Hornets Struggle in Fourth, Lose to Kings

By:
Published: February 6, 2012

The Hornets sucked it up again in the fourth quarter, falling to the Kings after three quarters of quality basketball.

The Hornets led by 9 heading into the fourth, but that wasn’t enough. Honestly I feel a little bit sick to my stomache after watching the Hornets get out-scored 32-13 in the fourth quarter (and because where I’m sitting smells like someone covered garbage in hair and then lit it on fire), I’m not sure that this game deserves anything more than player grades (all F’s, sorry) and the angry comments that I’m sure you all will provide.

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say, “yuck”.

Also, that BS let’s try really hard to win even though we’re down 9 with 20 seconds to go doesn’t make me think more of anyone. When the game is over, it’s time to admit defeat and move on (to drinking probably).

 

Sacramento Kings 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 92 New Orleans Hornets
Trevor Ariza, SF 34 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 11 PTS | -5Pretend Ariza played four games in your mind. This was the third best of them. Regardless. F!
Gustavo Ayon, PF 32 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -7Ayon played alright in his first even NBA start, but it was less than spectacular. His energy isn’t as noticeable as a starter, and neither is his advantage over his opposition. He grabbed his fair share of boards and played some nice defense early on, but offensively he was just about non-existent. He came back in for Kaman with six minutes to go in the fourth and had a nice putback off a missed Okafor jumper. Other than that I barely noticed him.
Emeka Okafor, C 32 MIN | 6-14 FG | 7-7 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | 0Oak had it going on in the first half offensively, and then all but disappeared in the second. He missed a couple jumpers and just didn’t seem to have his newfound touch. Nonetheless, he was perfect from the line through three quarters and had a dunk. Yay!
Marco Belinelli, SG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -9Marco was aggressive and effective early in his matchup with Thornton, hitting both his threes in the first half and winding up with 10 points on only 6 shots. In the third quarter he continued attacking, getting to the line and hitting his free throws, even though the shot wasn’t falling. He was awful in the fourth quarter. Otherwise it was one of his best games of the year.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 40 MIN | 6-9 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 20 PTS | -7Greivis really played well again tonight both as a distributor and when needed, a scorer. He was drawing fouls like a certain point guard we used to love, and controlled the game for the Hornets much more than we’ve been accustomed to. He had only a single turnover through three quarters. When he came out in the fourth, the Kings really got back into it. When he got back he tried to regain the momentum, but that’s really asking a bit much from Greivis at this point. If you didn’t notice, he’s the only one who escapes the F.
Chris Kaman, C 22 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -6Did his usual thing in the first half, playing quality offense, decent defense, and committing a mental error when he didn’t hold onto a rebound with about 15 seconds left. The Hornets should have had last shot. Instead, the Kings got another two before the half. In his first drive of the second half, Monty Williams literally grimaced. I saw him. It didn’t get better from there, as Kaman remained ice cold on offense and became a liability on defense. He hit a jumper with 8 minutes to go, the first of the quarter for the Hornets, but it wasn’t enough to erase an ugly stretch for Kaman. Rebounds be damned, the Hornets needed more from Kaman in the fourth, even if the officials decided not to call fouls committed on him in the second half.
Carldell Johnson, G 10 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -3Squeaky played alright in the first half, missing both his shots, but notching a couple of turnover-free assists. He got a few more minutes early in the fourth, and turned down a wide open 8 footer in favor of a rushed bank shot two seconds later that missed by a mile. Odd…
Lance Thomas, F 10 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3Lance played some pretty good minutes in the first half, pulling down three boards in just under five minutes relieving Okafor and Kaman. He saw some more time early in the fourth and hustled his buns off to no avail. His unit was on the floor when the Kings got back into it, so he gets the F. I feel bad about this one since he played some solid minutes.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -3I wasn’t impressed with much in the first half, and the second wasn’t much better. He checked in with about 11 minutes to go and just didn’t have it going then either.
Xavier Henry, SG 10 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +3Henry showed flashes of the potential that made him a first round pick last year, scoring eight points on five shots in the first half and getting a steal. The shot he missed was way off. Like, really far off. He checked back into the game with 11 minutes to go in the fourth and then the Hornets got killed. Sorry, Xavier, you played well, but it’s F-time.

Five Things We Saw

  1. All 10 active Hornets players entered the game in the first half. Eight of them scored.
  2. DeMarcus Cousins is a freaking beast. He had 20-20 for the second straight game. He takes some stupid shots, but whatever. Guy can straight up ball. Isaiah Thomas really impressed me today as well. He’s not a star in the making by any means, but I dig his style and I like his moves. That 31 footer late in the fourth had “balls” written all over it.
  3. The players often look miserable after games, but this one was even worse than usual. I counted five guys looking like they’d just lost their dogs seconds after the game ended.
  4. The in-house Jazz was kicking tonight.
  5. Kaman was limping a bit in the fourth. Hopefully that’s nothing.

 

More notes and quotes–

  • Center Jason Smith suffered a concussion in Saturday night’s game against the Pistons and will be sidelined with no activity for one week. Once that time is up, his status will be day-to-day.
  • Forward DaJuan Summers is out tonight against the Kings with right knee effusion and his status is day-to-day.

 

 

67 comments
Mr.C
Mr.C

Like I keep saying, I truly believe the hornets may be the worst team ever assembled!!! And then you add a young coach who doesnt really understand how to sub. and when to call timeouts... Sometimes I wish I could get in his head, how does a player like Aminu be on the floor in the 4th quarter??? How can you have a point gaurd like Sqeaky on the floor at anytime??? These are guys who cant defend and cant score at all!!! The hornets cant even do a fastbreak correctly this year!!! Ariza is your veteren star player and the last few games he has played better but he is so limited!!! Why not play Jack and Vasquez together or more Kaman and Okafor together i mean Monty got to do better as a coach!!!

Jimmy V
Jimmy V

Obviously they are trying to win the Anthony Davis sweepstakes to put next to Gordon and another top 15 pick (maybe 2 if we can get NY's from Houston) and Dell will look like a genius next year

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

With the 10 guys available last night, what should the rotation have been?

sergio
sergio

Dammed, wake up until 3.30 am for another loose game. C´mon Hornets we can do better... Congrats from Portugal.

HoumaHornet
HoumaHornet

I can't remember the last time I saw Belinelli get in the lane and to the rim so many times in a single game. O wait Thornton was guarding him.

J
J

Monty is burned out in just his second season.Dell get that no talent squeaky johnoson off the team he sucks i rather have Manny Harris over him for just this season.

Everett
Everett

I root for Squeaky cuz he's from here, but his height, decision-making, and poor shooting are serious liabilities to the team. He was author of the worst fast break I've ever seen tonight. It sucks to see him play that poorly and then go home and watch Jeremy Lin, another d-league call up, torch the Jazz for 28. How did we miss out on that guy?

NolaHog
NolaHog

What was with that asshole "King" guy that was carried in on that throne? He's was incredibly annoying.

Everett
Everett

Yeah, I loved that dude. Was cool when Hugo body-slammed him. They should do an anti-mascot at every home game.

Eli
Eli

I think that the only explanation for the team's fourth quarter collapses is that they are losing on purpose. They know that playoffs is out of the question at this point, so its better to be all the way at the bottom than to be in the middle. Monty is a good coach! We saw that last year and a coach doesn't just forget how to coach! Whether its dell or stern or his own self, somebody is telling monty to have the team play well the first three quarters and then just purposely make bad decisions coaching wise to put the team in a position to lose the game. And the players must be a part of it too because they seem to lose their aggressiveness in the fourth and any aggressiveness that they might show seems rather 'fake'.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

You don't think we are bad?

Everett
Everett

Pace definitely helps the point differential, but even when considered on a per posession basis, our differential between offensive and defensive effenciency is still less negative than that of 6 other teams (http://hoopdata.com/teamff.aspx). And if you look at the teams slightly above us in efficiency differential, they all have someone who can put up a lot of points and/or is next tier: Suns (Nash), Bucks (Jennings, Bogut when healthy), Warriors (Ellis/Curry), Knicks (Anthony/Amare), Cavs (Irving). The difference between them and us is not having a great point guard or prolific scorer. If the team is intentionally tanking, the biggest proactive thing they're doing is not playing Gordon if he's actually healthy.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Agreed 100%. A word about tanking that may inspire a rant: I don't think the team is saying, "put on a good show, but lose." I think the team is valuing health of players and good roster moves above trying to win the most games they can this season. I think they try to win every possession of every game (largely because the players see NO benefit from tanking . . . how many are going to be on this team? how many are doing to get better contracts as a result? pride? They get paid anyway!). I think the brass isn't using every resource to up the chances. The Hornets aren't alone in that. Hell, the look at the Lakers! They are tanking?!

Everett
Everett

Based on point differential, we're better than those teams, but it doesn't translate into wins for us because those teams have more next-tier players. Detroit has Greg Monroe and Ben Gordon, two guys who can get hot and win you a game. New Jersey has Deron Williams, a guy who can consistently score and create for others. The Wizards have Wall, McGee and Young. Even Toronto has Bargnani, who's a very good scorer. In contrast, we have a team full of role players; everybody has to play really well for us to win. Additionally, most of the really bad teams play in the east; the average level of the competition is lower than that in the west, plus they get wins when they play each other. The west is better, top to bottom, so it's harder for us to earn a win. Because we have a team full of role players, we have zero margin for error; those other teams can win when just 1 or 2 guys have a great shooting night. The Wizards are an incredibly undisciplined team, but last night John Wall went for 38 and they won. Hornets haven't even had a guy score 30 this season. We're able to be more consistently competitive than those other teams because there is a good team ethos at work, but at cruch time the gap in talent, specifically in scoring ability, becomes too much to overcome. That's how we can have a higher point differential than other bad teams, but win less games than them and lose when we play them head-to-head.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Also, our pace will keep our differential closer to 0 in any case. In this case, it makes us less negative.

Eli
Eli

Im basing this off of our players mostly. Detroit and Toronto just have really bad overall talent on their roster. Washington is young and lacks chemistry. Charlotte has some talented guys that just don't go together well. New Jersey is bad mostly because of Brook Lopez's absence. The hornets on the other hand, have great front court depth, good young talent at each position, veteran leadership, and defensive stoppers in okafor and ariza. If not for all the injuries, I think the hornets would've had a legitimate shot at one of the lower playoff spots. Now, I think they are losing on purpose to get a good shot at that no.1 pick, and I don't mind that if they keep the games close.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I think we have some playees thay are better than commonly thought. I think the team just lacks enough offensive firepower to keep opposing defenses honest. Hence turnovers and dry spells far more often than seen on other teams. I think we can recover faster than many teams do and will do so.

Eli
Eli

Still, I think we're better than Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey, Toronto, and Washington even with Gordon out

Eli
Eli

We aren't bad enough to be in last place talent wise

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I think so given theat Gordon isn't playing. Orlando and Boston were gifts.

Mr.C
Mr.C

It wasnt Belinelli fault this time!!! I am noticing something from Monty each game, it seems like we lose each game at the beginning of the 4th quarter!!! Because for some reason Monty starts the forth quarter with the bench, (Aminu, and other bench players) why does he do that??? Why not play your best players the entire 4th???

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Squeaky, Henry, Aminu, Thomas and Kaman. With this quintet, it is difficult to win any NBA game. Even the D-League. I can not understand Monty Williams.

504ever
504ever

Great post Kempleton!

kempleton
kempleton

Well, that is not Monty's problem. Let's look at our squad and their history in the league be position: 1- PG: Jarrett Jack. Was our back-up combo-guard last season. Replaced CP3 for the starting PG spot. Started only 2(!) games last year. Started only 45% of the games between 2007 and 2010. Mainly either replaced the injured Calderon at Toronto or played alongside T.J.Ford as the SG at Indiana. 2- SG: Eric Gordon. Was the starting SG of Clippers last season. Supposed to be our best player and go-to-guy this season. Got injured, played only 2 games. 3- SF: Trevor Ariza. Was our starting SF last season. Terrific stopper, excellent perimeter defender. Showed that he can be a great team player. Not a very good shot creator. Not a good shooter anyways. He is a defensive type player and without good players around him, he is limited since he is incapable of carrying the offense. 4- PF: Carl Landry. Was the backup PF last season. Promoted to the starting lineup when D-West got injured. Signed for 1-year. Started only 20% of all his games in his first 4 seasons. 5- C: Emeka Okafor. Was our starting C last season. Is the player with the hefty contract. Also defensive minded player. Great shot blocking ability. Good rebounder. Limited in offense. 6- SG: Marco Belinelli. Was supposed to be our backup SG behind Gordon. Promoted to the starting lineup once Gordon got injured. Had started only 24 NBA games before joining Hornets. Started 69 games last year. Shot 41% behind the 3-pt line. So, looking at those 6 players. We see that we have 3 players in our starting lineup (Jack-Landry-Belinelli) who will definitely-only become bench players in most NBA teams. The other 2 players (Okafor and Ariza) are defensive minded NBA players who can perform very well on teams with enough offensive firepower (2010-2011 Hornets with CP3 and D-West) Now simply considering that we replaced CP3 and D-West with Jack and Landry is enough to digest the truth that we are a much weaker team compared to last season. Looking further at the bench: 7- C: Chris Kaman. Was the starting C for Clippers until his injury last season which coincided with the emergence of DeAndre Jordan. Could play alongside Okafor. Better on offense. Decent on defense. On the last year of his contract earning 12 mil. Not a player Hornets are interested in keeping and will likely be traded in a month. 8- PF/C: Jason Smith. Was our backup PF/C last season. Started only 3 games before this season. Averaged less than 14 minutes. Proven to be a bench player. 9- PG: Greivis Vasquez. Was a rookie last season. Started only 1 game for the Grizzlies and played an average of 12 min in 70 games. Unproven! 10- SF. Al-Farouq Aminu. Was a rookie last season. Started only 14 games for the Clippers last season and averaged 17 min in 81 games. Unproven! 11- PF: Gustavo Ayon. Is a rookie. Played in Spain. Got the rising star award last season. Unproven! 12- SG: Xavier Henry. Was a rookie for the Grizzlies last season. Pick 12 for Memphis. Played in 38 games, started 16 of them, injured. benched. Unproven! Rest: D-League trio: Summers, Johnson, Thomas. They all shine in D-League but limited in the NBA. Looking for an opportunity to shine. Unproven! So, half of our squad is Unproven players! Most of the time our opponents have a better team on the court! We are already out of the playoff picture. Monty was given a weak squad to begin with. He has to play those unproven players because that is the only bench that we have. So, what he is trying to do is to see which ones of those players can survive in the NBA. Yes, Johnson and Thomas played alongside last night. But, without the injured Jack,Landry and Smith. Those guys have to play as our backup PG and PF players while the starters (Vasquez and Ayon last night) rest. Yes, Belinelli plays a lot. But, he has to play since Gordon is out and Henry&Summers are unproven. We cannot expect Beli to win games for us, he is a role player in the NBA! Yes, We have lost way too many games already. However, our team fought in each and every one of those losses. We are not losing on purpose. Watch the Spurs game at home, Thunder games, etc. We try to win and we get close but our opponents are simply better. Our unproven players make was too many turnovers in critical breaking points of games. So, if we cannot win the games. Let's win players of our future. Monty has to make our unproven players play and He has to see if those unproven players can win games, can perform well, can prove that they have NBA-caliber talent and hustle. So, we might look like losing games but I do hope that we are winning players for our future. I do not see any reason to play our starting lineup 40 minutes with a 4-21 record. We cannot win 65% of our remaining 45 games to make the last playoff spot with a .500 record. So, this is the time to win Vasquez, Henry, Aminu, Ayon and Smith. We will need those players for a better Hornets in the future. If they can start winning games this season, that would be even better for our future! I hate watching our Hornets lose. But, I am hopeful that these losses will turn into more and more wins in the future! Try to think that way, y'all!

kempleton
kempleton

Hey Mr.C. I also realize that we keep losing games especially in the fourth quarter. However, you know that it is very common in the NBA that coaches rest their starters at the end of 1st-beginning of 3rd and at the end of 3rd-beginning of 4th quarters. So, no coach plays most of his best players for the entire 4th quarter. Especially during this short season full of 66 games, teams do not have much time to rest in between games, so the players definitely need rest. There were 10 games in the NBA last night and This has been the case for all 20 teams. Lots of starters were on the bench at the beginning of the 4th. I think the reason for us losing the games is not Monty keeping starters on the bench, it is the points off the back-to-back turnovers of our bench players. They gotta play more careful, this season is their one-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase their talent and prove that they are NBA-caliber players. If they cannot do it this season, it might be too late.

SKIELE
SKIELE

we lost again because of belinelli. it's a shame he's still in the roster.... those prayers at the end of the shotclock are simple shots to make and yet he's incapable of.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Marco was not in for the 3m 6-0 run, then had an quick assist, missed a shot or two and commited a foul. He was no more or less a non-factor last night.in the fourth than anyone else, and it's not on him to tame Cousins. Maybe he did't get 30a in the first 30 was the cause, but that's weak sauce. The whole team screwed this one up.

SKIELE
SKIELE

I see in the report a well deserved F for belinelli. He's bad... when you are supposed to be a 3pt shooter the best way to help your shooting is not giving you the ball for 32 straight possession and then pass the basketball in the last second of the 33rd. and yet this bad player is incapable of make the shot. bah.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Lots of people got tantrum F's, yeah? I'm not saying he's good or bad, just that even if he was great, we would still have been creamed by DC in the fourth. I don't mind the guy. The experiment will run its course, but we are getting our money's worth from him and maybe more, I feel, at least considering the options presented to us. He's not top 30 overall at his position, so he's not starter material, we just have him starting. That's on us, yeah?

sundance
sundance

lol

James Online
James Online

In an attempt to belittle Marco, the poster makes the right point. When the offense stalls, they try to get the ball to Marco for a miracle heave as time expires. Marco is the one guy willing to take those shots, from anywhere on the court. If you want to see players who studiously dribble out the clock so they don't have to take such a low percentage shot (at the end of a period in particular), watch Jarret Jack. Dribble, dribble, "Oh, Damn, clock ran out," then perhaps a heave that won't count against shooting stats. Watch the game.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

I also don't like Belinelli. But to criticize him in the last night' game makes no sense. Marco had ​​a good game. Only Vasquez has performed better than him.

Eli
Eli

Shut the f*** up! So ur saying that marco's 18 points didnt help the team? Who else wouldve scored those 18 points if marco didn't? This team lacks scorers. Stop Hating Marco!

Nick Malone aka yankeesman77
Nick Malone aka yankeesman77

It sucks being a Hornets fan right now, waiting to go to that Knicks game on the 17th at MSG and knowing the team will probably get blown out in the 2nd half with or without Carmelo Anthony. :( I just want this season to be over already. I hate losing games in general but at least baseball is around the corner where the Yankees will be coming back soon. Spring Training baseball that will be happening in a few weeks > Hornets basketball. I'm just a very depressed Hornets fan after seeing how this unfolded. We've seen this story unfold so many times where we look competitive in the first half and maintain a sizable lead and just can't do anything right in the 2nd half. I don't get it.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

It's likely we won't have as many important guys out then as we did tonight. We'll see if it matters. This sort of thing is psychology partially. Excitement in the young can cause errors. I'm also not conviced we are making the right adjustments. Monty used to call timeouts before things go too far off-kilter. Now, not as much. 2 points in like 6m of the 4thbaldness is bad enough, but we stopped out-rebounding them in the third. We have coaching issues. I don't think Monty needs to go, but he needs better help, for sure.

Nik
Nik

hey remember that time we won two games in a row?...great times..

Kibner
Kibner

The time outs at the end weren't for winning the game; they were using the opportunity to practice some situational basketball against someone other than the,selves.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Agreed. Some would argue the regular season is practice, or qualifying. Others would argue it's a too long practice.

Hornetsky
Hornetsky

We'll probably win less than 10 games this season with the rate were going.

Tim
Tim

I can't decide whether to root for the Hornets to win or lose (for the draft), so I decided that I'd just hope every game was close.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

I really again enjoyed the performance of Greivis. He was our only player that showed some intensity throughout the game. His passes are always nice to see. Goose has disappointed me a bit tonight. Gustavo's talent is undeniable, but I think he is much better from the bench. What do you think?

Everett
Everett

Thanks for the lightning quick postgame wrap-up. Have you guys ever considered grading Monty? I gotta give him an F tonight for not calling a time out in the 3rd quarter when the lead started getting in the 10-11 range. Our possessions were really starting to look disjointed and you kinda started to feel like something was off. Sacramento is undisciplined, but they're extremely talented, so not taking a time out to slow their momentum was pretty dumb. He played with fire and got burned. But then he calls two time outs in the last minute of the game when the game is clearly out of reach...I don't get it. Also, Vasquez had a serious height advantage over Thomas, so why didn't they post him up more? Worked pretty well the two times they tried it. This is one of the few teams in the league we can actually beat, so this is a tough one to swallow.

edbballin504
edbballin504

"When you mess with the game, the game will mess with you." - Monty (lol)

J
J

I'm ready for the # 1 pick

Everett
Everett

There are actually gonna be some good players who can contribute immediately in this year's draft. We should end up getting a top 3 pick, which would allow us to get either Harrison Barnes, Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson. My dream draft would be Barnes and Davis. If we have an owner by season's end, we could pick up a better point guard via free agency or through a trade.

Everett
Everett

Haven't seen him play, will have to hop on espn3 and see if I can find some games to check out. Thanks for the heads up.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

And what do you think about Kendall Marshall?

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

First pick = Anthony Davis Welcome to the Hornets! ... I count on it!

504ever
504ever

Well look at this stat line from last night. Andre Drummond: 16 minutes, 0-6, four rebounds. Don't go thinking some #1 pick is going to solve all of our problems: only two guys who can create shots for themselves, poor outside shooting, poor vertical juming ability, poor lateral quickness, etc.

504ever
504ever

So are we all assuming the ping pong ball gods will give us the #1 pick? Cause the team with the worst record only has a 25% chance of the #1 pick and are only guaranteed a top 3 choice!! Also, aside from Sullinger, no one in the top 5 is NBA ready right now.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Top 4, but the point is a good one. We have a calculator that gives results for our combination of picks in different scenarios. We'll unveil it after the trade deadline for obvious reasons. No team's most likely outcome is the top pick or any in the top 3.

Everett
Everett

Yeah, I agree about Drummond, let some other idiot draft him. Drummond = Darius Miles.