The Raptors beat the Hornets

By:
Published: March 1, 2011

Final Score: 96-90 Raptors (Box Score)

You thought I was kidding in the game preview didn’t you?  Jose Calderon really does get up to play Chris Paul.  Two years ago, they got into it in two seperate games, and from then on, Calderon simply goes after him.  I bet if you ask any Raptor fan tonight, they’ll tell you they haven’t seen Calderon that involved in a game all season.

Now, that said, I’m not going to be a broken record.  We’ve all seen Paul the last month.  This isn’t a mentality thing.  I’m not going to say any more about it, it’s too depressing.

Anyways, the first two quarters the Raptors kept their spacing, and their guards used it to flash to midrange and knock down jumpers or cut and catch Willie without any help defenders.  They were hitting everything, and our guys weren’t doing much to make them uncomfortable.  In fact the defensive energy started really low, which was pretty disappointing to see on the first night of a back to back.  Sure, the defense ratcheted up in the third, resulting in a ton of missed jumpers by the Raptors, but it was way too late and it wasn’t enough to counter the terrible things happening on the other end of the court.

Because . . . our starting five’s offense?  It looked horrendeous.  Paul wasn’t able to penetrate, Willie and Ariza weren’t generating much of anything, West and Okafor kept getting met at the rim and getting nothing out of it, and, again, the fourth quarter execution fizzled.  I weep for what once was.

The Three Amigos

The only reason that game wasn’t a blowout was the new bench mob of Landry, Belinelli and Jack.  They were aggressive, effective, and pounded that weak Raptor defense for 47 points.  Jack got into the paint at will, Belinelli finally caught fire in the second half, and Landry – Landry is a flat-out beast.   Once the starters get back on track, we might have something here.

Other Observations:

  • We have the answer to the game preview.  The Raptors like to give fouls – the Hornets managed to avoid earning any.
  • West had a nice game despite the way Amir rode him on his way to the basket.
  • Okafor, Okafor, wherefore art thou, Okafor?
  • I was hoping they’d play Bayless longer.  That’s a trade I don’t regret one iota.

I don’t have much else I want to say.  Annoying loss.  I’m just glad they made it respectable in the end – and Monty was willing to ride his bench players for pretty big minutes.

(Oh, and should I mention I predicted this loss in the podcast?  Would that get me lynched?)

85 Comments

  1. M

    March 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    No game is a sure win with the way Paul is playing. The Hornets could go 0-5 on this road trip and it won’t surprise me at all.

  2. mbdtf

    March 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    All of our starters had -’s in the +/- category. Conversely, all of our bench had +’s. Our starters were outscored 74-41 by the Raptors. That’s absolutely terrible. Tomorrow, if the Hornets and Paul play like they did tonight, I’m predicting a 40 point loss and a career high from Billups.

  3. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    March 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    As I said earlier I’m going to be at the game vs the knicks and I will be the only dumbass with a CP3 jersey smh.. I hope we only lose by 20pts but that’s highly unlikely.. We most likely lose tomorrow by 30pts if cp sits back.. He has a history of sitting back at the Garden.. I remember the days of nate robinson and cp3 backing down and dumbass al harrington shuting the hornets down.. And now Melo mannn we are in for it 🙁

  4. nikkoewan

    March 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    its depressing to watch CP3 right now. But i’m not bailing out on him. I’m giving him until next year to sort out his knee issues(either physical or mental). Until then? I’m gonna root for him because our team will go as far as he will take us with his knee issues. If that means the playoffs, or 2nd round then so be it.

    GEAUX HORNETS

    • 42

      March 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Dontae and others have brought up the reasonable possibility of him adjusting with the knee brace. Like it or not, it may have be both helping stabilize things in the knee and giving him a secure feeling.

      Removing that could mean his quad is re-developing, (nonexclusive) or that he’s sensitive about his knee.

  5. Dan Dicaku

    March 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    CP is AWOL. No heart, no fire, no leadership. I dont think its an injury (he looked fine in the all star game and also has random games where he looks like the old CP.) As a fan, it is painful to watch a player you love seemingly GIVE UP on the team. If he wants to be elsewhere, ship him elsewhere while we can get something in return.
    I worry that if we wait too long, the rest of the league will realize he isnt what he used to be. Trade him, get a solid scoring 2 and other pieces and Ill take Jack, Okafor, West (or Landry next year), the new 2, and Ariza any day. How many times have we lost games this year and then looked at CP as the main reason?

    I am sick of him taking the blame in the locker room. Why doesnt he try and remedy things ON THE COURT. He says all he cares about is playing for a “contender.” Well, if he would play well this team would very much be in contention. I dont think any team in the league can contend when their pg puts up 7 and 5 while letting Calderon go for 20 and 17.

  6. darrel

    March 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    We all throught he is not another baron davis it look like we were wrong. this slump might be his worse in carreer. help us i dont want be celevland in 2 years.

  7. Ryan Schwan

    March 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Name one spectacular play he made in the All-Star game. All he did was jog up and down the court, then throw the ball to the guys running next to him. To even pretend what was done there was impressive is just silly.

    Next, name the last time you saw him explode anywhere. The last time you saw him spin a guy around on a fast break. The last time you saw him BEAT someone down the floor on a fast break. Name the last time you saw him post up at the elbow, spin and score before someone could close on him.

    You can’t, because when he tries those things, he doesn’t explode. He gets cut off. He ends up running past the basket because the bigs have shut any shot he can get down. He’s in terrible shape – and yes, it’s affecting him mentally. Not exactly a surprising result, is it?

    • Kanye East

      March 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      We’re screwed. Chris Paul is hurt. The league doesnt seem to know it yet. And, we have nowhere to eventually trade him and get any type of decent return. Thanks Kevin O’Connor!!!

      • JCS

        March 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

        No one man should have all that power.

      • Chuck

        March 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm

        The clock’s tickin, I just count the hours…dammit

    • James Grayson

      March 2, 2011 at 1:31 am

      Paul has to be out of shape it’s the only logical reason for his err…crappy-ness.

  8. JUSTAFAN

    March 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Playoffs!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me? We will be lucky to win 1/3 of the games for the rest of the season. Sac. has a better chance of making the playoffs with the blockbuster trade they made for Thornton.

    • 42

      March 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      This is an over-reaction.

      Even if we won 1/3 of our games only, we still be be ahead of Phoenix if they only win about half of theirs.

      And your Sacramento claim is quickly becoming a mathematical impossibility.

      Everyone: Please use reason. No one likes losing, but there’s a way to handle it. JUSTAFAN’s near-baseless post is not it.

      • Dontae

        March 1, 2011 at 10:53 pm

        Thank you. Please talk some since into these people. To tell you the truth I want to see the Spurs in the first round. I feel that’s a team we have the best chance at beating.

      • 42

        March 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm

        Now now . . .

        Let’s just see how this plays out. It’s not about right or wrong here. We all want Chris to play well. Let’s always keep that in mind.

      • nikkoewan

        March 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm

        Probability is that we will make the playoffs. Overreaction people. Overreaction

  9. JUSTAFAN

    March 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    It was a joke, kind of like like Montys coaching ability.

    • 42

      March 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      So how did we go on 2 8+winning streaks this season?

  10. Taquito

    March 1, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I refuse to believe that Paul has quit, but it sure looks like it

  11. NOLA ALL DAY

    March 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Welll the Hornets are def a depressing team to watch. To see them have 2 streaks like they did and look like the best team in the league was so fun. And then to see them go into slumps like no other team has and lose to horrible teams is justttt, i really cant even explain it, depressing doesnt cover it all. IF we make the playoffs as a 6th to 8th seed, were lookin at spurs, dallas, lakers, or thunder. God help us. Honestly this team isnt very talented as far as players go, but if everyone sticks together and CP rallies the troops then were capable of doing more then anyone can imagine. It would take upsets throughout the entire playoffs. But everything comes down to if we reallyyyy WANT it. Us Hornets fans have been through so much and now with CP close to being a free agent, it could get ugly. But can you imagine what it would feel like to win it all? I could die a happy man. All the speculation, trades, games, everything would have been worth talking about cus we did it. but we will see how the team responds, its all mental, even with us fans, were all sick of our team now, but were all in it together in the end.

  12. edbballin504

    March 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Michael McNamara, the Hornets didnt come back as I predicted. But, I still was able to find a video of me playing ball. Like I said in the chat, its old. I am 26 now, in the video I might have been 17. LoL. I am the guy that makes the 1st shot then does the little dance (among other shots and moves later), white t shirt and red shorts.
    http://www.streetfire.net/video/we-playin-bball-brah_40644.htm

    • 42

      March 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      Sweet!

      Nice share, edbdancin504

      • edbballin504

        March 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm

        LMAO@ Edbdancin!

      • 42

        March 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm

        You set me up, I’ll knock it down.

        And those moves were quite the dish . . .

    • Michael McNamara

      March 2, 2011 at 6:19 am

      Ed B Straight Ballin’!!

      I like it- we gotta get a Hornets247 squad together and lay the smack down on the Times- P squad.

      What’s our starting lineup? I got the PF position locked down, and I could step outside, so I want a low post Tyson Chandler type defensive minded Center next to me. We got 42 as coach with his Leidenball system. Ed is in the backcourt, Joe G. is our 6th man….. anyone else?

      • 42

        March 2, 2011 at 6:42 am

        I’ll need a better suit.

        Oh, and one of those clipboards.

        I’ve got the dice to figure out what defense to run next.

      • Edbballin504

        March 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

        I’ll be more than happy to put the smack down on T-P staff with you all!

      • TopherPrice

        March 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

        I vote AgentZiko for PG… I would take the Center as Defense was my thing, but Center was lost to me when I stopped growing at 6’5″ so I learned to shoot that elbow jumper. So I will take the “Landry” roll of first big off the bench. We would mirror the Hornets with the small frontcourt.

      • 42

        March 2, 2011 at 8:37 am

        Ok, this sounds like a good stand-alone fan-participation-post. I can’t wait to see what EdBGMing puts together . . . our very own Jackie Moon . . .

        Thanks for not showing the free throw video, Ed . . .

        Really though . . . maybe Joe can swing some tickets or novelty for the `best’ team (post) . . .

        This is, of course, completely pointless, which is why I love it!

      • Edbballin504

        March 2, 2011 at 10:20 am

        Free throw video is coming. I will create my own Better Basketball Videos featuring H247. 42, you can do the narrating for the viewers. Might be instrumental in getting some poor kid into the league one day…and on draft night he’ll give us all a shout out!

      • MaxALM

        March 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm

        I’ll be Ariza.

      • AgentZiko

        March 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

        LoL. Love the vid Ed. I got a BIG game this weekend against some of my old buddies who I played college ball with and who are 6’7 and 6’10. I’m gonna record it and post it on here so you guys can see me embarrass them. LoL.

        And hell yea I got the point. We’re gonna work those Times Peculiar guys. LoL.

  13. L_REAZY

    March 1, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Ok, well I’ll pose a few different arguments based on a statement CP3 used to make when people told him that he made Tyson Chandler so much better. “…Tyson Chandler helps [CP3’s] game so much.”

    Is Tyson Chandler the real reason why CP3 was so successful in those few years at MVP form?

    Was the game that easy for CP3 throwing up lobs left and right that he was destine to look great?

    Can CP3 really make anyone better or does the individual need to be a certain type of player?

    Is CP3 really an average point guard without real talent around him?

    L_REAZY

    • JCS

      March 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      Under the wise tutelage of Player-Coach Champion Byron Scott, Chris Paul reached his apex. Scott gave him knowledge based off his personal experience of winning playoff series with two of the greatest point guards of all-time, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson. Couple that knowledge with CP’s burning desire to win and be recognized, and fans then had the record breaking superstar that was Chris Paul. Hornets fed into his stardom as did his teammates, which in turn helped them play at a higher level. Fast forward to today, Chris Paul is still playing better than all other point guards in the league. However, he’s only doing so statistically, but not courageously.

      • 42

        March 2, 2011 at 6:35 am

        I think your mixing of Scott’s contribution to the Lakers while playing with folks like Magic and Kareem to become a champion as a player with his inability to take several good teams to tht point as a coach, essentially ignoring the latter, and then implying that Scott’s absence is why Chris has taken steps backward leads to an untenble position. Correlation is not causation. Chris got his first injury of last season in the first game without Scott, for instance.

  14. Dontae

    March 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    It’s funny how so many of you supposed fans are giving up on the best player on the team. No wonder he wants to go to the Knicks. I can’t blame him. It’s sad to see people give up on a guy like Chris Paul.

    • MaxALM

      March 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      you must not be familiar with anything relating to this team.

    • James Grayson

      March 2, 2011 at 1:35 am

      No one is giving up on him. He’s just playing crappy basketball and we know he can play 20,000 times better.

    • L_Reazy

      March 2, 2011 at 9:49 am

      This is his plan though … for everyone (fans, management, media) to give up on him so it seems like he is being pushed out.

      As a fan of Chris Paul … I know he can play better! I disagree with the whole knee thing. I’m sorry man, but I know this kid’s heart, and he’ll perform at a high level when he tells himself to do so.

      L_REAZY

  15. Uptown sammy

    March 1, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    conspiracy theory time

    Will CP play more clippers game CP (attacking, cutting)or crappy tired CP for the new York audience? Does he play up for national tv and big games like the Knicks game will be?

    • TopherPrice

      March 2, 2011 at 8:36 am

      Problem with the conspiracy is that we all know CP3 will come out pissed tonight. After he gets embarrassed, he always comes out and you see that old CP3 for a while. I think he is as, if not way more, frustrated with his play than we are. It will come back in time, by time I think next season. Until then he will try to coast when he thinks he can, and it will bite this team in the ass.

      If he goes off tonight, I think it more a function of his trying to prove to himself that the last game was a fluke. It is happening so often now, that he is going to be grasping onto anything to keep his confidence up that his knee will get better. Remember that tweet in response to ticktock? That was the tweet of a man who is feeling defeated. CP3 does not know a lot of defeat in life, and to know it is his body that is failing him… He is going to fight as much as he can and like a dude who is losing a fight to a superior opponent, it is going to be ugly watching him get up over and over again. But that is what makes us all love CP3. He will KEEP GETTING UP.

      • 42

        March 2, 2011 at 8:47 am

        Can you post that tweet fest? I don’t mess with the twitter yet.

        I will one day, but that day is after I finish up some research, and that’ll be this summer. Self-imposed ban. Video games, too . . .

        Damn this research!

      • L_Reazy

        March 2, 2011 at 9:56 am

        If Chris Paul ‘goes-off’ tonight for a big game … it just proves my point!

        How can you turn it off-and-on when your ‘supposed to be’ severely injured? That’s not how it works. However, that is how you get traded, and we all know it!

        He’s choosing when to play hard … can’t yawl see that?

        L_REAZY

      • TopherPrice

        March 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

        I think he can turn it on for brief spurts, then the game grinds him down and he blows in the fourth. We saw that a few games ago. I forget the team we played, it was the first game after the all-star break. He came out and looked like old CP3 for the first half. He was exploding, spinning in the post, going hard to the hole, even split a couple double teams… then by late in the second half he was back to being slow and struggling.

        That is the knee. He has a crazy high threshold for pain, so he can tough it out on good days. But in the end, his quad is weak, that bone on bone grinding is PAINFUL, it slows you down. This kind of surgery is a non-athlete year and a half before you can start to push the knee and leg to get back into shape. He came back 9 weeks after. Horrible stuff by the Hornets training staff not to force him to the bench. Maybe that is why he distrusted the organization until the shop was cleaned. Why else to you fire the entire training staff that makes decisions, unless your star partially blames their decision making.

        He will get it back, but he has to rebuild the muscles that had shrunk. Takes time, and cant be rushed without performance enhancing drugs. Everyone needs to relax a bit.

      • TopherPrice

        March 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

        The below was CP3’s retweet to ticktocks sarcastic joke after one of his off nights in the fourth. I can’t think of him ever replying to a jab. This shows me that he was really down on himself if he decided to show that side of himself. He is not right, and he knows it but can’t do anything about it… Hopefully that is just a yet, and not a long term thing. But you know it has to be frustrating to not be able to do the things you know you could do.

        @Oneandonlycp3 RT @ticktock6: If you were one of the 10 basketball fans who correctly predicted Chris Paul would score in the 1st and do #!@%*# the rest of the game, drink! (I kno rite, can’t play much worse than this…)

      • 42

        March 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        Thanks.

        I gotta say, that’s pretty, content aside.

  16. MaxALM

    March 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I’m sick of this trash. Defending and rooting for a team that acts like they want to win, as we’ve seen this season, and then proceeds to take two craps on the floor against the worst teams imaginable. Why should I waste my nights watching this team? It’s not healthy. It prevents me from doing anything productive in 2 1/2 hours. Games like these turn me into an antisocial, frustrated, human being.

    Does CP want to win? Or does he just want to win with a different team? 100% healthy or not, we see Chris Paul RUN. That should mean he’s at least healthy enough to be putting up decent numbers, and have the ability to RUN A TEAM. To me, he is clearly not engaged. This whole month he’s been scoring 5-10 points a night. This is ridiculous and embarrassing:
    2 losses to the T’Wolves
    2 losses to the Warriors
    1 loss to the Kings
    1 loss to the Nets
    1 loss to the Raptors
    1 loss to the Clippers
    1 loss to the Pistons

    That’s potentially NINE more wins and NINE fewer losses we could’ve had at this point. And that’s not including losses to Philly and Indiana. We could be 44-18 right now, good for THIRD in the West. Of course we’re going to lose to a few bad teams. But NINE LOSSES and counting? That list is just embarrassing. Would the real Chris Paul please stand up? We really need you right now.

    • nola all day

      March 1, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      yeah dude i live in dallas and bought league pass and am regretting it for the most part. And i dont even get excited about games anymore. Seeing the name Chris.Paul. doesnt even mean much to me anymore, its not intimidating as it once was. But i do think this team has the ability to turn around and do work in the playoffs, do i think itll happen? no, but i hope they prove me wrong, they have yet too..

      • MaxALM

        March 1, 2011 at 11:58 pm

        yeah. I know they can turn it around and they will (I hope), but they need to start showing some consistency, starting now.

    • Edbballin504

      March 2, 2011 at 7:42 am

      Very well said Max. Beautiful post! And those losses to bad teams have been the staple of this season, its unfortunate! Beating the teams you are supposed to beat is what separates the good from the average.

      • MaxALM

        March 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

        Thanks, Ed. It’s frustrating….I really think that part of the Spurs and Mavs success this season has a lot to do with having the ability to take one game at a time, and focus on that game. They don’t get caught up in the big picture. They are focused for one game and one game only…until the next game. Then they focus very hard on that next one.

        Nice vid by the way brah.

  17. Chuck

    March 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Uhhh the Chris Paul hatred really needs to stop. I don’t think anyone can accuse him of not trying to win. If he’s not giving 100% all the time it’s because no NBA player (outside of Blake Griffin) does, they know they have to save it for the playoffs. Besides, the rest of this road trip is more important than a game against the Raps, particularly the one against Memphis on Friday. Every team has bad nights. The Celtics, Lakers, and Knicks have all lost to frickin Cleveland this season. Stop overreacting after every damn loss, it really makes this blog annoying to read sometimes (no offense to Joe, Michael, or Ryan, who do an excellent job)

    • MaxALM

      March 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      The problem tho is that they’ve lost SO MANY damn games to straight up bottom-feeders this year. It’s costing them playoff positioning and mental toughness. If they play as well as they’re capable of in time for the playoffs, they’ll have a decent shot at beating anyone. They’re so inconsistent and streaky that it makes me wonder how well they can put together a 7 game playoff series.

      I don’t mean to hate on Chris Paul, and if his problems are due to his knee then I forgive him. He’s still recovering in that case. It just hurts to watch and maybe he’s just set the bar for extreme competitiveness so high, that now I just assume he’s not engaged enough. I know they can turn it around and they will, but now’s NOT the time to be losing games like these.

  18. NOEngineer

    March 2, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Tonight’s problem was HORRIBLE defense. So many layups. Sure, CP3 was off, but the interior defense was pathetic and that kept the Raptors ahead the whole game. Okafor was more of the problem tonight. Why the hell aren’t we playing either of our big tall centers when we are giving up easy layups and tons of rebounds? Huh?

  19. Oc

    March 2, 2011 at 12:48 am

    One of my fave players, James Jonson sorta made Ariza his bitch

  20. James Online

    March 2, 2011 at 1:34 am

    What happened that Ariza got so little time on the floor late? Gimpy? He didn’t have a great game going, but I thought he should have been out there more in the second half.

    It’s official now: CP3 is not playing to his potential. He barks but doesn’t bite. Seems like he doesn’t believe this team has enough so he’s sort of checking out and making sure not to get hurt. Would Paul be booed in NOLA if he opts out? With one more year on his contract, would he play the field like Mello did this year?

  21. HiMyNameisSteven

    March 2, 2011 at 2:10 am

    i hope he doesnt play his way out of getting us good trade value for him next year… at this rate we will be lucky to get marcus thorton or hell even julian wright back for him

  22. MaskedTalent

    March 2, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Its funny how after all star break,when we cant trade cp3, his production flops… we couldve shipped DWilliams in for him…lol like tht could happen…point is…cp3 isnt playing like a mvp… maybe its the injury but…he isnt helping in any way really…he can go…hes only one man. then again(thinks about Cleveland)

  23. cro_CP3

    March 2, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Over reatcion FTL…If CP3 has a great game @NY tonight, y’all gonna ride his d.i.c.k after the game and now you’re dissing, stand up for the man, HE DIDN’T GIVE UP, he ain’t that type of player, in the Clippers and TWolves game he was the CP3 we know, he said he had two off games, calm the f.u.c.k down…

    CP3 just do your thing like you did it in the past @NY…

    • cro_CP3

      March 2, 2011 at 6:54 am

      Overreaction*

  24. Stew

    March 2, 2011 at 7:18 am

    from the Raptors Republic blog:

    Still, tonight’s victory was thoroughly impressive, with appreciable contributions from seven rotation players (sorry, Leandro). A big thank you must be given to Chris Paul as well, as he had the worst game I’ve ever seen him play. Paul struggled to post a 7-4-5 Pts-Rbs-Ast line on just 3/10 shooting. More importantly, he was absolutely torched by Jose Calderon, who had maybe his most complete game of the season. As a team the Hornets shot 44%, but without Paul firing on all cylinders they managed just 17 assists on 36 field goals, and their scoring was largely a product of one-on-one basketball (granted, that’s not the worst strategy against the Raptors).

    Read more: http://raptorsrepublic.com/2011/03/02/calderon-outshines-paul-leads-raptors-to-victory/#ixzz1FRpLe5UX

  25. paul

    March 2, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Gray’s mom here again.

    Show me the numbers.
    How does Paul shoot when Gray is in?

    The reason I say this is the last few games when Gray was in, I saw him shooting some really decent short jumpers behin the Gray wall.
    I saw him getting closer to the basket for these and layups as well.

    Look, I know very few on this sight like Gray.
    I know we all love the big numbers offensive stats that make the highlights.
    But me, I like the tough, quiet play that goes unoticed.
    It’s why I concentrate on the offensive and defensive NFL lines when I watch football. This is where the stars are made.
    This is where the paths are opened for the beautiful people.

    Promising you this, IF they do not find a way to bring Gray in during these games and stay with the MOnty small ball, it’s not only impossible to win the season, it is impossible to even contemplate the playoffs.
    And it’s not just Gray. If you don’t like him, trade him and get another big ass inside center.
    But without one, nobody wins.

  26. Davey

    March 2, 2011 at 9:14 am

    This site is better than a lot of the comments we’ve seen in this thread.

    Besides being ugly and pointless, what really grates about the “Paul has checked out” argument is how little sense it makes. Y’all are trying to convince us that at precisely the point when the Hornets were in striking distance of the 4 seed in a weakened West, that Paul, one of the most hyper-competitive gamers in the league, suddenly stopped trying. Why? Even IF he would prefer to play elsewhere a year and a half from now, poor performance only hurts his bargaining position. This “theory” is espn-comment-level grousing that doesn’t stand up to even a moment’s reflection.

    Paul has not been physically right all year. This is blatantly obvious to anyone that watched pre- and post-injury Paul play. Things have gotten notably worse of late, either because: he’s hitting a wall due to the knee and/or recovery process, the knee (and possibly ankle) issues have gotten worse, the league is adjusting to this new version of Paul, or he’s having physical or mental adjustment period to playing without the brace. Probably a little bit of all of the above.

    It’s painful to watch Paul struggle through the limitations that have been imposed on his once-in-a-generation skillset. It’s all the more painful to hear fans blame those limitations on Paul himself.

    • paul

      March 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

      you are very probably right.
      As I tried to explain so many blogs agao, these A players have competiveness in their DNA.
      These are NOT the physically gifted like SuperEgo or James the Hubris.
      No, us short guys like Paul needed to fight from kindergarten on.

      So I think Paul has a problem, or problems as you point out.
      So it is MOnty’s responsibility to adjust around Paul.
      Perhaps THAT is why Paul seems to get easier looks when Gray is in.
      Perhaps my theory is right, Gray allows Paul a sanctuary from which to find his legs and his shot without being attacked.

      Monty…adjust your game.
      THIS is what great coaches do.

  27. champsworld504

    March 2, 2011 at 9:31 am

    i was at the game last night, and the raptor fans were shocked at how poorly cp3 played. willie green’s magical run has died off and okafor still hasn’t found his pre-injury self yet. jason smith has found his perfect position on the bench and jarrett jack is playing hard because he wants us to forget about his DUI a week ago. lazy west must be smoking that good if he thinks he deserves max money though. and any team that does give it to him will be sorely disappointed.

  28. DBeard1906

    March 2, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I hear all the CP comments, good and bad. But let’s be honest people. CP gets paid to play basketball. It’s his job, it’s his passion. If that is the case, he needs to bring his A game. The Great MJ said once that when teams had figured out his offense, he had to step his defense game up. That is what great players do, when one aspect of their game falters, they step the other parts up to compensate. I have not seen this in the other two games from CP. Matter of fact, I have not seen this from anyone on the doggon team!!!!!!

    Monty said he did not have the individual talent like other contenders. So in order for this team to be success, THEY HAVE TO PLAY TOGETHER AS A UNIT! Everyone will have to do there part. D West has been bringing his A game since the all star break, even with a death in the family. Yet no one else is showing up. A flash from JJ, Carl Landry looked good, a flash from Belinelli, yet they have to bring it EVERY GAME AS A UNIT. One person will NOT win a basketball game, it takes team.

    These guys better get it together quick. They need the heart and the will to play through rough patches and get wins!!!!! No excuse. Excuses are for the weak! Time to go out and FINISH STRONG!

  29. Hornet Seantonio

    March 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Brutal game not sure who played worse CP, Ariza or the refs? and come on Ryan I think David and Okafor didnt look all that bad. Here is my question and i think it should be a poll, if Chris Pauld does well tonite is it because hes mad at himself and is pushing hard and working hard to win us some games. Or is he showcasing his skills infront of the NY peeps for reasons i hate to mention.?

    • StatusCP3

      March 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

      Insteresting point. We could probably also say that the reason he played so bad was because he was looking past Toronto anticipating tonight in NYC.

  30. L_Reazy

    March 2, 2011 at 10:05 am

    An injured Chris Paul is ‘way’ faster and ‘way’ more effective than a “100%-Jarret Jack” … yet, Jack, the guy we usually criticize is actually helping the team.

    Chris Paul blew past Calderon once -when he wanted to- last night.

    He played challenging defense at half court against him as well -when he wanted to- last night, and I even remember the commentators pointing out how aggressive of a defender CP3 is (when he really got in to Calderon, forcing him to pass the ball).

    Some of yawl see what I’m saying … others may be in denial … and, in the words of Ricky Bobby, “I mean that with all due respect … I really do … I really mean that.”

    L_REAZY

  31. L_Reazy

    March 2, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Oh yeah … Carl Landry is a MONSTER!!!!

    Goddamn ‘Blue-Collar’!!!

    L_REAZY

  32. Rocco

    March 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

    The Hornets best effort in last night’s game came in the third quarter and into the fourth whittling away a 15 point lead down to two points. The Raptors for all their faults are a decent offensive team. So, to crawl back into the game was a heartening sign. And, more than anything else it was good defensive rotations that allowed that. During that stretch no one on the Raptors was able to “get comfortable” DeRozen wasn’t posting, or getting the ball in scoring position, Bargnani was being frustrated at getting to his spots, and Calderon wasn’t effectively orchestrating the offense. NOLA loses by six and Paul & Okafore are an offensive no show. The pollenators will get better as the regular season heads down the stretch. I liked Carl Landry’s play especially his low post offense and he held in check a very accomplished offensive center Bargnani (14 pts). Beli and Jack made thier former Raptor teammates stand up and take notice with their play. I predict CP3 returns to form tonight ( as will Okafore) and the Bugs roll past a Melo’d out Knickerbocker squad.

  33. Monty'sDoghouse

    March 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

    How many teams are built to win after terrible (and tonight was very terrible) performances from their stars? Especially a PG like CP3 who dominates the ball every single possession? I think that it says something to this team that we’ve been close in these ballgames. This team looks like it is capable of giving CP3 the supporting cast he needs if we could just get our 70-80% old-CP3 that we had earlier in the season back. I don’t really know what to say. I never expected to be going through such a ridiculous stretch of games where Chris played as poorly as he has. The team would have been better off with him on the bench for a good amount of his games lately. We can’t reasonably bench Chris Paul, but Monty Williams needs to do something right now. Give him some rest. Play him 25-30 minutes a game on nights like tonight. Let him get his legs back.

  34. StatusCP3

    March 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Im as big of a Chris Paul fan as anyone is.. and yes he has looked pretty bad lately, but did anyone watch the game last night? The whole starting 5 looked DISINTERESTED.. I can see if they are out of sync with Okafor missing so many games and them trying to incorporate Landry, but you can’t hide effort. Its on Paul to get these guys going and he simply looks like he doesn’t care and so does the rest of the starting 5. Our offense when the starting 5 is on the floor is basically get the ball to David West and everyone else get out of the way. And West is just looking to score.. because.. well someone one needs to score. Monty needs to give these guys a wake up call. I would start Jack-Belinelli-Pondexter-Landry-Smith tonight.. just to send a message to the starters that they need to WAKE UP. C’mon guys.. its the stretch run!!

  35. Stats

    March 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Paul Game Score Stats
    Period GS
    2/9-2/16 45.2
    2/7-2/15 64.7
    1/7-1/15 66.9
    1/9-1/17 68.7
    1/5-1/14 74.3

    Unbelievable

  36. L_Reazy

    March 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Good read for anyone who believes the knee injury is bothering Chris Paul:

    …they make reference to his decrease in explosiveness means we no longer can compare him to Isaiah Thomas, but more so to John Stockton. Well, if that’s the case, he’s gonna need to work on that jumper!

    http://espn.go.com/blog/TrueHoop/post/_/id/25641/a-new-role-model-for-chris-paul

    L_REAZY

    • JayRey

      March 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      That was by our very own Ryan Schwan lol. Very good article

    • Ryan Schwan

      March 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      That writer is a schmuck! Stay away!

  37. StatusCP3

    March 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Did anyone see Chris Paul’s twitter post today… “New York…”

    meh……

  38. lancebrou68

    March 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    u should also see his nex one which looks more humbling look for him to get back on track tonight

    • StatusCP3

      March 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Good to see. Hopefully we get back to our winning ways tonight.

  39. bgalella

    March 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Hornets have been up and down, hopefully they snap out of this downturn quickly.

  40. JaeAmazin

    March 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Are You People Serious..Our Fan Base is Full of Stan Van Gundys..The Guy is Just not Making Shots right Now..The guy Went on National Television and said he we have what it takes to win a Championship..So to say he’s mailing it in is nonsense..Some of it is physical..But most of it is Mental..But no Matter what happens We Should Be Grateful we have something to play for..And still have a Team..Because I’d rather watch my team struggle than to have no team at all..So Lets Stop bashing our Lately struggling Overachieving team and lets just Hope they get it together to sew up a 5th seed..Chris Struggles are our Struggles so Bashing him and saying he’s not trying is not gonna help anyone

  41. Uptown Sammy

    March 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Congrats on the front page of the NBA section of ESPN!

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