Hornets Guards Not Named Chris Paul Struggle in Loss to Lakers

By:
Published: April 22, 2011

*Something sad here*

The Hornets fall apart late and lost to the Lakers 100-86 in a game they desperately needed to win. It was a struggle for the Hornets all night long, but they managed to stick around for nearly the entire game. It wasn’t until Chris Paul left the game down 10 with eight minutes left that things really got out of hand. Two minutes later the Bees were down 14, and that was that.

On the bright side, even with Bynum owning them, Gasol playing more like himself, Kobe being Kobe, and nobody going off for New Orleans, they still kept themselves in position to compete in the fourth quarter. Considering how many things could have gone better, I feel confident heading into game four. You, and the Hornets, should also feel good. This team leaves it all out there, and there’s no reason to be embarrassed by the effort tonight against a team most are still picking to win the NBA title. The result? Sure, but not the effort.

This one started off as a high energy affair, with deafening cheers from the home crowd and softer, but still audible, cheers for the Lakers. Unfortunately, the hometown support wasn’t enough to help contain Andrew Bynum. Emeka Okafor stayed on the floor long enough to give it a shot this time, but it’s just a bad matchup for him. As it was, Bynum and Gasol were enough inside to make things very easy for the rest of the Lakers, who were left for open threes early and often. They shot 7-16 from behind the arc, compared to only 2/13 for the Hornets.

In the first quarter the Lakers shot 68.4 percent from the floor compared to a mere 42.3 for the Hornets. The problem was in the paint, and nothing Monty threw at the Lakers seemed to stop them from working their offense inside out. It continued all night long, just as Phil Jackson planned.

Ariza played an interesting first quarter, taking nine shots and coming up with two steals. It was about as active as I’ve ever seen Trevor in a quarter, but he settled for a couple long jumpers that really prevented it from being particularly successful. Even though he personally played some nice defense early on while guarding Kobe, the Hornets overall were still were clueless on defense and trailed 30-23 at the end of one.

Throughout the second and third quarter the Hornets just hung around. That’s really the only way to describe it. Every time it looked like they would get close, the Lakers had a little run to get the lead back around 10. Every time the Lakers threatened to pull away, the Hornets started making shots. It was just back and forth and back and forth for both the middle quarters

Guards not named Chris Paul

I mentioned in the preview that the Hornets would need one of these guys to step up and make some shots in order to allow him the space he needs to be magical. Apparently they didn’t get the memo. Through 42 minutes (Hornets were down 14 at the time), the trio had combined to go 3-16, including 1-6 from three point land (all courtesy of Marco). It wasn’t because they were focusing particularly hard on defense or rebounding, either.

To put the blame for this game on the shoulders of these three really isn’t a stretch. We all knew that Bynum would be big inside, and that Kobe would get his, but the guards completely disappearing was something that the team just couldn’t game plan for. Getting absolutely nothing was just too much of a hole for the Hornets to overcome, and inevitably what I blame the loss on. When it was all said and done the trio combined for 7 points on 18 shots, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in 55 minutes.

What can I possibly say about this that they don’t already know? Play better? Make open shots? Be aggressive on the boards?

I guess all of those things will do.

FWIW- Jack, more than the other two, was furious with himself and his performance both on and off the court.

Chris Paul

If there were any lingering doubts that Chris Paul is still Chris Paul, they were seemingly put to rest in the first half. Right off the bat he literally willed his team to stay in the game. When things started looking like the Lakers would pull away early, he attacked. Every time it seemed like the Hornets were going to go through a cold streak on offense, he attacked. Every time anyone looked at him funny, he attacked.

It was a complete reversal of roles for Paul, who normally starts off slowly and then gets his scoring going in the second half. Frankly if he didn’t do it, the Hornets were going to have a very hard time hanging around even as long as they did. Everyone else was off. He finished the half with 18 points on 10 shots, 3 assists vs 4 turnovers, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. The rest of the team managed only 24 points on 30 shots.

So what’s the problem? In the second half he took three shots total en route to scoring only four points.

Right off the bat in the third quarter he went back to being his usual distributing self, save for when the Hornets really needed a bucket. He had five assists in the third quarter, and was truly getting everyone involved. He ran a pick and roll with DJ freaking Mbenga. How many times did that happen during the regular season? Once?

One one hand the Hornets cut the lead down to only seven at the end of three, but sometimes I feel like Paul gets so focused on distributing that he takes himself out of a shooting rhythm. We didn’t get to see if that would be the case tonight since the game was never close late enough to really see what CP3 would do at home in the clutch. You could tell he wanted the chance to show us, and his postgame comments revealed just how upset he is about this loss.

When it was all said and done he had a pretty nice performance minus the uncharacteristic turnovers (5). He wound up with 22 points on 13 shots to go with 8 assists, 5 boards and 2 steals.

Andrew Bynum

He was truly the story of the night for LA, and the reason that they were able to hold onto a lead for the entire game. In the first half he set the tone for the Lakers inside, grabbing 9 boards and scoring 14 points on 10 shots. The Hornets threw Okafor, Gray, and even Mbenga at the big man, but nobody had much of a chance other than Gray who sat the entire second half with what is presumably a bum ankle. Bynum utilized his extra inches over Okafor and Landry to grab multiple rebounds with the tips of his fingers, and had no trouble turning them into easy buckets once he did.

Even with Pau playing merely average, the interior advantage was devastating for the Hornets. LA owned the boards and time and time again ball wound up in the hands of the Lakers front court. Through three quarters the Lakers out-rebounded the Hornets 34-26.

Other Notes

  • Ariza followed his frantic first quarter with three more. He finished with 12 points on 13 shots, 12 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Another nice performance wasted.
  • Quincy got some time, but he’s too inexperienced and just not physically there yet. He wasn’t awful but he looked unsure of himself with the ball and wound up going 0-3 in about five minutes.
  • Aaron Gray had five decent minute early on, but Monty sat him the entire time after that. I’m guessing it was the ankle.
  • During the 7-up Shooting Thing, the fan made a layup, then a free throw, then a three pointer, AND THEN THE HALF-COURT SHOT. Free 7-up for a year. Let the burping ensue.
  • Carl Landry continues to play alright, but remains too small to effectively rebound with the Lakers bigs. He’s not a great rebounder to begin with, so his disadvantage is really magnified when he goes against guys who are bigger and better rebounders than he. Landry also continues to be the only Hornet to not fail miserably at free throws, making 11/12 of his. The rest of the team was 7/12. That’s pretty good, right?
  • Marcus Thornton AND Julian Wright were in attendance waving yellow shirts and genuinely rooting for the Hornets. Nice to see that. They both seem to hold a special place in their hearts for the team, even if the feeling isn’t mutual.
  • Hornets fans owned LA’s tonight, even if the result of the game wasn’t ideal.

A special note to LA fans- If you were one of the ones chanting M-V-P for Kobe after the game was clearly won, then you’re a giant bag of douche. You can be a good fan and not act trashy while doing it, but apparently not if you’re a fan of the Lakers on the road. I would be embarrassed if Hornets fans did that somewhere else in the same situation. Truly embarrassed.

(insert joke from a Lakers troll about the Hornets being embarrassed by their play here)

That’s all, folks. My charger isn’t working and this thing is running on fumes. Have a good night.

83 comments
Taquito
Taquito

watching the dallas game makes me really miss Tyson, i miss having a Big athletic center in this team

mbdtf
mbdtf

Watching the Portland game made me really want Roy. I miss having any kind of shooting guard.

Bruce Griffith
Bruce Griffith

Bellinelli out of the starting lineup. Smith or Gray in. Slide Ariza to the 2, Landry to the three Smith to the 4 (Or Okafor to the 4 if Gray starts, and then NO perimeter shots unless it is from CP3 or Smith! Get the Lakers in foul trouble for a change!

pinoyballah
pinoyballah

after watching all games, the hornets need to adjust their game plan. the lakers were able to adjust to the first game now its our turn. the plays the lakers ran we could not stop. their ball movement was crazy and it got them easy looks at the rim. comeon monty change the defensive scheme. its been 3 games and you know okafor cant hold his own against bynum. the lakers are killin us inside. throw gray in the starting lineup to body bynum. okafor is just too small.

Just A Fan
Just A Fan

Monty is not going to adjust his game plan during the game. He apparently does not have that ability. He hasn't done it at all this season. That's why he should still be an assistant coach only. He has his game plan and his favorites and he sticks to it no matter what. Just an overpaid assistant.

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

It's also possible that he has a plan that doesn't involves building a team over time. He could be horrible, he could be great, but he's likely in between.

Ian H.
Ian H.

I just watched the game again n just frustrated myself all over again lol. At what point do we try something different like putting a bigger cover on artest. Maybe Ewing Jr should get some run, has the size and athleticism and can't be any worse than what we have gotten from the wings. Maybe even Marco on Kobe to force them to attack with Kobe rather than pound it inside. Let Ariza take Artest cuz he had 3 back breaking offensive rebounds in the game when hornets were making runs.

CP3nBrees
CP3nBrees

What makes you think that Marco can force Kobe to do something?

Ian H.
Ian H.

I should have said maybe entice Kobe to deviate from the game plan and play one on one basketball. The lakers are less effective when kobe shoots more. When he is on like he was last night it doesn't matter who is guarding him so maybe Ariza makes Artest work a little more and cleans the defensive glass rather than play great perimeter defense just to have marco give up a offensive rebound and a putback

Hornets188
Hornets188

I wish David West didn't get hurt.................................................................. Andrew Bynum is the slowest NBA player ever, I can't stand watching him. It's only a matter of time until he blows out his knee again.

QueenBee
QueenBee

He IS slow which is why I don't understand why the Hornets don't push it to get back to the other end of the floor. They need to run Bynum and tire his big ass out.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

agree joe. there's a saying that "don't promise when your happy, don't reply when your angry, don't decide when your sad.".. i didn't follow that tweet. I promised that the Hornets could win 3-1 in this series. And now, i did not reply hastily in order to get all the info in and analyze it well. I think the effort was there, but talent was just too much. Had that Gasol three not go in, i think Cp3 could have won us this game, but that 3 was a signal that everything was clicking for the lakers.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

I disagree 100% Joe. The effort wasn't there and the crowd could feel it. I can't remember one single "Hustle" play the entire game. This is the playoffs man. Every single loose ball seemingly went LA's way. Look, not gonna get into semantics because we're overmatched but, outside of Ariza, Paul, and Landry, no one looked in playoff mode tonight. This effort would have been laudable for a regular season game. Playoffs? Talking about playoffs? Hell no. At one point Emeka shied away from a dunking Shannon Brown. Literally stepped out of the way. THIS IS OUR HOUSE. Don't give away freebies. Our starting big man stepping out of the way for their backup SG... Enough said.

RobertM320
RobertM320

Considering the ticky tack fouls that were called on Mek the first two games, its understandable that he's hesitant to be too aggressive. Maybe with a game under his belt that he was actually allowed to participate in, he wont be so cautious come Sunday.

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

I disagree 50%. The effort was in some places, but not in others. And guess what? It hurt us when we missed the effort.

The Truth
The Truth

Hey...I just wanna take a moment to say that I am a Lakers fan and I believe we will win in six, perhaps even five. I also think we may three-peat as champs. I didn"t think so after Game One, but it looks very good for LA now. That aside, I want to say that I hope the NBA stays in New Orleans. They had better stay there. I saw on television the passion of the fans, and I see it here online. So, for what it's worth GO LAKERS!!!!! and I look forward to many more games between these two teams. I support the Hornets in New Orleans, and I hope every Lakers fan does as well. Cradads and/or crawfish all around. NBA belongs in New Orleans. Period.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

i agree there were some who lacked effort namely Okafor, Green and Belly. I'll give Jack and Smith a pass because they both looked like they were trying but things weren't just going their way. Mbenga too gave a good effort. Loved his crazyness when defending Gasol. Agreed with Okafor, it looks like his sinking from the pressure. Waited 6 years for this, and he can't stand up to it. If he can't be dominant in game 4, it'll be a WHOLE lot harder for us.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

if you mean adequate in Okafor's number, this is adequate. What i want is the dominance and confidence Okafor showed back in January - February pre-injury. don't need to get me the numbers, just give me inside presence. he didn't show that tonight. Way too many layups without any Okafor disruption.

Ian H.
Ian H.

I feel bad for Chris, there isn't a player in league with more responsibility than him. He is like a single parent with 5 kids. He has to spoon feed them, do their homework, and tuck them in every night and still has to go to work everyday to keep the lights on. I'd be tired and frustrated as well if I was him. Thats an incredible burden, especially with David West gone. D west depends on Chris but at least he has worked himself into a lights out shooter from his spots. Man I miss the 2007-08 unstoppable pick n roll with Tyson running to rim, Dwest 17 footer n Peja spotting up for the corner 3. It was poetry in motion n I think we broke it up too fast.

OkiThor
OkiThor

Yeah dude my wife kept saying "Kawaii so Chris Paul! He is going to be tired." Pretty much translates to "Poor Chris Paul." Dude is out there and has to do everything by himself - defense, rebound, steal, penetrate, pass, run the offense, score, shot three's, etc....

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Didn't really break it up too fast. Peja and Tyson couldn't stay healthy for the life of them. People gotta keep in mind Peja is playing for the Mavs for pennies on the dollar.

Ian H.
Ian H.

I completely agree that Peja and Tyson were. injury prone no doubt n the moves had to be made but at the same time 3 years later I can't say this current team in constructed any better for the future. We have little young talent, a huge contact remaining for Okafor, and still will need to overpay for a shooter so although the moves had to be made I still havent noticed any growth since then with Quincy as only asset we will have in a couple years.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

agreed. Mavs are lucky Tyson got healthy, Peja is broken down to just a good 3 pt shooter, not the excellent one we got in 2007 08

JCS
JCS

Defense wins championships people. You want a stat inflator, like Kevin Love, Monte Ellis, or Marty Thorton, then your team will be lead to the bottom of the standings. You want to win, then you need defensive specialists and seven footers owning the boards.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Yep cause the Kings' record was so much worse off with MT23 in the lineup once Reke came back. GTFO troll. To say we miss Marcus is a vast understatement right now. The only silver lining is 40 minutes of Jason Smith would be just as bad.

JCS
JCS

Who are the assets, what are their roles and what place is their team in the standings? Why didn't Bowser make it to the playoffs with his squad versus Monty's? How is Monty the second coming and when will you change your name to something that supports the team?

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Calling someone a troll is belittling? He is trolling. He calls out Marcus Thornton every time he gets a chance to piss off all the people that like Marcus on this board. There's no statistical basis or argument behind it, he just bashes the kid for the heck of bashing the kid. I think his unintelligent, repetitive, unfounded comment should be deleted so no one is forced to read that garbage. I don't think there's a single person on this board outside of himself that wouldn't want any of those 3 players on this team.

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

Not you, Doghouse. All the kiddo stuff, and stuff he's done elsewhere has put him on thin ice. He's been messing with me for years, and I just let it go, but he's been targeting other people recently, and I won't stand for that. And, as you say, there is no data, no "look at this", and it's, as you say, repetitive.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

You are right. We are well on our way to winning a championship. Monty is the second coming of Byron Scott. It hasn't even taken a full year to watch him trade away 2 long term assets for short term gain, and I'm wondering when we are going to see that short term gain.

JCS
JCS

Hey kiddo, the SIM tests are over and the playoffs are in effect. So instead of rocking a troll name, consider changing it to something that actually supports the team. Monty is the antithesis of Bowser and has done everything for this team that Bowser did not want. So change your name to Bowser's Nightmare and get real. Defense wins championships, stat inflators win for themselves.

420ftjesus
420ftjesus

If you continue with the belittling terms, which has become a pattern, your commets will be deleted. This was done earlier this week with the comments of someone else.

Fred4hornets
Fred4hornets

That dunk by landry had me jumping out of my seat and yelling! If we could bottle up that ferocity, turn it into a G series drink, and give it to all the hornets players, (CP3 doesn't need any), I think we'd be up 2-1 right now. Also, lookin at Beli hoist them up from 3, he is clearly not a pure shooter. I miss Peja's stroke from 3 because at least you though it had a great chance of going in. With Beli, i just put my head down everytime he put up a 3. Lastly, i know we can at least compete for next year, but what additions can we make (assuming Paul stays) to make us a viable champioship threat to the lakers?

mako
mako

I was thrilled watching Landry gettiing aggressive and confident, Ariza going into the traffic, Paul quick switches ended with midrange jumper and Okafor fighting hard not fouling too many. But then.... hey, lets try shooting out from the basket. And there is the other side - I was sick watching Smith/Odom matchup, Jack making quick jumpshots again... and again... without ANYONE who could even try to rebound those missed ones. I am not an expert, but that was something really weird...like they were out of offensive ideas. They have to FIGHT HARD for every basket and every posession. We've seen some of that - unfortunately it was not enough.

Nick Malone
Nick Malone

The team either needs a pure fire shooter at the 2 guard slot or somebody with size and talent down low that can guard Andrew Bynum and neither of that has shown to be particularly fitting and with our money options, won't happen in the offseason either. We have to win game 4 or there won't be a Game 6 in New Orleans.

Bobl
Bobl

I'm surprised, no mention of this. In the post game interview C Paul's left hand was bandaged like a club. When he picked up his son to put him on his lap he grimaced in pain. This is not good !

cmac81
cmac81

Derek Fisher is a punk, a dirty player and a flopper, but gets all the calls. He might be the player I hate watch playing the most. Also, how AWESOME was Landry's dunk in traffic from the baseline?? I think my head almost exploded from the intensity!!

cro_CP3
cro_CP3

Give CP3 the ball and let him carry us, they will eventually hit shots, the other guards, GO NOLA....

Ian H.
Ian H.

The offensive game plan was horrible, u can be a drive and kick team when u don't have any knock down shooters. This team is a Kyle Korver, Jason Kapono, or oh yeah a Peja Stojavick away from being able to punish the lakers for packing it in the lane. Instead we have inconsistent Marco who can only shoot in transition, Willie "I gotta get mine although I suck" Green, and an inexperienced Quincy shooting for us. I'm not even mad at Trevor cuz he is playing his ass off out there n he has earned the right to jack up some open threes, but the rest of the wings could stay home for game 4 cuz they are wasting everyone's time out there. I bet Marcus was laughing inside saying "I'd be killing Derek Fisher right now" oh well can't cry over spilled milk. Let's get game 4.

Ian H.
Ian H.

I was at Fox and Hound livid when he did that, the worse part was that I told the guy next to me that it was gonna happen too. He is such a selfish player it's unbelievable as if he has to get his stats by all means necessary no matter how hot Landry was or how CP3 was yelling for the ball. He goes hero mode like he isn't a 3rd string SG on most teams. I'm still pissed about him hours later, he reminds me so much of Devin Brown its disgusting. Monty is so loyal to him just like B Scott was to Devin and they both suck and are both defensively overrated. That sequence at the end of the quarter n 2 forced jumpers in 4th quarter did it for me as far as he concerns. I pray he isn't on next years roster

QueenBee
QueenBee

The way CP had been hitting buzzer beaters at the end of quarters and he goes and pulls that crap.

Ian H.
Ian H.

Chris gave the ball up at the 6 second mark n I scream "he isn't gonna get it back" and he takes 5 dribbles n gets absolutely nowhere n fires a contested jumper unbelievable. Could have been a 5 point game there and the momentum was already swinging after the Landry dunk but of course Willie would sabotage the run, it's his nature his DNA.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Monty: “I have to look at the film so I can assess that properly, but I think when other guys are knocking down shots it’s hard to key on Chris (Paul) and if you look at the numbers tonight we did not shoot the ball well" Pretty much what I said in the chat or other thread. If no other Hornet is doing anything, it's easy for the Lakers to key in on Chris. It's like oh hey, we don't have to worry about these other guys cuz they aren't doing anything so let's put our attention on Chris. A few Hornets need to be ashamed of themselves. That comment from Monty also indicates to me he wanted other guys to attempt shots. And I think they do have to attempt shots. But they also have to make them. You want and need other players to knock down shots so the Lakers wouldn't key in on Chris so much but unfortunately no one could hit shots.

Go Blue
Go Blue

A few Hornets need to do more than be ashamed, they should be kicking them self in their own butt until the next game. Matter fact, they (Willie and Marco) should be fined.....

Taquito
Taquito

our bench stiiiiiinks so bad, i dont wanna bring up marcus but holy shit do we need a reliable scoring at the 2, i like Landry's intensity, you can tell his giving it his all.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I said all throughout the season that come playoff time Belinelli as our starting SG will hurt us. I wanted him to prove me wrong but he hasn't done it yet. Can Marco Belinelli be a starting SG on any other team in the NBA? In your opinions Hornets fans, is Marco a starting caliber player? I'd just like to know ya'lls opinion.

James Online
James Online

My'all's opinion is that Marco has had two poor shooting games in a row after an excellent second half of the season. Go back and check the box scores for games where he actuallyl gets to play 30 or 35 minutes plus. Big part of the problem is that Monty uses his wrong. Pulls him out when he's hot, doesn't matter. Marco has established himself as solid NBA player this year. Derrick Rose was 4 for 18 in his last game. Bad shooting nights are common even for excellent players. Don't over-react. And thanks for not using LOL in every post this thread.

OkiThor
OkiThor

James please spend time defending a deserving player.

MaxALM
MaxALM

Derrick Rose shot 4 for 18 but still found other ways to contribute, James. Like taking 15 free throws and making 13 of them. And the Bulls won that game. This is a completely different situation. Derrick Rose plays almost every game like it's his last. He plays extremely hard. Marco is NOT Derrick Rose. He doesn't have the skills to change a game when his shooting is off. Marco was brought to this team for his SHOOTING. He plays average defense, and spotty shooting. When he shoots poorly, I'm sorry, but he has no business being in the game. Especially not when it's the PLAYOFFS. He doesn't force turnovers, steals, or blocks. He plays average man-to-man defense and rotates well. That's it. @QueenBee, I would say Marco is not a starting SG, definitely not among playoff teams at least.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I also agree that Belinelli is being used wrong. As is Trevor. Monty tries to make Beli and Ariza creators. They are not creators. He's trying to make something out of those guys that they aren't.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Over-react? Bad shooting nights are common but Belinelli has been inconsistant ALL... SEASON... LONG. Yeah yeah yeah I know shooters are streaky but he's proving me right so far that he'd kill us in the playoffs. I'm crossing my fingers he'll contribute greatly in game 4. Here's to you Marco! And here's to you Hornets! It takes more than 1 or 2.

TruthBeTold
TruthBeTold

HELLZ NAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wondered last night how he was even in the NBA? He must be a HELL of a practice scorer...against the bench players, who we know are starting caliber defenders.....Lol

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