Hornets surge past Suns in the 4th as CP3 takes over late

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Published: March 26, 2011

Going into the 2007-2008 season, Steve Nash was unquestionably the top point guard in the NBA according to anybody and everybody who watched the game. That year, however, CP3 exploded onto the scene, raising his game to another level, carrying the Hornets to unexpected victory after unexpected victory. In the process, he replaced Steve Nash as the premier point guard in the league due to the fact that he could get anywhere he wanted on the court and he possessed a unique ability to dominate second halves and close out tight games.

The Hornets 106-100 victory on Friday night was a microcosm of that entire season in a lot of ways, as CP3 simply took over the final four minutes of the game and dominated his individual matchup with Steve Nash. CP3 went for 22, 7, and 5 while Steve Nash struggled with his shot, going just 1-9 from the field. In fact, Nash had more turnovers (5) than points (3) in this game, while CP3 controlled the pace of the game for all 37 minutes he was on the floor and only turned it over one time.

While Carl Landry (19 points) and Ariza (16 points) also chipped in, it was the Hornets bench that kept them in the game every time it appeared Phoenix was going to pull away. Willie Green poured in 15 points in just 19 minutes, while Jarrett Jack did his normal thing when getting 25+ minutes, as he had 17 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals off the bench. And while their stats were less glamorous, Aaron Gray, Q-Pon, and David Anderson each made an impact in their own way off the pine as well.

Everybody played their part, but in the end it was the CP3 show and it will have to stay that way if the Hornets want to secure a spot in the playoffs and have any shot of getting out of the first round.

Other Notes and Observations:

– Coaches dissect tape for hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours over the course of an NBA season. They have scouts and assistant coaches assigned to specific teams so that they can know their opponent, and therefore how to defeat them. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of every player and devise game plans accordingly. Grant Hill came into the game with just 34 three-pointers made (less than .5 per game), so the obvious game plan would be to leave him open from deep, as opposed to someone like Nash, Dudley, or Frye. Of course, Grant Hill goes 3-3 from deep early on. Hakim Warrick has been known throughout his career as a one-dimensional player who gets his points around the rim. The Hornets, therefore, played off him in the pick and pop. Of course, Warrick drained multiple lumpers from 18 feet out. And do I even have to mention Aaron Brooks- how he had been ice cold of late, but tonight he drains numerous off balance jumpers and 30 foot three-pointers?

Oh, this would have been a frustrating loss to take if not for CP3.

– I know Landry scored 19 points but Monty is going to be in his ear non stop if he keeps playing like this. He just doesn’t look like he knows where to be on the offensive end and he is so passive on the defensive glass. Two defensive rebounds tonight against a soft Suns team. Not going to cut it. The dunks are nice, but those won’t be there against good teams in the playoffs. Landry has a long way to go if he is looking to replace David West, and Monty and Chris won’t be shy in telling him exactly what they need him to do.

– I don’t want to be negative after a loss, but I can’t help but notice Ariza’s general lack of passion. I watched this guy a lot earlier in his career and he would have killed to get 20 minutes back in the day. Now he gets 40 and he really looks like he could care less. If 20 year old Ariza were to meet this version, he wouldn’t recognize him. I hope this changes.

– Great pass by Willie Green at the end of the game (wink). For those who didn’t watch, the Hornets were up 2 with 30 seconds left and Willie launched a deep shot that resulted in an air ball that Okafor caught and laid in. I am going to call it a pass.

– Don’t want to toot my own horn, but I predicted Hornets 108 Suns 102 in the pre-game. If you took the money line/over combo bet that I advised and put $100 on it, you would have won nearly $450. You’re welcome.

– Spurs had a 6 point lead with 85 seconds left, but couldn’t hold on against Portland. Thanks a lot San Antonio.

– Hornets sit in 7th as of right now, 2 games ahead of Memphis for 8th, .5 back of Portland for 6th, and 2 games back of Denver for 5th. Houston is the only team with a realistic chance of catching the Hornets, as they sit 3.5 back. Since the Hornets won the season series, let’s say 4 games back. Four wins in the last 9 will all but guarantee the Hornets a playoff spot. 3 wins would likely get them in, and 2 wins would be a 50/50 proposition.

– Next game is the Lakers. I’m happy we got these last two. Let’s put it that way.

26 comments
QueenBee
QueenBee

Speaking of Aaron Gray, did anyone hear CP3 yell to Aaron Gray "SHOOT IT BIG FELLA!!" LOL!! Paul with a nice pass to Aaron Gray with Gray right under the basket and Gray passes the ball to another Hornet (can't remember which one) in the corner that resulted in pretty much nothing. I think a foul or something but it should've been easy points for Gray. Gil and Bob got a kick out of that and showed the replay so we could listen to CP saying those words. And then on the next possession, Paul passes to Jack and Jack knocks down the 3 ball.

F******
F******

Is Chris Paul playing better without D-West?? In that Utah game, it looked like both really weren't on the same page all game long. Chris was all over David for not kicking the ball out, once the defense collapses on him! And again Paul was playing at his best @ PHX. I hate to say that, but I'm not sure the team is worse off with David out and a solid PF like Landry is filling in! We'll see! Great wins lately! And the help, yes really HELP of a guy like Aaron Gray really delights me!! He has some valuable capabilities that the team could use (and of course some devastating short comings he needs to hide)!! Go Hornets

QueenBee
QueenBee

I'm guessing you didn't see Chris Paul WITH David West in the 3 games after the concussion then? Let's not start sounding like Matt Harpring now. :?

Bryce Drew
Bryce Drew

The Bees are BUZZIN on the Bayou!!

Duckathon
Duckathon

Nice to see the Hornets put a great effort against the Suns.

Gec
Gec

listen what i remebered this morning: even if we end 4th in the W.C. (Thunders 5th), OKC'll have the 4th seed because it's a division winner. Am i mistaken?

Chuck
Chuck

I believe you are correct, the division winner is guaranteed a top 4 seed, so either OKC or Denver (same division) would have it. However, this isn't like the NFL, the team with the better record does have homefield/court advantage regardless of seeding *cough cough Seahawks cough*

JCS
JCS

Great win. Excellent game for CP and Landry. Gray on the other hand, was a total nonfactor, proving once again he is who we thought he was. Hornets should continue to win, as long as they out rebound, get to the stripe, and play every quarter like it's the last. They should not hope for a fluke performance from this or that guy, instead they should just play their hearts out and keep winning for the Gipper.

paul
paul

you're funny. Am I that easy????

coach44
coach44

I think Gray gets a bum rap too often. As a 300 lb. 7 footer, his job seems to be to rebound, play defense, alter shots, and score when appropriate ( cutbacks, short jumpers and hooks, ect...-not 20- rooters). Lately, I think he has done that. We don't win the Utah game without him. Did you see him go on the floor for that loose ball near the end of the game? I agree that he isn't flashy and doesn't score a lot, but I really don't think that's his role.

coach44
coach44

footers-damn autofill

granzombi
granzombi

Anyone have a link to Chris Pauls emotional post game comments on CST?

QueenBee
QueenBee

Yeah, come on guys, where are the video gurus here to put up that post-game with Victor Howell? I saw it but I don't have a video of it.

MaxALM
MaxALM

Yay for Chris Paul being C..P..3!!! Yay for good defense to close out the game. However, Landry needs to START F'N REBOUNDING........BUUUUT, 4 offensive rebounds is nice. That'll definitely help come playoff time. And the Monty chest bumps at the end! Priceless. Can anyone even TRY to imagine the players chest bumping Jeff Bower?? How awkward would that be?? The players love Monty, and that's important.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Monty Williams is going to give our players chest contusions with those hard ass chest bumps. LMAO!! But if we're chest bumpin' then that means we're winning so chest contusions for all! Cheers!

clutch19
clutch19

How much more do you expect from Trevor? yes he does launch some crazy shots every now and again and maybe he gets lost on a few defensive assignments from time to time. but the guy has been a Huge upgrade for us this season and there is NO telling where we would be without him. just seems as if we as fans are expecting more from a player than what they can realistically give us. I am very confident in what trevor will give us down the stretch and into the playoffs. It is a very long season and e can't expect for these guys to have the very same intensity level night in and out. let's all just get off of Ariza's back and applaud him for all that he has brought to our team this year.

Dontae
Dontae

I completely agree. I think he is gonna really step up in the Playoffs on defense.

NOLA70118
NOLA70118

Completely agree as well. He's one of the best defensive players in the league and has done a hell of a job. Just because he has a quiet personality doesn't mean his game is quiet.

Jeremy
Jeremy

The point Mike's trying to make is the Ariza pre-extension would have given his all to get every minute he can & loose ball that's on the floor. Now he feels he has 36 million reasons to be satisfied & content.

Dontae
Dontae

Good win guys. Chris Paul is playing like himself and I really liked what I saw from Landry. We may still be able to move up to 6th. If we move down to 8th that would be okay with me too.

clutch19
clutch19

Im still very excited about the Total Team win... got great production from a number of players...