Hornets drop the Bucks for Second Consecutive Victory

Published: February 15, 2012

Unlikely stars Marco Belinelli and Gustavo Ayon lead the way as Hornets get a rare road win 

New Orleans Hornets 92 FinalRecap | Box Score 89 Milwaukee Bucks
Trevor Ariza, SF 46 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | +2

He had his moments, but in the second half he reverted back to the Trevor Ariza who tries to do too much. I can’t really blame him when you look at the players around him, but I don’t have to give him an A either.

Gustavo Ayon, PF 32 MIN | 4-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +9

How were there not more teams after this guy? Demps has made a bunch of moves that have made national headlines, but I will say his under the radar signing Ayon has been the best move so far. Ayon gets every thing he possibly can out of his talents, and he was tremendous tonight.

Chris Kaman, C 37 MIN | 8-23 FG | 2-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +7

Somebody has to get in Kaman’s ear and tell him not to hesitate. Just let it go Chris. Kidding, of course, as Kaman took a game high 23 shots and only managed two assists despite having the ball in his hands for the majority of the game. He makes his mind up to shoot if he doesn’t see a double coming, and good for him. The guy is showcasing himself for a contender, and I hope one comes a callin’.

Marco Belinelli, SG 35 MIN | 7-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 22 PTS | +9

While Ariza tries to do too much, it seems like Belly has done the opposite of late and just made the game more simple. Hover around the arc and wait for a kick out. If you get it, shoot the J. That simple. He did it this game, and he hit 6 of 7. The only one he missed was a bad shot that was more of a heat check.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 26 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 6 PTS | -2

He was benched due to some foul trouble and due to the fact that Sloan actually had the speed to penetrate Milwaukee’s defense. But Vasquez made some nice plays late to help the Hornets pull away. He is a backup in this league, and the future is bright with him and Ayon anchoring the second unit.

Solomon Jones, C 11 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -3

Move over Lin-sanity, the Solomon Jones area is set to begin. Hornets undefeated since this D-League project signed with the team and started sleeping on Jason Calmes couch. The Hornets will be Riding Solo from here on out!

Donald Sloan, PG 22 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 3 PTS | +5

Has some quickness to his game, and offered a nice change up from Vasquez. Needs to stop settling for outside shots.

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -7

The guy just has some terrible luck. He had a great drive to the hole, but the ball rolled around the rim and came out. Someone cleaned it up for two points, so end result was a positive for the Hornets. Later in the game he had a nice baseline J hit nothing but net, but it was waived off due to an illegal screen. He’s getting better, but I don’t expect major improvement until he gets a full training camp.

Xavier Henry, SG 13 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -6

Perhaps his best game as a Hornet so far, Henry is starting to look comfortable with the team. Looks like he can guard 2’s and 3’s equally well, and I think that is where he stands out in this league. Any offense is just gravy.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Brandon Jennings is fun to watch and puts up great stats, but I wouldn’t want him on my team. He is not good enough to be a #1 or #2 guy on a true contender and he doesn’t have the game or personality to take a back seat as a #3 or #4. Fun to watch, but even if he leaves to a bigger market as he has threatened, he won’t win big.
  2. I just like the Vasquez-Goose combo, and I am already trying to figure out what they need around them to build an ideal second unit next year. I say: 1.) A spot up shooter 2.) A big who can stretch defenses 3) a wing with playmaking skills who can allow Vasquez to be off the ball at times.
  3. Charlotte really had a chance to make this a great night, but they stunk it up in the second half against the Timberwolves. No coincidence, Hornets MVP Michael Beasley barely played at all while the game was still in reach. Man, I am starting to hate that Kevin Love guy. Good news- Detroit beat Boston.
  4. How can Houston not pull the trigger for Kaman? They got a good team, and the center position is the only thing holding them back. In their 96-95 victory over OKC tonight, Dalembert went 1-6 and Thabeet didn’t play. With Kaman, Rockets make the playoffs, and Knicks definitely will with Lin, so neither of those picks will be in lottery. Hill, Thabeet, and 1st rounder for Kaman. Done and done.
  5. Hornets announced Okafor, Smith, and Landry will all be out until at least All-Star break. Goose should get 30+ minutes a night, and 10 day contract guys are gonna have their chance to shine.


  1. Jo D

    February 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Interesting fact to my argument of what kind of effect Jack has on this team.

    With Jack- Hornets are 3-20
    Without Jack- Hornets are 3-3

    I must say I feel slightly validated…
    Team record doesn’t lie…

    Right now we are a .500 team minus what this site claims to be our #1 player..

    • okithor

      February 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      In that case we need Jack to comeback ASAP!!!

      • Jo D

        February 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        Lol #1 fever!

    • NO-CHI

      February 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Jack’s our best player, it’s just been that after a 3-20 start, the team has NO expectations and all they have to do now is play hard. How much success they have doesn’t really matter at this point. (Though it’d be great if we somehow made the playoffs. Teams would have no idea what to expect, and we would have the deepest bench in the league.)

      • Jo D

        February 16, 2012 at 1:25 am

        Jack isn’t a terrible player… He isn’t our best tho… Far from it

      • bee dat

        February 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

        if we somehow made the playoffs? did you see the lineups we’re running out there? it’s a miracle we’ve won 5

    • Jason Calmes

      February 16, 2012 at 5:21 am

      Couple of things: the site doesn’t claim anything. Mason’s power rankings look at the body of work throgh the season to that point. Not all power rankings do that. I like his take and agree with his ranking of Jack.

      As far as record not lying, if it’s all about the record, then everyone on the Thunder is better than everyone in the Western conference, position by position. False. And the Hornets are the worst in the conference, position by position. False.

      And, why isn’t the difference Okafor? Or Smith? Or Landry?

      To just focus on that one thing would be like saying you are wrong becuase of his late turnover when we should have been killing clock. That’d be a garbage argument too.

      Greivis has a chance to shine. I hope he does.

      • Jo D

        February 16, 2012 at 10:09 am

        Well in my eyes… A writer for this site ranks and writes the “power rankings”, therefore this site said it, which is a claim…

        And the argument is completely valid because the lineup and players available have been turbulent all year…

        You are speaking of perception… The perception is that we aren’t the worst team… But we have a home town bias…

        But factually, the way the league bases EVERYTHING is by record… From playoff seeding to lottery position…

        You can agree with your fellow writer if you want… Not saying you can’t… But there are many on this site who don’t… And even many who agree with me… And the play of the team among other things favor our argument…

        results show we are a better team without jack this year… Which makes sense to me… Because I see jack as a selfish pg trying to get his while essentially putting his teammates in bad situations…

        don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we are infinitely better without jack… But we are better, if even only slightly

      • Jason Calmes

        February 16, 2012 at 11:18 am

        Here’s my point:

        We have many writers, and add more, for one reason: to bring out more content. That content isn’t managed. I butt heads with these guys regularly. So it goes. If we had a “site opinion,” I’d leave.

        If you can’t find two of us disagreeing on a point where there are arguments to be made either way, at least at some point, then we don’t have the right mix of guys. Period.

        Also, when you can I spar about Jack or whatever, I’m trying to get you to convince me. Maybe I can’t be convinced, but it’s not because I’m not listening / reading / watching for what you (anyone you) are saying. That’s the stuff that keeps us going and getting better. There is no `right’ with these things, and I love it.

      • bee dat

        February 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

        True about okafor, landry, smith BUT…..

        I would not put jack at the top of power ranking for the following reason—-

        he has made clutch shots, but he’s the classic put up numbers on a bad team guy.

        when we think about building for future, I see ariza and okafor as great glue guys who are not out of place in the starting lineup. they may not have gaudy numbers but have the intangibles to start in the nba. jack kaman landry are borderline starters to very good bench players. ayon and smith have yet to prove which category but their (room for) growth makes them intriguing.

        I’d rank jack about 5-6 as in terms of value to the team.

        Have to love his spirit though. I happen to like his cheerleading, and listening to him be encouraging even when giving an interview.

      • Jo D

        February 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        My opinions of Ariza are well documented through my comments… I may be his biggest anti-fan… But mek and trev are far more valuable to the team than jack.. Atleast on the court… I would even stick my neck out and put guys like Smith, Landry, or even Vazquez and Ayon ahead of Jack…
        Jack isn’t helping this team win, develop, or build… His shooting guard mindset overtakes his point guard position…

        Now on a side note… If our buddy Mason were to put Jack #1 with his reasoning being along the lines of…
        “Jack playing has a negative effect on our record, which has a positive effect on our lottery chances, which gives us a chance at a potentially brighter future.”
        Then I would be content.. But don’t try to justify it with his play helping the team this year… I don’t buy it… I grew up playing the game… I coached the game… I watch the game… I know the game…
        I SEE the game… And jack not playing is essentially addition by subtraction… Whether it be winning or development… He hinders both…

    • Lucas Ottoni

      February 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

      The Hornets are a team much better when Jarrett Jack doesn’t play. Anyone can see this.

      • Jo D

        February 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        Because they play as a TEAM without him…
        Jack may even be a team guy at heart… But his play simply doesn’t reflect that…

      • sundance

        February 17, 2012 at 12:27 am

        Jarrett is like the Hornets version of Carmelo Anthony. How do you fit this guy in with the rest of the team? Probably best if you take away his point guard duties, but only when Gordon is back to playing with the team is that ever going to happen.

  2. J

    February 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    This team is playing good basketball so far.I’m tired of the Lin hype the reason it’s a big deal 1.He plays in a large market,2.ESPN made him famous overnight and 3.he’s just an average PG.

    • nikkoewan

      February 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      i agree with 1,2. 3? Not on the fence on anything.. Won’t say he’s average, won’t say he’s spectacular. Can’t say anything definitive until he plays more games, and gets scouted more.

  3. nikkoewan

    February 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    @Jo D: don’t want to burst your bubble but

    According to basketball-reference, our Expected W-L is 8-20. That’s a record of 0.4.

    in 7 games without Jack, Hornets are 3-4. Our point differential in those games is -2.72. Those team’s had an aggregate record of 0.45.

    in 22 games with Jack, Hornets are 3-19. Our point differential in those games is -6.36. Those team’s had an aggregate record of 0.58.

    Read it for whatever you think. Me? I put the recent 2 game win on nothing but regression. Happy for it, because it’ll make our guys happy. But in the long run, this team is no where near .500 without Jack. The next few weeks will be a cake walk for the Hornets – only significant opponents are CHI, OKC and IND.However, I’d still expect our record at the end of this month to be 7-28. Our record without Jack? 4-9 ~ 0.300 W%

    • Jo D

      February 16, 2012 at 1:07 am

      All guesses…
      The fact is RIGHT NOW
      We are 3-3 without jack…
      3-20 with him
      Theres no arguing that fact…
      No guesses or what ifs or projections..

      • nikkoewan

        February 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

        We are 3-4 without Jack, 3 -19 without him.

        Looking at records for records sake is an inaccurate thing to do. Winning 1 point against a good team and winning 1 point against a bad team are two different things. Although both are wins, both will mean different things in the long run. Both will indicate the ability to be like the other team. One is bad, one is good.

        Record of teams without Jack indicates lesser competition. Record of teams with Jack indicates higher competition. So naturally, you’d expect us to lose less, or conversely win more.

    • Jason Calmes

      February 16, 2012 at 5:27 am

      Let’s not forget Gordon’s 2 games likely should be removed. Did GV start the Suns game? There’s alot to consider.

      Nope. Marco was in a point. GV played 27 off the bench. If that counts, then so should the losses when he came off the bench.

      • Jo D

        February 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

        This argument isn’t about vazquez… It’s about jack…

        And why dismiss the gordon games.. Injuries happen all over the league… then we should dismiss every game in which any player missed a game… That wouldn’t leave any sort of variation to look at

      • Lucas Ottoni

        February 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

        The Hornets are a team much better when Jarrett Jack doesn’t play. Anyone can see this.

  4. Solesfan

    February 16, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I think there where a bunch of NBA teams looking at Gustavo Ayon,he attended several camps last summer(Suns,San Antonio)the ones I can remember now,but Gustavo choose The Hornets.

  5. nolahog

    February 16, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Let’s Go Hornets! STOP THE LINSANITY!!!!

    • bee dat

      February 16, 2012 at 10:05 am

      WOW, did anyone else hear belli’s postgame comments? He called Lin the yellow mamba! Harsh!!!!!!!!!!!

      • sundance

        February 17, 2012 at 12:52 am

        Are people really sensitive to this? Maybe he was throwing his glove down, but I doubt he was being racist about it. I mean Kobe calls himself the Black Mamba, and I know Marco idolizes him, so who knows it could be a form of respect. I really don’t know about his comments, I’m AA and I certainly don’t consider ‘Yellow Mamba’ to be a slur.

  6. xman3000

    February 16, 2012 at 2:25 am

    It’s not just Jack but the Okafor, Jack, Belinelli, Ariza combo… Is that the team that will win for us even with EG and the first pick in the draft… or is EG better with what we have now… Are Belinelli and Ariza together good for us.. together… You answer that…

  7. jose walter gonzalez

    February 16, 2012 at 2:39 am

    New line-up/substitution mix seems to have found a groove and we should all be curious to see what happens over the next few games with Kaman taking over more of a leadership role, I imagine and with our Latino crew maintaining the energy and hustle and Trevor and Marco always staying aggressive and positive despite all the negative media…I’ll say this for Ariza and Belinelli, they’re always trying to make something positive happen, they’re not mopers or quitters, instead they are always team players….and thats why Monty likes them…

  8. J

    February 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Seattle will get a new arena should we start pushing panic button or not?

    • Noah

      February 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

      The Hornets are not going to Seatle, the Kings are

    • Jason Calmes

      February 16, 2012 at 11:13 am


      and no.

      • Jason Calmes

        February 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

        Thanks, J.

        Before I go too deeply into this, I’m going to write my Seattle people and the author to see what they have to say.


        This is all contingent, and the press conference will be this afternoon if the timeline holds up.

        They won’t be able to get a building ready for a team until the start of the 2013-2014 season at the earliest, but I think 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 would be more likely. After that, they will be sitting, waiting, just like we were.

        The Coyotes are a natural fit for them, and an easier target than any NBA team, frankly . . .

        Given the timegframe, the Hawks are a better fit for them given the timeframes involved, provided they are willing to wait a few years.

      • Jason Calmes

        February 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        This article has been updated with a good deal more hockey talk.

        We’ll keep an eye on this.

        The author didn’t tell me anything that isn’t in the article, but he didn’t mention hockey. They may have NBA on their minds long-term, but tenants in the near-term will help them wait out an NBA owner.

  9. James Online

    February 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I’m headed to NYC for the game tomorrow. Should be fun to watch my two favorite ex Warriors, Marco and Jeremy Lin, “square off.” I may put my Warriors Jeremy Lin tee shirt on eBay.

    Then it’s Bjork’s Biophilia in Queens on Saturday.

    How odd that the conversation above focuses mainly on Jarret Jack on the night Marco lights it up and leads the time to victory. And no mention by Michael that Beli’s clutch free throws down the stretch made it a two possession game, pretty much putting the game out of reach.

    Except that with Jack out of there (thank you!) the ball moves better and last night created open three opportunities for Marco for one of the few times this year. Fun to watch.

    • Jason Calmes

      February 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

      I gave him specific praise in the comments, just so you know.

      • James Online

        February 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

        Rarely read your comments.

      • Jason Calmes

        February 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        I know.

    • bee dat

      February 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

      WOW, did anyone else hear belli’s postgame comments? He called Lin the yellow mamba! Harsh!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Rocco

    February 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The biggest item to take from the victory against the Bucks? Gustavo Ayon is a baller!. Strong, athletic … his game will continue to grow …good find Dell!….Gustavo, you don’t speak a lick of inglese. but we love ya!!!

  11. nolahog

    February 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    After the Hornets win tomorrow night over the Knicks, we’ll officially have to begin discussing why we should just hold on to Kaman and not trade him. I’ll save my argument for Friday night.

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