Hornets post furious comeback and topple Mavericks

By:
Published: March 9, 2011

Wow.

If the Hornets end up facing Dallas in a first round series, it could be one of the most entertaining series in the history of basketball.  The Mavs and Hornets have met three times this season, and the Hornets have won two of them, but none of the games were decided by more than 3 points.

Tonight, they overcame a 10-point 4th quarter deficit and gutted out a one-point win, 93-92. (Box Score) They did it via a balanced attack that saw individual players carry the offensive load for stretches at a time.  Landry dominated the second quarter scoring.  Jack ripped off five in a row and three huge free throws in the fourth.  West kept the Hornets in striking distance the Mavericks when the defensive stops grew scarce down the stretch of the fourth, and Belinelli tossed in a bucket here and there all through the game.

Oh and the defense?  It came to play.  That game was physical on both sides, and the Hornets ran a playoff rotation out there – going only 8 deep and only giving 8 minutes to Aaron Gray.

Jarrett Jack

Michael and I have been adamant for weeks that Jarrett Jack is a huge upgrade over any former back up point guard we’ve had.  He proved it tonight.  No, he couldn’t check Barea.  Yes, he started the game ice cold.  But – like I said in the podcast – when he gets big minutes, his numbers become impressive.  21 points on 19 shots, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, and three cold-blooded free throws to finish a game Tyson Chandler had failed to put away just moments before.  I love how Dallas called a 20-second time-out afte the second free throw to try and get him out of rhythm, and it didn’t bother him one bit.

Marco Belinelli

Mama Mia looks like he did to start the season, shooting with confidence and being aggressive.  He’s had the skills all season long, but his confidence wasn’t always there.  I think the Thornton trade may have helped him more than anyone else on this roster, letting him play freely and know he’s going to get enough minutes to contribute.  He also hit a pair of insaneshots tonight:  A half-court heave at the half-time buzzer, and a leaning three pointer to put the Hornets within 4 with 50 seconds left in the game.  Crazy shot.

Other Observations

  • It wasn’t all tea and crumpets, however.  The offense looked downright ugly.  During the third, I wrote down “Jumpshot, jumpshot, jumpshot, jumpshot, jumpshot”.  That was, essentially their third quarter offense, and they sputtered.  Luckily, they were getting lots of foul shots off offensive rebounds or turnovers and that kept it from being a total disaster.
  • Monty’s chest bump of West at the end was priceless.  He’s not far removed from being just one of the guys.
  • Landry is a beast in the post.  He started off abusing Nowitzki, and then they moved Chandler onto him, and he took Chandler to the hole twice for scores.  As he settles ito this team, he’ll be a wonderful fit.
  • Okay, that said about Landry – he was hopeless guarding Nowitzki.  Okafor and West gave the German some trouble.  Landry only had one good defensive posession against him out of like seven tries, and that one, I believe, Nowitzki was trying to flop and get a call.
  • Trevor Ariza was grimacing all game.  The broadcast caught it in the third, but he was doing it from the first quarter.  0-10 for the game, and every jumper but one that he took was an airball.  Happily, he also battled Marion on the boards, and vacuumed in 9.  Good for him to contribute how he could . . . but please stop shooting so much, Ariza.
  • Gray has his good games and his bad games.  This was a bad one.
  • Willie started, but got pulled quickly in the first after several ineffective minutes.  Belinelli got 40 minutes.  Honestly, I don’t care which of these two starts.  Monty will figure out which one is playing better, and let them finish – and that’s the way it should be.
  • Beaubois = Thornton
  • I frequently end up thanking Kidd for wrecking the Mavs chances.  Tonight, we can thank him again.  0-7 from the field, 1 rebound, 7 assists, and one rock-stupid foul on a Jarrett Jack pumpfake that cost the Mavs the game.  Thanks, Kidd.
  • Tyson was a beast tonight.  Yeah, I can mock him for missing those two free throws to make the game a two-posession game, but 16-13 in 25 minutes?  He and Barea were huge for the Mavs when their starters were struggling to score.
  • Bob and Gil were talking like the Hornets had lost the game when they entered the fourth down 10.  My thinking was following the same paths.

Hey!  I got to recap another win!  Two in a row for me, baby!

Winning.

102 comments
chiefyoungblood
chiefyoungblood

this game had everything to do with a post season matchup , showing the mavs we aren't scared to throw them all over the court like every other team that beats the mavs in the playoffs . BUSY BEEEEEEEEEEEEES

Jordan
Jordan

Someone said on the radio that belinelli didnt start because of a disciplinary action? Does anyone know anything about this?

42
42

Nope. Was it a caller or a host? Could be a squirrel . . .

Brazilian Hornet
Brazilian Hornet

Nice win! I'd like to share a space of the Hornets' Brazilian fans with you, American friends: http://www.orkut.com.br/Main # Community? cmm = 112246852 Who wants to enter our community, will be very welcome! Thanks!

Hollis21
Hollis21

This game had me fired up. Playing a top team, without your best player, enter the fourth down double digits, and you get the win. I love that Monty is smart and goes with the hot hand at the two. Just because someone starts doesn't make it mandatory they play 30 minutes. As for first-round matchups, I want to play Dallas, if I were to pick one of the top four teams. Spurs don't seem to be a realistic pick. The Lakers will always be a tough out. When looking at OKC/Dallas, I just like the matchup with the Mavericks better. Jason Kidd always plays poorly against the Hornets, it never fails. The Mavs have a history of choking in the playoffs. I like our matchup with them. And I mean, if you believe in Karma. That playoff series would be perfect if it ended with Landry hitting an 18 footer at the horn to end the series. Hopefully the team has some good practice before Sacramento. I'll be patiently waiting for that next long win streak since it seems to be the theme of the season.

ur_gmas_daughter
ur_gmas_daughter

HEY!!! Today's Q-Pon's birthday! Happy Birthday Rook...he's 23

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

Someone already mentioned it but we got snubbed from the NBA.com top ten plays i mean REALLY? not one play, you should see the wack ace bs they put over us. Freaken lay ups, blocks by big men on guards pathetic. David Wests fade away in tysons face was disgusting, carl landrys spin off of dirk to the rim was disgusting, jarret jacks midrange right between haywoods eyes was icy as hell i can go on and on. And to not have belinellis half court on there is absolutely criminal.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

The refs hate us, teams hate us, Cuban clearly hates us. But now our owners hate us?

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Marco Belinelli won me over tonight. It wasn't his outstanding shooting or halfcourt heaves. It was his tough, "I'm not taking your crap" attitude that he displayed in the third quarter. He literally saved the game for us when it was starting to get out of hand. That foul on Shawn Marion? Amen. Dallas was starting to play a little dirty and get emotional and our team had nothing in the intensity to match them until Marco gave Marion that little shove. Marco and Terry were BATTLING last night during the entire second half. He brought the toughness tonight. Of all people. The kid straight won me over tonight. If that isn't a "without you, we don't win this game, MT5-esque" game from the Italian-stallion, I don't know what is.

sundance
sundance

Doghouse, Marco also reacted to being hit on the head by Nowitzki in the 4th. That's why the refs gave em a double PF. I'm glad he's won you over. He rarely plays for himself, always for the team. He's has alot of talent yes, but it's his heart that impresses me most.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

"MB8" ... mmmmmmm ... Naaah! L_REAZY

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

Ya belly looked really good las night, (Free throws were painful) but he was hustlin and i normally criticize the hell out of him. Did yall notice how much david west was lookin for belly, he kept workin inside than dishin it to marco

NOLA ALL DAY
NOLA ALL DAY

Would yall rather play dallas, okc, lakers, or spurs in the first round? To be honest, id rather take the spurs, we match up great with them and play great against them, however i dont see it happening because we wont drop an neither will they. Other then that, its between okc and dallas, tough decision though...

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Dallas, SA, OKC, LAL- in that order. I know it is surprising to put SA #2 but I think Okafor can handle Duncan and our bench can stick with SA's in a series. It would come down to whether or not we can guard the three-point line and I think we can do that if fully focused in a playoff series. OKC just scares me because they can get to the line at will with KD and Westbrook. That is my order of preference.

Bywas2001hornets4ever225
Bywas2001hornets4ever225

Dallas defenitly. I hate okc, they just think they r all that and that seems to be the kind of teams and players the hornets loose to

TopherPrice
TopherPrice

I have to say, I am with Mac... Despite their amazing depth, impressive record, and virtual dominance over almost every opponent I would prefer the Mavs over any other top 4 team for our 1st round matchup. The Hornets just have their number. I don't know why, they just do. It reminds me of how Utah just always had the Hornets number in the D-Will era. Some teams just own others for no real discernible reason. Can you imagine the Chernobyl level media meltdown that Cuban would have if the Hornets knock the Mavs out of the playoffs in the first round? Especially if Landry is a big part of the reason. I will have a grin all day contemplating that situation.

42
42

I'll take a loss to Utah 3 or 4 times a year with victories over NJ 3 times in 4 games just to make the point that is wasn't Deron . . . it was the team. I hate bad analysis. Hate. To be clear: I'm agreeing with you, Topher, that it's a team matchup thing. Such an unfolding would go a long way to demonstrating that. Of course, the teams are different, etc. etc. I should just shut up . . .

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

I love diddles and monty i need a pic of this chest bump. I was at the game so i was more concerned with screaming but i got real fired up when jack went to like half court and punched the air.

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

I started the download from TiVO last night, but it hadn't finished by the time I need to sleep. I'll get it up sometime tonight.

42
42

There are pills . . .

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

I needs to sees it

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

Damn Monty!!! That just proves he believes in his guys ... even McNeal ... lol! Who knows, maybe after the Hornets beat the Kings he'll head-butt someone, or slap the hell out of Ariza and say, "Get fired up Boy!!!" L_REAZY

QueenBee
QueenBee

@42, Monty shoved McNeal. Too funny!

42
42

Awesome. Perfect.

42
42

You do. He shoves the hell out of someone too... Q?

Bywas2001hornets4ever225
Bywas2001hornets4ever225

Dat was an energizing game! I was yelling all game lol. But they were fouling us but we couldn't get a damn call to save our lives but I love the way we fought through even tho we could have easily gave up late in the game. I love this team. The losses don't sting as much if we fight like this every night. People... This team is growing before our eyes! They have each others backs. Our team depicts a boxer not much different from rocky at times, we sometimes take a beating but we can fight back with a fury of players that have been underestimated their whole careers. Also that chest bump by monty had me so fired up I couldn't contain it. It was epic, u can tell when a coach really cares about his team.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

I guess my only question for either Micheal or Ryan is: Since the Hornet's games with the Mavs have been so close all year then why did all the 'position advantages' go in favor of the Mavs in your "Game-On" analysis? It seems like every position, including the bench is pretty 'EVEN'. ...on a different note, I'm assuming this is the type of Hornets team that Mark Cuban was afraid of, because it definitely wasn't the 125% out of his pocket. Carl Landry will get his first real practice this week going into the home game versus former team Sacramento ... should be an awesome game, especially after this victory. By the way, if their is a Carl Landry flaw it appears to be defense, which is sort of weird because isn't that the reason Marcus Thornton never panned out? Speaking of Marcus Thornton, judging by the way he and Marco have been playing lately who wins that starting 2-guard match-up on Saturday? I agree with Mike Mac about Marco playing more freely and confidently now that Marcus is gone. Now, what will 'Belli' do when MT5 comes back on Saturday? L_REAZY

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

landry didn't fare well with Nowitzki because he was outmatched. That's all. Landry is a bull dog on defense. That's what i saw from his Houston days. His offense just followed. Nowitzki was taller, was a great scorer, and efficient. Landry did what he could. :)

ur_gmas_daughter
ur_gmas_daughter

Ariza's direct quote on Landry last Friday. We've only seen a glimpse of what he can do, imagine around playoff time: "Carl is a really good scorer coming off the bench for our team," confirmed Ariza. "(This was) something that we needed and I was just saying to him that with the way we run our system our four-man is going to get a lot of opportunities to score and I think that's his strong point and we are going to utilize that. "It's been less than a week since he has been here. I think as soon as he gets really comfortable, he is going to grow tremendously, probably in about another week." Full article on Landry: http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18982

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

yes practice time will help :) even Ariza suggested that when Landry gets acquainted with the defensive setting, he'll be infinitely be a better player for the Hornets(not word-for-word)

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

Okay, because I thought I remembered him being, at the very least a decent defender. However, he has struggled a little on that side of the ball since joining the Hornets, but maybe practice time will help that! L_REAZY

NolaHog
NolaHog

Hey Mark Cuban. . . SUCK IT!

paul
paul

I will say it until I am blue in the face...and still not get this through to any on this sight. Gray had a good night. Not a great night in any stretch. But a poor night??? PULEEEZE! He did what he was supposed to do.. stop the inside dominance and allow his team second chances. Ya, he had 2 stupid fouls. Who didn't? No he didn't score. When will we we as any knowledgable basketball fans understand that SCORING is absolutely meaningless when determening a role player's performance? It seems never in these fan sights. If you don't put up numbers, you don't rate. This is wearysome....

42
42

Good play or not, he ended up with 4 fouls in 8 minutes. That is not sustainable. He wasn't the only one in foul trouble, for sure, but how can you make a game plan when you don't know if you are going to get 28 minutes or 8 from a player. The other guys (Landry) made it almost the whole game. Almost isn't cool, but he was closer to expectations from an availability point of view. Gray has a player option for next year, and I hope he picks it up and continues his improvement.

paul
paul

Another point in fact... Gray, knowing he is starting and needs to shoulder lots of play time as the main center always goes longer without fouls. Check the stats. It is true and I think helps make my point.

42
42

These are all valid points. It's hard to tell which is the cart and which is the horse, yeah? Fouls and playing time. We are in agreement that Gray can be a contributor, and we'd both like him to be.

paul
paul

I think...and this is only my opinion, 42, is that when you KNOW you will play longer, you play differently. Point in fact, JJack gets Kudos for his performance even though it is understood that he plays so much better with longer minutes. In shorter periods, he looks completely different. My point is the court time is the reason. It changes a player's mental approach to a game. It shouldn't but yet it does. Another point, players...pinch hitters...that come off the bench and are hot are extremely rare. In baseball...my game...these are highly valued nerves of steel that very few others have. I would presume it's so in basketball. In basketball, there is a reason players allow drives past them. They KNOW they need to play 30 minutes and more. There is a reason most players avoid the so called "poster" shot and allow for opposition dunks. It's their floor time...and egos. Not so a bench player that knows he more than likely will get only 5 to 10 minutes. Ten minutes would be the rare event. So they play the game differently. This is my opinion and I will sit down now and wait for your answer.

Gec
Gec

when Tyson missed those FTs, was CP3 saying "you owe us!"?

TopherPrice
TopherPrice

HAHA, he was saying either, "This is OUR House." or "NOT in OUR House" because I think Tyson had said something like, "I own THIS" when he gorilla dunked that ball on the fast break. Even CP3 had a grin on his face when he was saying that to Tyson. You know those dudes love each other, and they both saw the humor on the 1st miss. THEN he missed again... Wow, I don't envy Tyson.

Bywas2001hornets4ever225
Bywas2001hornets4ever225

Not in our house! I still like chandler tho but he kno he wrong for gettin healthy and play well against us, making our trade for mek look bad..... Who does he think he is?! Lmao

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Best win of the year IMO, bar none. Several times I told myself to just look away so I could avoid the heartbreak, but I stuck with it and was rewarded in the end- which is kinda why this one games was a microcosm of the whole season for me. This win not only helped us in the standings, but it moved Dallas closer to that 3 seed (where I suspect they will end up) - meaning that if we get 5 or 6 we will get Dallas or OKC, not the Lakers. I will take my chances with Dallas or OKC. Actually, if fully healthy, I will look forward to victories in those series.

Stefano from Italy
Stefano from Italy

Hi guys. Great win, and without CP3. Jack is a valuable player, and so Beli. It would be nice, after some difficulties, to hear some good comments on Belinelli!!! Cheers

Rocco
Rocco

GRREEATTT WIN!!!! Hard effort throughout. The Past two games Jack and Belinelli have combined for an average of better than 40 pts p g. I Wish Jack was a better facilitator, but oh well. What a great victory. I like Marco's confidence right now, and that he's getting his shots in the flow of offense. And, it seems like such a simple thing, but why is it Beli seems to be the only guard/wing who can consistently deliver the ball from the wing to the our posted up bigs in the low block area. Talk about an efficient way to get our f/c's (especially Okafor) involved effectively at the offensive end. Best win of the new year.

Mike
Mike

Periodic lurker posting for the first time. One of the best Hornet games I've ever been to. Really loved how they battled the whole game, and glad it paid off with a W. Best part of the game was an obnoxious Mavs fan sitting a few rows in front of me. He was relishing the lead the Mavs had in the fourth and when Cardinal hit his corner 3 with 2 minutes and change left in the game, he stood up and shouted, "Ball game!" Oops.

42
42

Welcome. I will never understand people who don't thinl they have to watch the games to see what's going to happen. It's one thing to guess, speculate, etc. It's quite another to instigate situations with the restless natives around on such a basis. I'm always polite and demur at away games. I'm happy when good things happen for my team, then I shut up.