Jazz Shut Down the Hornets

By:
Published: April 11, 2011

The Jazz beat the Hornets behind a balanced attack that saw all five starters score in double figures. The Hornets loss came despite Chris Paul scoring basketball points (incredible, I know) and…

and………..

Oh, that was it. Nobody else really showed up. Even Paul’s game was subpar.

After a first half that saw the Hornets settle for jumper after jumper, the second half started with 6 minutes of nearly jumpshot-free ball, which resulted in 6 Hornets free throws in the process. It was clear that Monty had said something during halftime about being aggressive, and the guys listened. On the other end the Hornets picked up their intensity and stopped allowing so many easy buckets inside.

Yet the deficit kept growing. The Jazz were making their jumpers, contested or not, and they started getting to the line as well after a first half in which they attempted only two free throws. On the other end, the Hornets didn’t convert enough of their easy shots inside. If you can’t make layups, you aren’t going to win games. It’s as simple as that.

At the end of three, the score stood 70-57 Jazz.

The fourth quarter was mostly a return to the first half, when the Hornets settled for jumpers, played bad defense inside, and seemed strangely apathetic in a game of such importance.

Chris Paul

In the pre-game, Monty said “I wouldn’t want to play against him tonight.” referring to fire Paul would likely feel after the scoreless performance Paul put forth last night against Memphis. In a sense, he was right. Although Paul’s performance was far from what was needed for a W, he did out-play the rest of his lowly teammates.

It’s sad in some ways, watching him play his heart out to no avail. You can see the frustration on his face in the fourth has he got way up to grab a defensive rebound, without another Hornets player in sight. He slammed the ball to the floor repeatedly throughout the game, generally after making a play that he shouldn’t have had to make. That stuff wears on guys, and the rest of the Hornets had better dammed well be giving it their all if they don’t want Paul to eat their souls.

I will say, however, that it is oddly satisfying to watch the most talented player on the floor also be the one with the most heart. That’s something that you don’t see often enough in sports.

Again Paul didn’t play most of the fourth quarter, and he finished with 15 points on 13 shots, 5 assists vs 2 turnovers, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. If anyone saw a better stat line than that from the Hornets, let me know.

Other Player Notes

  • Willie Green was adequate. I contemplated putting his name in bold, but an average performance that is better than your teammates is still just average in my book. That’s not worth bold. He finished with 12 points on 10 shots, to go with 2 steals and 2 boards.
  • Jason Smith had a decent game, but hitting a few jumpers and grabbing a couple boards wasn’t enough to turn this one around. 12 points on 10 shots and 6 boards. he was also probably deserving of a bold mention, but again- nobody really was tonight. He had two turnovers and a lot of dumb mistakes on defense that resulted in unnecessary Utah points.
  • Ariza remained aggressive, but nothing he put up went in. It’s ok. I much prefer this Ariza to the one from the first 8/9ths of the season.
  • Aaron Gray got rejected three times within two feet of the hoop by players noticeably smaller than he. What is with the Hornets having centers recently who rarely slam it home? On the boards he was sort of great (9 boards in 16 minutes), but they were mostly meaningless. Defensively it wasn’t his night- too many cutters got easy buckets as a result of his poor positioning inside.
  • As usual, Monty played Marco Belinelli just enough to find out which Marco he had tonight. I can’t blame him for keeping Marco on a short leash, since he is either very hot or very cold, and tonight was obviously the latter. Monty gave him another chance in the fourth quarter since nobody was making anything anyway, and despite nailing a long jumper on his first attempt, he missed an open three pointer on the next possession that would have sent momentum back in the Hornets favor. That was the last real chance I saw for the Hornets to stage a comeback.
  • Okafor is giving it his all to make up for the absence of West inside, but just like last year, he seems much less effective when he doesn’t have someone to help him inside. Landry just isn’t the ideal guy to pair with the undersized Okafor.
  • Swingmen Gordon Hayward and CJ Miles torched the Hornets for 32 points on 17 shots. It didn’t seem to matter who was covering them.
  • Nobody guessed the final score right, not surprisingly.

Game Notes

  • Hornets shot 38%
  • Jazz shot 55%
  • Nobody on either side had double digits in either rebounds or assists.

Quotes from Monty’s Postgame Press Conference

  • “Some of it was indescribable”- on tonight’s game
  • “Give credit to Utah.”
  • “It’s not an 80-game season. You have to get yourself ready to play 118 games. It’s an art, and men have to do it, and tonight I didn’t see the focus and tenacity that we needed.”
  • Look, all those teams are probably going to finish with 55 plus win. San Antonio is at 61 right now, so you’re not gong to play against a JV team” – referring to the top four teams in the Western Conference Playoff race.
  • “This was disappointing tonight, to say the least.”
  • “When we’re defending it makes the offense much easier, and we didn’t defend tonight.”
  • Listen to it here- WS600005

It’s so weird ( I’ve been told we are the only team in the league that does this) that Gerry V (who asks pretty good questions) gets 6 questions in the postgame, and then everyone else gets 1 or 2 total, and then it’s done. I really did have a question tonight about what Monty said at halftime to get the guys playing so aggressively after the break. Had I known, I would have used that knowledge to be more aggressive in my question asking in the future. Now, I am stuck not knowing how to be aggressive, and lack the aggressiveness to learn how to be aggressive! It’s a hard life.

And cheer up, Hornets nation. We still made the playoffs, and we still have a chance to see whoever it is that you want to face in round one.

91 comments
JaeAmazin
JaeAmazin

Lose the game..The playoffs is about matchups..And with the slow tempo that the spurs Play..They will play right into our hands..We want the 8th seed..Besides a game and a miserable 2nd half..We've owned the spurs this season..The only team that can say so..The 8th spot is Golden for our team..I Believe..Hornets All Day Bitches!!

RobertM320
RobertM320

Playoff success for the Hornets will depend on who shows up to play PG: CP3 or Christopher Paul. If CP3 shows up, we have a chance. If Christopher Paul shows up, we don't. Simple, isn't it?

QueenBee
QueenBee

It's very simple. Get ready for Christopher Paul. It's been that way all season. Why are you guys looking for anything different is beyond me. :?

QueenBee
QueenBee

I mean ask yourselves. How on earth did we get to this point while having Christopher Paul all season long?

QueenBee
QueenBee

@johnhollinger Brave new world: @Oneandonlycp3 goes straight to Twitter to clarify comments. Meanwhile, @mcuban to ban AP from giving phone interviews. about 2 hours ago

fhsdemon
fhsdemon

Do we have a strength coach? I assume we do but Okafor and Gray repeatedly had the ball taken away from them last night. Weak or lack of effort and focus? Also, did anybody else see paul yelling at Okafor going into a timeout about a poor high screen that was set by the lifeless Okafor? My high school team runs better plays than the Hornets and I say that as a fan. If the first cutter isn't open, the hornets stand around until someone takes a contested jump shot.

Brazilian Hornet
Brazilian Hornet

Playing this poor basketball, do not go far in the playoffs ...

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

Hmm just waiting for the playoffs. No matter who it is. Hornets put themselves in this situation. Us fans have nothing to do but hope for the best, but not expect the worst LOL. If its the Lakers, so be it. Dallas or Spurs? so be it. Had this Ariza showed up for HALF the season, we could be looking at a date with OKC, which is what i would like in that case because Ariza can LOCK down Durant with this mentality. Still not looking at the offseason unlike last year, because i'm throwing out the hope that we get out of the 1st round. I consider this year a success, in and of itself, but to be able to get out of the 1st round will just be AWESOME. It's a way of saying, FU NBA! Even with all this adversity, we still get to the 2nd round. FU!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Good post Nikkoewan. Going into the season we didn't know what to expect. Most 'experts' didn't give the Hornets a near chance to even sniff the playoffs let alone make the playoffs. New coach, CP3 rumors, new GM, no owner mid-way thru the season. Sheesh! We fans wracking our nerves/brains for nothing as far as which team we hope to play and hope to avoid. I'm just glad I'm able to watch my team in the post season. After all the ups and downs we fans went thru this season we deserve some post season play! LOL! We didn't know what to expect coming into this season but I think we all pretty much knew that we wouldn't be championship contenders this year so how about we all just sit back and watch.

NuNu318
NuNu318

Maaaaannnn if we can get out of the 1st rd that would make the season a great success. I think we can, especially against the Spurs. One observation I've looked at recently in these games is the ability we have to draw fouls. i think that will be critical to our offensive production in the playoffs. if we want to win, especially against teams with elite bigs, we need to get them in foul trouble. I noticed that during the Gizz and jazz games. We had got their bigs in foul trouble early where the had to sit with 2 fouls or getting their 3rd early in the 3rd and then after that we just forgot about it. Just kept focusing on jumpshots rather thatn driving to the basket and thats one of the most frustrating things to see. It does seem that we miss A LOT of free throws but it still gives us chances for points and puts the other team at a disadvantage because they either have to sit their players or become less agressive which also leads to points.

Holy Cow
Holy Cow

I would not expect the Hornets to get the benefit of too many foul calls in the plaooffs. The zebras aren't going to take Duncan, Dirk, Odom, Gasol, etc. out of a playoff game.

NuNu318
NuNu318

Yeah I was screaming at my Mac book screen because of the poor officiating. There were A LOT of calls left on the floor last night. Especially for Gray. The guy was getting hacked but no whistle. But when he slightly grazes a jazz player while trying to get position its a foul. Sucks. Hopefully that squad of refs will not be chosen for the playoffs.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I meant, 'incompetent'. And we sure can't win a championship without an owner. LOL! Can you imagine all the foul cries we'd hear from around the league with that one? Mark Cuban and Phil Jackson would lead the protest. LOL!

QueenBee
QueenBee

One observation I’ve looked at recently in these games is the ability we have to draw fouls. Yeah, let's just hope they actually USE that ability and even moreso, let's hope the imcompetent zebras call the fouls for them. Like I said last night all I seemed to hear was ... foul on the Hornets... foul on the Hornets .... foul on the Hornets. Utah aren't a great defending team with their brand of hack, slap, grab defense and our guys got fouled on quite a few occasions but no call was made. That's why I couldn't believe the boxscore when it said the Hornets had 26 free throws. If they had 26 then they probably should've had about 30. LOL.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Pray for D-West as he goes in to have his surgery today.

NuNu318
NuNu318

Chris Paul will consider Bobcats in '12 http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6336690 this better just be conjecture. i can see why its appealing playing for his mentor in his home state but come on. Its not like the Bobcats are that much of an upgrade of what we have.....honestly wondering if he's going to stay gets really tiresome. Its to the point now, for me at least, where its like whatever man.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I just went to CP's twitter page for the first time today and read his tweets. I was wondering what he was talking about when I saw this... Come on now people, I did 3 different interviews about the Jordan Brand Classic this morning and was asked if Michael Jordan had influence 4 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® on free agent signings and I said at the end of the day guys want to win...they askd would I want to return home and I told them I'm focused 3 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® here in NO and that's the future and anything can happen...Hate when people try to turn things around just to make it a story...#slowdown 2 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® And then I knew exactly where to head to find out what in the world he was talking about. The Almighty World Wide Leader.

42
42

A franchise tag woukd make any plans that may or may not exist practically moot.

NolaHog
NolaHog

The national media is going to print this stuff no matter what he says. I pay absolutely no attention to those articles any longer. I firmly believe that if we keep moving in the right direction, Paul will opt to stay here.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Oh no NuNu, you know they're likely to never stop as long as he's in a Hornets uni. Even if under some circumstance he signed an extension with the Hornets there will still be rumors I think. Just wait until this postseason if over with. The talk will kick up even stronger.

NuNu318
NuNu318

Yeah i didn't think to check his twitter to see if he mentioned the article. My bad. Just got mad when I saw it on ESPN. LOL. I thought the rumors had finally stopped enough for it not to be a distraction during the playoffs.

Holy Cow
Holy Cow

I was at the game and agree with all the comments above about how poor the attendance was and how flat the team was. All year long I have tried to believe that the "good Hornets" are the real team and the "bad Hornets" are just the abberation that you get over an 82 game season. However, every time I try to have that warm and fuzzy feeling the "bad Hornets" just reinforce my gut feeling that this is a very mediocre team. As has been pointed out many times on this blog, the Hornets have perhaps the ugliest offense in the league. This teams seems to have no offensive identity. The stagnant slow down dribble at the top of the key and settling for a poor shot is infuriating. About a week or so ago there was a link to an article that detailed how the Hornets were the worst shooting team in the league based on shot selection and efficiency. It is painfully obvious watching this team that there is no real offensive identity. I strongly feel that Chris Paul's best days are behind him. I also feel that you are not going to be a serious championship contender when your best player is 6 feet tall. A quality big man and an athletic wing player are the building blocks for a championship contender. I hope that this season will not end as the 2008-2009 season ended with a playoff massacre. Unfortunately, I have the sense that we are heading to that inevitable conclusion. I don't think it really matters whether we get the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks or Thunder in the first round. This team is so offensively deficient that we will be hard pressed to take any series to 6 games. The reality is that in a 7 game playoff series the better team usually wins. I just don't see this team as being capable of beating any of the top 4 teams 4 times.

NuNu318
NuNu318

I know we havent even begun the Playoffs yet but I'm looking forward to the Offseason acquisitions. I hope Demps sees that we NEED a true big man and a true 2 guard. I'm looking at the free agents for next year and I see: Tyson Chandler (Cuban will fight tooth an nail for him just because its the Hornets that want him, but it doesn't hurt to make him an offer) Nene Hilario JR Smith (IMO he seems to understanding that this is a team sport now) Tayshaun Prince Shannon Brown (if the don't win another 'ship, and the price is right) Zach Randolph (if the price is right) Kris Humphries (though i doubt Reggie would like bumping into his ex all the time, he'll have to suck it up. LOL) And thats just the unristricted free agents that we could go after. I just hope that we find a owner soon or the NBA will let us conduct business that will better the team even if that means going over the luxury tax. Because we can't have someone invest if we don't have something good on the floor. I'm happy that we got back to the playoffs. I hope we DON"T play the lakers and risk the chance of getting "Nuggeted" again. If we can at least take whoever we play to in the 1st rd 7 games, i think that would be a major acheivement for the team. especially with what we have on the floor and especially without West.

NolaHog
NolaHog

I think I fell asleep during the fourth quarter of this game. . . and I was at the Hive. Easily the worst "fan finale" night I've ever attended. They didn't even do the fan prize giveaway with the players after the game. I thought that was incredibly weak, but part of me is glad it played out that way, because NO ONE would have been there to watch the ceremony after the game. Even though the score didn't represent an epic blowout, it was one of the most painful games I've watched in recent memory. No adjustments for the Jazz's game plan, and when role players were asked to make shots, they looked extremely out of sorts and blew numerous dunks/layups. When is the last time you saw CP3 make a basket on a fast break? I'm one of the most optimistic fans around, but it was hard for anyone to have actually attended this game and not feel that this team is in serious trouble. The podcast talked about how Ryan hates teams that back into the playoffs. Well, it's official: We are that team.

QueenBee
QueenBee

"When is the last time you saw CP3 make a basket on a fast break?" Against Houston or Phoenix. Like 2 or 3 games ago.

42
42

The video retrospective was the weakest since the return.

NolaHog
NolaHog

My brother and I were joking because it seemed like it was supposed to be longer, but we thought someone up in the booth was like, "Just shut it off."

Mike Bee
Mike Bee

I think Jason Smith should start ahead of Landry. Depending on the series....he provides a lot of energy and if a team goes up on them you can pull him without upsetting him. If you stick with Landry and the team digs a hole...we're done for. Let Landry come off the bench and either add on to the lead or reduce the lead...it let's him play more minutes, too.

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

sorry joe, but how can you establish that marco was cold after 3 shots? the last match he missed his first shots and than scored 16 point in the quarter. he ended the game with 5/8. the best percentage of the team. his defense was bad, but as we see, no one seemed better on that end, and the jazz made whatever they want all game long...

Max
Max

what are people's thoughts on what we should do against Dallas? With the games today dallas are now in 2nd spot 0.5 games ahead of lakers, so a win against dallas means we still have a shot at 6th or 7th seed, but beating dallas (assuming lakers win at least 1 of there last 2) will mean lakers go back ahead of dallas and get 2nd seed. So do we play for a win to get 7th (or if luck goes our way 6th) and most likely get Lakers 1st round or do we let dallas beat us and settle for spurs first round?

QueenBee
QueenBee

Tons of chat about this already above your post Max. Check it out. Lots of answers to your questions there.

Max
Max

sorry I really just skipped the comments

edbballin504
edbballin504

Food for thought guys... MEM is the team in the bottom 3 with the best position. Here's why: Assuming LAL finish #2 theres no chance MEM will face them unless they want to. 1. MEM can give it their all and fight for #6 by winning tomorrow night in POR. No matter what else happens, if MEM wins out, they'll keep the spot. 2. If MEM loses tomorrow to POR, they can choose 7th or 8th, no matter what NOH does vs. DAL in the final game. This might be the only case where owning a tie breaker is a disadvantage. To add insult to injury, the schedule on Wed doesn't favor the Hornets. NOH vs DAL is 7pm, MEM vs LAC is 9:30pm. This means MEM can watch the outcome of the NOH game and win or lose their own game to get the seed they desire. NOH beats DAL, MEM can win or lose and still finish 8th. NOH lose to DAL, MEM can decide to win its last game to finish 7th, but it will lose as well to be tied with NOH and claim 8th. I will be tuned into the MEM vs POR game tomorrow, it will be huge for the Hornets positioning. Good night!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Did anyone notice that nice applause Mr. and Mrs. Shinn received tonight?

SadHornetsFan
SadHornetsFan

that was just an ugly, ugly game. part of me hopes they were laying down, cause if that was them playing hard and trying to get to 6, i'm scared to watch the playoffs CP3 came out looking good in the first quarter, but he was slowed down again later. He was the best Hornet tonight though. The rest of the team was terrible. I can't agree more that it sucked for the fans in attendance, whether laying down or poor effort. idk. that game was just painful for me. haha. hope we get it together for dallas wednesday...but then again, i don't want to get a hard fought win so we can face the lakers in the first round if that is the situation

bee dat
bee dat

What's the best source someone knows of for accurate tracking of attendance numbers per game, averaged, etc?

42
42

Use google to search for NBA attendance. There is an espn link that is helpful for the averages up to this point. I tell you this rather than give you the link because it works for NHL etc. Per game, I think you have to go to the box scores . . . If someone knows better, tell me, and I'll be grateful. Really grateful.

bee dat
bee dat

sad that the used to bees were the highlight of the night. It was impossible to be at that game and not feel like they were laying down. I don't think monty would shoot for 8th only to have to face friends and mentors in the first round, but the players seem to have that preference. total lack of desire out there that should have been present if in their hearts they wanted to move up. somewhat understandable but real painful for the fans who paid to be in attendance- also the play on the court could not have clashed more with the constant fanale videos of the players talking about how much they love playing in the hive.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Whether the Hornets are up by 20 or down by 20, the Used Da Bees are fun to watch. I'd prefer the Hornets to win everytime (as we all probably do) I go to a game and while I know that won't happen everytime, truthfully, I enjoy the games everytime I go. Everytime. It's fun. Probably because I just love basketball though.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Oh bee dat believe me, I absolutely HATE for them to lose and I'm usually in a bad mood afterwards. People I live with can usually tell by my mood when the Hornets have lost a game. LOL! That's how I am. But I won't stop watching because I'm a lover of basketball. And no, I won't go jump on another teams bandwagon just because my team is p*ssing me off. We all want our teams to do well. It just doesn't happen all the time unfortunately.

bee dat
bee dat

not me, I'm miserable when they lose, especially when the play so flat with so little energy and desire.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Oh and Used Da Bees FTW!!!! I love them!

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Hell Yea. They light up the crowd like no other timeout performers. Keep em close for the playoffs please. Using them right before the start of the 4th instead of stupid pump up music would be PERFECT.

QueenBee
QueenBee

And now that I look at the boxscore, I can't believe it's right. I can't believe the Hornets had 26 free throws. Sure didn't seem like it. And it sure didn't seem like the personal fouls were even. All night long in that arena it seemed like all I heard was ... foul on the Hornets..... foul on the Hornets...... foul on the Hornets ..... foul on the Hornets ...... foul on the Hornets ..... foul on the Hornets. SMH. Hurry up Wednesday night so this regular season can be DONE WITH! LOL! What a long and tumultuous season we've had.

42
42

Preach!