Hornets can’t keep up hot start, fall to Warriors

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Published: February 16, 2011

The first quarter was a thing of beauty; CP3 scoring and dishing, the defense clamping down, Marco, Willie, and Trevor all draining perimeter shots, and the Hornets racing out to a 15-point lead. That was the only the first 11 minutes, however, and unfortunately basketball is a 48 minute game. The next 37 minutes saw CP3 miss all 8 of his field goal attempts, the Warriors stroke three after three, and the Hornets get outscored 85-57. (box score)

Against one of the softest defenses in the NBA, the Hornets played soft basketball. Just a few weeks ago they beat this team up inside (60 points in the paint) and ran at them every chance they got (35 fast break points). They did neither tonight, as they settled for jumper after jumper, looked sloppy in their ball handling, and never really seemed to be in attack mode from the second quarter on.

West and Belinelli led the team with 15 points, and West accomplished that on only 7 shots. He was pressured heavily for most of the night when he got the ball, and as a result, had a season-low number of field goal attempts. Chris Paul was beyond awful after the first quarter, which was surprising because: 1.) He’s Chris Paul and 2.) He looked so amazing in the first quarter. After the game he put on the blame on himself, but it is hard not to question the knee and whether it is hard for him to get warmed back up after he sits down. We’ve seen plenty of great starts this last month or two where CP3 fades down the stretch. That is the opposite of what we are used to seeing from the man.

The bench was a mixed bag, as Belinelli and Jarrett Jack played well for the most part, and even Q-Pon returned to give us some solid minutes. Thornton, Anderson, Mbenga, and Smith, however, were vastly outplayed by their counterparts and contributed practically nothing to the team despite some solid playing time. The four managed to go just 1-13 from the field, all playing without the aggressive tenacity that Monty has been practically begging his bench to show. It is no surprise that Monty again threatened certain peoples jobs in his post game interview.

The Hornets head to Portland tonight, in their last contest before the All-Star break. The Blazers, and LaMarcus Aldridge in particular, have been playing better as of late and there is no way the Hornets walk out of the Rose Garden with a victory unless they at least double the intensity they played with tonight. Here’s hoping they can enter the break on a one game winning streak.

Other Notes and Observations:

– Ariza continues to look solid after his return from an injury. I was apprehensive when the Hornets brought him back so soon, but he seems close to 100% and he remains the Hornets only true consistent wing defender.

– You really see this shooting slump getting into CP3’s head. He is pressing too much at certain points of the game and he is just unable to get into a flow. Hopefully being around the other elite players in the world this weekend will get him the boost he needs.

– Somehow the Hornets are still 5th out West despite losing 8 out 10. However, those teams in the rear view mirror are catching up, and the Hornets are only 2 games away from being a #9 seed, out of the playoffs altogether. It is hard to imagine that a team with an 8 game and 10 game win streak in a season could miss the playoffs, but if Emeka misses more time and CP3 continues to play like this, it is not unfathomable.

9 Comments

  1. cro_CP3

    February 16, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Why you putting the knee blame for bad shooting and “wearing down” down the stretch? I play as a PG and I know that when you think too much or think twice you tend to miss shots like CP3 was missing them in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, so he was just off, he was fast, he was moving quicker, he was moving like it was 06, 07 08 09 all over again, just his shot hasn’t listened to him in the 2nd and 3rd Q, but he was amazing in the 4th, I tell you that knee blame isn’t legit for this game, he looked out there great, for example look at the Nets and Orlando game and look at this game, without that brace he’s so much faster, the change of direction of his is faster without the brace, now he is wearing the Rondo and DRose “leg sleeves lol” http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/80/fullj.b26748d51c1d06ffe788688897c8f28f/b26748d51c1d06ffe788688897c8f28f-getty-103894858es003_new_orleans_.jpg

    All other, nice article, I agree with everything except this ^^…

    • cro_CP3

      February 16, 2011 at 6:44 am

      Also CP3 will get that straighten up, the shooting slump, he is a great player and he’s a great shooter so do not worry about CP3 guys he will get it done we know it and he has proven it MANY, SO MANY TIMES!!!

      What I’m worried is health of Emeka and he needs to get back after the allstar break, NOLA needs him, without him this team is mediocre on defense…He really anchors the defense and he’s awesome…

      CP3 needs to play great against the Blazers, IMO he will get rid of the shooting slump and put on a show…

  2. Archie

    February 16, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Hi everybody first post here. Problem is this team without CP (or with this CP) is, at best, an average team, so no surprise to all this losses. Add Okafor injury and this is not a P.O. team. From the beginning Monty tryed,( and succeded) to built a defensive team but he needs to have all his players healty. my hope this is not the day we find out CP is no more the player he was (bad Knee), is so, beside being a sad day, the Hornets are in rouble.
    P.s. Forgive my english i’m from Italy

    • Rocco

      February 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Ciao Archie:
      Benvenuti a questo posto. Scusi se non scrivo l’Italiano molto bene. Spero che Marco gioca contragli trailblazers come giocava ieri versa golden state.

      • Archie

        February 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

        Thank you for your welcome, and some little mistakes are not a problem and you’re kind to write in italian. Whatever surly hope Beli keeps playing well, but mostly hope the Hornets coulddo well as a team as they did at the start of the seasons and in some stretches.

    • sergio_alj

      February 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Hi, I´m from Portugal! Glad to see some europeans around here:)

      I´m concerned about this losses, because Grizzlies, Suns and Blazers are playing really well. We got to make another great strike after the All Star Weekend: Clippers; @Wolves; Rockets; @Raptors; @Knicks; @Grizzlies; @Cavs (eheh) and @Bulls. If we get 6 wins, we will much better in Western Conference, before some hard games at home.

      Let´s get Okafor healty!!!

  3. Justafan

    February 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    This team is so inconsistent it is almost hard to watch them play. The thing is nothing will change as long as Monty keeps going with bad rotation after bad rotation. Can anyone explain why Paul and Jack are on the floor together for extended minutes? Monty is at least consistent with one thing…being inconsistent!

  4. thegreenhornet4ever

    February 16, 2011 at 10:49 am

    “lol im so sick of this shit! the “NBA” where cheating happens. Wow im surprised didnt play worse than they did in the second half after all the calls went the way of the warriors. haha its so funny, dont hit me with that “the hornets didnt adjust to the way the refs were calling the game” thing, thats garbage and u all know it. i saw stuff being called for the warriors that wasnt being called for the hornets…. the same plays! u wud stop playing to if it seems as if all the shit was goin the other teams playing. dont tell me i dont know wat im talking about either because im a laker fan and i kno they get most of the calls. i dont even care if the refs call the game tight, but call it the same way for both teams. i just wish everybody wud stop givin the nba the satisfaction of watching it and make them start calling games fair. this sucks, im tired of not getting any respect at all FUCK wat do we have to do!?!? and yeah of course the team stopped playin with pride in the second half but fuck it wat are u gonna do. the most garbage team’s most garbage player is gonna make lots of shots on us every game. so yeah… expect it. if they dont make a shot they will get the foul even tho they suck and our marcus thornton cudnt get a foul call to save his life. but watever. like this if u think the nba hand picks the finals!!! lol j/p im not tho.. i shudnt be taking this so seriously but ive been drinking hahaha” I lol’d at this

  5. LSUhornet17

    February 16, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Personally I thought Jack played horribly. Even the shots he made looked awkward and ill-advised. His inability to pass is hurting the second unit, which for much of the time, has no one that can get their own shot. Combining that with a PG who can’t create is killing the offense when Paul is out of the game.

    Monty is right about the second unit’s defense. As often as Thornton’s defense is maligned, Rohan from At The Hive brought up that he may be the best defender on the Hornet bench. The fact that it that even can be debated is pretty scary. Gray isn’t a very good post defender due to his propensity for fouling but he is still better than Smith or Mbenga. At this point I can’t fathom why Monty gives Mbenga any minutes at all. It seems like he fouls on 2/3 of the shots taken in his vicinity and he can’t catch a ball if anyone is within 5 feet of him. His play while Okafor has been out has been some of the most awful basketball I’ve seen played in a Hornets uniform.

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