CP3 leads Hornets to big win over Memphis

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Published: March 4, 2011

That’s right, I said CP3. Christopher didn’t make the flight to Memphis; instead CP3 took the floor and led a beat up bunch to a huge 98-91 victory over the red hot Grizzlies. 23 points, 14 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, but in this game the numbers were only half the story. It is great to see the stats, but what is more promising is the fact that CP3 played with an aggression that Hornets fans haven’t seen in over a month. He never got all the way to the bucket, but he poked and proded the Memphis defense from multiple spots on the floor and the result was open looks for his teammates.

Monty decided to shake things up by starting Belinelli over Green tonight and he was forced to start Q-Pon due to Trevor Ariza’a injury. If that wasn’t enough, David West went down with an ankle sprain 3 minutes into the game and never returned. For Christopher Paul, it would have been Game, Set, Match- but as I said in the preview, CP3 can go to battle with any four players and be victorious.

CP3′s supporting cast took turns playing the complimentary role once West went out with injury. In the first half, Marco and Jack played huge and helped keep the Hornets in it. In the third quarter, Landry and Emeka stepped up. And the fourth quarter was Willie Green time. (Seriously, how many accidents do you think fans will get into tonight leaving the FedEx Forum because they will simultaneously be trying to figure out how Willie Green beat them while they are driving?)

Willie was the difference in the fourth quarter as the Hornets were desperately looking for offense. He scored 11 points in a span of 4 minutes that saw the Hornets take the lead for good, hitting jumpers like he was Samuel L. Jackson. CP3 himself said after the game that Willie deserved the game ball, and with the way Zach Randolph was playing late, it would be hard to envision a way that the Hornets would have won without him.

Notes and Observations:

- I know people are worried about Ariza, West, and Landry, but let’s just try to enjoy the victory for now. News of the injuries will come soon enough.

- The Hornets bench trio combined for 48 points tonight. I know the numbers are skewed because all three of them got starters minutes or close to it, but it is still nice to know that you have that kind of firepower of the bench. Even if you take Green out and replace him with Belly, who only got 17 minutes, you still have 47 points from the Landry/Jack/Belly combo.

- The Mantras have worked. The Knee IS fine. We DO have a bench. Monty took a chance tonight and it worked, getting 29 points from his SG position on 66% shooting. He went with a hunch and changed the lineup and it worked. And we continue to see Jack gelling in with this time. All that is left is for Mr. Chouest to rid on in on that white horse.

- Carl Landry, 14 points, 10 rebounds, and some great defense most of the night on Memphis’s bigs. David West is the superior player, but it feels so good to know that he can go down or get into foul trouble and the dropoff will be minimal.

- Mixed bag for Aaron Gray. The good: 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in just 18 minutes. The bad: 4 turnovers and 3 fouls, including one at the end of the game that nearly allowed Memphis to tie it up. Thank you Marc Gasol.

- You look at Q-Pon’s stat line and nothing pops out, but the guy gave 29 very solid minutes of relatively mistake free basketball. He played solid defense and crasjed the boards, while making nearly all of the right reads on his rotations. If he would have knocked down his threes, that would have been gravy. Still, I like what I saw.

- Surprised Memphis didn’t play Battier more considering Sam Young is just a horrible outside shooter. Battier was +10 in his limited minutes. Young was -20.

- Carl Landry and Emeka Okafor combined for seven steals, primarily because of how active they were on the interior. Memphis has a lot of plays designed to get high-low offense generated and those two guys did a great job of making that difficult for Memphis to do tonight.

- Weird stat: Carl Landry was 6 for 9 in the paint and from straight on. 0-5 from everywhere else. Some guys just have their spots.

- Enjoy this win Hornets fans. Cleveland and Chicago coming up, and then the Hornets come back home. Here’s hoping they are healthy when they do.

44 comments
Dontae
Dontae

I'm saying it he's back. I expect 20 and 10 on a regular basis now. Please don't dissapoint me CP3. Jarret Jack also had a BIG game.

James Online
James Online

With West out, the Hornets were forced to diversify their offense. They became less predictable. Guys knew they had to step up, and they did. In the normal situation, the offense executes with one principle in mind: stay out of the way. Marco was so good in the first half because he knew he had to carry more of the offensive load. I'm sure he was glad to be starting again as well. Too strong motivators. It was disappointing to see him get pulled after making a turnover in the second half given how well he was playing. The hook comes out way too fast for Marco. Other players get much more leeway. It was great to see Willie perform so well in the second half, and I don't blame coach for staying with him since he was so hot. Just so Marco gets the same consideration. Great win in a tough situation. Confidence builder for players not named West or Ariza.

JCS
JCS

Silly bears trying to take our honey. Don't they know the 6th spot is ours?

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

... Oh yeah ... the Grizzlies are a very good team too! Their like one of the most physical teams in the league. That was a bang em' / bruise em' up type of game. I saw Marc Gasol just purposely lay-out and land on Jarret Jack in the 4th Quarter while he was on the ground. Luckily Jack survived the impact. Gasol knew it would be a foul, but so what! We got a lot of wounded men out there last night in Memphis! The Hornets should enforce their will on opponents the same way. L_REAZY

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

Thats who I'm used to seeing ... the real CP3 stood up tonight! My point was made tonight though ... he is not hurt, and since everyone wants to attribute his recent bad basketball play in the 4th quarter to mental issues ... sure, mentally he chooses when to play hard and when not too. Tonight, he chose to play with urgency in all 4-quarters ... and we came out victorious! The Hornets go as he goes. L_REAZY

Stefan
Stefan

I love Jack so much more when he's playing at the 2 with CP3.

JS
JS

Agreed. His assists:TO ratio isnt where it should be for a backup pg but I guess its okay as long as CP3 logs 35+ min and Jack plays alongside of him. Hes been playing well, but the only thing thats been good is his shot not so much his passing or anything. Its good to see him play agressive though

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

what i meant was first guard off the bench LOL

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

His passing is actually quite average the past 11 games. His assist/TO ratio is way below the league average for a PG( LA:2.45 --> Jarrett Jack:1.35) and his assist rate is below league average for a PG as well(LA:27.46 --> JJ: 18.36) but i think its more of his use than his ability. He's being used primarily as a secondary ball handler beside CP3 and a primary ball handler with Green. seeing that many of his minutes in the past 11 games have been as a SG, then its not surprising that he's scoring more and shooting less. Jack is a combo guard through and through. if that's the case, his assists rate and A/TO ratio is actually quite good. Maybe it was wrong to say that Jack is our backup PG. maybe he's more of a first string back up guard.

James Online
James Online

Jack has always been a shoot first player. When he makes his shots and reduces his TOs his presence helps. When he doesn't, he hurts the team. As di Bene says, he takes the team out of rhythmn no matter how he's playing. Big picture, folks.

JaeAmazin
JaeAmazin

Dude Dont Bash JJack..CP3 played like CP3 but we Wouldve lost without JJack

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

only 2 notes: - that's pretty worrying to see Jack at the PG, he doesn't play for the teammates, don't give them any rythm, and the team is just BAD with him at the point. - I'd liked to see more beli in the second half, he was playing good.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

I guess our PG ain't that good anymore and this game was just a fluke? I called this game. Did I not?

42
42

What was the stat line, Ziko? The folks in the chat were certain you'd do quite well.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

nice stat line. better than mine in our college basketball league. HAHAHA

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

I literally got my average. 14 points (4-5 FGs, 3-4 3Ps), 7 assists (2 TO), 5 rebounds, 3 steals. But we lost bad. 2 of my biggest guys didn't show up and we were just too small to bang with my 6'10 and 6'7 buddies. I've got a 6'7, 6'6, and two 6'5 guys on my team, but one of the 6'5 guys and the 6'7 guy werent there and they're more of the thicker bodies on my team. I got my brother to record the game for me. Unfortunately he's 13 and cant sit still. Its really shaky. Will cut the vid 4 u guys today and post it later.

cro_CP3
cro_CP3

Yep, vintage performance by a amazing playmaker, he looks like Stockton? WTF this was a CP3/Isiah performance...

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Stocktons better than Isaiah was.

Hornet
Hornet

According to nola.com, West expects to play vs Cleveland so that's good news. We have to take Cleveland seriously. We need to win games like this.

Kevin
Kevin

Not to bring down the mood or anything, but a comment relating to Willie Green and car accidents may be a little insensitive, you know? Anyway, the Ariza news kind of came out of nowhere, no? Did it happen right before the game or something? I can't imagine there will be any lasting effects for Landry. I'll be at the game here in Cleveland Sunday. All I could think about as this game progressed was, "Okay, probably won't be seeing Ariza..." ... "Okay, probably won't be seeing West..." ... "Or Paul..." "Or Landry..." Hah.

42
42

Ariza aggravated his strain in practice.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Didn't even think about it to be honest. No intentional correlation at all, I was just commenting on how we get upset when guys like Shawne Williams, Wesley Johnson, and Anthony Tolliver beat us. Now Memphis fans will have nightmares about Willie. Honestly sorry if anyone was offended. No intention whatsoever.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

I also didn't know bout Ariza until before the game. It hurt my fantasy team bad.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

this just needs to be said. Jarrett Jack over the last 11 games dating back to Feb 9. 13 PTS/55%FG/92%FT/1.8 REB/2.1 AST/1.5 TO I'd take that from my back up PG anyday of the week..

Justinho
Justinho

Absolutely I would. It almost seems that what was getting Jack in some trouble early on was maybe trying too much to play Chris Paul's style when he comes on in relief. Attempting to be a facilitator and distributor rather than being aggressive and getting points however he can. The latter seems to be more what he's comfortable with. Playing a little more like Pargo and a little less like a mini passive CP. So long as he's confident in his shot I've got no problem with that at all.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

HAHA :)) that sarcasm thing should've been a joke. apparently everyone thought i was serious. Well on to serious matters, great win for us. West gets injured and we still win. It goes to show that with CP3, we can win with whomever. I'm not talking bout the fearful Christopher Paul, I'm talking calculated and aggresive CP3. Here's to another stretch of wins.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

CP3 still doesn't want to play for us. He's playing to be traded. He's not playing hurt.

Nik
Nik

duuuddee why would you go an do that? someone doesn't stop to smell the roses... (i prefer lillies)

42
42

Me too

Nik
Nik

ack got it haha there should be a universal sign for scarcasm its about time btw any word on teh injuries??

DownUnder
DownUnder

I dont know why something like that has to be even brought up right now?

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

putting sarcasm tags takes the fun away from doing sarcastic remarks.

42
42

Ha. It does to some extent. It also keeps me out of trouble. Choices...

DownUnder
DownUnder

I thought that didnt sound like you lol posted before ur second comment my mistake, they need like a second font u can use for sarcasm aye

42
42

I sometimes us sarcasm tags when i want to be really clear.

Go Blue
Go Blue

Are you serious?

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

you know me. that's supposed to be sarcastic. LOL

MaxJD_Nola2NYC
MaxJD_Nola2NYC

Forkin ship I'm so hot dam happy I feel like a pig in sh*t Goooood rittens to Christopher!! Wooooooooooo (rick flare