Hornets Struggle in Overtime, Fall to Pacers

Published: February 21, 2012

Cold shooting in overtime dooms Hornets, but first half turnovers just as much to blame for most recent loss 

New Orleans Hornets 108 FinalRecap | Box Score 117 Indiana Pacers

Trevor Ariza, SF 43 MIN | 8-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 21 PTS | -9

Hornets player of the game for a multitude of reasons. Ariza hit big shots, played his typical lockdown defense, and made the extra passes that got the Hornets good shots early. Monty said that he wanted to keep minutes down on this road trip, but he Ariza was playing so well that Monty just couldn’t afford to keep him off the floor tonight.

Gustavo Ayon, PF 27 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -4

Was practically non-existant most of the game, but he showed up big late in the 4th, scoring 6 big points that kept the Hornets close before Trevor tied it up. The Pacers exposed his limitations on defense and on the glass, but his effort was there as always. At worst, Gustavo is a great third big for this team moving forward.

Chris Kaman, C 39 MIN | 8-14 FG | 1-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | -14

Started off 5 for 5, finished 3 for 9 (his last three shots down the stretch and in OT). Kaman was hitting early but was manhandled on the boards. That along with the turnovers in the first half (which Kaman contributed largely to) was what did New Orleans in. It’s fun to watch a 7 footer drill jumpers, but I would prefer a boring 7-footer who grabs rebounds and clogs the paint.

Marco Belinelli, SG 34 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -11

Another solid game that saw Marco do his thing without forcing anything. If he continues to play within himself, he can earn himself a respectable contract next year, either in New Orleans or elsewhere.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 9 PTS | +3

Made a couple of bonehead mistakes in the first half and that was a big part of the reason that Monty played Jack down the stretch. His shooting seems to be improving every game, but he has to cut down on the mistakes to be thought of as a legitimate starting PG in the league.

Jarrett Jack, PG 32 MIN | 8-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 10 AST | 19 PTS | -12

Great numbers, but as several readers have pointed out, he often does it at the expense of the flow of the game. Still, he is a great combo guard to have coming off the bench and could fill that role if the Hornets find a PG that they love to run the team, be it Vasquez or someone else.

Solomon Jones, C 25 MIN | 3-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -4

Prior to Paul George’s windmill, Solomon had the dunk of the night in the third quarter. He is showing that he could be a solid 5th big on an NBA team. Heck, I would have prefered him last year over Dj Mbenga.

Lance Thomas, F 14 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +6

Solid, but unspectacular in this matchup. It would have been nice to see him hit the boards a little harder, but truth be told, if it wasn’t for massive injuries to the front line, this guy would never see the court.

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

So disappointing. You just want so badly to believe in this guy but the truth is that if he was undrafted (as opposed to being a lotto pick), you would dismiss him as a D-League player at best. This offseason will be huge for him.

Xavier Henry, SG 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +1

Has the right attitude but he has a lot of things to work on in the offseason in order to show that he is worthy of consistent rotation minutes on a solid team. Because of his inability to break his opponent down or get by his guy with a quick first step, the offense stalled when the ball was in his hands.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Player A- 38 MPG, 15 PPG, 6 RPG, 4 APG, 1.8 SPG, .8 BPG, 45% FG, 35% 3pt, 90% FT
    Player B- 38 MPG, 15.9 PPG, 7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, .7 BPG, 42%, 39%, 77%Player A is Ariza in February, Player B is Deng’s season stats. I know it is a small sample size (11 games), but Ariza has been playing like a top 10 SF this month and you gotta be excited if the Hornets can have this Ariza next year with Gordon and some other quality pieces.
  2. Xavier Henry simply can not use his right hand effectively enough to get to the basket. Whenever he dribbles with his right hand, he is moving laterally, rather than attacking. If he can work on his handles and stroke in the offseason, the kid has some potential due to his defense and toughness.
  3. Aminu gets you excited one night, then brings you back to earth the next. Unfortunate. The Hornets really could have used him on the glass tonight, as the Pacers just had their way with them at certain points tonight.
  4. Jack coming off the bench could be something Monty sticks with for the rest of the season. Vasquez does a good job getting others involved and has a good chemistry with Ayon- who is currently starting. Plus Jack can do what he does best with the second unit; score in bunches. He has been given the green light and it has been working out well for him. As a starter, he is a below average PG, but he will have the mismatch pretty much every night against the other teams backup PG.
  5. Tomorrow night should be ugly. Two teams with that will be dog tired, having played the night before (the last 2 nights for the Hornets!). Cleveland had an impressive comeback win tonight against Detroit, as Kyrie was simply amazing in the 4th.


  1. Jason Calmes

    February 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm


    Is this some weird Valentine’s present to Ryan, a drunken Mardi Gras toss to him, or are you practicing for your Hornets247 Halloween costume?

  2. Ian H

    February 21, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    It is brutal watching both Jack and Kaman launch contested jumpers when someone with a much better shot or a guy that is hot it wide open. The overtime period in which Kaman didn’t swing it to a red hot Ariza in the corner on 2 consecutive possessions were just horrible. Jack gets his but there are rarely high percentage shots, nor does it come in any kind of offensive rhythm. They are Carmelo like ball stoppers without the skill or physical gifts to even justify it. Vasquez deserved a look at some point after the 3 min mark of the 3rd quarter. Ridiculous!

    • Everett

      February 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Agree about Jack. Box score doesn’t tell the whole story. Beginning to think it’s not coincidence that our winning percentage is higher when he doesn’t play. Didn’t see the OT, but I generally don’t have a problem with Kaman.

  3. D$

    February 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    gotta love ariza! team really missed oak on defense, its crazy how much he matters, ill miss kaman when he is traded but anxious and ready to see what they get for him, tough game prolly win with oak in the lineup, definitely win with gordon!

    oh and hey he even tweeted about the hornets tight! haha

    • D$

      February 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm


  4. Jordan

    February 22, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Very good point about Aminu. If he weren’t a top 10 pick how would we real about him?

    • Jordan

      February 22, 2012 at 12:18 am


      • Jordan

        February 22, 2012 at 12:19 am

        really feel*** Geez

  5. sundance

    February 22, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Marco very rarely forces up a shot. As much as he understands his role as shooter on this team, I think he values moving the ball and spreading the defense more. He is just as apt to make the extra pass as take the shot himself. Marco is a very good barometer for the Hornets. If he’s one of the top scorers, it’s a good indication that the Hornets have won because it means everyone has gotten involved in scoring, not just him.

  6. 504ever

    February 22, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Can you explain how Thomas is only a C+ with a team leading +6?

    • Tim

      February 22, 2012 at 1:40 am

      Because plus/minus rarely means anything.

    • Jason Calmes

      February 22, 2012 at 5:46 am

      Let me elaborate.

      +/-, like any stat, means little in a vacuum. Thomas only played 14 minutes, which is about like Henry and Aminu. All 3 had similar lines, with pts and +/- being the main differences. Since +/-, especially for bench players, being a product of who is one the floor with you potentially 4 times as much as your own production, and that Thomas had fewer mistakes than Aminu (and a higher grade) but less success than Henry (and a lower grade), that the +/- didn’t really reflect his game so much as the other 4 guys at the time, and then it was against the bench, so that performance mean less in terms of his impressiveness.

      Mike would have to really answer the question, but that’s how I would explain such an observation in general.

      Another thing I like to do is project the +/- over 48 minutes and see if that players performance really looks that good or bad. If it’s exceptional, it makes me think about the game again. If I can’t pick out what he was doing well, then I just chalk it up to a teammate thing, with him being on the floor during a run by someone else who happened to be on the floor during the opposing team’s run.

      • 504ever

        February 22, 2012 at 8:15 am

        Ok, but he had a +1 the night before and had good stats in 20 minutes of playing time, and still had a low grade in the game review.

        My point is: at some point it’s not luck, it’s him. And his game is so subtle and sophisticated the little things he does don’t always show in the box score, but would show up in +/-.

        I.e you can’t keep ignoring his +/- score ranking so high, relatively, on the team night after night. Maybe he really is doing things that help the team but don’t get noticed by the typical fan.

      • Jason Calmes

        February 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

        In general, what you are saying makes sense, but there are some issues.

        +/- is a stat that confounds a player’s performance with others more than most, if not all, other box score stats. So if it’s subtle, that’s the exact wrong place to see with a small number of +/- numbers. Given that they are necessarily integers, usually small, you really can’t pick up on systematic differences without such numbers to go off of.

        This is completely ignoring the biggest objection: he’s on the bench. How can he be above average (your claim, yeah?) if he’s putting up numbers that don’t distinuish him in any way but +/- from players that play poorly (claims you do not dispute)?

        Last night, how was he better than Aminu in a way that oupaced Henry’s outpacing of Aminu?

        Saying it’s subtle is fine for casual conversation, but it takes data to move rankings. Subtle, unmeasurable things are, almost by definition, outside the realm of scientific study. Once we leave that, which is fine, we open up the door to answers like “I like his game” and “Dude!” Again, I’m fine with all that, but I’m sure that will lock him in the C or worse club more firmly than now for most people until he starts being less subtlely better.

      • 504ever

        February 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

        Woa, woa, woa. My claim is not that Thomas is above average. My point is that grading him like Hornets247 grades any player, Thomas’s grades seem to be lower than what I see on the floor. So I try to point out objective data that seems to support my point.

        I maintain that both Thomas and Sloan could be cheap pieces who grow this year and are able to help the Hornets next year from the end of the bench. But first things first, the Hornets have to sign both for the rest of the year (which seems likely in Thomas’s case because Landry (Smith and Okafor?) will still be injured and Kaman not yet traded when Thomas’s last 10 day contract expires).

        Look no further than Belinelli’s recent play to find a guy who helps more than hurts, is versatile (bombs from outside, drives, plays D), plays to his strengths, and works hard to overcome his limitations. Jason Smith is another example.

        Thomas could grow into a player like that off of the bench here. If he sticks for the rest of the year, this could be an intersting story line. This is especially true if we trade (Jack and) Kaman/Landry for a non-PF (quality young PG!). This will likely free up floor time for Thomas for the rest of the year.

      • Jason Calmes

        February 22, 2012 at 10:01 am

        “Can you explain how Thomas is only a C+ with a team leading +6?”

        I think wanting him higher than a C+ implies his play on that night was above average. Perhaps, I lept to quickly to `want’.

        As far as Hornets247 grades . . . these don’t exist. You get grades from each writer. There is no system, there is no oracle. You get the evaluation from a smart guy to talk about, which is exactly what we need to start such discussions. Hornets247 has no official opinions about anything. Some of us differ wildly on many things. That’s one reason (I think) people like this site.

        I’m probably bigger of Marco than the four guys who were here last year, and I’m likely the highest on Aminu, for instance, not that I think he’s great. This is just an example. For a public example of other such differences, see Ryan and Michael’s debate on Patrick Ewing Jr. this past year.

        I am a huge proponent of continual churn of the roster with available talent. I hope we sign guys to 2 10-days, then move to the next body unless we just strike gold. Then, collect the bounty this offseason.

        Back to Thomas, I would say that the context in which he’s playing is likely the biggest reason for his low grade, just like most of the bench guys. It’s hard to get an A here without taking the difficult part of the test. To be fair, it’s not his choice which part of the test he takes.

        In other news, if I ever do a recap for a regular season game, it won’t have grades. I dislike this sort of thing.

  7. KC NOLA

    February 22, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Everybody hates Jack lol I know he isn’t the best PG or will ever be CP3 but I mean he his the only consistent PG we have(Coach Williams knows that). At times he has been a one man show but it has been times players hesitates to take shots when he does pass the ball or in sum cases the other players just stand still and watch or dont try to get open..i think its a 50/50 thing and not jus jacks fault. The funniest thing to me is ppl who are saying the team is way better without him but we are really going to judge that over 3 games that we won without him not to mention those wins came over teams who just played back to backs but hey I guess it’s just one of those things lol. But hey I still thinks he is a decent PG not a CP3 but decent role player. I like him but he is not our answer to PG but I feel he is more consistent.

    Vasquez is a energetic player but he is INCONSISENT one game can has 10 assist, 2 TO, and would shoot 50% or better from the field but then the next game it’s 5 TO n 2 assist and 30% from the field. I must say he is getting better and has great energy and is looking to fill his potential but I still don’t think he is the answer to our pg spot or will be a starting PG.

    Oh and Shout out to Ariza ALOT of people don’t like him but dude has been balling on both ends.

    Shout out to Belli on kind of finding his shot lol not there yet but it’s getting better

    As for Aminu to be honest I think I mite be one of the most optimistic Hornets fans and I think we need to let Aminu gain 20-30lbs (235-245). Let him just play the 4 (he is 6’9) cause I’m afraid to say it but his potential is only with in 15-17 feet of the basket and I’m tired of watching him shoot air balls. The added 20-30 lbs will make him a true 4.

    An after watching the game tonite I still would like our chances of being a good team if Gordon was playing but like I’ve mentioned before I wouldnt mind trading Gordon for Granger and George. Then Gordon gets to be happy in Indy and we get Granger(New Orleans native and fan fav) plus a young asset/potential star in Paul George!!

    But after all is said and done Geaux Hornets!!!!! I’m still In!!!!

    • SP

      February 22, 2012 at 6:48 am

      I think Hornets fans are forgetting how good Eric Gordon is, which is understandable since the dude has played two games for us all season.

      It’s frustrating that we haven’t been able to see any of the guy who Dell & Monty are considering a cornerstone for our future, but EJ is only 23 years old and chances are whoever signs his next contract will have him throughout his prime as an athlete.

      • KC NOLA

        February 22, 2012 at 9:42 am

        It’s not about him being a good play because we know he can put up 20pts plus a night but it’s the fact he seams like he doesnt want to be here. Plus we all know his heart is in Indy.

  8. SP

    February 22, 2012 at 6:44 am

    We needed to lose this game… We’re a lottery team and we all know it, there’s no sense in being a .500 team for the rest of the season and settling for a potential Aminu-esque mid-lotto pick…

    I thought Hibbert and Ariza were both spectacular tonight, Trev has actually become a pretty consistent player for us at both ends of the floor, plus Collison was extremely mediocre, which he’s been throughout his career with the Pacers. It’s making me think we could have done much worse than land Ariza in that trade.

    Keep stinking it up guys, let’s get those ping pong balls!

  9. Brandon

    February 22, 2012 at 7:37 am

    TRADE IDEA Hornets/Lakers/Magic

    Hear me out

    Hornets get: Pau Gasol/Steve Blake/Devin Ebanks

    Lakers get: Dwight Howard/Trevor Ariza/Chris Kaman/Jameer Nelson

    Magic get: Jarret Jack/ Andrew Bynum/ Lakers 1st round pick

    • Brandon

      February 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Look at it. The magix and the lakers would get better and we get an all star in pau. Then we have the two first rounders. Our need would be small forward. And we could get a 6th man big with the second pick… And we get Steve Blake because Eric Gordon needs shooters around him… Or we could sign DJ.

      Dj augustin(maybe)/Vasquez/Blake
      Eric Gordon/Marco/Xavier
      Harrison Barnes/Aminu/Ebanks
      Pau Gasol/(Tyler Zeller or Perry Jones)/Jason Smith

    • Taquito

      February 22, 2012 at 8:46 am

      so we give up our best scorer, our best defender and our best scoring big man for a 31 year old that doesnt even average 20ppg a slow 31 year old pg that can barely shoot and a young guy that cant even crack a rotation that has a bunch of slow white guys. No thanks buddy

      • Brandon

        February 22, 2012 at 10:27 am

        Don’t forget how great gordon is. He wants to dominate the ball and this team puts scorers around him. Pau is 31 but so is scola and everyone was riding him. Pau has tha unique mix of talent and toughness. Harrison Barnes can ball. Tyler zeller or perry jones are great sixth men. Blake and Marco can shoot. DJ and Grevis are smart players. This is a good team

      • David

        February 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

        We had a chance to get pau in the Paul trade but didn’t want him. We need a long athletic 4 playing next to okafor….Anthony Davis PLEASE!!!!

  10. Lucas Ottoni

    February 22, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I don’t understand why Vasquez played just 20 minutes. Jarrett Jack had a good game, but he continues to show his inability to hold the ball and organize the team. The airballs in the last quarter were insane. The Hornets are a better team when Vasquez is on the court, although the venezuelan isn’t a great scorer. Our best time in this season (last week) was without JJ. When he plays for several minutes, he gets good numbers, but the team loses income. With Vasquez, our team is much more balanced. I don’t understand Monty Williams this time.

  11. J

    February 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Look likes Gordon is hinting that he wants to be with the Pacers http://www.indystar.com/article/20120222/SPORTS04/202220333/1062/SPORTS04

  12. champsworld404

    February 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I’ll put it like this: after the season, monty should bring aminu, henry, ayon and solomon jones into his office and say the following “you will be living in vegas for the summer leagues. If I could schedule 50 games, I would do it! you all need all of the PT you can get!” Aminu needs some confidence, defensive effort and dear God, please learn how to dribble………Hey henry, this summer all you will use is your right hand. Ayon, keep getting adjusting to NBA life…….jones, get a post game. I want these youngsters to stay around and blosssom w/ Gordon and others….

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