Game On: Hornets @ Jazz

Published: January 2, 2012

Hornets try to get bad taste out of their mouth after last night’s blowout.

Monty looks to get his young team back on track tonight against the Jazz

After a 2-0 start that had Hornets nation abuzz, the team has looked downright awful in its last two contests, particularly on offense. The Hornets have shot just 39% from the field this season and are a putrid 9 of 57 from three on the year. Granted, Eric Gordon has not played in three of the four games, but one man does not an offense make. This team will continue to struggle in the half court all season long, and must turn defense into easy offense if they are going to be legitimate playoff contenders this season.

The Jazz, meanwhile, feature a team with an interesting mix of quality veterans and youth. Everybody seems to be looking for the next OKC (and Hornets fans hope that Gordon, Aminu, and draft picks will enable the Hornets to get there), but don’t overlook the Jazz. Utah has four young pieces in Favors, Kanter, Hayward, and Burks who were all lottery picks either this year or last, and they should have a high pick this year, and possibly two more in 2013(NJN pick).

Utah also has a collection of veterans that could make them a darkhorse for a playoff spot this season if they can jell under head coach Tyrone Corbin. Devin Harris, Paul Milsap, Josh Howard, and Al Jefferson are the top four scorers on this team and have all shown the ability to take over games in recent years. So far this season, Utah has underperformed as they struggle to find the right lineup combinations, but there is too much talent on this team to believe that they won’t figure it out at some point this season.

When the Hornets have the ball:

So far this season, teams have attacked the Jazz on the perimeter and have had a lot of success doing so. 70% of the shots taken against Utah have been jump shots, and remarkably, nearly 50% have gone in. Just for comparison sake, the Jazz also take jump shots about 70% of the time, but they only convert 36% of those shots. What this means is that the Hornets must be patient with their offense, because if they are, they will likely get an open look.

Some bittersweet news for the Hornets involves the shooting guard position. So far this season, Utah has been absolutely decimated at the two guard spot, as they have allowed 24.5 PPG on 56% shooting from opposing shooting guards. A healthy Eric Gordon likely decimates this Utah Jazz backcourt, but instead Marco Belinelli will likely get the start as Gordon continues to rest his bruised knee. Perhaps this match-up can get Belly going, however, and then the Hornets can look forward to a formidible one-two punch when Commissioner Gordon returns.

When the Jazz have the ball:

It is no secret that the Hornets prefer to have their opponents beat them from the outside, and that will be a good strategy for this Jazz team when you take into account the aformentioned low shooting percentage on jump shots. The Jazz, like the Hornets, struggle in the half court and need to turn their defense into offense in order to get easy baskets. The Jazz shoot 53% when they take a shot in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock, and just 36% when they shoot anytime after that. Of course, most shots in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock are due to caused turnovers, long rebounds that lead to fast breaks, or putbacks off of misses.

If the Hornets can get back on defense and keep Utah’s collection of bigs off of the glass, they should have no problem containing this anemic Jazz offense.

Other News and Notes:

– Gordon is listed as a game time decision, but is unlikely to play. Wednesday at home against Philly should be Commissioner Gordon’s return.

– Vegas Zone: The line has stayed at Utah -6.5 all day, but I am more interested in the over/under of 182.5. Personally, I can’t see either team scoring over 90 and I would be all over the under if my bookie wasn’t blocking my calls.

– Look for some more Gustavo tonight, as Monty knows that he has to keep minutes down in this shortened NBA season. Ayon only got garbage time last night, but I could see him getting 8-10 minutes tonight as Monty is curious to see what the rookie has to offer.

– WIPTT’s back in action tonight, as they try to rebound from a tough loss to Minnesota last night. Tonight’s team features 58 year old Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Longoria-Parker, who will try to put the Wolves at 1-4 on this young season.



  1. SadHornetsFan

    January 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    good stuff…tonight, i’m lookin for continued production from the bigs. Also looking for jack and belli to get out of their slumps.

  2. BRballboy

    January 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    MM, you said Hornets fans hope Gordon,Aminu and picks can make us the next OKC. Let me show another way. When all the trades are done(Oak, Jack, Ariza, Landry, Gordon – anyone due big bucks), we are sure to add to our picks hoard. Easy to see another 1st this year, maybe next, as well as an extra couple of second rounders.
    With all the big contracts gone, you have 40 mil+ cap space. You can have 3 or more lottery picks at 2-3 mil per. Then you can get 2 max or nearly max contract guys where you need them (PG, C?), not needing to depend on Gordon and certainly not Aminu.
    Think high lottery picks this year and next, think high value free agents, but don’t be too loyal to our current guys, they haven’t been here long and they won’t be here long. This is the dark transition phase necessary to a bright future,

  3. BRballboy

    January 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Gordon, Aminu, and picks scary, not dependable. Gordon small, possibly injury prone, may not want to be here. Aminu makes Julian Wright look like an all star. Maybe some day he can actually play, not now.
    Cap space and picks therefore better. We get the best picks we can and fill in the missing pieces with top quality free (expensive) agents. We do that a couple of years in a row and have a blend of young talent, veteran stars, and role players. Dell will fix it so we have the picks and the money.

  4. tommy

    January 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    we need 3 point shooters because it hard to watch. we do have one of best front court in the nba.

  5. Pluto D

    January 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I dont like all this pessimism regarding Gordon’s departure. He just got here. So what if you have to pay him the big bucks next season? You have to build around SOMEONE. Eventually you’ll have to pay SOMEONE a large contract to keep them around for more than a year or two. We’re not winning a championship with a new roster every season. Why not start with Gordon, assuming he’ll be happy/healthy? Keep in mind that Demps and Monty were “pushing hard” for Gordon.

    It’s like everyone is afraid to commit to any of these future prospects we’ll have in favor of trying to retain a team full of rookie contracts, and letting them go when those contracts are up. Well, guess we’ll have to keep drafting and hope we can win a championship at some point with a team full of rookie contracts.

    I’m not making clear sense anymore. Just be happy that we have the potential to build around a special star player in Gordon, who JUST turned 23. Securing him means we don’t need to worry about a SG for a long time. Assuming he stays injury free for the most part.

    • Pluto D

      January 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      And be patient with Aminu. He’s 21 years old. He just came off a season with Vinny del Negro as the coach. Now he’s under Monty. Vast difference. Don’t call him Julian Wright, just be patient, he’s learning a new system and needs some polishing. The possible upside is tremendous.

      • carpo

        January 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm

        yeah i dont like the comparison either, everyone here ridiculed Juju which was fair. But a young kid who has been with this coach for less than a month and everyone knows he is a project, please leave him alone. Yeh he mightnt be the best jump shooter and ball handler and he is athletic so I can see why the Juju comparison is used, but he is a good defender, and should grow into a good one. This time next year with a season, training camp and an offseason (maybe with some Monty time) he could be at the level of a starter

  6. Noah

    January 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Does anyone know Gordon’s status tonight?

  7. EJ

    January 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Landry needs the ball more down low. Hes a beast.

    On a side note, what happened to the journals?

    • Jason Calmes

      January 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      This will be addressed, along with other changes, soon.

  8. carpo

    January 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Would like to see that super High pick n roll played early and often tonight. I understand its predictable but it works and it has been working. FFS Okafor is getting buckets off it. It also collapses the defense leaving open looks, and I cant see Beli shooting as badly as last night again, all those shots were only off the mark by a tiny amount.

    • SadHornetsFan

      January 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      a miss is a miss…it’s the NBA. I would hope as a shooter he isn’t missing by much, or better, not missing that much at all.

  9. 504ever

    January 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Jason Smith looks like the player of the quarter (off the bench) in the 1st Quarter. Six points, plenty of picks set, and high energy in four minutes so far.

    Oops two more points for J Smih as I write this.

  10. Drew

    January 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    It’s fun to watch Kaman pass out of the post. On a side note, the refs are making their presence known so far tonight

    • SadHornetsFan

      January 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      ya, but not fun to watch him play defense.

  11. JJ

    January 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    The Jazz are having their way in the paint.

  12. EJ

    January 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Aminu looks pretty good on both sides of the floor tonight. Nine points at the half and hes attacking the basket and drawing fouls

  13. ImSorryMonty

    January 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm



    • MaxJD_Nola2NYC

      January 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      If Vasquez plays over JJack we might as well let amino start for ariza we need veteran presence

  14. Hornet Seantonio

    January 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Belinelli suuuuuuuux. JJack and Smith are going off.

  15. ImSorryMonty

    January 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    We need Gordon like nobody’s business.

    • ImSorryMonty

      January 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      I’m also incredibly disappointed in Marco’s mental toughness. He’s obviously bitching out.

      • GecGreek

        January 2, 2012 at 10:30 pm

        it’s not mental, he went to the weightroom a lot during the lockout and lost all his offensive game (and he had already lost all his footwork behind the screens in his first two years)

  16. Hornetsky

    January 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Bees lost 3rd straight. Ouch!!

  17. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    January 2, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Wow….seriously considering not watching the rest of the season. Sux to be a hornets fan and boy do I hate bellinelli almost as much as I hate CJ Miles fml

  18. GecGreek

    January 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Belinelli has now succeded in losing ALL his offensive game thru this NBA years, Good job Belly that wasn’t easy.

  19. sweetpea

    January 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I think we can all say safely after watching him for a little over a year that …. Bellinelli is a bum.

    Kudos to the bench and JJ, whose becoming my favorite player on the team … but I can’t believe we re-signed Belllinelli. Besides him we gotta stick with the team. I see a lot of bright spots and, especially if we keep up the hustle., things will eventually fall our way.

    • MakesNoDamnSense

      January 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      I agree in seeing bright spots, but Bellinelli is SO DAMN HORRIBLE is shadows over the sunshine! And the horrible coaching decisions down the stretch killed us (Okafor in-Smith out/Bellinelli in-Vasquez out). You replace one of the FEW scoring threats on the night for OKAFOR and Vasquez for the trash man???

    • SadHornetsFan

      January 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      belli is playing terrible right now…i think he just lacks confidence and toughness. NBA people have seen belli’s talent clearly, but he will never be good enough under the lights imo. not a terrible signing, but he gets too many minutes on this team right now. he probably should only be used as a situational three point shooter when gordon comes back.

  20. MakesNoDamnSense

    January 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I’ve completely had it up to here with Monty, and I’ll throw Dell in there too because he asked for this trash back, and his commitment to sticking with sorry @$$ Bellinelli! He can preach defense all he wants, which Marco doesn’t play much of, but you need points to win basketball games! I’ve never seen a coach keep his job for losing a bunch of games but his teams always “gave GREAT effort” (as he says Marco does in trying to get better on defense). I was pissed that he was even asked to come back this season and hoped he would say no and stay in Italy! If this is the type of talent evaluators we have working in our front offices I can no longer have high hopes of cashing in BIG on this years draft. I’m pretty pissed I bought 4 season tickets to view this crap, league pass is MUCH cheaper!

    • Jason Calmes

      January 3, 2012 at 12:13 am

      Winning this game would have stopped you feeling this way?

      Supporting the team means complaining all you want AND committing to the team, not just the complaining.

      It’ll be ok, just don’t look for a win each time.

      Hang in there.

  21. Leonel

    January 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Three losses in a row but these are the Hornets and I’m always behind them. Geaux Hornets!

  22. Trey

    January 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Should have resigned green!! smh!

  23. MakesNoDamnSense

    January 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I say we the fans start a collection plate at the game on Wed to contribute our part in paying to amnesty Bellinelli….hell even just to stay away like the PG we got from Toronto last year! I got $20 on it!!!!!!!!

  24. nolahog

    January 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Belinelli’s confidence is clearly shaken. All in all though, I thought the team competed well. If we don’t have the turnovers at the end of the game, I think we come out on top. We ABSOLUTELY would have won that game if Gordon would have been available. This is going to be a true roller coaster season, with more highs and lows to come.
    Does anyone know what happened to Ariza?

  25. Hornetsky

    January 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    IMO, belly now needs to earn his minutes from the bench. I dont see him starting anytime soon. Two consecutive horrible games for him and coach should have known better by now.

    • carpo

      January 3, 2012 at 12:52 am

      i know i will get 100 thumbs downs for this, but for the most part he is taking good shots, he is usually open and his stroke looks fine and hes just missing slightly everytime, i understand they are still misses but shooters go through this every season. One game where those start to fall and the Hornets 247 community will do a 180 and all claim they were backing him to break the drought and be a good role playing shooter. Remember several games last year when we all wanted Monty head after Beli started hot and was taken off for Willie after 6 minutes??? The dude can flat out shoot it, hes hit 2 shots the last couple of games from the carpark in rythm. I just think we are being to harsh on a player who is in a shooting slump remember he did hit 41.5% of his threes last yr which was higher than guys like JJ Reddick and about the same as James Jones and Daequan Cook. I understand his last 2 games have been shithouse and he has been given to many minutes, but the latter is hardly is fault and its been 2 games….

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