brown? We INTENTIONALLY don't try to run. We INTENTIONALLY hold the ball to run the shot clock. We INTENTIONALLY try to slow the game down. The goal in this type of offense? It's for your offensive efficiency (103.4) to exceed your defensive efficiency (100.2). If we tried to run, and outscore teams, we give our defense NO chance. As great as Okafor has been defensively, and as well as DWest has bought into the system, if we don't slow down our offense, our defense hurts because opposing teams have more fast break opportunities. In which case, Okafor, Smith, Mbenga, Gray, Anderson, and West are not fast enough to get back on defense to protect the paint. There is A LOT of emphasis on offense for this team. And the emphasis is to hide our weaknesses. If we had a premier scorer like Kobe, Wade, Melo or Durant, we wouldn't have to worry about this as much. But we don't (and for those of you who think Marcus falls in that category, I only throw my hands in the air for response to you), so we need to better utilize the components we have and put them in better position to help our TEAM win.
AgentZiko, I hear what you're sayn...can't say u totally disagree (some is quite obvious); however, that plan doesn't work effectively with descent defensive teams! Rarely do we catch these teams off balance defensively! It doesn't help us when we allow opposing teams to set up when opportunities pass us by while we're forced to take poor shots since we're deep our out of shot clock! That has happened more times than I care to remember! Also...just remember that YOU bought up the Marcus thing??
Couldn't agree more with Agent Ziko. People seem to think that this is a talented team, but it really isn't and when Monty has had a healthy roster, he has VASTLY overachieved. They have to play this boring, bland brand of basketball to win. I am sure if Monty had another consistent scorer on his team or even one legit low post threat, we would see a different offense. The last time we had a healthy roster, we were coming off a 10 game winning streak. No need to turn on the guy because he is losing now that he has Aaron Gray and Sasha Pavlovic as starters. The franchise has never had a better foundation in place than it does now with Monty and Demps. Wait and see what happens if Monty can get some additional talent.
It is entirely possible that I'm completely missing what you guys are seeing on offense. But I'm definitely not turning against Monty. I think he's a good coach and has potential to be a great coach. I just wish there was more offball movement and I'd like to see multiple picks on one play every now and then. I think it might improve the offense. But hey, I'm no coach.
Michael- i agree with how the offensive philosophy is influenced by our defense and all the limit the possessions per game but i dont agree with you saying this isnt a talented team. I feel we have played to about where we should be personally. How many other teams out there have 3 legitimate all star contenders in mek west and paul? Not many and we do have a decent all beit not special supporting cast in ariza smith thornton jack. So i disagree with your point about us overachieving since i dont think we have at all and the recent disapproval of the coaching is that even though we have 2 key players hurt we are still loosing to the t-wolves and nets. We have more wins than those teams combined and with our 2 best players still in the lineup we should not be loosing to those teams
There's a lot more to offense than controlling possessions. In a well run offense there are set plays for players that puts them in a position where they can score. Plays that put the players in position(s) where they are most efficient. We have seen too many Ariza 3's and not a whole lot of him cutting to the basket. Ariza is most efficient when he doesn't have the ball in his hands. But, we've seen him handle the ball quite often. You've mentioned our offensive philosophy but (and maybe I missed it) didn't mention what kinds of sets or plays. And I believe it's simply due to the fact that our bread and butter is the pick and roll and relying on CP to create chaos (which is a lot of fun to watch.) In conclusion, I like a lot of points you make on other topics and and I'm also glad to finally find a topic I disagree with you on. I enjoy a good debate
So the NBA fined CP $15K? LMAO. For verbal abuse of an official? My brother said the officials need physical abuse. LOL I read it on CJ Paul's twitter. http://tmi.me/6EYBa "He told the ref he was a "freakin coward" after the game and they fined him 15k...that's the @NBA for ya!...#shouldvegothismoneysworth " 29 minutes ago via ÃœberTwitter
Somewhat off-topic, but I hate seeing the refs imposing such subjective calls during games. Games seem more in control now, but I've rolled my eyes more than almost any other season and we still have a little less than half a season to go.
Van Gundy- "Thank god i dont have to shop at victoria's secret anymore, this gives me support and comfort"
I hate to be Debbie Downer, but we might be on our way to a long losing streak before the All Star Break. I seriously hope not, but this is me mentally preparing myself.