The Hornets trip the Pacers

Published: April 3, 2011

The Hornets handled the Pacers without much issue tonight, handing out a 108-96 drubbing (Box Score) that was actually a twenty-five point lead before the Hornets scrubs came in and let the Pacers cut it to pieces.  If I was a Hornets sub, I wouldn’t want to be near Monty’s office tonight.  He looked royally pissed off to have to put his starters back in.

It was a nice, entertaining game to watch, and the Hornets just seemed to flow freely through the first three quarters.  A far cry from the ugly Memphis game.

Trevor Ariza

I have to give the Pacers some due.  They weren’t actually as bad defensively as they looked.  If I was their coach, I’d tell them to let Ariza shoot to his heart’s content.  In fact, I’d tell my guys to beg Ariza to shoot.  Well, tonight, he shot, and they let him,  and he hit.  A lot.   19 points on 13 shots and that includes a couple stupid heaves at the end of the game when he inserted to try and staunch the benches bleeding.   I also think the fact his offense was flowing helped keep his energy up everywhere, because he was involved frequently in scrums for rebounds and came away with more than his fair share of them.  19 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists for Ariza.  Things are so much easier when he’s an actual threat.

Emeka Okafor

I thought about going with Paul here, but Okafor was a monster this game.  He was like a bulldozer out there, moving Hibbert wherever he wanted to.  It wasn’t just power either, he outmuscled Hibbert sure, but he also kept slipping around and past him and sealing him away from the basket over and over.  He finished with 14 points on 11 shots, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block.  The only issue I had with him all game was that the Hornets ended up going to him on a post-up on the first play of the game.  Now, no, it wasn’t the first option, it was like the third in that set, but Okafor just doesn’t have the ability to hit a hook over someone 7’2″ even if he can push the guy into the paint.  The result was an ugly attempt.  Way short.

Other Observations:

  • Chris Paul was attacking and sinking his shots tonight.  He had a couple vicious ankle-breaking crossovers in the game, and generally had his way out there.
  • Paul also banged knees out there and went down grabbing it.  I almost vomited.  Happily he returned a few minutes later and didn’t really look any worse for wear.
  • Hibbert may be the worst pick and roll defender in the league.  He kept screening his own guy from the play, never showed hard, but never recovered either.  I mean, that’s Gray’s weakness too, but at least he tries to get back.  Hibbert didn’t seem interested.
  • Landry is returning to full on Houston mode, dropping a hyper efficient 18 points on 9 shots.  He’s getting the ball where he likes it, and he has the same array of moves that West does when facing up in the post, but he couples it with explosive speed for a big man.
  • Marco and Willie both struggled with their shooting tonight, missing most of their jumpers.  It unusual we can win without one of them shooting straight.  Good job, Ariza.
  • Collison against Jack was ugly.  The Hornets kept the speedster under wraps for most of the game, but Jack had real issues recovering to defend him on pick and rolls.  He was just too damn fast.

With the win, the Hornets take back the 7th spot in the West Standings.  Wild ride out there.


  1. paul

    April 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Landry was one of my keys.
    I wasn’t sure, so I looked up his info…he’s listed at 248 plus pounds!?
    Now that is a pretty slim 248 pounds.
    I thought Gray had a good game going until he found his fouls again.
    Normally I think he doesn’t deserve them, but tonight I think he sort of did some stupid fouling at the end of his minutes. I think he had 3 in 1 minute…or so it seemed.

    It was nice seeing both Gray and Okafor on the floor together. Hope we see more.

    Is Collison the real reason JJack looked so bad tonight?
    I mean he was something like 0 for 4 awhile and stinking up the floor.
    Was that defense by Collison????

  2. Mjacks79222

    April 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    The poor shooting could result from him chasing collison like a mad man and losing his legs in the process.

  3. mbdtf

    April 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Nice win. The game at the Hive on Wednesday is gonna be a huge one!

    ESPN corrected it now, but a little bit after the game ended, they put this up:

    I’m glad they know how to spell the name of our team… Honets…

  4. JCS

    April 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Aaron Hacksaw M’Gray. Play him more than 10 minutes you got 5 fouls; getting 10 points, not so much. Personally, I can’t wait till the Hornets get rid of this scrub and land someone like Charles Okwandu or Gary McGhee. Should they land a real back up center like one of them, then Okafor’s so-called inabilities will be an after thought. Anyway, great win for NOLA. Loved the starters +/- and how it actually meant something*. Looking forward to the next WIN against H-Town.

    • Mark

      April 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm

      It’s heartwarming seeing us root for the bench (I’m a Aaron Gray supporter too), but yes, realistically we mustn’t set our standards that low. We need a more productive bench.

      • JCS

        April 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm

        The standard of Aaron Gray is that of a European D-League benchwarmer. It would be heartwarming if fans rooted for a player that has a positive impact on the team. Aaron Gray has been negative from NOLA to Chicago, where as Jarrett Jack has been much more positive from here to Toronto. Hate it or love it, that’s just a fact, Jack.

      • 42

        April 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm

        Jack is a better guard than Gray is a center, and more versitile. Agreed. Good thing he’s owed 10 times more money over twice as long a time, assuming player options are utilized.

  5. MaxALM

    April 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Good win. Let’s get another one on Wednesday.

    Damn Trail Blazers. Seriously, they played the Spurs twice in the last 10 days and won both of them because they just so happened to catch SA without their 3 best players for BOTH games. And now, they beat Dallas tonight, who played without Tyson. If Tyson were playing, he could have seriously altered Portland’s offense. What should have been a very difficult closing schedule for them ending up being MUCH easier thanks to timely injuries to opponents.

    And as a result, we’re still matched up with the Lakers for the playoffs.

  6. Ian H.

    April 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Im ecstatic about the victory but I swear Willie Green and his decision making makes me wanna throw something. The ill advised shots and ball stopping techniques he has mastered just frustrate me like none other. He plays so selfish at times and the only play im comfortable with is his elbow jumper. He always does something good in every game to show his value but I swear I wanna judo chop him in the throat most of the time lol. Huge victory.

    • RobertM320

      April 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      Willie drove me nuts last night as well. The first FIVE possessions of the 4th quarter, he took every shot. Five shots in less than 3 minutes. And only made one. Game never should have been that close.

      • James Online

        April 4, 2011 at 6:48 pm

        Willie Green and Jarett Jack both unload as many shots as possible as soon as possible regardless of the situation because they are looking to improve their situations on the team and in the league.

        Dividing up minutes evenly among Belinelli, Green, and Jack is sheer lunacy.

      • Ian H.

        April 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm

        He plays for himself and his stats and it’s so obvious. When it gets to 10 seconds on the shot clock every one in the building knows he is gonna jack up a dumb shot. He plays like Kobe without the size, skill, or talent but has the confidence. He only passes when he absolutely has to and I find his defense to be quite overrated. He plays big in some spots but I hate his overall game. He and Belly can’t play at the same time cuz he would sabotage Belly and not pass him the ball just like he would pass Marcus the ball at times lol. I hate when Landry gets on a roll and Willie and Jack act like it takes an act of Congress to feed him the ball. I scream at the TV “pass the damn ball!” but instead they fire up an inefficient jumper and I hate when it goes in.

  7. SadHornetsFan

    April 4, 2011 at 4:18 am

    i can’t forget it was the mediocre pacers, but this is what this team is supposed to play like. Oak being a beast on the boards. CP3 puttin up his numbers (can we get some consistency please?). And Ariza providing just an occasional threat on offense.

    great D tonight…except for that fourth quarter run. no big deal. landry is exciting to watch. i think he is the best low post player of the new orleans hornets era…desmond mason, jamaal magloire, west. am i missing anyone? i would take landry over any of them on the block. this is a big asset for spacing and running certain plays imo.

    its all about CP3 though. if we get tonight’s chris, anything is possible. if we get the grizz game chris, we are one and done.

    • QueenBee

      April 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      “its all about CP3 though. if we get tonight’s chris, anything is possible. if we get the grizz game chris, we are one and done.”

      I think the Hornets are one and done anyway. 🙁

    • Ian H.

      April 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      I’m gonna agree with u on the Landry point, and honestly it isn’t really close either. DWest has a better total package, but Landry with his back to the basket in the post or his face up game in the post is phenomenal. He gets to his spot regardless of his defender whenever he wants to. It’s funny how he gets to the front of the rim effortlessly. If he could defensively stay outta foul trouble he could average 25 a night and do it quite efficiently at that

      • QueenBee

        April 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

        I also think we should just hope to have a successful Carl Landry and stop expecting him to bring what West brings.

  8. Bug Marley

    April 4, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I’m not sure but is Ariza coming alive now that the postseason is nigh? I think he will be one of our biggest assets come playoff time.

    • Ryan Schwan

      April 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

      I’d love this to be the case – but I’m thinking this was more a fluke. Ariza can’t shoot.

  9. chiefyoungblood

    April 4, 2011 at 4:53 am

    I spent the entire ride to the game lecturing my friend on what Ariza had to start doing offensively , how he should shoot a shot outside of the painted area , how we’ve given up on incorporating him offensively. We eventually arrived at the hive and it happend … An efficient offensive performance , I never expected it , it was great .

    side note * I’ve only been able to go to 4 hornets games this year ( i’m poor ) the first was opening night , and 3 others have been blowouts blowouts ( ex examples 1. The Game we blew out Utah and thought we were the shit for a few days before the Sloan/Deron Williams drama explained it 2. the game the Timberwolves blew us out at home by shooting a ton of free-throws and tonight

    not sure what i’m sayin’ , just sayin’.

    • Ryan Schwan

      April 4, 2011 at 10:11 am

      You see, you shouldn’t have said you went to a blowout that went against us. If you had said you only go to blowouts delivered by the Hornets, we might have handed you our Hornets247 Playoff tickets here and now.

  10. JNR

    April 4, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Every time Trevor shot, I was like “Ugh, come on…oh wow it went in!”

    But that doesn’t change the fact that he was launching shots from 20 feet out with 20 seconds left on the clock. I’m glad he made them, but that isn’t good offense. All it does is give him more confidence to shoot, which I’m not sure he needs.

    Good win. Probably going to be the only easy breezy game the rest of the way, so we might as well enjoy it.

    • Justinho

      April 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

      In general, I agree with this as it applies specifically to Ariza. But taking a slight step back and evaluating the offense as a whole, I was actually really pleased to see our guys actually take open shots and opportunities as they presented themselves.

      I realize we play a certain deliberate (that’s probably being kind) style on O to control the pace of the game, but it frustrates me to no end to see common sense and continuity tossed aside in favor of fulfilling the “strategy”. Passing up open shots early just to get a contested shot or turnover late is counterproductive.

      Obviously I’m not advocating being like the Warriors or anything, but a happy medium is nice to see. And if Ariza taking a few open shots (not as many as last night on any sort of a regular basis) is part of this then I’ll take that tradeoff.

      • James Online

        April 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

        Insightful comment about the offensive style. The slow down, deliberate pace is fine so long as there is room for some smart and controlled breaks too, but that almost never happens. We’re not big enough to dominate good teams with the slow down game.

        Low attendance again, also frustrating.

        Landry NEVER passes the ball after he gets it until absolutely stymied. Okafur the same. Ball goes inside, shot goes up. Never a kick out to an open shooter.

  11. bgalella

    April 4, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Nice win for the Hornets, they needed to get this one. Good to see Emeka Okafor dominate the glass.

  12. nikkoewan

    April 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    great win. give me a win in houston, phoenix and utah and im good. 🙂

  13. nikkoewan

    April 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    i can’t believe before the season started, most people projected us to be the 19th record in the NBA, behind notable teams such as Wizards, Knicks, Phoenix and the Jazz. very proud of our team for overcoming the odds and a win in Houston short of making the playoffs. 🙂

    • SadHornetsFan

      April 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      ya, i found myself kinda being disappointed lately because of the inconsistency. the 11-1 start messed me all up… then i remembered that before the season i would have been ecstatic if i knew we would finish ten games above .500

  14. CP3nBrees

    April 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    If Hornets beat the Rockets on Wednesday, I would like them to lose last 4~5 games and rest our starters for the struggling Spurs….
    What do you guys think?

    • SadHornetsFan

      April 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      i don’t like that strategy. want to go into the playoffs on a win streak. gotta be hot at the right time. everything clicking

      • QueenBee

        April 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

        “i don’t like that strategy. want to go into the playoffs on a win streak. gotta be hot at the right time. everything clicking”.

        Yeah, going into the playoffs with a win streak should be good for the players’ confidence.

        After losing just about all of the pre-season games, who would’ve predicted the Hornets to win their first 8 of the season? Not me. LOL.

      • CP3nBrees

        April 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm

        I’m sure you still remember the Saints won the championship after that 3 games losing streak 🙂

      • QueenBee

        April 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm

        Yep, and I never doubted the Saints even after losing those last 3 games of the season. I remember my brothers friends/co-workers used to clown him about those losses and after each one, he’d tell them “we’re still going to Miami”. LOL!!

  15. hornetfan56

    April 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    i miss thornton

    • QueenBee

      April 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Get yourself some league pass so you can watch him regularly.

  16. L_REAZY

    April 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Willie Green is better as our starter

    Marco Belinelli is better off of our bench.

    Monty needs to go back to this rotation before the playoffs begin.

    Most of the time both players seem out of there element when its the other way around.

    Besides, Willie is more consistent with his jumper than Marco is … and he’s more aggressive!


    • SadHornetsFan

      April 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm

      gotta have three point shooting on the court with paul for spacing. too easy to play defense without any three point shooting imo. i like the rotation the way it is.

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