Game On: Hornets @ Kings

Published: January 1, 2012

The Hornets take their show into Sacramento to face the Kings, a team that relies heavily on isolation basketball and individual brilliance to take games.  Unfortunately for the Kings, their individual talents don’t yet amount to any sort of efficiency, and as a result, they’ve been crushed in three straight games after pulling out a close win over the short-handed Lakers in their home opener.

Now, I’ve said before that teams rely too much on isolation or are selfish, but this year the Kings are showing who the real masters are when it comes to selfish basketball.  No player on their team is averaging more than 2.8 assists.  The best assist-to-turnover guy on their team is big man Chuck Hayes,  and not one guard reaches the purely average 2 assists per turnover ratio you’d want in a competent ball-handler.  The Kings end up taking contested shots, and since they have an awful defense (currently the 2nd worst in the league), they pay for it.  In truth, the only efficient scorer they have on their team right now is Marcus Thornton, who is brilliantly aggressive but is not going to help in establishing the balanced attack the Kings so desperately need.

On the flip side, the Hornets roll into this game sporting the sixth best defense of the young season.  With a defense built around a tall team with multiple big men capable of contesting shots in the paint, an elite wing defender in Ariza who has shown he’s fully locked in, and swarming, athletic help defense by everyone not named Kaman,  the Hornets seem custom-built to stop isolation-focused teams.  So the Hornets can take this game – if one simple thing happens:

The Hornets have to find a way to make shots.

So far the Hornets have managed to field the 8th worst offense in the league, and they will once again be missing big gun Eric Gordon.  Perhaps Gustavo Ayon will debut and provide that scoring burst – but somehow I think that may be too much to ask of him.  Instead, the Hornets will have to ride Landry, their most efficient and competent scorer, get Okafor room to power layup all over the Kings, and hope that one of the Hornets three “scoring” guards find more net than rim.  If that happens, expect a happy New Year.

Other Notes:

  • Vegas Zone -The line opened with the Kings a 3.5 point underdog, but it’s down to 2.5 now as most people don’t seem to yet trust this Hornets team.
  • Our second favorite team is in action too.  Like Michael, I am talking about the WIPTT’s (Whoever Is Playing The Timberwolves). Tonight the WIPTT’s feature Dirk Nowitzki and various other old players.  Let’s all hope the defending champs have enough in them to keep the Wolves winless. (Sorry Jason, I expect you to root for the Mavs tonight.)
  • Prediction:  Hornets win 88-82.  Marcus Thornton goes for 28.
Enjoy the Game!


  1. James Online

    January 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Insightful comments, Ryan, thanks.

    Sacramento has an unworkable and unlikable mix of talents, as evidenced by the dearth of team play on both ends of the court. And check out the body language of Cousins, Evans, and Thornton especially. Cousins is already blaming the coach for the Kings’ miserable play:

    With my partner, the Brazilian Beyonce, I’ll be in the lower bowl in Sacto today and back with a post-game comment or two tonight.

    Happpy New Year!

    • nolahog

      January 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Wear some Hornets gear so we can hopefully see you on T.V. (and for those playing the Hornets drinking game, drink half a beer).

  2. Ian H.

    January 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Is is time to start giving Vasquez more minutes? I like Jack but he doesn’t show the want to get everyone involved throughout the game. Vasquez pushes the ball more but has struggled with his outside shot.

    • ImSorryMonty

      January 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm


  3. Pingback: New Orleans Hornets at Kings: Game 5 « Evil Cowtown, INC: A Sacramento Kings blog

  4. Tim

    January 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    No DeMarcus Cousins tonight. He’s demanded a trade, and Westphal said it was in the best interest of the team that he didn’t play tonight. That makes life easier on defense, for sure!

  5. Chris Trew

    January 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Bean dip, guacamole, sausages. We’re having a watch party at our house tonight. Pump up the jams.

  6. EJ

    January 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Should we go after cousins now that he has demanded a trade? And jf so, who do you think we should give up?

    • 504ever

      January 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      What do we offer? Kaman?

      And is Cousins anything besides poison? He isn’t a team player or very mature. I don’t see him fitting in even if we had an asset to trade for him.

      Talent alone isn’t enough to make him a long term piece anywhere. What do you do with a guy with a long term contract who asks to be traded after the fourth game of the season? You’re hostage to his ego for the length of that contract. That’s a risks only desparate teams will be willing to take.

  7. Jo D

    January 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    5:32 left in the first…
    I expect Jason Smith and Caveman Kaman to be super effective tonight off the bench

  8. Nick Malone

    January 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    No livechat again tonight during the game? Dang…If there isn’t one tomorrow night, I may have to do one myself. 🙁

  9. jamal

    January 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    we have bad 3 point shooters

    • usufruct

      January 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm


      • EJ

        January 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm


  10. Stew

    January 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Wow. Our offense looks absolutely…

    No words.

  11. EJ

    January 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Its painful to watch our offensive execution. I mean, our only effective guys right now are landry and kaman but the majority of our field goal attempts are jump shots by ariza/belli/jack

  12. usufruct

    January 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Man, where’s squeaky? In other news… EL TITAN!!!

  13. Noah

    January 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    The Hornets played like crap, Marco was as useful as a poopey flavored lolleypop

  14. ImSorryMonty

    January 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Well, I blame Joe. He just had to go and change his season predictions and jinx us.

  15. Jacob

    January 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    The things that I was upset with was not only awful free throw and three point shooting but also how jack had an assist to turnover ratio of 1:1 while Vasquez had one of 4:1. My thought with that stat is that either Monty needs to get jack in gear or dell needs to get jack out of here because I don’t want to see the team struggle due to poor point guard play from the starter.

    • ImSorryMonty

      January 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Dude’s struggling. It’s a little early to be “getting people out of here”

    • KC NOLA

      January 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      I agree The team had another bad shooting but it was as a team again. It was horrible for 3pt line. I know a lot of people don’t like Jack but he is still a good PG, he did have a 1:1 ratio of Assist to TO for TONIGHT but he also had a 7:2 ratio from the other games so he is not CP3 but he is a good PG. besides he is the only experienced guard we have in the system to run the PG. I love the excitement Vasquez has and how he plays but he still is learning on the fly. If Vasquez has a bad game starting the people would want to cut him off the team too, so let the season play out well be find once we make a few adjustments.

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