Hornets Defeat Grizzlies in Meaningful Meaningless Game

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Published: December 16, 2011

We won.

That’s all that matters.

Ryan would stuff me armless into a culvert if I recapped a game like that, so I’ll continue, but entre nous, you can stop here and go get some ice cream.

On the court: Playing this game without the new troops seemed like a daunting task, but the Hornets starting line-up had four regulars from last season starting, with Jarrett Jack sliding into the starting point guard spot. He did so with relish, or maybe horseradish. 24 points off 14 shots, going 6 for 7 at the line. Add in 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, a block, and a partridge in a pear tree, and what you have a Grinch stealing Christmas from the bears on the border of Beale Street. Note, I didn’t mention turnovers . . . nothing to talk about. Not a t’ing!

Quincy did well of the bench, but the MVC . . . most valuable camp-guy . . . was Carldell Johnson. Check it: 10 points off 5 shots, 6 for 6 from the line with an assist and a steal.

The Grizzlies didn’t bring their A game or their Gasol, so we need to keep that in mind, but I don’t think that should place any kind of asterisk on the victory. After all, we’re missing three contributors.

The turnover differential . . . 22 by Memphis costing them 27 points, 11 by New Orleans costing them 10 points . . . is where I point to try to explain the flow and outcome of the game with only a single gesture. While preseason games are rife with sloppiness, that’s a tide that lifts all ships. The difference that made a difference was defense.

Also, remember Monty’s offensive philosophy . . . “Defense” . . . 23 points on the break compared to 18 by Memphis. Good call, Coach. The effort out there was tremendous.

Add it up, the New Orleans Hornets slammed down their 97 points on the Memphis Grizzlies 90 point effort and left the court grinning for more than those 7 reasons twinkling on the scoreboards around the FedEx Forum.

Off the court: Some are saying this game is meaningless since it doesn’t matter in the playoff calculations, people don’t give effort, yada yada yada, and it doesn’t tie to the title in a direct way.

That’s correct . . . but limited.

This game showed that either we have a floor general who is a leader. Jack was not only happy after the game, he was effervescent with Sean and V. I couldn’t see him (obviously), but it was so permeating that it was carried along the carrier waves at the speed of light. We need good players, we need strong leaders, and we need true believers. Jarrett showed that he just may be all three.

Also, Monty. Monty, Monty, Monty. You got the Bad News Bees to play winning ball even though you are the anti-Buttermaker. I don’t know how you did it, but you kept these guys focused though camp and got them to bring it in the game.

Then there’s Dell. I think Trey Johnson’s line speaks very well for Dell even without the recent acquisitions from LA, Landry, and Smith. I don’t think it’s fair to praise him too faintly now, so I’ll wait until I determine how many “so”‘s to put before “great.”

None of this guarantees we’ll win another game, but this victory means that `the team’ has survived and its heart still beats. It’ll likely take a while before we pour nightmares into the opposition, but we can start our dreaming now. Not next year, not on draft night, but now, not because we’re going to be winning games in a crushing January 2008 fashion, but because this is a birth. Not the birth, but a birth. More than conception, triumph, marriage, victory, or death, we celebrate birth. Every year, even if we miss the day.

Congratulations, New Orleans . . . it’s a team! Just wait until it grows up . . . get your pictures, write down the first words in the silly baby book, bronze the shoes . . . whatever. Just be there, and let them make you proud . . . one day . . .

I’m sure there’s more, and I’ll leave that for you guys. I need to get ready for the scrimmage . . .

Which brings me to . . .

The first person I’ve never met who finds me at the scrimmage gets a pair for tickets to Wednesday’s preseason game. In fact, I’ll do that for the next person, too.

17 comments
J
J

And at the end of the day we're still getting diss by the nutty pundits on ESPN.

babyboi5
babyboi5

Great win last night by our Hornets. Very proud of them to respond with a win. It's only preseason, but fans should be thankful that our team went out there and gave their all and came out with a win. We were missing Carl Landry, Jason Smith, Eric Gordon, Aminu, and Chris Kaman and WE STILL WON!!! Can you imagine what the final score would've been if we had all our regulars playing? Getting excited just thinking about the possibility of a great season. Let's forget all this talk of "tanking the season." The 2011-12 Hornets have low expectations. We're not expected to win this year or do anything. Almost every basketball genius predicts us to be last in our division and probably last in our conference. I say let's "SHOCK THE WORLD" and win it all this year. It's a shortened season so just about every team has a chance. If we win and have a productive season, we just made our franchise an attractive franchise. Free agents will want to come and play here, say maybe Dwight Howard, Deron Williams. That's not crazy talk. You never know what can happen. Our Hornets will be unified and feeling no pressure at all. They just have to believe in themselves and the coaching staff to instill confidence that this could be our year. With the LSU Tigers on the verge of winning a national title, the Saints in the playoffs (liking our chances to make it back to the Super Bowl), and the Hornets having an amazing season, fans, this could set up a year that NEW ORLEANIANS and the state of LOUISIANA HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE!!!! Let's do it!!! I'm ALL IN!!!!

Josh
Josh

If Dwight Howard or Deron Williams ever puts a Hornets jersey on, I'll pay you 1000000000000 dollars. And a championship is a little too much to ask for. I'd be happy with a 7 or 8 seed this year

Babyboi5
Babyboi5

I'm not thinking small-I believe we can win it all. Not thinking negative or speaking negative. If our guys aren't in it to win it all, they need to find another job!! Real talk!! Must speak positive words about the Hornets. Once upon a time people thought the SAINTS WINNING THE SB was CRAZY, But they won it all. If the Saints can win the SB...if Tim Tebow can lead the Broncos every game to victory, then the Hornets can win the NBA FINALS!!! All we have to do is believe!!!

Trey
Trey

Hey Jason do you know when our new guys will get here and yall interview them?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Joe and Andrew = Sugar Players = Beignets Press conference at 11 to introduce them.

Trey
Trey

will yall have a video for it?!

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

"Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"

NOS-3RD GEN
NOS-3RD GEN

I'm glad that the hornets won this game. We really needed this to boost our Confident and our spirits. As much as people wanted to trade CP3.... there still was a lot of people that also didn't want to trade him. B/C CP3 does put your Winning rate high, but now that we are w/o him I hope the HORNETS HAVE A BRIGHT NEW ERA ON THERE WAY TO BEING JUST LIKE THE SAINTS!!!!

NOS-3RD GEN
NOS-3RD GEN

AND what mean by the Saints I mean win at least one championship and get on there way to winning more!!! GO HORNETS!!!!!! GO SAINTS!!!!

DownUnder
DownUnder

Regardless of the results and what you may choose to see in them. I'll always remember this game as the first step towards a new era in hornets basketball, no matter how successful it may or may not be it'll be a big thing for me. As I didn't watch the first years of the Chris and David tandom but oh how i wish i had.

Tyler
Tyler

Geaux Hornets!!!

J
J

The D leauge has talent and thanks to Demps we could have 2 players make the roster.

John in MO
John in MO

Lance had a great showing, as did Trey and Squeaky. Trevor, Mek, Jack and QPon came to play. There was a lot to like tonight. It is a fine start. I already think that Mek, Kaman, Landry, Smith and Thomas could be one of the most solid and workmanlike front court rotations in the league. Trey and Squeaky could vie for back up minutes to Jack--who looked like an all-star tonight. This was a great showing. Also, Quincy's leadership of the second unit was impressive. Geaux Hornets!

KC NOLA
KC NOLA

PG play was solid to me JACK will step up to prove he can be a SOLID PG in the NBA. The HORNETS have a chip on there shoulder because a lot of the players are looking at it as there big chance and everyone is counting them out. I can see this being a solid TEAM no super star BS just a lot of good TEAM BASKETBALL. Great to see NEW ORLEANS NATIVE CARLDELL JOHNSON only player the 4th Qtr but he SCORED 10 pts. Even tho he is undersize (5’10 195) I think he plays with a lot of heart and will bring a spark and toughness off the bench. Trey Johnson had a Big Game so he will also be a good player to look in to keeping. Best part is we still are missing 4 key players so I think this will be a shocking year for everyone who says they will be horrible. Bee Dat!!! Lol Geaux Hornets!!!