Hornets Fall To Grizzlies Despite Jack’s Big Game

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Published: January 18, 2012

Jarrett Jack and Trevor Ariza gave it their all, but it wasn’t enough to propel the Hornets past the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

 

Jarrett Jack & Mike Conley

Jake Madison contributed to this recap.

Memphis came out firing and raced out to a double digit lead behind some hot shooting and poor interior defense by the Hornets. Memphis went 5 for 5 inside the paint and shot 8 for 11 outside. That’s an absurd 81.3%. Mike Conley was especially deadly, going 3 for 3 from deep. In particular, Belinelli struggled guarding Tony Allen who put up 8 points in the quarter. Monty would pull out his hair (if he wasn’t bald) at the number of open cutters the Grizzlies had. The Hornets did break out of the three-point shooting slump and went 2 for 3 from behind the arc. Other than that, just pretend that first quarter didn’t happen, Monty.

In the second quarter the Hornets’ defense tightened up and the Grizzlies came back down to earth. The Hornets allowed only 6 points from outside the paint and the Grizzlies shooting percentage dropped to 63.9%. The interior defense was still a mess, letting the Grizzlies get inside when they wanted too. On offense, Trevor Ariza came alive and scored 6 points. He showed no ill effects from his groin pull and was very active trying to create his own shot. Jack hit another shot from deep bringing the Hornets total to three on the night. It had to be the Hornets best shooting quarter of the season and they closed the half only down.

In the second half the Hornets finally started to play a complete game. The defense locked down and only allowed 17 points. All of us here at Hornets247 expected Gay to go off tonight, with or without Ariza on the court, but he was held to a quiet four points and the Grizzlies shooting percentage dropped to 54.7%.

Offensively, Jason Smith scored 8 points and was the offensive spark for the Hornets. His energy on the court was contagious. Ariza seemed more active than I’ve seen him in a long while and he had two steals as a result. Ayon had no stats in the box score for the quarter but definitely made his presence felt on the court. He was active on defense and seems very comfortable guarding guards in the backcourt. This is going to make running the pick and roll on him much harder since he is solid on defense when switched onto a smaller, more athletic player. Even if the Hornets keep losing, the effort is there and eventually that will lead to wins.

The 4th quarter was a rollercoaster for Hornet’s fans. After struggling for the first part they managed to bring it within four late in the quarter, but ultimately couldn’t overcome the Grizzlies. Really, it’s too depressing to recap so I’m going to talk about some positive aspects of this game:

-Jarrett Jack went off tonight. 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting and a perfect 4 of 4 from deep. In his pre-game press conference, Monty said he likes having “glue guys” who “toe the line” when the team struggles. Tonight, Jack led the team with his energy and play, and nearly managed to eke out a victory.

-With the way the season has gone, would anyone have been surprised if the Hornets just gave up after the first quarter? Instead of folding, the team knuckled down and played hard. The Hornets had 12 turnovers in the second half. Eliminate two of those and the Hornets could have won the game.

-Three-point shooting! 5-12! Way, way better than 0-9 like last game. Combine that with the teams’ effort, a healthy Ariza (who was very active on both offense and defense) and Gordon, and the wins will start coming soon.

Memphis Grizzlies 93 FinalRecap | Box Score 87 New Orleans Hornets
Trevor Ariza, SF 40 MIN | 7-13 FG | 4-6 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | -6Trevor looked great in his first action since straining his groin earlier this season. His first half was a good all-around effort, and in the second he went right back to work. It’s nice to see him hittig the 15 footer from the baseline since I see him practicing it all the time in the gym. He really is a factor on defense, too.
Jason Smith, PF 29 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | -1Was great offensively in the first few minutes of each half, and great defensively in the second, blocking multiple shots. I still can’t figure out why he’s starting since he’s so much better as an energy guy off the bench, but today was much better than Monday. He had a few plays above the rim and overall was very efficient and effective when he was on the floor. the jumper was working tonight.
Emeka Okafor, C 23 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -15Really struggled to guard Gasol, especially from 15 feet. He also couldn’t grab boards. He played the last three minutes of the fourth quarter instead of Ayon. That sort of worked out, as Okafor was able to contain Gasol for the first time all game. and was able to pull down one key board. Then it stopped working as the Hornets literally couldn’t grab a defensive board when they needed it most. I blame the big man, fair or not.
Jarrett Jack, PG 35 MIN | 11-15 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 27 PTS | -2Did what he does, and at a high level, and really closed well. Found his three-point stroke again, which is a weapon he really seemed to deliberately remove from his arsenal last season and in the beginning of this one. He’s much more dangerous when he’s at least taking those, especially since he hits them at a high rate. Sometimes he doesn’t close well, but today he did. It was a fourth quarter reminiscent of point guards past. Conley did go to town on him, however, so it’s hard for me to really say that the game was that great, but it was really, really good.
Marco Belinelli, SG 40 MIN | 2-7 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -4Was getting worked by Tony Allen in the first and got pulled early despite actually making a three pointer. He came back out there and contributed one of the more efficient offensive performances of his season up until the fourth quarter, where he missed a number of momentum changing shots that the Hornets desperately needed made. Blah
Chris Kaman, C 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | +3Bad on offense, decent on the boards, better on defense. It’s all relative, though. It was a poor game for the big fellow. Somehow he was the sub of the game. I’d love to know who makes that decision and how it’s made.
Trey Johnson, SG 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3Played a few minutes and didn’t do anything wrong until committing a turnover in the closing seconds of the game when it was already essentially over.
Carl Landry, PF 9 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -2Missed shots repeatedly around the basket early on. Didn’t give up, but still struggled to make them. I can’t fault him for a few bad minutes. Monty has to give him more time if he wants to get consistent production.
DaJuan Summers, F 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +1Saw limited time, but didn’t make much of an impact one way or the other.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 17 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -3Never really found his rhythm on offense and was a bit too slow on defense to stick with Tony Allen or Mike Conley. His play has bored me lately, whereas I was particularly excited about seeing him earlier this season. He really seems to need more freedom to operate effectively, and I don’t think he’s getting it right now in the Hornets offense.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +3- Only saw about four minutes until the fourth quarter despite seemingly shoring up the defense when he was in there. Of course he started the fourth, though. Immediately he made a difference on the defensive end, stepping out to contest a three, and then picking up Gasol on the next possession. It makes me so happy that he finishes so strong at every possible opportunity. I feel like we haven’t seen that from a Hornets big man in years. He’s also a good passer already.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1Barely played in the first three quarter and then started the fourth guarding Gay. After tossing it out of bounds right after touching it for the first time in the quarter, Aminu handled the ball only once more before being pulled in favor of Ariza. Seemed to me like he was getting more comfortable on the floor a few games ago. Guess Monty disagrees.

Five Things We Saw

  1. I hit up the Hornets store before the game to see what the state of affairs was. The verdict? Not bad. First off, you can get a Gustavo Ayon jersey. That’s a huge win right there. You can also get Kaman, Ariza, Landry, Okafor, Jack, Belinelli, and Smith. You can’t get Squeakly (although there has been interest in custom jerseys that just say “Squeaky”), Aminu, Vasquez, Summers or Trey. You can also get Chris Paul, David West, Peja, Posey, and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. I know that last one is really exciting.
  2. Attendance was pretty bad (12,045), but those who were there were pretty solid. As the Hornets tried to make their fourth quarter comeback there was real energy for the effort.
  3. The Hornets are getting a lot better at utilizing the house band. They seem to have acknowledged the limitations of a jazz band, and instead of using them to get the crowd riled up (a laughable situation in the first few games), they have moved to using them as filler during timeouts, pregame, and postgame. Great early season adjustments by the team!
  4. There were probably 4 straight offensive boards by the Grizz when the Hornets were down four with 35 seconds to go. I saw a couple leaving right before this, and remarked to the people next to me how absurd it was that the couple was leaving. I feel like I jinxed the comeback. Sorry.
  5. It’s time to trade a big man and maybe small forward. Aminu and Ayon (maybe Summer, too) need to see more time on the floor.

Tip-Off

Jarrett Jack

Emeka Okafor

Greivis Vasquez

 

70 comments
BigEasyBaller
BigEasyBaller

Gordon has only played two games for us and y'all are already calling for his trade, Granger is 28 and hibbert can just score. No one here is ever happy. Ariza comes back and his a great game but you call for Aminu to play more. When Aminu plays more you compare him to JuJu. Jarrett Jack, apparently can't start on a NBA team, even though he is starting for the hornets and is the only reason the grizzlies game was remotely close. I would just like to hear some positive stuff from people every now and then.

edbballin504
edbballin504

Demps is a master mind, so I don't care what he does bcuz I know it'll be better than anything I can think of. But If I was in charge, I'd do whatever it took to get Granger and Hibbert. Getting both for Gordon and Okafor would be ideal. I'd then look to deal Kaman to BOS who's in much need of size so they can get back to winning. 4-8 won't cut it, gotta think theyre desperate. Give me your 1st round draft pick and a young player and we have a deal. If we got Granger, we's have 4 SFs so Ariza would be next to go for more youth and/or a pick.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

i hate to say we are tanking but its hard to explain a lineup on the court with vasquez, jack, trey johnson and dujuan summers playin at the same time

MontyForMayor
MontyForMayor

Hornets are just floating in the wind right now....

hornetsfan
hornetsfan

So sad how landry is being treated. he deserves way better

NOS-3rd Gen
NOS-3rd Gen

Can anybody tell me why Monty is not starting C.Landry and pulling another Marcus Thornton on Landry!!! If he cause another scoring Player to leave then they need to get rid of him instead of these players. we already lost enough good /great players on Monty's coaching he will drive this players away if he keeps limiting their Minutes!

Hornetsky
Hornetsky

I'm disturbed about Aminu's playing time right now. It's getting fewer and fewer. If coach want to develop his game he needs to be out there getting some burn. I believe this is the right time to do that regardless of what they want to do with him in the future. Not another JuJu in the making....

James Online
James Online

Has Eric Gordon been sitting on the bench for home games? Traveling with the team on away games? I think Landry is going to be traded. He fell asleep on defense tonight and was out a minute later, but that's not enough. Are they trying to keep him from getting hurt? Again the Hornets "stuck in the mud" offense is just NO FUN to watch, or to play, I imagine.

big sslimm
big sslimm

it was great to see you before the game Joe! I agree on the Kaman getting picked as the "sub of the game." Should be Ayon till further notice. We just seem to play better and have more energy when he is in the game. We need to set up a trade with K-man. I thought he was going to be my favorite but just does not inspire. Joe, what did you think of our Ayon "ole" cheer?

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Eric Gordon + Emeka Okafor + Tyler Hansbrough Danny Granger. What do you think?

Everett
Everett

A suggestion: After Okafor and Ariza (if Eric Gordon isn’t playing), they don’t really have anyone else who could start for a playoff team. They do have NBA talent, just not starting NBA talent. Players 3 through 11 on their roster are basically all of equal ability at their positions. Think about it, is there really a huge difference between Greivis Vasquez and Jarrett Jack? Is there that much of a difference in quality between a frontline of Okafor and Kaman vs a frontline of Smith and Ayon, or Landry and Smith? There isn’t really a huge difference between Aminu and Summers. When Xavier Henry gets healthy, he’ll give us another young wing player with a solid skill set. The small amount of variance in skill on the Hornets roster means that to a large extent, it doesn’t matter who is on the floor at any given time. Because the lineups don’t matter, all of the assumptions about a playing at a fast tempo being unsustainable don’t apply to the Hornets. Realizing this fact, I propose that the Hornets play 11-12 players every game and distribute their minutes more or less evenly. Their rotations should be shorter, with wholesale substitutions every 4-5 minutes. This consistent influx of fresh players coming into the game would allow them to ramp up their defensive intensity, create more turnovers and long rebounds and lead to far more points in transition. The Hornets are 11th in the league in (effective) defensive field goal percentage and are a top 4 defensive rebounding team, so they have the personnel and hustle to consistently limit teams to one shot. Between Aminu, Summers, Jack, Henry and Vasquez, they should have enough players to push the ball up the court quickly after turnovers and missed shots and get easy baskets and fouls. The gain in offensive efficiency and free throws would more than make up for the minor losses in defensive efficiency and rebounding that might occur. Thoughts? http://hornetswisdom.blogspot.com/2012/01/unleashing-power-of-averageness.html

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Belinelli was terrible, as always. And he played 40 minutes! I think our coach is already looking to the draft. It's the only explanation I can find for the bad substitutions he did at the end of the game, and this insistence with the terrible Belinelli. Hey, Monty! Wake up! Ayon need to earn more minutes! And what have you been doing with Landry is a cowardice! I don't want to see my team having the worst record in NBA history. We are going to that, Mr. Monty... Wake up! Before it's too late...

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

Game was fun, awesome to have trevor back (hes clearly been working on his jumper) cant wait to have gordon back and maybe win 1 or 2. I sat next to the bee zanies for this game.....man you wanna talk about some annoying stuff. The people sitting around us started to move because of the incessant played out chants so me and the people I was with ultimately moved, i mean these guys cheer when we get a possession and the cheers are sooo tired. Steer away from 117

thechosenuno
thechosenuno

Saw Dell this morning, and he's a really nice guy. Mentioned that I'm hanging in there as a STH and that we just really need to get healthy. He did end the conversation by saying he's working on a few things that should improve us by the end of the season. I could only think he's earning the nickname dealin' dell and is working the phones! Liked what I saw from Ayon. Could tell that the language barrier is hard; there's lots of pointing to assignments, where to go, etc, when he's in. Are your grades right? You give Ayon a B- while praising him in the writeup, but give Summers an A+ with this line: 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +1Saw limited time, but didn’t make much of an impact one way or the other. Like the format though. A few paragraphs, then stats and grades. Great work on the site, guys.

cloud520
cloud520

Recap format is fantastic.

cloud520
cloud520

Refer to my comments about J Jack (today) and Ariza (a few games ago).

edbballin504
edbballin504

For this one, I'll do like the CP3 trade rescinded tweet: "WoW"

Jo D
Jo D

Trades should benefit both teams.

edbballin504
edbballin504

These trades are hilarious! You guys have to be kidding me!

kempleton
kempleton

Well We're definitely not tanking. Otherwise Ariza would not play 40 minutes last night and Aminu would see more minutes. However, This is going to be a losing season, so why not give more minutes to some of those guys when you need hustle and effort. We were lazy last night, both on offense and on defense, no movement on offense, too many turnovers, gave away many boards... Gasol made a fastbreak! Finished under our rim with nobody around him. Like a joke!... The effort was there. Just like in the Oklahoma or Minnesota games. But it's not enough. We keep giving double digit leads away and then trying to come back and it is too late. So, I don't think we're tanking. However, I am almost sure that those who blocked the Lakers trade for the good of our future might be asking us to tank! But, Seems like something is going on about Landry. Anybody know if Demps is trying to trade him away? We're talking about Carl Landry here, who replaced David West when he got injured last year. First, Monty make his starting PF sit on the bench. then started giving him less then 10 minutes a night! If he was not going to play, the only reason that we signed him on a 9-million 1-year contract could be to use him in a trade. We have 2 trade bargaining chips in Landry and Kaman with expiring contracts. 2012 free agency class is not that strong. So, We're better off trading them for better pieces for the future of our Hornets. I am looking forward to that!

SadHornetsFan
SadHornetsFan

could not agree with you more here...the Hornets are 3-11. If they want Aminu to develop into a solid bench player or starter, this season is the time to give him minutes.

Jake Madison
Jake Madison

Gordon was on the bench last night. He was away from the team while dealing with a death in the family. As for Landry, I think Monty has just lost confidence in Landry. Eventually he'll give him more minutes. To see if he'll play better and to potentially showcase him for a trade.

Everett
Everett

The big man part of this deal isn't bad. Would give the Pacers a taller player on their front line. Okafor could strictly be a defensive player at the PF position. Hibbert isn't a great rebounder, so this would free him up to focus on offense more. Psycho T is more active offensively than Okafor, so that'd be a win for us. At this point, we don't know enough about Gordon's ceiling to get rid of him though.

NOS-3rd Gen
NOS-3rd Gen

I'd Rather a trade for D.Granger, and Roy Hibbert if you do that. Granger is way more healthier than Gordon, and Granger has Offense and defense along with the fact that he's from New Orleans, he'll take CP3 as the new Favorite in the hornets!

cloud520
cloud520

J. Jack can be a starter in the NBA. Sure there are better PGs out there but the guy can score. He is a solid player, can score, and is becoming more and more vocal out on the court.

NOS-3rd Gen
NOS-3rd Gen

I like that idea, but in order to keep the fans happy sooner or later they need to trade somebody to keep this team relavent. My best option is to definitely trade Okafor for a first round draft or another Center. 2nd they need to get Somebody better at SF, my guest would be Wilson Chandler but he won't be here til March, so we would have to make do til then. I also think that we should grab Aaron Brooks when he comes back if we can. Not to take over Jarrett Jack's Pos., but to add real depth at the PG Pos. In this type of situation we're putting together a team in the present while also focusing on the future which it should be! we would three 1 st round picks with a chance to make it to the playoff as well!!!! thoughts on that!!!

NOS-3rd Gen
NOS-3rd Gen

Everything that Lucas Ottoni said I agree with about this situation. Belinelli is just not starter material. He and ariza are better on the bench. we need more help at SF then ever. we need a "consistent" scorer in the SF department. We need more teamwork, more commitment to winning,determination, a coach that believes in more than one philosophy, and most importantly more Heart.

ThePurpleHornet
ThePurpleHornet

Played out chants? The arena plays the same chants over and over too .... I'm not sure what people expect from us, a different chant every possession over a 2 and half hour game. C'mon maaaaaaaaaaan. But hey, it's not for everyone, I can understand that. If you come to a professional sporting event in an arena to sit and be quiet, 116-118 isn't the area for you.

cloud520
cloud520

The Bee-Zanies section is great! I was in 117 for a game last year and had a blast. PS - Love the Ayon chant.

big sslimm
big sslimm

dude we are doing the best we can... bad play=not so good reaction by fans. dont give up on the hornets, or the bee zanies! Hang in there bro!

Jake Madison
Jake Madison

I did the recap while Joe did the grades, so they might not always mesh perfectly. Ayon didn't have a big box score night, but everything I saw out of him looked pretty good. He's active on offense and defense and can box out well. Glad you like everything!

Jo D
Jo D

I'm all for optimism... But we would have to give up more than mek for either wall or williams... WE are talking gordon if we want those players

Jo D
Jo D

You mean... Let you... Not us.. We aren't laughing at the idea of getting such stars... I believe anything is possible... But these trades are mighty one sided

cloud520
cloud520

Let us have our pipe dreams! I know there's no chance in hell of getting D Will or John Wall, but it's fun to think about.

James Online
James Online

Marco scored eight points on one shot floor in the first half. His overall game has been fine. There are three problems for his offensive production this year: 1. He's not shooting well when open. No excuses. 2. Jack studiously avoids passing to him. 3. Hornets play the most boring and predictable of any team in the league. No fast breaks. Ball doesn't move. Everybody goes to their spot on the floor and watches as Jack tries to get himself a shot, passes when he can't. The Landry thing really is confusing. There must be something going on in the locker room or in Dell's plans. Landry is a marketable player and they are loaded at his position.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Let's look at options. Skip Ariza to SG and put Summers or Aminu is a possibility. Put Vasquez and Jack together longer is another possibility. What is not possible? Watch Belinelli getting 40 minutes inside the court. This also explains why we lost the game.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

so who would you play besides Beli? Trey? Summers? Vasquez? we are thin at the guard situation, while we're plenty deep up front. we have 5 bigs who can contribute on a nightly basis while the guards are a glut of backups. Without the proven Gordon, we won't have any other choice but to start Beli. I'm fairly certain that when Henry's ready, he'll get a chance to play ahead of beli..

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Strange is Monty lose confidence in Landry and continue relying on Belinelli. This is INCOMPREHENSIBLE to me.

Everett
Everett

I say Jack's a bench player more because of his height than his skills. He's not a great playmaker/passer so I don't think he's a great fit as a starting PG for us. At the same time, he's not a good height for a shooting guard, offensively or defensively. But he could be really effective as a combo guard coming off the bench and playing against other teams' bench players. It's not his absolute skill level, I'm looking at but the differential between him and the average bench player at his position and saying he'd be better employed in that role.

BigEasyBaller
BigEasyBaller

I disagree we don't necessarily need a consistent scorer at the SF, we just need one in general. I think people put way to much emphasis on scoring for Ariza, he is not a scorer he is a lock down defender that held Rudy Gay, someone who could easily drop 20-30 a game, to only like 12 points. Gordon is our go to and consistent scorer with Jack being the number 2 option from there it just depends on which of our players decided to show up and be consistent. We need help at every other position not SF.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Belinelli stinks. We are throwing $ 3.4 M in the trash.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

I can't hate on people supporting the Hornets, i mean I love the Hornets and we are at a major low point def need all the support we can get. So I am not trying to put anyone down, i just found that sitting there the cheers were constant and they were directed at some of the most minor aspects of the game, and found it pretty annoying

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

In the world of fandom there is a line where you are cheering and encouraging your team and the bee zanies have crossed that line to where they are just making incessant noise. And its such a small group that its not like anyone is cheering along with it, it's 6 chuckles heads yelling because the other team double dribbled or they knocked the ball out of bounds. Maybe if there were more "zanies" and they were spread out through the arena so everyone was getting involved and most importantly they were cheering for a reason that could be cool. As of now its just this small group of people making senseless noise invading your ear space for little to no reason.

thechosenuno
thechosenuno

Gotcha. May make sense to have the same person do the recap in the box and then give the grade?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Makes sense to do it that way to get a seemless recap, but doesn't take advantage of our added manpower to do things either more quickly, or to just do more things... Like kick out more analysis, (almost) weeklies, and features. Plus all that real life stuff like jobs and ladies. That's why I don't do recaps mostly; usually my first-half date or my second-half date need some attention. Besides, my main job here is to complain. If these guys did everything right, it'd ruin me. It would ruin me. Can't have that.