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Utah Jazz at New Orleans Hornets »
Game On: Jazz @ Hornets (Live Chat!)
Utah Jazz (38-40) @ New Orleans Hornets (46-34)
Pace: Jazz 93.7 (17th), Hornets 90.9 (29th)
Offensive Efficiency: Jazz 104.8 (14th), Hornets 104.2 (17th)
Defensive Efficiency: Jazz 107.5 (24th) , Hornets 102.2 (7th)
The Jazz head to New Orleans for a game that’s sure to matter somehow, but it’s unclear how exactly. With a cluster of teams fighting for both 2-3-4, and 6-7-8, Monty and the Hornets will continue to take things one game at a time, as they have all season.
While they controlled their own destiny as of yesterday, the loss to the Grizzlies along with LA’s loss to the Trailblazers really hurt the Hornets chances of locking up the 6-seed. They can still do it with two wins, but they need some help in the form of a Memphis win tomorrow over Portland. If that happens, and the Hornets win tonight, they will likely control their own destiny on Wednesday against Dallas in the regular season finale.
It’s really hard to even figure out what exactly where the Hornets and their fan base even want to finish. We know from the most recent Hornets247 poll that fans overwhelmingly want to face Dallas if given the chance between SA, LA, and the Mavs, but what if OKC is put into that equation? After winning four in a row and watching the Lakers tank, it’s all of a sudden possible that OKC could wind up as high as the two seed, although it’s still most likely that they wind up in number four. Both LA and Dallas hold tie-breakers over the Thunder.
(edit- LA holds the tie-breaker over both teams, and the Thunder hold the tie-breaker over the Dallas via winning their division)
LA controls their own destiny, but facing SA at home tonight isÂ a tough contest, and going to Sacramento for the season finale in a game that could possibly be the end of basketball in Sacramento (BOOOOOOOOOOOO!) should be nearly as difficult.
Let’s pause for a second and think about the absurdity of that. Those fans have supported that sub-par team for years and years, paying hundreds of millions of dollars (if not more) for tickets, jerseys, hats, etc, and the owners are just going to throw them under the bus on the way out of town. They are some of the best fans in the NBA, despite the team’s struggles, and this is how their owners and the league reward their passion and dedication?
Absurd. The Maloofs (and anyone that supports/approves this move) should be ashamed of themselves. That’s what’s wrong with the NBA, by the way. Good luck getting those fans back if the Kings move.
As for tonight’s game-
The Jazz have lost 10 of 11 games, and seem entirely dedicated to getting the best pick they can in the upcoming NBA draft. Perhaps they really think that Jimmer is going to save them (lol). Fact is, there hasn’t been a more disappointing team this year than the Jazz. They lost one of the best coaches in NBA history, one of the best pint guards in the league, and needless to say, their replacements haven’t exactly been tearing it up.
Since Chris Paul was drafted, this is the worst Jazz team he has faced, and if memory serves, he owes that organization some payback for all the defeats over the years. Hopefully he also can make at least one shot, after going scoreless for the first time in his NBA career as a starter over Memphis. He was out-scored by the now immortal Patrick Chewing Junior.
Paul can’t play like that again this season if the Hornets want to keep advancing. They simply can’t win any game in which he does. That’s what to watch.
Otherwise keep your eyes on the inside, since Utah isn’t particularly big. The Hornets should be able to play Okafor and Landry together for most of the night, but don’t be surprised to see a Gray-Okafor combo. That’s the duo that wound up contributing in the overtime portion of the Hornets last thrilling win over the Jazz.
Let’s check out Okafor’s shot one more time-
Notes from the Arena
- As usual- If you don’t have tickets yet, they are still available. Come to the game and watch the Hornets whoop on lowly Utah. It will be a blast.
- Jazz injuries: Raja Bell, Kyrylo Fesenko, Ronnie Price, and Mehmet Okur are out.
- Still trying to give away this FREE HAT AND JERSEY for whoever correctly picks the winner and score. Good luck. Today you can do it in the comment section below, but next time we’re back to the New Orleans Hornets Forum.
Quotes from Monty’s Pre-game
- Our defense put our offense in a tough spot last night.
- “I didn’t talk to him about it. I felt like enough people were going to talk about it”. He went on “He missed some shots last night, but that happens. And let’s be real- he only played 28 minutes. I could have got him in the game last night where he could have scored a point and nobody would be talking about this, so if anyone is to blame, it’s me. I could have put him back in the game, but I’m trying to be smart about his minutes and I didn’t think we had a chance to win that game last night after the third quarter”
- He soon followed with “I wouldn’t want to play against him tonight”.
- “We talked about the dog we have to have down the stretch, and it wasn’t there last night.”
Some more thoughts- It’s hilarious how many questions Monty has been asked this year that he’s completely and utterly brushed off. To be honest, I’ve spent most of the year just observing since I’m relatively new to this, so when I start asking him wild questions about advanced stats next year (drawing certain bewildered looks from fellow writers in the process), he will probably be surprised. Hopefully that lead to some more interesting insight into the mind of Coach Williams in the process.
Prediction Hornets: What a Wonderful World (Joey Ramone cover) Jazz: Sound of my pit bull puking on my stomach
I think the biggest risk we would take is by trying to play out these final two games hard and end up getting stuck as the 7 seed and playing the lakers first round... in my opinion we would be easily swept... so the solution rest our starters and take the 8 seed... this way we know who we r gunna get, the spurs, and can rest chris, mek, and ariza. I really think the best chance for us to suprise a team and win a series against would be Dallas or San Antonio... no way we beat the lakers or thunder, not a chance this way with us taking our own destiny in hand and losing the last two games we will most likely end up the 8 seed play a preferable team and get our stars some rest
@ JOE--- i am a big fan of the kings move to anaheim.... not making any money in sac town and even more importantly the move means MARCUS THORTON will be 15 min away from where i live so i can go watch that beast play many times a year
Stop hoping and praying for CP3 to do something. Yall know Earl Watson will have his way with him tonight. Just a heads up so you won't be disappointed. I'm In!
99-91, Jazz. I really dont believe that, but I just want the FREE HAT and JERSEY! Figure if I am the only one picking the Jazz, I got a chance. Also, the reverse psychology thing is in. Whenever I want something to happen, it never seems to. So, this way, either I'm right, or the Hornets win.
i expect to see marco get hot early and be benched after 8 minutes for the following 25, and then play some garbage time without having a single play designed for him. Or start sucking hard and get benched after 5 minutes for the rest of the game.
Hornets 101- Jazz 89 I hope the Hornets lose the game though, so we can face the Spurs in the 1st round. The Hornets are probably the only team in the NBA who has beaten the 'healthy' Spurs twice...
Do it nola. Aaron Gray gonna see some big minutes but tonight is all about CP3. Guy can't throw donuts and expect to win big games. I expect a big night.
Joe, I agree with your comments on the paint. I seem to recall Big Al Jefferson and Milsap eating our lunch last game, even before D-West went down with the torn ACL. I want to say both went for over 25 points, though I learned a while ago to stop relying on my short term memory. Landry looked utterly lost last night on defense, but I assume he'll match up better on Milsap, who's about Carl's size, than either Gasol or Randolph. Otherwise, let's hope CP wakes up, or at least that the coaches design some plays so he can shake off perimeter double teams and create some shots and passing lanes. Regardless of the whole playoff seeding issue, I'm going to be damn cranky if they play tonight like the second half of last night. Wife will probably end up putting me on the couch again.
This is true- and I am partly to blame for not putting this in my piece last week. If OKC and Dallas finish with the same record, OKC gets the higher seed. Cant see OKC losing in their last two games, meaning that a 2 vs. 7 Dallas vs. Hornets matchup is WAY more likely than a 3 vs 6 Dallas vs. Hornets matchup if those are the two teams you really want to meet.
That does not seem to be a tie-breaker listed in the Playoff Tie-Break Procedures. Got a source? http://www.nba.com/standings/team_record_comparison/conferenceNew_Std_Cnf.html
I'll be there too. I'm looking forward to a nice highlight clip at the end, hopefully featuring some hard rock. I don't need a thanks for the memories piece. I need a put-my-forehead-through-a-cinder-block wind up. Fire it up!
I know that people all want to talk about the matchups, but all I want to see is this team play their best ball on any given night and let the chips fall where they may. Fans talk about "tanking", but players dont think that way, and coaches sure as hell don't. If you don't think you can beat every team in the league, then you don't belong in the league. Maybe that is a naive way to think, but it is necessary. Play hard for the next 6, 10, 20- however many games we have left this year- and build upon that moving forward. Anything less than that is unacceptable. If you get beat by a better team, so be it. But never, ever tank.