Bullets From the Hornets Preseason Win Over the Grizzlies

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Published: December 21, 2011

Hornets beat the Grizzlies 95-80. Here’s what you need to know.

Player Notes

  • Chris Kaman can put the ball in the bucket. I underestimated just how good he actually is down low. He also has a sweet Chewbacca noise that plays after he scores. Nice. It’s my new favorite sound. Also, he’s a really good passer. Glad to have him on the team.
  • Eric Gordon can also put the ball in the bucket. I correctly estimated how good he was at that, though. Watching him shoot threes is a thing of beauty. Such a nice soft touch. You can imagine that he just gets all the rolls in the world. He’s also the menace we thought he would be when he gets inside.
  • Farouq is RAW. Very, very raw. I’d say Q-Pon is remarkably more polished already. Monty Williams is the reason why. Can’t wait to see what he does if Aminu is as dedicated to improving as Pondexter seems to be. He played some time at the 4, which he will probably occasionally when the Hornets decide to go small. He had quite a few fouls. No biggie.
  • Sometime in the past 8 months or so Jason Smith turned a corner and become a two-way player. Last year I wasn’t the most optimistic about him or his future, but all of a sudden he’s really looking like a positive force out there. Defensively it’s clear something clicked during the extended offseason. He was all over the place both in man-defense and as a helper. I’ll do a story on him after the game with some more details.
  • Quincy Pondexter looks a lot better than last year. He worked with Monty for two weeks this offseason, one-on-one, and it’s looking like it’s going to pay off. He looks like he knows where he needs on both ends of the floor to be this year, even if he isn’t always there. Last year he appeared confused at times about what his role was. This year he looks dialed in. I really, really, REALLY, don’t want to see him traded. I can’t imagine Monty does either.
  • Squeaky Johnson looked good in limited time. He made a few dumb mistakes, but otherwise he looked perfectly capable of being the third point guard. Guy is fast. Like, really fast. I think it’s the hair. IMO you have to keep a New Orleans player for PR purposes (if you’re not going to compete for a title), and he’s the only one currently on the roster.
  • Trey Johnson had a few nice minutes. Pretty quiet overall.

Other Stuff

  • The new Hornets House band is fantastic. Last year I talked about “Homegrown Night”, and it clear that the Hornets felt somewhat similarly about how to localize their presentation. Love. It. Not only are they talented, but they rock the house in true New Orleans style. I’m jazzed!
  • There was no prayer before the game. Personally I didn’t really care all that much, but I can see how it would make some people feel uncomfortable. Plus it was completely unnecessary. This is actually also something I wrote about last year. As someone pointed out last year, from a PR standpoint it was probably easier for the NBA to simply not continue doing it, rather than to stop doing it in the middle of last season.
  • The Bee-Zanies had some new cheers. I dug it. Props to them for energizing the crowd.

 

Eric Gordon going up for a shot

Jerome Dyson

Quincy Pondexter

Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson

Jarrett Jack driving to the lane

Chris Kaman

 

 

 

 

Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson driving to the lane

Al Farouq Aminu Dunks off an Alley Oop

Quincy Pondexter inbounding the ball

 

Eric Gordon goes up for a layup