Hornets blow lead, fall to Jazz

New Orleans Hornets 90 Recap | Box Score 94 Utah Jazz
Trevor Ariza, SF
2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +3

Ariza was essentially non-exsistent prior to his injury in the third. Solid defense, but nothing to write home about on the offensive end. Initial reports are saying its a mild groin strain, which can mean anything from one day to three weeks.

Carl Landry, PF
1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -1

Wait… He played tonight? Yes, Smith was hitting from mid range and Kaman had some nice moments, but Landry’s poor play had nothing to do with those two guys. He simply couldn’t deal with Utah’s size and for whatever reason, he just didn’t play with any fire tonight.

Emeka Okafor, C
3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | 0

I try not to grade Okafor based on his contract, but it is always in the back of my mind on a night like this. He is just so stiff offensively and he is not a game changer on the defensive end. If he had Jason Smith’s contract, I would have no probably with a stat line like this, but he is set to make 33 million dollars more than Smith over the next three years. ‘Nuff said.

Jarrett Jack, PG
11-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 11 AST | 27 PTS | -1

A monumental effort by Jack that is sadly wasted because of subpar play by his teammates. The Clippers are off tonight- Jack should give CP3 a call and tell him that now he truly knows how he feels.

Marco Belinelli, SG
2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -3

I wish there were an F- on this thing, because that was one of the worst performances I have ever seen from a player in a Hornets uniform. I can’t be brutal enough after that display. Five of his seven misses were practically uncontested and he just made one bonehead play after another, included a charge that essentially ended the game for the Hornets with just over 15 seconds remaining.

Chris Kaman, C
6-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -7

First efficient game of his Hornets career saw Kaman score 14 points on just 7 shots. It looks like Kaman is understanding that he can help this team more on the perimeter, as opposed to clogging up the lane. Kaman only gets a B, however, because it was his porous defense that led to Al Jefferson getting hot in the third quarter.

Jason Smith, PF
8-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | 0

If this year’s Hornets do in fact end up resembling the ’04-’05 team, J Smitty might become our new Birdman. His energy is infectious, and when he hits his jumper like this, he quickly becomes a fan favorite. Somebody needs to tell Smith that he never makes that 17 footer after he puts the ball on the ground, though. Either catch and shoot, or reset Jason. There is no third option.

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF
3-6 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -6

Best game so far for Aminu, but that’s kind of like saying that a particular episode of House of Payne is the best one yet. Aminu got to the rim more in this game and he seemed more confident as the game went on. He still seemed lost at times, but this Ariza injury could help him find his niche on this team.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Hornets capitalized on Utah turnovers in the first three quarters, but once the Jazz started to take better control of the ball, the Hornets offense struggled. The half court offense was basically Jack and Smith, with no real third option. Eric Gordon would have been able to help with that.
  2. Big front lines still give Okafor and Landry tons of trouble. Multiple times we saw those guys try to take it up strong, only to get swatted like fifth graders trying to play with the high school boys. Smith and Kaman aren’t as physical, but at least they can stretch pull the bigs out of the paint.
  3. Eric Gordon’s suit was underwhelming at best. Nothing fancy. Perhaps that is because he is still on a rookie contract. I think Dell can cure that by extending him!
  4. As if a loss to the lowly Jazz weren’t enough, the Timberwolves won their second straight, bringing their record to 2-3. They have been in all of their games and could easily be 4-1 or 5-0, and Kevin Love is playing like a top five guy this year. As one of our twitter followers wrote,” If we’re going to get a top five pick, we’ll have to earn it ourselves.”
  5. Hornets will be at home Wednesday to face Philly and Aminu should watch New Orleans native Thaddeus Young very closely. If there is a player who Aminu can model his game after, it is Young- a hybrid 3/4 who plays with energy and passion.

28 responses to “Hornets blow lead, fall to Jazz”

  1. holy crap, we need gordon BAD. our offense looks terrible out there. pick and pop with jack and smith will not work. neither will isolation plays for kaman. he is too slow, and he looks like he left whatever footwork he had back in la. he often takes too long to decide what to do, causing the shot clock to run down, and allowing the defense to collapse on him, forcing turnovers. That kind of play will not get it done. vasquez looked terrible tonight. and where was landry? i dont care if he is having issues out there, we gotta get him going and get him into a rhythm. honestly, outside of gordon, landry is our 2nd best player. monty’s rotations leave a lot to be desired, and his offensive play calling is atrocious at worst, and adequate at best. and the best for last…marco. good god man, you are PAID TO PLAY BASKETBALL. get your **** together! i really liked what i saw out of aminu and jack however. aminu looks as if with more minutes and more touches he’ll get that much better. we need guys cutting to the basket more often. we were lucky smith kaman and jack were on fire, but we cant count on our midrange game to win ballgames. monty, please get your act together.

  2. ahhh this is the part of tanking (not that we are trying to) that hurts.. but it feels better after! I promise!!

    also missed the game but did aminu seem more comfortable/more in sync with the rest of the team than the last games?

  3. In these three games we lost i think if we had Gordon we could have won them, because Marco is playing terrible and Gordon is really consistent, so im not gonna get worried too soon, and I hate to say but i can see Minny making the playoffs as an 8th seed

  4. Belinelli is one of the worst shooting guards of all the NBA. He is terrible in every way. He cannot play in the NBA. I’m sad to hear that Monty Williams considers him a protagonist player on the Hornets team. With Belinelli ruining the team, I can only look in one direction: Draft 2012.

  5. lol this team stinks Jack is the only legit PG we got Vasguez and Johnson are pure Dleaugers/bust!!! i feel sick watching this team tanking it is.we get a SG thats faking his injuries like CP3,Ariza is hurt and Monty Williams is a stubborn mule of a coach.I hope when the new owner gets here he’ll fire Monty & Demps.

  6. Marco’s hurting the team and I know that. Monty can only hope that Eric can come back healthy and stay that way. I’ve watched Marco since his rookie season. He’s a very talented player, but right now he cannot buy a shot and it obviously affects him.

    I will say this I don’t think he’s alone in this problem; there are others in the league also struggling with their 3pt shot. Not so much the ball handlers, but those like Marco who rely on their ability to catch and shoot. I just think the lack of a training camp and preseason has really hurt him and he just needs alot of reps to get his rhythm back. The only other thing I’ll say is that last season he was the lightest he’s been since he was a rookie. This season it looks like he’s gained weight, I’m guessing so as to be able to hold his own against bigger guards. Maybe that’s good, but I think it’s adversely affected his shot as well.

  7. Worst coaches in New Orleans pro sports Dick Nolan,Bum Phillips,Mora after the 92 season he was,Dika and Hasslett,Tim Floyd,Jeff Bower,Monty Williams.The Horror.

  8. My random thoughts —

    Mek is just too weak in the paint. He’s got no offensive game. Last few years, that was masked by the fact that he scored almost all of his points on put-backs from shots taken by cp3 or dwest. He looks clueless on what to do with the ball when it comes to him from vasquez or jjack in the lane about 5-6 feet from the hoop. He either shoots an awkward jumper or half attacks the basket.

    I do like that the bench seems to be jelling. Vasquez and JSmitty seem to be getting some chemistry. JSmitty needs to learn to just shoot the ball right from the pass when he gets it. When he hesitates or dribbles once, he always misses.

    It’s telling about a starting SG (Belli) that, when you’re down 3 with less than 10 seconds left, he passes rather than take an open 3 point shot. Just saying.

    On a positive note, it was the first time Aminu didn’t look totally lost on both sides of the ball.

    Another random thought – someone need to punch JJack in the face before each game to get him mad. When he’s mad, he plays like a beast. He seems to rest on his laurels after each good game, which results in a crappy game.

  9. Aminu looked nice, but he could have grabbed a few extra rebounds out there. Otherwise I’m excited to see Gordon and Aminu start next game, seeing as Trevor will prolly be out

  10. I know I’ll get blasted for this, but I like Monty’s decision to keep playing Bellinelli so much. A shooter’s best friend and worst enemy is confidence, and yanking him after a few bad shots is the quickest way to ruin his confidence.

    Even if it results in a loss, isn’t it in the best interest of the team for the players to know their coach is behind them?

    At worst, with each loss we have we increase our chances of a franchise-altering draft pick next year. I trust that Monty and Dell are looking long term here, we’re not even close to contending for a title this year

    • I agree. Unfortunately, until Gordon returns, we have no other options. The only way he’ll break out of this slump is shoot his way out. Hopefully he’ll be spending A LOT of time before and after practice working on his shooting. Monty knows he’s capable, the trick is getting Marco to know it. . .

  11. Somehow it looks like Kaman, Landry, Smith and Okafor is one too much in the rotation! At least one of them is going to suck. It seemed like Landry had more trouble with Millsap, who is exactly the same type of player as he is, than with any kind of size.
    I’m very disappointed with this game, it looked like the hornets were the better team, but they just tend to extremely bad stretches with silly turnovers. Gordon will help a bit, he can score in some easy one-on-one situations.

    • I like the progress of Aminu a lot. The first games I thought it was JuJu playing again with number 0…….!

      • I agree, it seems pretty crowded in the front court! lol not to offend smith or any of our other frontcourt players, but landry truly showed that he can score, rebound and defend well WHEN GIVEN TIME AND THE BALL

  12. Belli is definitely one of the worse shooting guards in the league but Jared Jerk is killing this team. He looks to shoot every time he has the ball. He does not even try to get teammates involved. He thinks he’s a Westbrook type of player, which he’s not even close to that. At best he’s a backup guard in this league. I’ve seen our bigs post up and beg for the ball while J Jerk is looking for his shot. He’s not a leader and never will be. In two games he was 9 of 30. Why is this fool shooting so much!!!! JARRET JERK is the cancer of this team.

    • If we had to label players:

      Jack – decent backup
      Beli- serviceable backup
      Ariza – good backup
      Landry- good backup
      Okafor – starter

      I think this is a fair assement. Monty would have to be a miracle worker to win with this lineup. The dice only favors him so many times.

    • Im glad that your obviously someone who doesn’t base he’s oppinion of a player on one game. Otherwise you’d be saying the opposite.
      But to be so hard of Jarrett is quite irrational. For starters he’s 7th in the leagues assists per game and top 25 in assist rate, he’s AST/TO ratio is also top 20 (better than Rose,Rondo). Add in the factor of the lack of one reliable scorer to past to except maybe Landry and you could make a case that he’s stats could be negatively affected by this. The 16 shots he is taking a game is two much but i can’t blame him when our offense is so abysmal at times that he tries to spark something.
      You can’t compare Jarrett to Chris Paul standards that we’re used to seeing, the man is being down right solid so far as a starter and if he were a backup again then he would be a top 3 backup PG and possibly the best.

  13. if no one else not going to shoot Jack will.I see the Nuggets got great dividents from the Mello trade and the Hornets got nothing really from the CP3 trade yeah we got screwed!!!!!!!!!! Big Time.I see a 5 year rebuliding process.Unless we get an owner(s) with deep pockets.

  14. Obviously without Gordon we are struggling offensively. I wish they would start Kaman instead of Okafor to give us an extra option on offense. Okafor just doesnt offer enough and really defensively doesn’t do enough to warrant a starting position.

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