Hornets Beat: Inconsequential Decision Time »
Hornets Can’t Hang With Blazers, Fall at Home on MLK Day
The Hornets lost their sixth straight home game and their tenth of their last eleven overall, as the Blazers were just too much to handle.
|Jason Smith, PF 12 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -14Started in place of Kaman and struggled immediately against Aldridge. Can’t really blame anyone but Monty for that call. He’s clearly and obviously not a starting caliber player. One of the best 4th big men in the NBA, and a decent third big man on a good night, but not a starter… ever. Energy can’t (and didn’t) overcome a big discrepancy in talent.In the second half he made me eat my words within seconds, recoding a nice block and hitting a jumper almost immediately, but then missed two straight jumpers, committed a dumb turnover, a bad foul and allowed Aldridge to get four easy buckets. It’s hard for me to even give a grade all things considered. I guess he did about what we expected from him as a starter.|
|DaJuan Summers, F 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -11Continued his solid play, but as a starter he’s one of the worst in the league. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does coming off the bench against backups. Still, it was a nice effort overall. He makes a lot of correct decisions and isn’t scared to let it fly when he has a shot.|
|Emeka Okafor, C 30 MIN | 4-5 FG | 4-8 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +1Emeka is never going to be what any of us would refer to as an offensive minded player, but he’s certainly looked a lot better this year while creating his own shot. His right handed hook shot in the second quarter was probably the best offensive move I’ve seen him make, and he finished more often than not tonight when he took it to the floor. I’m confident in saying that Okafor is the best player on the floor for the Hornets right now, and that’s probably a big reason why they keep losing games.|
|Jarrett Jack, PG 43 MIN | 6-13 FG | 9-10 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 21 PTS | -2Jack pretty much played shooting guard today, not really distributing and petty much only making an impact as a scorer. Well, that’s not entirely true. He had three turnover as well. He did some stuff again in garbage time to pad the stats, but don’t be fooled—Jack played poorly. I will say, he was giving it his all and has the bruises from hitting the ground to prove it. He looked really tired late in the game. Must be hard being the number one option on offense when you aren’t particularly good at|
|Marco Belinelli, SG 21 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -16Another ugly game for Belinelli tonight. Gordon can’t get back fast enough. If there is a positive, it’s that he’s not playing particularly bad defense, just normal bad.|
|Chris Kaman, C 24 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -2Could find the jumper early and struggled on offense throughout. He was making dumb mistakes as if that’s what we’re paying him for. Still, he was grabbing boards consistently, and was one of three Hornets in double figures.|
|Trey Johnson, SG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4– Played a quiet two minutes. Not much to say one way or the other.|
|Carl Landry, PF 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -4Did Landry play today? I can’t quite remember him being in the game… I’ll have to get some more info from Monty about why our best scorer isn’t seeing the floor as the team struggles to keep pace for 70 points. Landry was all smiles on the bench even though he’s been relegated to warmer status in the past few games.|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG 22 MIN | 0-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 3 PTS | +4Has really struggled to control the ball as of late, and today was no exception. It seems like the more aggressive he tries to be, the more reckless he winds up being with the ball. Monty needs to get him to play at a more controlled pace. When he does, he’s a really nice distributor and a solid scorer. Tonight he had the passing going more than the scoring, and had a pretty nice, albeit quiet, game.|
|Gustavo Ayon, PF 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +5Ayon played well enough against anyone he was matched up against to possibly warrant a start in the future. He continues to provide the Hornets with a versatile big man to use on defense, and on offense he remains one of the most efficient players on the team. He can rebound, too, and seems more and more in synch with the rest of the team on defense with each game he plays. He’s also racking up assists, rebounds, steals and blocks. A fantasy sleeper in the making.|
|Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 27 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +8Although DaJuan Summer again started in front of him, Aminu came in gave the Hornets some nice minutes in the late first and early second quarters, where he recorded a nice block of Gerald Wallace and a great put-back dunk after an offensive board. He made a lot of good decisions on both ends, and seemed to avoid most of the dumb mistakes and missed assignments that relegated him to bench duty after his brief stint as a starter. He did, however, continue to rack up fouls. As long as he keeps doing that he won’t be a useful asset to the team.|
Five Things We Saw
- The starting lineup was Jason Smith, Emeka Okafor, DaJuan Summers, Marco Belinelli and Jarrett Jack. Monty wouldn’t tell anyone pre-game what it would be, likely in hope of getting an edge on Nate McMillan, who he is fiercely competitive with despite their friendship.
- The Bee Zanies kept the Hive rocking in the first half despite a rather small and quiet crowd. It would have been dead otherwise. Things picked up as the game went on.
- In the first 6 minutes of the first and third quarters, the Hornets scored a total of 12 points. Interesting call by Monty to trot out the same group the second time around. The third quarter is when things fell apart for the Bees.
- This could have been a lot uglier if the Trailblazers had been hitting their shots and putbacks early on in the game.
- Double digit leads in the fourth quarter feel insurmountable this year because of the lack of firepower on offense.
No postgame notes today. Gotta get to MLK day festivities! Join me.
I figure we'll picking in the lottery this with two picks so with the first pick we draft Jones from Baylor and Michael Kidd- Gilcherst, then begin the rebuilding process.
Not that unlikely. We are currently last in the west, 2nd worse record in the league and 2 games ahead of the wizards, who will probably win more games bc they are in the east. I think we probably shed Kaman and landry by the deadline. Minnesota pick will probably be between 5-9, bc again they play in the stronger west so dispite being better than some of those east teams the record won't reflect that. Need some luck, but man Davis would make us scary defensively.
Just saw Anthony Davis from Kentucky on four of five possessions take a charge, block a shot, change a shot and force a miss while getting back off the floor to get the rebound, and then get a steal poking the ball away, and then nail two free throws for good measure. This guy needs to add some strength, but he is such a polished defender that he would start as a rookie. Okafor, Davis, and Ariza could be the best defensive frontcourt in the entire league. I always said if you paired Okafor with a PF like Davis he would be great. Oh he just blocked another shot. The feel for the game this dude's got is ridiculous. He just set the KENTUCKY record for most blocks in a season - in 18 1/2 games. That is just stupid.
We have our best offensive player (Gordon) and best perimeter defender (Ariza) out on a team full of young guys who were all thrown together about a week before the season (which is so condensed that their are no practice days) started, some (Henry, Vasquez, Ayon) after the season started. I mean honestly, what do you expect? Offensive efficiency and execution? We are starting two centers (okafor/kaman), two shooting guards (Jack/Bellenelli) and a PF (Summers) in our starting lineup. Our best scoring big man, Landry, can't buy a bucket right now. It's going to be a long, tough season, but guess what??? I'm In!!!
+1 here. nobody in our roster right now (besides Landry and Gordon), is an above average scorer. So what did you expect? The average NBA player produces around 1.07 pts/possession. For their careers, here are the numbers (career average/best with at least 1000 minutes played/2011-12 with Hornets) Jack - 108/116(with Toronto 0910)/105 Beli - 105/107(with Hornets 1011)/94 Okafor - 107/112 (with CHA 0809)/103 Landry - 117/123 (with HOU 0809)/107 Kaman - 98/104(with LAC 0506)/91 Aminu - 93/94(LAC last year)/93 Vasquez - 96/97(MEM last year)/92 Smith - 100/101(both season in PHI)/95 offcourse those 1112 numbers will regress somewhere near their career averages as the season progress(except maybe for Aminu and Vasquez, who both still have room to grow). League efficiency is down by approximately 5 points, so if you look at it, ALL our players are really just playing near or at their career averages. So really, this not JUST a problem of system (where Monty prefers midrange shots) but also a problem of personnel. And I think the latter is more the issue than the former. Problem is, it's easier to blame the former than the latter. I loved the quote from Stumbling on wins - "Most coaches are at the mercy of the talent on their roster." "Give the coach productive players, and he will coach a winner." Offcourse, this does not say with absolute certainty that coaches are interchangeable. What it simply says is that, coaches that can ACTUALLY improve the talent on their roster are few and far between. What are we to ask from a coach then? Simple. Accountability and culture building. As we stand, Monty is great at that. He is building a culture of defense first and holds players accountable for any defensive lapses. Landry is taken out because his offensive struggles can't be shadowed by his defensive prowess. Landry is ,at best, an average defensive player. Same goes for almost everybody in our roster(except maybe for Okafor and Ariza, who are excellent defenders. I don't have access to Synergy Sports to support this claim. I am mostly going on eye test here). What Monty asks is a little responsibility on the defensive side. I agree with most though, -Jack is being tagged unfairly as a scapegoat because of the production and steadiness we got from CP3 the past few years. - the offensive system needs to change, at least. Make the shot distribution more heavy tailed towards the more efficient shots(up close or the 3 point line) and less on mid range shots. At least in those situations, you put the onus on players to make their shots. You are at least putting them in a situation where they can be efficient. Question now is whether they can make those shots. I believe if Monty places a more "at the rim" offense than "shoot mid range" offense, then our ORTG will still be below average (right where i expect it to be due to talent), but the problem is with the players and not with his system.
Are you guys serious? Monty needs to change his offensive strategy? Our team simply lacks offensive talent. Most of these players have one or two things they do adequately on offense. We just don't have many guys that can create for someone else, which is fine when CP3 runs your offense, but is certainly not okay now. Our three point shooting is atrocious. We have no consistent three point threat (and please, no one refer to Marco as such). Our clear offensive star, Gordon, has been sidelined for all but 2 games. Look across the board at NBA teams. Virtually every team has at least one player that could score 20+ consistently with a weak team. Can we say the same (again, discounting Gordon, who really hasn't even played)? I'll go out on a limb and say the only player on our team that should even be scoring around 15 points is Carl Landry. We can't move the ball, can't shoot from deep, and we don't have a guy that can get in the paint off the dribble besides Jack (Gordon again being excluded). No wonder we can't win games. On another note, Ayon looks like the real deal. Looking forward to seeing him progress
I think the Hornets should hire an assistant to Monty Williams (just like the Knicks did with Mike Woodson). But, in our case, someone would come to train our attack, which is a horror. Twitter (follow us): https://twitter.com/#!/brazilianhornet
To me a lot of the offensive woes stem from not having our best offensive player on the court. We brought in Eric Gordon so he could go to town and score 20-30 a game. The hornets don't even really have a number two option on the team. When Gordon comes back and gets adjusted to our game I have a feeling that these problems won't be problems anymore. I mean you can only do so much with our current team, I mean we are missing two starters (our best wing defender and our best scorer) Right now we are in the middle of a transition period, Monty hardly gets any practices in with the shortened season forcing players to learn stuff on the fly. I am guessing almost half of the current roster aren't going to be returning next year whether its because of trades or cuts or free agency. Our offense flows through one guy, Gordon. Just like the bulls offense flows through derrick rose and the lakers through Kobe. Did any of y'all see the game where they didn't have Rose, they got blown out. At least we have been able to compete. The season is still young. Have faith in Monty, once Gordon comes back things will start to click again.
Another interesting pregame quote from a Blazers writer: "Blazers/Hornets (Pre-Game Notes): Monty Williams has taken the slowdown crown from Nate McMillan. Hornets are tied for 29th in pace & have yet to crack 100 points in 12 games (above 94 just twice). Slowdown play hasn't translated to W's (3-9) or elite defense (20th in efficiency)..." Yikes.
This is a tweet from Jim Eichenhofer after yesterday's game: "Monty on offensive woes of only scoring 77 points: 'If you said you could hold the Portland Trail Blazers to 84 points, you’d take that.'" I didn't hear the entire conversation, so I'm speculating a bit, but Monty's quote seems to confirm my fears. It looks like he's simply focusing on defense and refusing to acknowledge and address the offensive woes. Wake up Monty! It doesn't matter if we held the blazers to 84. That's great, but we only scored 77! In other words, we lost the game!
I got a question. Are the Hornets on pace to be the worst 3-pt shooting team in the history of the NBA? For those of you throwing out the "T" word, the Hornets are not tanking. It's just a lack of talent and lack of cohisveness. This is just what happens when more than 1/2 your roster is made up of D-leaguers. A quick message to Dell Demps: You are going to get many, many offers in the coming month for Gustavo Ayon. Don't listen to them. Keep this kid and let him develop. El Titan has the "it" factor.
the hornets have plenty of talent and depth in the front court. it's just without gordon, we have easily one of the worst back courts in the NBA.
A guy who can take over in the end is what were missing. Gordon fills that void when he returns. We already got a glimpse of that in our first game against the suns. We can complete for three and a half quarters and lose the ballgame in the last 5 mins. But for now somebody has to be that guy to carry this team in crunchtime.
I think this team misses Malone more than it lets on. I'd drop Monty like a hot potato to have him back really.
Wow.. big statement.. if you watch closely.. the defensive system is still the same i.e. protect the paint, funnel drives to Okafor, let them beat us from the perimeter. Maybe i'll do a write up comparing the defensive numbers this year, from last year.. You'll see, Monty's STILL a great defensive coach. What irks me the most about Monty is his offensive system. He still INSISTS on taking a lot of mid range shots. He should switch it up. Lessen the mid range shot, increase the rim baskets OR 3 pt attempts. We attempt so few of those 2.. it irks me!
In actuality, this team IS a bad offensive team. besides Okafor, Landry and Gordon, nobody on this team is a good offensive player. Jack is average. Otherwise everybody is atrocious- Ariza, Vasquez, Aminu, Beli, Kaman. Those are 5 rotation players that are atrocious. It's not primarily because of the system, but more of the personnel
I don't question Monty's impact on the team's commitment to defense when I say this. It's the offense that has suffered this season and I think Monty sees Jarrett as a continuation of Chris, obviously not in terms of talent, in relying on him to bail this team out time after time. I think Jarrett is being unfairly scapegoated by some. There's a big burden being put on him and he's trying his hardest. It's the system that hasn't adjusted to the loss of Chris and Monty should get all the blame. For some reason people don't recognize the fact that Malone played a big part in the offense last season. I really believe he would have adjusted the offense to the personnel this season. These aren't bad players, it's just a bad system.
Jack-Okafor-ariza-and Gordon are all keepers for now. Kaman and landry are valuable because they are bigs who can play and have big fat expiring contracts. Is it not believable that say, the lakers for instance, would deal a 1st round pick to slide landry into odoms trade exception before the deadline? Also those big expirings are like gold in big 3 and 4 team deals like the one that will probably send Howard out of Orlando. If we could add our two #1s plus another couple assets to add to what we already have we could be back in play quickly.
tonight kansas baylor game showed me who the hornets should use one draft pick on and thats thomas robinson
can somebody tell me what's happening to this team. Are they losing on Purposes? please don't tell me their Tanking?
Something to keep in mind is that there won't be enough minutes for some of these guys when Gordon + Ariza + Henry (hopefully, fingers crossed) get healthy and come into the fold. Can really only play 10 guys a night. Already we saw Landry (inexplicably) be the odd man out minutes-wise tonight ... I think Jack/Vasquez are the only options at point (sorry, Squeaky) and thus take up 2 of the 10 guys getting minutes. Which means you have Gordon, Marco, Henry, Ariza, Aminu, Summers, Landry, Smith, Ayon, Mek, and Kaman (11 guys) playing for 8 spots. I honestly have no idea who Monty will choose to bench. I'd say Marco, but he knows the system and seems to have Monty's trust. I'd say Summers, but he's been getting starts. Likewise for Smith. I'd say Ayon, but he really looks to be playing hard and has been getting 4th quarter minutes. I'd say Aminu or Henry, but they're both first round talents and need playing time in order to develop ... I suspect Dell will help alleviate the situation at some point and trade a couple of guys for picks and/or players who can easily be cut, but it'll be interesting to see the direction things are taken nevertheless.
Trade Kaman & Landry's expiring contracts for assets to contenders. Get as many young prospects and draft picks as we can. I think we can pry first round picks from contenders (will turn out to be late, but in this draft we can get a contributor late). This team is loaded with young prospects like Gordon, X.Henry, Vasquez, Ayon, Aminu, and even Summers. Jason Smith can contribute on a contender. I just think we need to start from scratch. If we can get a few players in the draft, re-sign Gordon, and try to sign a PG we could be very competetive just next year. Okafor-Ariza-Gordon-Jack-Vasquez-Henry-Ayon-Aminu-Jason Smith-Summers-2 1st round picks-whatever we get for Kaman/Landry-and What we can get in free agency next off-season and we are right back in the mix. Also, I think Aminu needs to come off the bench as a 4. I don't think he's a 3. 6'9 w/ a big body and athletic as he is, I think he provides serious matchup problems at the four
Im not really sold on the team trading for young prospects. We need to have some veteran players to build with the young players. Mentoring is important as well as in any other profession. Otherwise we will end up like the clippers or warriors in the past. Players leaves after their rookie contract.
I agree cause this whole Defense Mentality things needs to stop. It's not working, and Monty problem is he thinks defense will get him a championship. Yes its tru that Defense win championship, but what's da point of thinking like that if you don't have an Offensive game strategy to get you to the championship finals in the first place!!!! the whole saying goes:"OFFENSE WINS GAMES, and Defense WINS Championship!!!!
I agree. Maybe this is the curse of Marcus Thornton. A gifted scorer but had issues with Monty on his defense.
i think the quote is an argument for defense, not both offense and defense. haha. I agree with you to an extent. I love Monty's D first mentality, but he has to find a common ground. Emphasize defense, but not at the expense of offense-which is what we are dealing with lately (obviously personnel has a lot to do with it). Monty also doesn't need to get rid of every player that's not an elite defender.
Marco's defense today was very good. Look at the tape, Joe. His man rarely scores, and besides that, defense is a TEAM effort. TEAM defense is what they teach, and they are right. The worst individual defender on this team by far is Jarret Jack.
Because Jarrett has a hard time guarding point guards, he dose much better defending the average shooting guard, Jack's offense form the point is pretty good, but when it comes to defense on a speedy guard (or just a good Pg) we need help defense & cant keep going man when Jack is playing the 1 spot
Honestly I can't imagine for one second that Monty is tanking, of course not. He is too principled, and too early in his career, to suffer tons of defeats "for the team's long term chances." He's very frustrated with the low quality of play from pretty much everyone. We have yet to find a consistent low post threat or distance shooter. It isn't going to be Gordon either, if he comes back. Gordon is again listed as injured, not grieving for grandpa. Very stange situation. In my view, Monty's system isn't working with this group. With CP3 he could rely on Chris' talent to distribute the ball and score. They want to defend, so they slow the game down, "ugly" it up, and hope to be in at the end. Last year that worked. This year it doesn't. Because the ball moves so slowly and deliberately other teams have no problem defending the perimeter. And outside of Marco, who has been very poor shooting the ball most of the year, there is NO ONE who can shoot from distance, and certainly not from 3. Jack, Vasquez, Ariza, Gordon, Aminu, the Johnson Two, none of them is reliable from distance. Adding to the lack of scorers is the way the team plays--like they are stuck in mud on offense. We have almost NO fast breaks per game. After a rebound, the idea is to secure the ball (to a fault) and walk it up the floor. Everybody runs into their spot and waits for the PG to initiate something slowly and predictably. Apart from this, what is happening with Carl Landry is truly strange. There MUST be something going on behind the scenes because he is a much better player than his minutes represent, even if he has had a few poor games in a row. The Portland TV guys today couldn't believe the team would pay him SO much and play him SO little. Something is brewing. Ayon has been a nice addition, the only good news so far. Summers is a dunce. Vasquez is trying hard but has no outside shot and the rah rah only goes so far. And to see Squeaky Johnson running around out there as anything other than the mascot is unbelieveable.
You really can't tank anymore since we've a draft lottery you just have play it fair.In the NFL you can tank despite that Peyton Manning was injured the Colts tanked enough to get the #1 pick since theres no draft lottery in the NFL.You've to thanks the 1983-84 Houston Rockets for having the NBA to add an draft lottery because of "unfairly tanking" their season.
Good read on whether tanking exist or not: http://www.economics.ualberta.ca/~/media/economics/FacultyAndStaff/WPs/WP2010-13-Humphreys.pdf
I guess it comes down to how much you trust if markets get it right. I did find it interesting that the NBA had equal chance lottery before and the numbers supported no hint at tanking/belief in tanking then. Also interesting, that the draft procedures where changed so many times to balance perception of tanking and competitive balance.
That's what it comes down to, and, of course, it's problem dependant. In the large, the mob can answer some questions very well, but it has no truth value if the signal is muddied or if you ask them something useless. I've gone 'round and 'round with some on here about the value of these things. Some believe it's more than it is, other believe it's nothing, others just misunderstand the problem. It's matter of extracting information from a group . . . the information has to be there and correct . . . or at least a signal of correctness need be present . . . for a winning strategy to be based upon such data. With sports, it often is with suprising regularity, but is by no means deterministic. This, of course, is far afield of testing whether people believe tanking exists, and what that even means . . . people believe . . . the market believes . . . when you have examples of people who have polar opposite opinions. That doesn't even get into the moral questions . . . should one tank . . . or the strategic/business question . . . should one tank. Ugh.
Nice find from Canada. To be fair, this seems like it isn't about tanking so much as people's belief in tanking as measured by markets. There are some who believe this method gives information and some who do not. Analyzing for tanking would be a little hard, and the data very difficult for someone like me to gather, but I believe people believe tanking exists.
Maybe it's just me but I dont believe in professional NBA teams tanking, maybe their experimenting on different rotations to see who has the best chemistry together & they try these experiments on the court due to lack of practice time as a result of a shorter schedule, but making it your goal to give your team a loss on purpose for a draft pick (Especially this early in the season) I dont think it happens
Im not big on collage sports, is their anyone that looks like they can be an All-Star coming out that wont take a few years to develop, I know this draft is full of big men so thats good, but is their a Chris Webber type of player that will make a big impact as soon as he hits the league or even a Blake Griffin type of player that can draw a crowd because of their Highlight plays & dunks? (& Maybe tanking exist but Im really not sure about this early in the season & for DAMN sure tanking shouldnt belong in New Orleans, I want 100% all the time from players & coaches)
i have to strongly disagree with you here. it's a business. strategies for more money in the future exist.
any fans the Hornets lose in this shortened season for tanking, they will easily get back and then some with a star rookie or two...not to mention getting those possible stars gives us the best chance to win something, and that will of course bring in more fans
I do have to agree with sadhornetsfan, but I still think that's not the only business strategy they can make! the best strategies are ones that benefit now and in the future!!!
Yes there are strategies in sports with tanking, but for a sport like football I can see someone tanking because it is a guaranteed first over all pick if you are the worse team, but for the Nba the fact that we have the Timberwolves pick which can be in the lotto & we risk losing many fans by tanking, personally I dont think the risk is worth the reward