The Hornets and Lakers begin the third game of their series tonight at 8:30 Central time in front of a sold out New Orleans Arena. After winning game one, and struggling with turnover and free throw shooting in game two, the Hornets are feeling confident about their chances in this one.
Boo hoo. I need a caption!
“We feel as though we kind of beat ourselves,” Hornets guard Jarrett Jack said of the second game. “Take no credit away from them, but we definitely had some mistakes.”
Michael really hit the nail on the head going into Wednesday’s game, so make sure you take a look at that.
Some other keys…
After playing nearly mistake-free ball in game one (three turnovers), the Hornets gave it up a whopping 16 times in game two. Jack alone matched the team’s game one total by himself. He wasn’t the only one. Guards not named Chris Paul were just as likely to record a turnover as they were to make a field goal or record an assist.
That can’t happen again. Someone, anyone, needs to get hot from the field and relieve some of the pressure from Chris when he gets doubled up high. If Belli, Green, or Jack can execute open from the perimeter, then whoever is guarding them won’t be able to cheat as much on Paul, and that will ultimately open up the floor for CP3 to do his magic.
Last game the defense was just able to force Paul to the corners way too often, and from there he’s remarkably less effective. As a result, the team scored 31 points less and shot 13 percent worse from the floor than in the previous game. What’s concerning is that Paul didn’t play poorly. He just had everything in the book thrown at him, but never got any help from his buddies. Tonight someone needs to step forward. Maybe Willie Green can go nuts?
Emeka Must Show Up
Okafor’s first playoffs can pretty much be summed up by one noise- “fweet!” He’s had 10 fouls in the two games, playing only 46 minutes total as a result. In that time he’s 5-9 with 9 boards, hardly the numbers one would expect after arguably his best season as a pro. In both games he’s picked up two quick ones and had to leave the floor early in the first quarter, and has played only 7 first quarter minutes so in the opening period as a result.
Really though, his biggest contributions need to come on the defensive end.
Ariza to Believe
People told you that Ariza was a postseason monster, but I bet you didn’t believe it. If you’re not thrilled with Trevor’s contributions on both ends of the floor against the Lakers, you haven’t been watching the games. Or perhaps you just had a little too much beer at the watch parties. Fact is, the guy is keeping us in the series with his defense on Kobe. Bravo, Ariza. Keep it up.
Make the Dammed Free Throws!
I talked about this a little yesterday, but the Hornets have just got to make their free throws. Their four misses in a row with between seven and eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Ariza and Okafor combined to miss four straight while down 13, killing any last hope of a comeback. If the Hornets are bricking them again, then it’s going to be a long night in the Big Easy.
There have been a few games this year in which the Hornets fans have been sort of…well…. outshined by those of the opposition. That can’t happen tonight, and I don’t think it will. The team needs the fans to provide them with some serious noise, because holding home court in this game is absolutely crucial. Even the Hornets realize that winning another one in Los Angeles is going to be tough. As has become the norm, the Bee-Zanies will be key in providing the proper atmosphere for a victory.
Notes from the Arena
Just got word from my source that Marcus Thornton will be attending the Hornets game tonight. He just couldn’t stay away.
Yes, I have a Marcus Thornton source oddly enough.
Hornets need to stick with the gameplan they had if they want game 4, we have to push the tempo since we're undersized, and I liked the way Hornets played in the 3rd Q tonight when we just kept attacking the rim and drawing fouls, if we can do those and Paul will take us to the next level.
BTW, I felt like Joe Crawford was on our side tonight lol, it was the other 2 refs calling against the Hornets.
Joe Crawford isn't usually bad for the Hornets. I can say though that I've never been a fan of Bennett Salvatore.
I agree the Hornets need to stay with the game plan. Like I said they go away from what works way too much. Sure, Phil made adjustments after game 1 but I don't see how doing the same thing such as running the Lakers and getting to the rim can be a bad thing for your team Monty. There was an article on WWLTV.com that said Monty Williams needed to keep it simple against the Lakers. It seems like he does wayyy too much unnecessary stuff to counter what the h*ll Phil Jackson is doing.
Mek is not the problem, our bench has been so inconsistent throughout the season, not a single true and consistent shooter on the team, and our backcourt suck so bad that we had to rely on Green for 20 minutes every night and watch him jacking up kobe shots, I'd pay him 1 million for doing all the stuff he's been doing off the court and a leader in that locker room, but I just hate to watch him whenever he shows up on the court.
A SG upgrade in the offseason is a MUST for us if we want to make some noise year.
The Grayt one hasn't been Grayt since the ankle injury. I would've liked to had seen at least a little more of him tonight though. Okafor finished with 15 & 8. After the first 2 games the guy is probably scared to move out there seeing as the whistle blows every time he inhales.
Belinelli needs to knock down shots. We can't have a shooting guard that can't shoot. Ariza needs to be a slasher. It would be great if we had a shooting guard that can both knock down shots AND get to the rim at will. Consistantly for the most part.
I don't think Mek should be singled out here. What about the bench? 9 total points? Seriously? I just looked. Is that what we got from our bench tonight?
I was mainly talking about the season not particularly against the Lakers.
If Belinelli cannot hit those long range shots I think the Hornets need to go big with Gray, Mek and Landry instead of keeping Marco on the floor since he's a liability on the court defensely, he was having a big trouble rotating and staying at front of his man. By going big we at least we can stop allowing so many O rebs.
I was mainly talking about the season not particularly against the Lakers.
If Belinelli cannot hit those long range shots I think the Hornets need to go big with Gray, Mek and Landry instead of keeping Marco on the floor since he's a liability on the court defensely, he was having a big trouble rotating and staying at front of his man. By going we at least we can stop allowing so many O rebs.
Mek's overpaid but he's not our first priority problem. Look at who he's playing against in the series before you dog him as our first problem. We got a lot of holes to fill, but Okafor can be a solid contributor to the team with more talent and size around him.
Trade Emeka and Willie green for a decent SG. Ok, but we're getting killed on size also. So is a decent SG going to help with size? You don't only need shooting from a decent SG but you also need SIZE. And please don't say Aaron Gray will solve that.
For me the biggest disappointment of the Hornets in the playoffs is called Emeka Okafor. He can not play well in any game. For that we need a Center like that? No score and not defend. I prefer Bynum with only one knee. And I'd trade Emeka and Willie Green for a decent SG, we have not.
Emeka actually had a solid game tonight. He's playing in a frontcourt that is completely overwhelmed by the Laker's talent and size. Mek is overpaid, but he's not our first priority problem on this team. That would be finding some kind of consistent perimeter threat to take the pressure off of both CP3 and our paint players. We could also use some frontcourt help, but if I were Demps I'd look for some perimeter threats first. I'd cut Bellinelli and probably Pondexter ... I'd probably keep Green and definitely keep Jack.
Wasn't Chris Paul 8/10 at halftime? And then finished 9/13 the rest of the night? So Green came in and took 4 shots not hitting any of them. Jack came in took 6 shots hitting 1 of them. Quincy 0-3.
Why only 7 minutes for Gray? Did he tell Monty his ankle hurt or something?
And Belinelli. SMH.
As I stated on chat, the 3 guards rotation actually doesn't work fine as worked out for almost the entire regular season. Monty's stroke of genius, having not a consistent guard in terms of scoring skills, was to assemble or to split the task between Beli, Jack and Green, with excellent results, dividing their playing time. The danger, however, was playing on the edge of the blade in terms of self-esteem by a psychological point of view. Belinelli can make a mistake, maybe two, and then is sent to the bench. Green can make two errors, maximum three, then is out. Jack can make three to four, and must sit down to warm the pine. How can you play with the necessary peace under these conditions?
Caption: "OMG, did you see that picture of Lamar and that Kardashian chick making out on TMZ? I think I am going to throw up in my jersey"
Seriously, what's the over/under on Kobe's hissy fits tonight? He cries more than my 5 year old daughter.
Happy Earth Day, everybody. My group is going to ride bikes to the game today in celebration. For those that haven't done that before, today would be the perfect day to do it. It's a really fun way to head to the games (& you can ride right up to the front door).
Also, let's kick the shit out of these guys game 1 style (see highlight video in the journal section)!
I really hope Hornets fans outdo themselves tonight because reading about us worried about them being outshined is getting old. I say we as Hornets fans are loud and boisterous tonight and that will soothe our nerves.
We have some hard nosed officials in the house tonight. Please, please, please be consistant guys. Please.
If Emeka is on the bench before I take my first sip tonight I will break something.
Protect the ball.
And something else I hope we don't have to read about tonight is missed free throws. Make your free throws Hornets.
Big game 2nite. Hope Jack, Belli, or Green step up thatd be huge. I wud like for monty to give qpon some minutes at the 2. Also i wudnt mind seeing landy at the 3. Doghouse has been saying and at first i didnt like the idea but this cud work wit the lakers size. Wud love to see Landry bully that dumass Artest.
CP3 vs Fisher
Beli vs Kobe
Landry vs Artest
Emeka vs Gasol
Gray vs Bynum
Your last point is so important, Joe. Lots of Lakers fans, an insufferable lot, will show up. The Lakers fans outside LA are much worse than the ones that show up at Staples Center. They relish showing off their Kobe jerseys and acting cool in the other guy's house. At Golden State, we have a particularly nasty contingent of Lakers faux fans showing up at all our home games. Because the Lakers have been so good in recent years, and because Kobe is such an exceptional player, they take little risk in showing their colors outside LA.
Nothing gives Warriors fans more satisfaction that beating the Lakers in our arena. So, like Joe says, everybody get out and drown out the Lakers fans who promise to be there in great numbers.
Topic change: the real difference between games 1 and 2 in LA was the stepped up defense by the Lakers. They are likely to keep up the pressure in NOLA. The home court can neutralize that to some extent. Can't wait for the game!
Still, there was plenty of open shots that did not drop. The lakers defense should have held us at 90 to 95 points or so instead of the 109 in game 1. But 78 points?? Thats just terrible shooting. From everywhere on the floor.
"CP3 this, CP3 that... I'm just sick of it! Jack won't even smile at me from his front-row seat anymore, even after I fell against that chair and got an owee on my head. This is the worst! I haven't felt this bad since I couldn't get into that prom dress" (Ed note: Take that last comment any way you want.)