Hornets can’t hold on (again) against the Blazers

Published: February 10, 2012
Portland Trail Blazers 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 New Orleans Hornets

Trevor Ariza, SF 46 MIN | 9-18 FG | 5-6 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 23 PTS | -6

Ariza was the only reason the Hornets were in this game. And I don’t mean his offensive output, which was fantastic. In the fourth, Jamal Crawford was smoking everyone and everything he faced. Until Ariza introduced himself. He only scored two points that weren’t garbage time free throws after that.

Gustavo Ayon, PF 27 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +1

Ayon had pretty awful game tonight. Fouls on screens, fouls on charges, bad pass after bad pass. He’s just not adjusted to the NBA, where players are quicker and longer than anything he saw in Spain. Once he realizes the spaces he has to pass in are that much smaller, I expect his passing prowess to become a nice benefit, not the problem it is now.

Emeka Okafor, C 39 MIN | 5-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -2

Normal game for Mek. Did you know that Okafor isn’t leading the team in blocks? What’s up with that?

Marco Belinelli, SG 33 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -3

Belly was alright. The Hornets have to play him in crunch time to spread the floor. Everytime tonight he put the ball on the floor, though, he got in trouble. Had a couple nice pick and roll passes tonight, though.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 37 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 6 PTS | -8

Sorry all you Vasquez fans, but tonight was an illustration of all Vasquez’s difficulties. He kept getting trapped along the sidelines and forced into turnovers and bad passes. He kept running pick and rolls over and over on the same possession but never had the speed to turn the corner and make it work. He just doesn’t have the athleticism to be a starter.

Lance Thomas, F 8 MIN | 2-2 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -16

Thomas had a nice eight minutes as an energy guy. Like all energy guys, though, he energized his way into some bad fouls and decisions. Still, he definitely earned more time tonight.

Donald Sloan, PG 11 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | 0

Sloan was the only guard capable of bringing the ball up court against pressure tonight. He handled it well, broke the full-court press several times for easy shots, and had a nice game until he was forced to match up against a hot Crawford and was being drilled. Good first showing, though.

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 25 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +1

I have to love Aminu’s boardwork. If he ever adds a little more strength and the ability to finish around the basket in traffic, he could be a good garbage-man power forward, cleaning up other peoples trash for easy points. Big three in the fourth, too. If he shot everything with that confidence, he could be a small forward. If, if. if.

Xavier Henry, SG 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -7

Henry was ordinary and had little impact.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Hornets doubled Aldridge every time he caught the ball with his back to the basket except for a couple possessions in the fourth. With Portland struggling to finish shots on the perimeter, I’d give this strategy the primary credit for the Hornets being in the game.
  2. Gerald Wallace put on a clinic of all the reasons I love his game. Toughness and intelligence. On play after play, he kept cutting to the open space along the baseline. He would do it hard, and quick, and it got him easy baskets over and over.
  3. Kaman was a late scratch. The Portland announcers were speculating that he was being traded. There is nothing out there to support that except for my hopes and dreams.
  4. The Hornets had 17 turnovers. I’ve been so spoiled by Paul for all these years, because I remember being shocked to see that many TOs in the box score. Now, it’s nearly the Hornets average.
  5. Which group shoots better: The Hornets from the perimeter, or Imperial Stormtroopers trying to kill Han Solo?


  1. champsworld404

    February 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I find it ammusing watching Vasquez try to do athletic plays when HE KNOWS he can’t. That’s why we need a PG for the future. When Aminu gets it together he’ll be a beast. If we’re on the ping pong ball trial, start Henry and see what he has. Hell, we started Dejuan Summers, what do we have to lose…….

  2. Mike P

    February 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I liked what I saw from Sloan tonight. Nice handle, pretty good quickness, and obvious strength. He also had a lot of confidence in his scoring ability. He was lit up by Crawford, but that was kind of expected.

    -Ariza was Jekyll tonight. What a game. Nice to see him actually penetrating and attacking.

    -Aminu, for all of his athleticism and size, really struggles to get his shot off in the paint. It looks like his shot starts too low, resulting in a longer shot, which is much easier to block. But again, he’s so young. His work rate was nice today, and he shows a smooth stroke when he doesn’t think about it too much. The dumb mistakes will be seen less as his game and confidence progress

    -I really worry about Vasquez. He seems to be very ineffective without a good screen. His quickness is just not there, and he’s a very young player. His shooting also needs some work. He also struggles to protect the ball without turning his back to the defender

  3. Calabrone Viola

    February 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Good post, bad results, i have written the same words before in my page. Frail team without real scorer and not have a good PG/scorer, Gordon is death? “Strange” knee…

  4. edbballin504

    February 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I’d love to see Marco get less time out there. Its obvious he’s not in the teams future so lets sit him so other guys that may be in the team’s future can get some development. Winning should be the last thing on the coaching staff’s mind at this point. Its basically training camp for next year from here on out.

  5. usufruct

    February 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    CST guys said Kaman sprained his ankle last game. I didn’t see him or Gordon on the bench.

    • usufruct

      February 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Make that sprained during warmups.

  6. Lucas Ottoni

    February 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Only Ariza had a pleasant night. The rest of the team stank. Not much else to say.

    And I also love the player who is Gerald Wallace.

  7. J

    February 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I hope they trade Kaman because ESPN reports that the Rockets and Pacers are still in the mix.Thank goodness it’s a sprain and not nothing serious we really need that other 1st rd pick.

    I’ve my mock draft

    1st pick Anthony Davis
    2nd pick Kendall Marshall
    3rd pick pending if we get another 1st rd pick if Kaman is traded Myers Leonard

  8. David

    February 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    1.) Vasquez will be a good backup point guard. That’s what he is, and he will be a good one. He is limited, and in no way should be a starter.

    2.) Aminu FINALLY got some burn at the 4, and he looked good, just as I’ve been screaming for all season. Playing as a small-ball 4 with the 2nd unit, he will be a good matchup and find his niche. Dude is barely 20 years old, just remember that.

    3.) Ayon will get better. Tonight he had a tough time. Dude doesn’t know English yet.

    4.) Still think Ariza and Okafor are keepers, at least in the short term. We will fill holes with draft picks on cheap contracts. Can’t see us trading or Amnestying either unless we end up with Drummond or Kidd-Gilchrist in the draft. Surround those two “A” defenders with scorers, and you will be solid.

    5.) We started a good 2nd unit tonight. We need to add 3 more pieces + get Gordon back from injury and we will be competing for the playoffs next year.

    • Thechosenuno

      February 11, 2012 at 12:35 am

      He doesn’t speak a lick of English, but we still love him.

    • 504ever

      February 11, 2012 at 7:05 am


      This is a great post. I am so tired of ‘trade all the vets’ posts or ‘Vasquez is god’ posts I could scream.

      I would add the Jack is a keeper, too. He provides necessary leadership and he is over performing his contact price. You need both of those things.

      • Noah

        February 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

        I know, they act like team 20 year olds will lead us to a championship

      • J

        February 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm


  9. David

    February 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    We don’t want or need Kendall Marshall. Dude cannot SCORE. We need a PG who can get us into the offense and knock down spot up threes. Monty is a pick n roll guy. Gordon is one of the best pick n roll players in the NBA. The ideal PG for our new team is a better version of Jack, a guy who can knock down the 3 and get to the rim and score on penetration, while playing better defense. Kendall Marshall is basically Grevis Vasquez. We already have a good backup PG. We need a starter.

    • George

      February 11, 2012 at 1:11 am

      What is intriguing is his potential as a scorer but with Gordon back we might not need him to light up the scoreboard. However Damian Lillard may be the answer if you are looking for a scoring point guard but someone else would have to play the role of distubutor because he does not pass much.

      • 504ever

        February 11, 2012 at 6:58 am


        Have you seen Marshall play?

        In his last 5 games, all ACC games, he is averaging .500% from 3pt, over 10 assists/game, and over 10 points/game. He is averaging a double double while his assist to turnover ratio is 4:1 (53:14)!!!! Plus he is a 6-4 Soph. So he has size to go with blow by speed and 3pt accuracy. Here is the link so anyone can check him out.


      • 504ever

        February 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm


        Except that Marshall has blow by you speed in college, is 3 inches shorter, and is much more athletic than you claim, Marshall is Vasquez.

    • J

      February 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Lillard is a late 1st early 2nd rd selection

      • David

        February 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

        I have seen Marshall play, and I know that before those past few games he was averaging just under 6 ppg. We already have two below average scorers that will start for this team. We need guys who can SCORE. Gordon will dominate the ball with the first unit. Stats showed that he was a top 5 Pick n Roll player in the whole NBA last year as far as efficiency. Where does Marshall fit into Gordon’s pick n pop/roll game??? He doesn’t. Marshall will be a decent NBA point guard, but he needs to be in a system and surrounded by talent like he is at UNC – a ton of big time scorers where his job is to get the team into the offense and distribute with his excellent passing skills. He is also a below average athlete/defender. So a big point guard, who is a below average athlete/defender, who is an excellent passer and does a great job running the offense, but isn’t really a threat to score…if Marshall spoke Spanish, he would basically BE Grevious Vasquez!!

  10. hornyets

    February 11, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Hornets over Imperial Stormtroopers any day.

  11. J

    February 11, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Kidd-Gilcrist is a good player by watching those youtube videos he would be a good pick but i like Davis pending on if we get the #1 pick I like Marshall as the second pick but i want your opinon on Marquis Teauge?

  12. champsworld404

    February 11, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Oh, and someone please get Ayon Rosetta Stone ASAP! When the language barrier gets broken, he’ll be a solid player. Also, when did Okafor start missing these point blank layups? It’s painful to watch us leave points on the floor like we have a potent offense that can make up for that. David Sloan is an upgrade from Squeaky in my opinion, the offensive attack showed that. I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel, I just hope that it’s not an mack truck about to run us over……

  13. Lucas Ottoni

    February 11, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I see no reason to crucify Vasquez. He had a bad game last night? Yes, it’s true. But I think a great injustice to throw it at the stake for a game where things didn’t work.

    Players like Okafor, Jack, Aminu, Landry, Belinelli also had terrible games. And not a few. It is clear that Vasquez has flaws in his game, but it is a good player and can help our team. Only it’s not always that things will work out. Patience, my friends.

  14. da ThRONe

    February 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I don’t understand why some people insist on keeping Mek and Trevor. We should trade them now while their are playing well. They are not apart of this teams future especially Okafor. We should be able to get pieces and flexibility for Oka, Ariza, and Jack. Why wait til they continue to lose value?

    • J

      February 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Okafor should be traded because of his dreadful contract and Ariza he needs to be on a contender.

    • 504ever

      February 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

      Where do you think you will get a better center than Okafor?

      What do you think we will get for Ariza or Jack that will help us more? This team doesn’t need more unproven talent with potential. We have a ton and we will add more in the uncoming draft.

      • da ThRONe

        February 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

        How close to being a good team do you think we are?

        Mek is 29 with 3 years left on his deal. I would much rather draft Drummond as a C of the future than hold on to Oka. Make a deal with Philly for there young center Vucevic.

        There is no such thing as “too much” young well priced talent/potential when your an awful team looking to rebuild. We need all the flexibility and young bodies we can get our hands on. After that we can decide who to keep and who to move on.

      • Tim

        February 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

        I’m pretty sure Drummond is not entering the draft this year… At some point, you have to decide that your team has enough young talent and fill in the holes with leaders and veterans. Mek is a good starting center. He’s a good character guy. Even David Kahn recognizes this. He was open to trading his #2 pick last year because he knew they were going to have enough young players as it was, and wanted to some veteran leaders in there.

      • 504ever

        February 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

        The Hornets aren’t awful; they are injured. Think of the Spurs the year they drafted Tim Duncan. Were they awful, too?

        As for the draft, the Hornets have two 2012 1st round draft picks already. You (and others) seem to think the draft is like the motto of Garrison Keillor’s fictional town Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average”! In reality the draft is a crap shoot.

        Do you understands how few draft choices pan out? Del does. So he is signing draft picks still in the league under rookie contracts with potential to be 2nd team players(Vasquez, Henry), or guys who are good players but were in bad situations (Summers), as better more useful players than future draft picks. We got Summers for nothing, Henry for a 2nd rounder, and Vasquez (most expensive of all because it was a need trade for the Hornets) for Q-Pond. (Just think what would have happened if we got Jeremy Lin the for nothing, too!) These guys will all likely be more productive in 2012-13 (if not their careers) than players picked at their spot in this year’s draft.

        As for Drummond, in his last five game, all Big East games, he has shot over .500% once each from the field and the line, and he never gets to the line. (He was a combined 22-47 from the field, and he is a center getting close shots!! He was 2-7 from the line in all five games combined, and had three game where he didn’t make a free throw!!) At 6-10 he is no taller than Okafor and he would be lucky to have as good of an NBA career as Okafor. Look up his stats anyone.


        P.S. Vucevic is young, on his rookie contract, and has a 16 PER. Do you seriously think Phily will trade him for anything we have besides Gordon (which was my original point)?

  15. champsworld404

    February 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Drummond? Hell no! He’s waaaaaaaaaaaay to inconsistent to waste a top pick on. I hope he goes back to college, or else we’ll have Hilton Armstrong 2.0 on our hands.

  16. Calabrone Viola

    February 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Don’t trade Ariza, Ariza is a really good defender, one of the best in NBA, is a good point of start for the future. Anyone have news about a future new owner?

    • J

      February 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      I would trade Ariza because he’s like a lightswitch scores in one game then flop in another but then again another great SF name Dennis Rodman was not a scorer either but a great defender though.

  17. J

    February 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I agree Drummond is not ready for the NBA for at least 2 years.Mek would be a great trade for more flexablity we can really be under the cap i know Cuban wouldn’t like that the Hornets would be a team filled with expired contracts but who cares what he think with a Kaman and Okafor trade and maybe a Ariza trade in the works this team can rebulid within free agency and the draft.I wouldn’t draft anyone from Uconn or Duke i hate Duke they’re players are talented but soft.I rather have tough guys,not the “thug” term like some bloggers use it’s offensive.

    • 504ever

      February 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Glad you aren’t generallizing about colleges, but making points about specific college players.

  18. da ThRONe

    February 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    1st it’s hard to believe Drummond even with his struggles will turn down the option to go pro. When I look at this draft I see no “can’t miss” prospects. I see a really deep draft full of hit or miss guys.

    2nd We have to build a young necleus that can gel together over the next 2-4 years. It’s not a fun idea to expect to be bad to subpar the next 2 years but the way the league is constructed it’s the only way a team in a market like ours will ever be a title contender. Holding on to guys like Okafor, Jack, and Ariza not only slows the process it could endanger it altogether. Yeah their solid pieces today, but their contracts are questonable and we can’t expect them to be key pieces 4 years from now. The only thing keeping those guys will do is eat up mins and cap space for guys who will be the core of a great team moving forward. They must go if we’re ever going title contenders.

    As far as veteran leadership we can bring in vets for 75-80% less money than what were paying our current guys and we can play them sparingly while the young pups gain much needed experience.

    • 504ever

      February 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Have you seen the telecasts of the games? No one is going. If we don’t get better, we won’t have a team in this market. The owner will buy out the lease and move someplace else more profitable.

      And you clearly miss the point that verterans lead by example on the court. You don’t get the same amount of leadership from bench players

      • J

        February 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        As long as Stern is running this circus of a team of course.504ever must be from Seattle to be talking about a owner can buyout this team are that desperate to have a team

      • da ThRONe

        February 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        1st real leaders lead from anywhere.

        We won’t be winning many games even when/if Gordon comes back. We need to give the fan base hope. There’s no hope watching a core of guys that we know exactly who they are struggle to win. However if we got some young pieces that shows real potential a fanbase is more likely to get behind a young growing team than a bunch of guys in their prime.

    • 504ever

      February 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm


      It is clear where we disagree is that you want to trade our three most consistent players for picks in a draft you describe as “full of hit or miss players”. I do not, for obvious reasons.


      If I was from Seattle, how could I see the Hornets games on CST? OOPS, your mistake.

      And do you seriously believe the NBA will sign a ‘no way out ever’ lease with the Arena when people who have paid good money for tickets aren’t even showing up? Chaining the franchise to New Orleans, when attendence is obviously an issue, only reduces the value of the franchise to a potential owner who has to endure a smaller ticket revenue stream.

      • da ThRONe

        February 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm

        I watch games on CST and I have been living in L.A. for almost the past 2 years.

        I don’t think we should trade for draft picks. I think we should be finding teams like Philly(for example) with young talent that’s on the verge of being title contenders. In this wide open season that may be willing to trade potential and flexibilty for the chance to make a strong push in the post season.

        It’s not that I don’t value our players. It’s that I think by the time we are ready to be contenders guys contracts will have expired and/or guys will be in the twilight of their careers.

        It’s better to flip those guys for up-and-comers that will be at the beginning of their prime when we’re ready to be great if we ever get there. This is the way small market teams will have to build great teams.

  19. da ThRONe

    February 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    This team is awful. The only major injury is to Gordon and he’s not even a top 25 player. Would we have a few more wins with Gordon most likely but if we can’t win with the majority of our core playing at career high levels this team is terrible.

    • David

      February 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      Jack, Gordon, Ariza, Landry, Kaman, Jason Smith all have missed significant time this season at one point or another, for one reason or another. At the beginning of the season, this was 4/5’s of our starting lineup and our top two backup bigs. How could you say that the only major injury was Gordon???

      • da ThRONe

        February 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

        I don’t count Jason Smith as a part of our core.

        True guys have been nicked up in this condensed season, but that’s been the case on pretty much every team.

        None of our core players has missed significant time outside of Gordon. Yet we’re still struggling.

      • David

        February 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm

        Jason Smith is signed up for 3 more years. So whether you like it or not, he’s not going anywhere. Ariza missed 15 games. Jack is on his 3rd week being out. Gordon has barely played. Landry will be out for at least a month if not more. Kaman has played sporadic minutes and was shut down for almost two weeks. It’s tough when you’ve cut through 11 different starting lineups in less than 30 games, especially when you have no training camp. The fact that we played all these close games are encouraging. If we had been healthy, there is no doubt that we would be in the mix for a playoff spot in the West. But we’re not, and that’s probably a good thing in the long run. Okafor and Ariza are keepers for a few reasons

        1.) They are both still relativley young. They can stick around and make the team competetive and will come off the books as soon as its time to re-up the rookies we draft.

        2.) there is no one available that will be better. I said it before and I’ll say it again – Kwame Brown, BJ Mullens, Darko Millicic, Joel Anthony, Spencer Hawes, Jermaine O’neal, Brendan Haywood, Dajuan Blair, Samuel Dalembert, etc. are all STARTING big men in this league. Okafor is and will be the best option for this team going forward unless they get a center in the draft. Ariza is a valuable wing defender and his contract isn’t THAT bad. Most of our team is/will be playing on cheap rookie type deals. We can afford to overpay them until then.

        3.) I have a feeling that this front office will be pushing to win NEXT year. This isn’t a four year re-build, because the fan base won’t tolerate that. If you get rid of all of the veteran players, you will be like the Clippers have ALWAYS been – a ton of talented rookie players, no wins, and they all walk out the door after that rookie deal to go to a winner

        4.) You won’t get value for them in a trade, because other teams will treat an Okafor/Ariza deal as a salary dump. They know the reason they are being traded is to shed salary. Why would they give up anything of value in order to take on these guys? You think Philly is giving anything of value for Okafor?? They won’t even get in the mix for Kaman. You need to get a grip and re-evaluate the value that these guys have on the open market. Beleive me, if these guys are free agents contenders are lining up to sign them. Having to give up assets? And take on salary? They’ll pass, thanks. I’m sure Dell will listen to any reasonable deals for these guys, but he won’t (and shouldn’t) just GIVE them away for the sake of shedding salary.

      • Mr.C

        February 13, 2012 at 7:46 am

        He is the only one that has missed major time, and you know whats even more sad is that the guys out there now are playing better than when we had all them other guys!!!

  20. David

    February 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Okafor and Ariza are both “A” defenders. They are both a bit overpaid, but as far as interior post defense and wing defense these guys are top notch. If you were to get a LONG, ATHLETIC, PF to put next to Okafor, one that can help on the backside and clean up after him, we will have one of the best defensive frontcourts in the NBA. If you were to add Anthony Davis, who will be an A+++ defender in the NBA, you are looking at a team who can compete night in and night out.

    As for a starting PG, I think we need a BIG, athletic guy at PG who can match up on D and knock down open 3’s. I don’t think he necessarily needs to be a facilitator all the time, but a guy who can handle the ball enough to get the ball up the floor, get it to Gordon in his spot, and play off of Gordon’s pick n roll. When Gordon comes out, our ideal PG would be able to slide over to 2G and play with Vasquez. Like I said earlier, a more athletic, more consistent shooting version of Jarrett Jack.

    One guy I would be intrigued by is a guy like Bradley Beal from Florida. He’s 6’4, but some scouts say he’s a bit undersized for a SG (like Gordon). He’s described as a bit of a combo guard, who is super athletic, and has one of the sweetest 3 pt. strokes in the country. He has a good handle, and is a decent passer, but doesn’t excell as a “distributor.” He could be in play at Minnesota’s slot in the draft.

    If would could score A.Davis and Beal – think about it – Beal brings it up, gets it to Gordon in his spot, and spots up on the wing. Pick n roll with Davis, who dives to the rim. Ariza slashing from the weakside baseline, and Okafor trailing late to the rim looking to clean up any rebound. Gordon, one of the best scorers in the NBA, with a monster like Davis diving to the rim and Beal just waiting to knock down a 3 on the spot up.

    We can dream, can’t we???

    Bradley Beal Scouting Report – ESPN Insider (You’re welcome)
    Projection Top 10 Pick
    •Amazing shooter
    •Deep range on his jumper
    •Clutch shooter, fearless
    •High basketball IQ
    •Good athlete
    •Good ball handler
    •Can play the point
    •Good defender

    •Undersized for the two guard position
    •May be a bit of a tweener

    Notes Averaged 32.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.8 apg and 2.7 steals as a senior at Chaminade Prep School in Missouri.

  21. Mike P

    February 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    It’s been a tough year, but I’d prefer to hold onto guys like Ariza and Okafor, at least for the time being. Although Ariza has been very inconsistent on offense, it looks like he’s kind of starting to figure out a proper shot selection. Plus, he is an unbelievable defender. I don’t think his contract is that cumbersome. Okafor is slightly overpaid, but quality big men are tough to find in the NBA. I don’t see us getting enough in a trade to justify trading either of these guys right now

  22. J

    February 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    This team needs a offensive guru plain and simple i’ve my doubts about Monty but they really someone to bulid an up tempo offense.Ariza needs to be a decent scorer in the offseason, Okafor is a good center but we need a 7 footer at center and 6’10 is not going to work @ center anymore.I like for this team to deal with ball handling,three point shooting,clock management,pass management and team unity.

  23. David

    February 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

    6’10 works at center if you are 6’11 at PF. 6’10 doesn’t work at center if you are 6’7-6’8 at PF, like we were with West/Landry. That’s the point that I’ve been making over and over – you need to pair Okafor with a long, athletic four like Boston did w/ the 6’9 Perkins and the 7′ Garnett. Or San Antonio with the 6’8 Blair and the 6’11 Duncan. 6’9 Joel Anthony and the 6’11 Bosh. 6’8 Ben Wallace next to the 7 ft. Rasheed Wallace in Detroit. Do you think Ben Wallace could have been an effective NBA center playing next to a guy like Landry or West?? You put that body type kind of guy next to Okafor, and you are fine.

    This team can’t score because we don’t have SCORERS. You can’t blame Monty Williams for this team not scoring points! When you have shooters who can knock down open 3 pointers, then all of a sudden does Monty become an offensive genius???

  24. da ThRONe

    February 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm


    If we can’t get decent value for Ariza/Okafor/Jack then fine keep them, but if we can trade them it’s for young promising players not a “salary dump”. You are assuming things. With the salary floor even higher now it will be just that much more difficult to just dump salary and rebuild.

    All three of those guys are playing at a high level right now and all are relatively young and outside of Emeka their contracts are reasonable(and we know bigs are often overpaid). I think they all have enough value to net prospects from a middle of the pack playoff team. If not like I mentioned we are forced to keep them. However that does not mean we shouldn’t be actively looking to expedite this rebuilding process.

    I can understand the concept of trying to win ASAP, but I would be cautions of that motto. Rushing to “win now” could just lead to even more years of subpar play. Until the NBA has a hard cap or something much more solid than what we just got in the newest CBA. Small market teams will have to look far ahead in the future to put together a quailty product, or get lucky and have top 5 talent fall to them.

    You mention keeping them until their contracts expire then what? I rather trade them with years on there contracts so whatever team gets them will have them locked up for atleast 2 years(Ariza and Okafor) or the following year (Jack). Think about it after their contracts are up are we really going to want to keep any of them other than Ariza maybe? Might as well move them for guys who we would want to lock up long term.

  25. David

    February 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    My point was that if a deal was available where Demps could have moved these guys for a good value, don’t you think he would have pulled that trigger? Ariza was a starter for a championship team. Okafor is a better center than at least half of the former champions. Teams across the league view these guys as good players being paid like really good players. They are just as aware of the cap restrictions you spoke of as we are. They will not take on those contracts and give up anything of value for them. Sorry, just the truth. If you add a free agent, Gordon, and two high draft picks to this mix, they are a playoff team next year. If you keep gutting the roster by trading vets for ‘young players,’ then you will end up with a ton of unproven talent (that obviously for whatever reason were given up on by their previous team) and no one to help develop them and lose 60 games a year and not have a snowball’s chance in hell to attract any kind of free agent or fill the stands. Amnesty is an option, but only if they get a replacement in the draft or a better alternative is available in free agency.

    • da ThRONe

      February 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Couple of issue with this.

      We don’t know if Demps is trying to trade Mek/Trev/Jarrett from all the reports that I’ve read Dell has referred to them as the teams core. I have yet to year any trade talks involving any of those guys. We are more interested in trading Kaman.

      As far as attracting FA’s. We had the best PG in the game and still couldn’t attract quality FA’s. Don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      I look at OKC Thunders they drafted well and built a great young core. We have to do the same at the expense of a few awful years. Like I mentioned as long as the association has a soft cap it’s the only way for a team without deep pockets.

  26. Mr.C

    February 13, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I would have used that Amnesty clause on Okafor so quick, the Hornets really need to cut ties with Gordon!!! He miss 30-40 games a season check his history!!!

  27. David

    February 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Listening to offers and actively trying to trade the three of them are two different things. Okafor’s name came up in the Paul deal, the Lakers balked at taking back his salary. Ariza’s name came up in the Clippers deal, but L.A. balked at taking back his salary. If rich teams in L.A. don’t want to take on that salary in order to get Chris “Flippin Paul, why on earth would the Sixers trade for one of them exclusively??? As for trading Kaman, he’s a free agent that will walk at the end of the season! Trade him now, or lose him for NOTHING. Thats why he’s being shopped

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