Hornets drop their ninth straight despite strong effort against the Thunder

Published: January 25, 2012

Again, the Hornets scratched and clawed, but come up short against a healthy and talented Thunder squad 

New Orleans Hornets 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 101 Oklahoma City Thunder
Trevor Ariza, SF 29 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -13His offensive game was…offensive. Couldn’t knock down a shot when the ball was swung to him and couldn’t create for himself. Defensively, he was not the lockdown guy he needed to be in order to forgive the poor offense.
Jason Smith, PF 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -12His jumper forces the defense to remain honest on pick and pops, and theoretically, it would be that much more effective if this team had someone who could constantly attack the hoop on the court. Looking at you, Mr. Gordon.
Emeka Okafor, C 21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -7Mek had back to back possessions in the first that looked awful, but resulted in four points. He had a quiet 8 and 8 otherwise, as Ayon warranted the extra minutes with his fabulous play.
Jarrett Jack, PG 33 MIN | 6-14 FG | 7-7 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 20 PTS | -13Jack started off hot early and faded down the stretch. In the future, the 4th quarter will be Eric Gordon time. Right now, Jack is being asked to do too much. And the stat sheet says he had 2 turnovers. I cal Shenanigan’s. I remember 2 on back to back plays in the second quarter alone. Either way, B+.
Marco Belinelli, SG 33 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -11With Henry joining the team and Gordon coming back in three weeks, Belly has to find another role on the Hornets. Team Chef?
Carl Landry, PF 28 MIN | 2-5 FG | 11-11 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -13 points per shot? I think I just heard Ryan Schwan scream like Jason Calmes at a Bieber concert.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +3Hey Greivis, look to one of those athletic wing guys when leading a 4 on 2 break!
Gustavo Ayon, PF 17 MIN | 8-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | +4No more excuses- this isn’t a young, greedy pup in Marcus Thornton who you need to teach a lesson. This is a man who knows how to play the game of basketball. 15+ minutes every night Monty, no matter what!
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 25 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -6Did some nice things, but still mad some head scratching mistakes. Love that he pulls down rebounds, but you gotta look for your guards once you pull it down. He still thinks he can push the rock a la Scottie Pippen. Not there yet young man.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Xavier Henry was aggressive in his Hornets debut, but the long layoff has made him a little skiddish when he attacks the bucket. He needs to take it a little harder, and despite the fact that he looks like he lives in the weight room, he needs to get stronger to be able to finish when he gets contact.
  2. Aminu has some nice moves in his arsenal, and I think we will continue to see them as this season drags on. You can see in Monty’s face that he realizes that the playoffs is a pipe dream, and developing guys like Aminu could be the key to whether he sticks around long term.
  3. Chris Kaman was inactive tonight, and the Hornets made it a point to say that he was not injured. Making a statement to motivate him or ensuring that he doesn’t get injured before a trade? I find it hard to believe this was done to motivate him, so be on the lookout for a move soon. Celtics have always appeared to be the best trade partner and we know Demps and Ainge talked plenty last month.
  4. Gustavoooooooooooooo! Seriously, how can you not love this guy? Such high IQ and work ethic, with skills to boot. I am going to All-Star weekend in Orlando this year, and I was bummed because I couldn’t see any Hornets being invited to attend any events, but is it crazy to think Gustavo could be on the Rookie team?
  5. We are an hour away from the Gordon extension deadline, and still nothing. I was personally told from a source I trust that the final offer was made to Gordon and that the ball was in Gordon’s court. It was less than the max, but Gordon is looking for stability. If it doesn’t get done, it is because Gordon wants max money. I wouldn’t mind if he came back and proved he was worth it.