Hornets Struggle From Deep, Fall to Thunder

The Hornets were a mess from downtown, which was too much to overcome against the talented Thunder.

Squeaky Johnson blows by Reggie Jackson


Oklahoma City Thunder 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 New Orleans Hornets
Chris Kaman, C 31 MIN | 8-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | +1Had it all going early on. 6 pts, 3 rebs, 2 assists, a block through 5 minutes, then slowed way down. Still finished with a decent game, but he had a few dumb turnover and a three second violation that again hurt his performance overall. He really struggled with the jumper from the top of the key for some reason. Elsewhere he was pretty good with it. Tonight was a better performance on D than we’ve been accustomed to so far.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -1Aminu really did a lot better defending Durant than I thought he would. He avoided dumb fouls, used his length to challenge Durant when he was on him, and really prevented him from getting easy buckets inside. Sure Durant got his from outside, but that’s going to happen no matter who is guarding him. Landry had a much harder time. Offensively he did what he’s good at, grabbing a few boards and trying to finish strong. He had a nice dunk and should have had another if not for that pesky rim. Within a few years I’m not sure there will be many players better suited to guarding Durant than Aminu.
Emeka Okafor, C 26 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -8His jumper really does look a lot better this year (not saying that much), as does the rest of his game, but he was utilized a little much for my taste, especially late in the game. Started off strong and faded, just like the Hornets did. Defensively he did his job for the most part.
Jarrett Jack, PG 35 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 8 AST | 8 PTS | -6Very quiet game on offense, presumably because the ankle wasn’t 100 percent. Defensively he tried to hang with Westbrook for a while, but that was destined to not work. He looked legitimately scared when Westbrook ran at him in the open court at one point, but managed to limit him to just free throws instead of an easy bucket. Was a decent all around game overall.
Marco Belinelli, SG 39 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -1Was much more aggressive in taking jumpers and getting to the rim, but he shied away from a few open threes. That’s the last thing he should be doing, even when he’s off like he was tonight. Guy is a three point shooter. He needs to let it fly when he’s open. Also, someone needed to stress to Belinelli that Harden is left-handed. He was playing him on the wrong side most of the night.
Carldell Johnson, G 11 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -10Got some nice burn in the first and second quarters sharing point guard duties with Vazquez. The backups played a decent Thunder lineup to a near draw in six plus minutes in the first half. Squeaky is fast enough and has a good enough head on his shoulders (and awesome hair) to continue to see time against teams both good and bad. Drew a nice loose-ball foul late in the third to get free throws, neither of which he made thanks to my jinx. Gotta make those, especially as a young player looking for more time.
Carl Landry, PF 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | -6Very quiet night early, but got into a better rhythm late. When he drew Durant on defense it was like watching an execution live. You know what was about to happen, but sort of pretend it won’t until it actually does (I assume). Can’t fault him for that, so I won’t hold it against him in my evaluation. The three turnovers hurt his final grade.
DaJuan Summers, F 19 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -7Came in during the first batch of subs for Aminu. Drew Durant. Ouch… had a nice offensive board and putback. Hit a trey mid-way through the second. Wound up with nine points in the first half in only 12 minutes. Guy is really athletic and appears to be in sync with the rest of the Hornets offense. Made a mean move on Durant which lead to free throws mid-way through the third. This was my bright spot of the game.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 15 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -5He’s not great against point guards on defense, but he had two blocks and a number of nice passes. He never did get the shot (or anything else) going.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -7Played a few nice minutes in the first half. He’s not overmatched right now, which is a good sign going forward. He also appears to be a smart player, always keeping his head on a pivot on defense to avoid getting burned. He scored his first home buckets as well (I think).

Five Things We Saw

  1. Vasquez, Squeaky, Summers, Landry, and Ayon were on the court together for roughly a five minute stretch in between the first and second quarter. They were outscored by a few, but overall gave a nice effort for a group of guys that non-Hornets fans are mostly unlikely to recognize.
  2. I spoke with Hugh Weber before the game and he seemed pretty confident the Hornets would have a new lease and a new owner around mid-late February. I mentioned Jamal Mashburn and without confirming or denying he was involved, said that the Hornets remain in conversation with a bunch of potential minority and majority owners.
  3. The chair guy was performing at halftime. I’m always shocked/disappointed/impressed when he doesn’t fall down. Ingram and Cameron Jordon (Saints guys) were at the game courtside. They threw balls into the crowd and were met with a loud round of applause. Mini Air-Hugo was in the house. He’s my favorite of the Air-Hugo’s. Take that, normal Hugo! Jazz tonight was really slow… Made me sleepy, as Jazz often does.
  4. After shooting over 52% from behind the line in their previous three games, the Hornets fell apart from deep. They went 1-15 in the first 45 minutes, completely killing their chance of winning. Considering how many threes they miss, it was a surprise that they were within six with less than 90 seconds to go. They finished 1-16. Nice!
  5. There’s a huge game against the Timberwolves on Friday. We kind of win and lose no matter what, so let’s win the game and be tall.

34 responses to “Hornets Struggle From Deep, Fall to Thunder”

  1. The officiating sucked. Yeah, we couldn’t shoot, but the discrepancy between what we got called for and what they didn’t was glaring. The FTs in the first half cost us the lead. Hosed, boned, screwed. The travel call on Landry at mid-court late was impossible.

    Of course, the four straight turnovers to start the 2nd half were a great way to tank. Nicely done by our point-Sasquatch.

    • Westbrook crashes into Landry and causes him to loose his balance along with his pivot foot and the Ref right in front of them calls for traveling!? Wow! I bet he would call for the offensive foul if he was a little closer! He probably missed it.

  2. Not sure why Kaman wasn’t in the game when we were behind with 3 minutes left.

    Summers straight up PUNKED Durant on that drive. “Hey Kevin, you missed a spot down there.”

  3. Missing the only star, another starter, and a key reserve against the best or second best team in the NBA, and we only lose by 10?! Plus if we do a few things differently (shoot 3 pts better, reduce turnovers, etc) we win.

    I am not big on morale victories, but this game showed that this Hornet team isn’t that far away from being good this year.

    • J, you feeling ok, buddy? That’s two games in a row with the positivity!!!

      Picking, dude . . .

      I’m not trying to stop you from criticizing the team, but I think your statement “starting to play like a team” is 100% the best way to put it.


      Imagine if we had the whole team!

  4. The hornets are gonna be rolling whenever eric gordon and xavier henry get back, the 2 guard is the biggest problem because the team has no true 2 guard right now that is healthy and consistently good. Also, with the emergence of aminu and summers, dont be surprised if ariza gets traded because the team is getting good, if not better, production from the small forward position and I know monty wont want that chemistry with aminu and summers to get messed up. If monty can work with vasquez and jack to help them solidify their games( vasquez’s jumper and jack defense) then the point guard position will be solid. This team has a chance to actually to make run for the playoffs if they can stay in the thick of things by the time gordon and henry are up to speed with the team. Geaux Hornets!!!!

  5. thunder got the treatment calls from the refs tonight alright. But clearly they rely too much on KD & westbrook to bail them out every night. On the otherhand our team is preety much playing like a group. This season will be a chemistry team building process for our guys and hope to build on it in the next one.

    • The Thunder were tired from playing 5 games in 6 nights and your right that KD and Russ led the way in this game.

      Just don’t think the Thunder are one or two man team, as they have other talented players Harden and Ibaka that can take over games.

  6. Landry and Kaman continue to play great on offense!!! good game overall but it would of been better if we converted from deep

  7. Chemistry is looking better out there. I have always been optimistic about our team, and think we have a shot at the playoffs. I hope we get Marco, and Ariza out of here! geaux hornets!!

  8. Hey good news on the ownership issue, btw. I saw where MoBart was sitting next to Hugh Weber and Jack Sperling courtside last night. Don’t know if this has any “deeper meaning” but it did get me to speculatin’ that maybe he’ll be on our side in a more meaningful way. TP is reporting that Sperling is now living in NOLA in full time … so reading those particular tea leaves I choose to believe the deal is becoming more likely, perhaps sooner rather than later. Anyway, feel like givin you 24/7 dudes a shout out this morning … so keep up the great work, we all appreciate it for our Hornets fixxxxx.

    • Those are the ‘owner seats’ for Hugh and Jac, and Mo’s seats are just right there too. Been so for years.

  9. Very pleased with the efforts on offense; a lot of ball movement with a great deal of energy! Actually, not to shabby on the defensive end either! Got some nice pieces which seem to fit very well with our team chemistry! I’m part loving the game from the BIG MAN KAMEN! C’mon fans, let’s pack the hive & show these guys we’re behind them…what a difference it could make! GEAUX HORNETS!!!

  10. First time posting on this site..love to read all the latest blogs on the hornets.cant make many games but always watch them on cst. Anyway we can post the fan attendance for every game?

    • You can always see it at the bottom of espn’s box score. Although that number does not represent actual, butts-in-the-seats, attendance. It’s the most inflated number they can put out.

      • That poorly names number is the sum of

        All tickets paid for, used or not
        All tickets not paid for that were used.

        The reported number is ever so slightly less than then ‘real that number’ because it is given out around halftime and some people trickle in. Like 10.

  11. […] Joe Gerrity of Hornets 24/7: “Aminu really did a lot better defending Durant than I thought he would. He avoided dumb fouls, used his length to challenge Durant when he was on him, and really prevented him from getting easy buckets inside. Sure Durant got his from outside, but that’s going to happen no matter who is guarding him. Landry had a much harder time. Offensively he did what he’s good at, grabbing a few boards and trying to finish strong. He had a nice dunk and should have had another if not for that pesky rim. Within a few years I’m not sure there will be many players better suited to guarding Durant than Aminu.” […]

  12. The really need the House Band to start playing some funk. I love the idea of the house band, but the execution has left a lot to be desired. Keep it upbeat. No one wants to listen to lounge/elevator music at a basketball game.

    • I totally agree. The jazz is a nice touch but it needs to be more upbeat,
      music that makes people want to get up and dance! I am also really
      sick of the music played during the game, same stuff from years past.
      We have alot of young fans…lets move into 2012, give the 70’s a rest.!

  13. injuries, injuries, injuries. I hate losing but i hate watching belinelli on the court even more 0-5 from the 3pt line 3-10 for the game….as soon as i heard we resigned him before the season my heart sank in my chest. These are such close games with just either gordon or ariza back wed be winning half of them and possibly just xavier. Cant wait to see what we are like with the full roster. Landry and Kaman are monsters….oh and i loved that traveling call on Landry when westbrook knocked him over

    • If Belinelli keeps shooting like this, he might eventually lose his spot in the rotation once Gordon and Henry gets healthy. He is posting career worsts in shooting. He never averaged more than 25 minutes in his career before and given the opportunity with 32 minutes a game he has to shoot better.

      BTW, Seantonio, I think Belinelli used his player option.

      If coach does not have Marco in his future plans beyond this season, I would like to see Summers more on the floor and I am looking forward to watching Henry. I watched Summers for the first time in the Hive last night and He has a nice touch! He made 2 nice jumpers and the lone trey for our Hornets last night.

      • Of the 38 NBA shooting guards who play 20 or more minutes a night, Bellinelli is second to last in true shooting percentage, at 45.9%. He’s capable of playing a lot better than this; last year he ranked 12 out of 49 at 56.1%. If Bellinelli starts playing the way he did last year, the Hornets would start turning these L’s into W’s. His performance has been a great predictor of the team’s success this season. Bellinelli has shot 53% in the Hornets’ 3 wins and 29% in the team’s 7 losses, the worst differential of any Hornets starter.


      • i forgot about his option, he probably tested the waters and saw nobody wanted him. He started off real well last year and by the end of the year i cringed seeing him out there. i as impressed with summers as well id like to see more of him and less trey johnson/belli

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