Game On: Hornets @ Mavericks

Published: January 7, 2012

Hornets seek to get back on track against Dallas, despite missing several starters.

The Hornets travel to Dallas today after another offensive collapse in the fourth to the Denver Nuggets last night.  Dallas did not play last night, but so far this season the Defending Champions haven’t been lighting the world on fire at all.

It’s an odd situation.  For several years now pundits have said the window has closed in Dallas and that the roster is so old it’s bound to fall apart at some point.  Then they win a championship and no one wants to be the one to say those same, trite comments.

I’ll say them.

Dallas got their ring.  Their old players don’t have the fire.  Nothing is worse than an old player without fire.  They fall apart quick.  The result so far this year is an offensive efficiency of 96.3.  To give you an idea of how bad that is, the Hornets have a 96.2.  That’s right.  Dallas is scoring as poorly as the Hornets are.

As for their players, Jason Kidd, Brendan Hayward and Lamar Odom have been complete wrecks out there.  Vince Carter has been – well – Vince Carter.  That’s four of their top six players giving them nothing.

So the Hornets have a chance.  Strangely, I always say that about the Mavs.  Whether it’s Paul carving up Kidd and West playing Nowitzki to a near draw, or the rebuilding Hornets facing the calcifying former champions, I’m always coming down on the side of the Hornets.  I’m sure they feel like Rodney Dangerfield.

For the Hornets, I’m not a fan of starting Kaman over Landry.  Yes, Landry has his own problems, but Kaman’s an awful defender and Landry is the only efficient scorer on this team who is healthy.  You have to have someone to get some easy buckets.  Hopefully, Carl will be back in the starting line-up.  Also, I’m desperately hoping this team stops turning the ball over so damn much.  It’s murdering them more than anything else.  And yes, that includes their poor shooting.

Ariza and Gordon will not play.  Landry is bothered by a lower back bruise.  No idea when Gustavo Ayon or Xavier Henry will get into the game.  The perils of a compressed season – makes it hard to get practice time for new additions.

Prediction:  Hornets take the game, 91-90


  1. Jo D

    January 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Xavier said late next week… His guess…
    I say start Jason Smith.. More balance and Dynamic scorer and defender on second team

    • PP3istheMVP

      January 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Smith had a death in the family so he’s not playing tonight

    • nikkoewan

      January 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Jason won’t play, due to personal reasons. Condolence to his family

    • Jo D

      January 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Dam, thats horrible.
      Sad thing to hear.

      • nolahog

        January 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

        Didn’t Jason’s father also die this offseason? It’s been a really tough stretch for Smith.

  2. Jo D

    January 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Well, Gustavo… Here is your chance to show something… Albeit unfortunate circumstances

  3. Hornetsfan!!

    January 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    sad that they started kaman over Landry and then when Landry comes on he’s effiecient and defends well! LANDRY SHOULD PLAY MORE MINUTES.

  4. peronas

    January 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Well this was another rough one… Squeaky getting plenty of PT was nice to see and he played pretty well so there’s a bright spot…

  5. sweetpea

    January 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Is it just me or does Mark Cuban look like he’s on ‘roids???

    I actually thought the Hornets looked pretty decent tonight. A few bogus calls, even by NBA refs standards, in the mid 4th Q killed our chances to put the game in single digits. Aminu is now starting to progress very nicely; I’m almost certain he had a double/double tonight, but I was only giving the Hornets my undivided attention after the Saints won so I’m not sure.

    I really like Monty Williams but for the life of me I don’t understand what he’s doing with Carl Landry, who was averaging 17 and 8 his first three games of the season. I’d also begin playing Kaman at the expense of Mek more often. Though I guess its hard to justify Mek’s salary as a bench player, and Kaman has some serious turnover problems, I think Chewie gives us so much more offensively its worth losing some of the Ds efficency. Beisdes, even with Mek in he’s not defending the paint at the same level he did last year.

  6. RobertM320

    January 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I was just looking at the NBA gametracker (sorry, Saints were my first priority). Aminu had 15 and 12? Wow. And 4 steals.

  7. saltandcarbon

    January 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Tough loss on the road, but good to see get burn and step up. In other news, the caller of the recap of the Charlotte/Indiana game mentioned the Hornets up by 7 in the first half. I’m sure a team relocating A DECADE ago is kinda confusing for professional sportscasters, but seriously? STILL?!?!

    • saltandcarbon

      January 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      *Aminu. Good to see *Aminu* get burn and step up. Sheesh…

  8. Bower's Woodshed

    January 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    One factor that should be mentioned is how long players have been playing with one another. IMO, that is more important than the old vs. young debate.

  9. nikkoewan

    January 7, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    i think the Kaman/Okafor experiment is going badly. So hopefully, we can see more Landry/Ayon..

    Nice to see Aminu progressing nicely since Ariza’s injury. Hopefully, he continues his progression and becomes a better player for the Hornets, whether starting or off the bench

  10. sweetpea

    January 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I’m surprised at the level of criticism of Jarrett Jack in general. Granted not his best night last night, but outside of 3 point percentages his stats compare to Paul’s so far this year, and I suspect to what Paul produced for us last year. His efficency ratings, ppg, rpg and apg all are in the neighborhood of Paul — either comparable or higher actually — and to say the least he’s not been working with the same level of talent as Paul. He’s criticized for desperately trying to create plays in an absolutely punchless offensive system with no firepower?? What’s he supposed to do as a PG?? To me the jury is still very much undecided as to JJ’s place on our team.

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