Hornets Miss Gordon, Can’t Hang With Wolves Late

Published: January 13, 2012

The Hornets lost to the Timberwolves 87-80 after a disappointing finish that left fans asking when their closer, Eric Gordon, will be back.

Yeah, Thats how we feel

Minnesota Timberwolves 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
80 New Orleans Hornets
Chris Kaman, C 18 MIN | 0-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3Just couldn’t find his touch from inside or outside throughout the game. Grabbed boards and played decent defense early, but that was the only positive tonight. Didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. Only his first quarter play saves him from the F.
DaJuan Summers, F 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +3Had a great start, scoring the first five points of the game. He hit a huge jumper to put the Hornest within five about halfway through the fourth quarter. Offensively he was one of the few efficient options in the first three quarters. He played the entire fourth quarter until he fouled out with a minute 45 to, hitting a few key shots along the way. He’s clearly still a step or two behind in the grand scheme of defense, though. Regardless, it was a hell of a game for Summers, who made his first start as a Hornet and his second in the NBA.
Emeka Okafor, C 31 MIN | 8-14 FG | 0-3 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -10The Hornets looked at Okafor early and often for scoring inside. He performed alright offensively, but he’s not a guy who should ever be one of the primary options. Tonight he was. The number overall were pretty solid, but it wasn’t efficent, his defense wasn’t very good, and he missed his free throws. Eh.
Jarrett Jack, PG 42 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 8 PTS | -3Pretty invisible through three quarters. He started pressing in the fourth pretty unsuccessfully, and then successfully. He’s the leader out there and the Hornest need him to perform better throughout if they are going to close games strongly. He tried, but again was not able to play the savior.
Marco Belinelli, SG 36 MIN | 8-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | 0Found his shot tonight for a bit. Early on he was aggressively attacking, and then the middle came and he just sort of stopped being the aggressor and started waiting for stuff to happen. He got back with the program in the fourth and hit a couple big shots, including a three. What should have really mattered, though, was the three he hit with two mintues to go following an Ayon block. Crowd. Went. Wild. That should have been the turning point, but it just wasn’t…. Overall it was one of the best games of the season for him (not saying much), despite a few untimely fouls.
Carldell Johnson, G 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -8Lots of time despite being undersized on defense against everyone. Guarded Rubio for a bit. Hustled his butt off to get boards and on defense. It wasn’t a bad night, but he won’t be bragging to his friends after the game.
Jason Smith, PF 13 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -7Seemed to really take his matchup with Love seriously. He roared in anger after giving up a board on the defensive side that he should have grabbed. Monty is right– Smith is the leader of the second unit, and that’s a good thing because they really need someone to fill that role on the defensive end. His energy was great again, but he couldn’t hit his shot inside or out.
Carl Landry, PF 22 MIN | 1-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +1Landry came alive a bit late, but overall he struggled against Love and Milicic. Had a very hard time getting his shot off and he wasn’t getting calls. When the nights are like this, Landry doesn’t bring much to the table since he’s undersized defensively.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 18 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -8Vazquez had a very quiet night. I honestly didn’t see too much from him on defense that I hated, but offensively he, like most of the Hornets, just didn’t have it.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 13 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-3 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +5Saw some time in relief of the struggling Kaman late in the third quarter and immediately had a nice offensive board and put-back. He followed that up with a nice steal early in the fourth and tried to Rubio Rubio! Fail. I like the steals though. That got him super excited, and he proceeded to commit a couple fouls that probably. His thunderous dunk and solid defensive play kept him on the floor ahead of Okafor and Kaman for almost the entire fourth quarter. He even played some sweet defense outside on Ridnour late in the fourth to contest a three, and then had a sick block that brought the crowd to their feet on the next possession which resulted in a huge Belli three. Color me super impressed, even if the behind the back dribble and the late three-second violation were less than stellar. He gets an A+ for that effort. Gustaaaaaaaaaaaaaavo Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyon, ladies and gentlemen.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 8 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -5Exremely quiet night for Aminu as well. Seemed to produce when he was in there, but getting lost on defense a few times will leave you riding the pine if Monty Williams is coaching. Summers playing great didn’t help his playing time at all.

Five Things We Saw

  1. I doubt they keep stats for these things, but I’m confident in saying that it would have been the first time this millennium a team had played an entire game without a visible tattoo if not for that damned DaJuan Summers. Oh well. His play made up for his ink being visible. (Not that tattoos are a bad thing! Just saying that if we wanted a tattoo-free game, he ruined it).
  2. As the Hornets trailed 70-69 with 5:00 to go in the fourth, Jarrett Jack was noticeably animated, yelling “One time!” in search of another stop on defense. Free throws ensued. Still, I like the leadership
  3. Kevin Love gets calls like Ricky Rubio would if his phone number were public. How many calls that went the wrong way was he a part of tonight? That was just absurd, especially at home. The officiating overall was less than stellar, and by that I mean awful. And by that I mean some of it was literally comical.
  4. One of these things has to be about the play of Ayon and Summers. Monty trusted both of them enough to play them as much of the fourth quarter as he could. Ayon is a unique defender for the Hornets as he can step outside and challenge guards without much fear of getting burned. Monty seems to really enjoy utilizing that skill. I was honestly shocked at how much freedom he had to roam late in the fourth.
  5. This was the most floss I’ve been to at the Hive so far this season. Not sure why, but I had a blast. Perhaps it was because I hit up the beer garden before the game with Mason, Jake, and Will from At The Hive, and got to sit next to the Hornets VP of Marketing for the second half. Good people. Good times.


Jason Smith

Marco Belinelli

DaJuan Summers

Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson

Marco Belinelli

Greivis Vasquez

Ricky Rubio

Greivis Vasquez defending Wesley Johnson

BeeFense swarming Rubio




  1. Nithenz

    January 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    weird rotation to closse the game…did Kaman get hurt?

    • NOEngineer

      January 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      My eyeballs got hurt watching him shoot….

      • Nithenz

        January 14, 2012 at 4:37 am

        i was all game chatting with a MN friend from work, so i missed pretty much of the first half. After watching the boxscore i can understand it. Good thing she cancel the bet we were having… mailing something from Cordoba, Argentina to MN was between U$D 50-90…but she got bragging rights…will be an awfull week at work…

  2. ImSorryMonty

    January 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Way to much Squeaky tonight. Love the guy but comeon.

  3. cloud520

    January 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Absolutely disgusted with the officiating. Were they in a lockout too??

    • Jason Calmes

      January 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Yes, actually.

      • cloud520

        January 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm

        oh……well nevermind, still bad though, lol

  4. cloud520

    January 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Very excited to see more of Gustavo, guy was awesome out there tonight.

  5. NOEngineer

    January 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Good point on the refs. Listening to Gerry V on the way home tonight made me sick. He basically said that the reason we got less than half as many free throws as the freaking TIMBERWOLVES is because Kevin Love can get himself open in the post. The touch fouls given to Rubio and Ridnour, the multiple bogus offensive fouls against the Hornets including a charge by Jack against a moving and flying defender, and the multiple hacks on Landry and Kaman inside that weren’t called had nothing to do with it. We have an extreme home court disadvantage based on the officiating in the last two games. If we are going to get called for fouls I’d like to see some hard fouls inside and hard screens set.

    I really love Ayon’s play as was stated. Solid one-on-one defense, smart rebounding, and smart shot selection for the most part. And, he doesn’t try to play point forward like Kaman.

    I am really getting tired of our point guards staying outside the 3-point line for 80% of the shot clock. When they do drive they more often than not try a shovel pass to a ham-handed big man 2 feet away on with 3 defenders on him. Turnover city. Have they never heard of drive and kick?

    • nolahog

      January 14, 2012 at 1:30 am

      or a bounce pass?

  6. cloud520

    January 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I still want to know how you call a charge on an airborne defender

  7. thechosenuno

    January 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Regardless of the fact that we just didn’t get calls tonight, we STILL only his half of our free throws. HALF. Minnesota was money from the line. We just have have have to hit those shots from the charity stripe. We crushed them in just about every other stat.

    I think a lot of those fouls in the 4th came from our guys getting tired and not moving their feet to keep up with the defenders. When we get a full roster of healthy players, that’ll hopefully solve that problem.

    Loved Summers energy and shot making ability, though he needs some work on D. Much better than Aminu, though. He’s sadly looking more and more like juju 2.0.

    Kaman seemed to have just given up tonight when his shots weren’t falling.

    In Monty’s post game interview, he seemed pissed at some players. They may start riding the pine more if they don’t pick it up on D.

    That’s all i have tonight for observations, though will note again that I love the jazz idea in concept, but it PUTS THE CROWD TO SLEEP.

  8. hornyets

    January 14, 2012 at 12:22 am

    It’s ok friends. This is what tanking looks like.

  9. Hornetsky

    January 14, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Bottom of the west and fifth from the bottom overall. Were getting there folks.

  10. kempleton

    January 14, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I was at the game and when we tied it in the fourth, I thought about writing the following here:
    1- Beat the Refs!
    2- Vamos Ayon!
    3- Geaux Hornets!

    Here is what I have to write know:
    1- Referees sucked and I feel deeply disappointed that we had to deal with way too many bad calls at home and we had to beat the refs to win a home game. I am surprised that we can win away games after what I am seeing tonight!? Moving screens?? Rubio Flops?? Landry charge?? etc etc. Enough is enough, It was not fun to watch a game with such officiating!

    2- Vamos Ayon! He gave us the energy needed to close a 10 point deficit. Except a bad dribble and missed free throws, he had a great game that kept Kaman on the bench for the entire fourth.

    3- Some of our Hornets could not Geaux tonite! Kaman + Landry for 5 total points? That’s awful. Finally we get 20 pts from Belinelli and 11 from Summers. And I saw ONLY 51 points on our side of the scoreboard at the end of the 3rd quarter. That’s miserable. It was funny that they broadcasted the “. . de-fence . . de-fence”music at some point in the fourth. And I was shouting “. . offense . . offense”! 🙂

    4- Why does the coach keep Squeaky-Jack-Vasquez trio on the floor for extended periods of time? I believe that trio creates mismatch problems for us putting both our defence and offence in a weak position.

    5- Why did we started trying meaningless 3-pt plays with a minute to go while the game was within 4 points and we could tie with 2 baskets and 1 stop. The very first thing after out time-out was a 3-pt attempt from Jack and the miss led to a foul on Kevin Love who made it a 6 pt game! We could push and settle for a 2 pointer first to make it a 2 point game. Well if Jack had made the 3, I would not be writing these of couse. But still, I think we made poor decisions in the last minute.

    And Finally, with this loss, I stop following the WIPTT. If We cannot beat the T-wolves at home, I no longer care WIPTT!!!

  11. okithor

    January 14, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Washington, Charlotte, New Jersey, and Detroit.

    Who woulda’ thunk it was so hard to be #1 as sucking?

    What is amazing is the Hornet’s are actually competing with these crazy lineups! It is kind of enjoyable to watch in a strange way.

  12. nolahog

    January 14, 2012 at 11:42 am


    I agree with the earlier comment about the mysterious Squeaky, Jack, Vasquez lineup. If any of those guys were effective slashers, I might understand, but they aren’t.

    Also, Kevin Love is a beast. I was impressed by how relentless the guy is. He’s also REALLY good at bringing in rebounds with one hand. How do we get him on our team?

    • J

      January 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      With new ownership we can get him.

  13. J

    January 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Ayon was the only bright spot in that whole game.We need some PG’s that can shoot the 3.

  14. chiefyoungblood

    January 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    first hornets game in the hive for me this season , and the high was definitely screaming GUSTAVOOOOOOOO down the stretch. we played some strange lineups last night though wasn’t their a 3 guard look with squeaky jack and vasquez at one point ? and when did the league start confusing KLove for DWade livin at the line

  15. James Online

    January 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Without Marco’s 12 in the fourth quarter they wouldn’t have even been in it. His three consecutive three’s brought them back to a tie. Except for Marco and Ayon, everybody else disappeared. Marco: A. Joe: C (average analysis). By the way, how’s the “beast” from Venezuela doing? Watch the game carefully. Hold judgments without sufficient evidence. Thrive.

    • Jason Calmes

      January 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      If you honestly want your good points to be considered fairly, you should criticize Marco when he plays poorly. Until you do that, I dubt anyone takes your ‘grades’good if anything seriously.

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