Hornets push Bulls to Brink

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Published: February 28, 2012

Damn.  I thought they had it.

New Orleans Hornets 95 FinalRecap | Box Score 99 Chicago Bulls

Five Things We Saw

  1. I’m proud of the way the guys played tonight. Coming back from 11 down to take a 4 point lead with a minute left? These guys just never quit. They give everything they have for Monty and for each other and I love it. I pretty much always get the other teams announcers. Every game, the fourth quarter arrives and they really can’t say anything but good stuff about the Hornets and Monty Williams. I concur.
  2. Okafor and Jason Smith didn’t play. I suspect we’ll hear about them having bone bruises any day now.
  3. The Hornets had dueled the Bulls to a draw on the offensive glass until the last two minutes of the game. They won the free-throw battle.  If you’ve read my keys to the game, you know why that was important.
  4. Ayon, despite his struggles tonight, may be one of the best big men I’ve seen at defending guard headed to the hoop without fouling. Rookie big men never post the sorts of foul rates he does.  Had to have an Ayon observation. Got more down below in his player grade section too.
  5. The Hornets bench outscored the Bulls bench 39-18. Maybe we should ask the league to set up a shadow league for benches to play against each other. We could name it “sloppy seconds!” Anyone want to have their team be known as the Kings of Sloppy Seconds? What?
Trevor Ariza, SF 34 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | -10Ariza had a nice game on both ends of the floor, and his offense was there tonight. Yeah, he was a little late on that last shot by Rose, but that was due to the clever little push-off Rose used to get him off-balance.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -5Ayon had a lot of trouble contending with the Bulls big front line for most of the game. The Bulls have a bunch of athletic, hard-working bigs. I love that on two of the biggest shots of the game, he drilled the baseline jumper and Monty went right back to him in the high post on the next set. He missed the shot, but I love the confidence. McNamara probably had an orgasm of delight when they ran that fake screen-spin to the hoop for Ayon. He loves that play. Too bad it didn’t work out this time.
Chris Kaman, C 39 MIN | 7-18 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 5 AST | 17 PTS | -5Kaman must have been infected by Ayon. Over the last three weeks or so, he’s been passing willingly when put in the high post. It’s fun to watch. He’s still a gunner when he isn’t in the high post, but it’s nice to see. Tonight, he had a nice game.
Marco Belinelli, SG 24 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -15Marco struggled mightily against Ronnie Brewer’s physical defense. However, when Monty sent him out there in the fourth with Korver guarding him, he made the overly tanned pretty-boy Bull look absolutely awful. Worked him over good. For that bit of fun alone, I gave him the B.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -16Vasquez was solid, but he was getting worked by Rose. I don’t blame him, who doesn’t get worked by Rose?
Jarrett Jack, PG 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | +10Jack played pretty well, keying a strong bench mob and not pressing his scoring too much. At least, until that last shot. He got the step on Rose, but the reigning MVP recovered and managed to get back in front of him. I don’t think Jack was expecting that.
Solomon Jones, C 20 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -1Solo had his best game as a Hornet, working hard in twenty minutes of play and hitting his easy looks around the basket. As in every other game he’s played too, he absolutely flattened a couple Bulls. He really likes to set those blind picks in transition.
Xavier Henry, SG 18 MIN | 3-10 FG | 6-7 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +9Henry has an attacking mindset like I’ve never seen. It leads him into lame offensive fouls and blocked shots because he NEVER shoots until he’s being humped by the other team, but it also generates a lot of nice free throws too. He had a strong game tonight, and with each passing week I am more and more confident he has a future with this team.
29 comments
m_W
m_W

I assume you are pulling from ESPN pictures for the pic next to the player grades? But still, if you guys don't get an Ayon picture soon...I'm coming over there.

Derrick Lee
Derrick Lee

Why Point Fingers At Jack For Missing A Shoot If Any Thing He Did A Good Thing. Everyone Say They Through We Were Going To Lose And That We Have A Bright Furture So Why Not Lose And Make Furture More Brighter. As You Can See The Bobcats And Washington Are Not Winnin Any Time Soon So Why Not Let Players Like Henry, Ayon, Greivis Develop Maybe Want Them To Lose Games Maybe Bring In Davis In The Draft And Thats Not A Big Maybe I Guess?

Nithenz
Nithenz

no Aminu and no Lance Thomas, lol. Do they charge you by players graded? =P

alevyworld
alevyworld

I think Aminu will be fine after a offseason with Monty, based on the strides that Q-Pon was able to make with less talent. Jarret Jack, Landry, Kaman, Okafor, and Ariza can get us two draft picks and a solid player or two..In Dell We Trust. It's crazy the amount of players we have sitting on the bench with minor inuries for weeks. I would like to think multiple trades are brewing or maybe it's all a part of the tank movement.

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

Personally I think Aminu's progression has been fun to watch. While he's not having break out games he looks so much more comfortable on the court and with the ball in his hands.

Leonel
Leonel

Still no photo for Ayon? Are you guys waiting for a monster game from him? A grade of A+++? LOL

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

The pictures are pulled from ESPN's image server. It's been a problem for a while. I will investigate when I get a chance.

George
George

Beasley and Williams tore up the Clippers tonight. Damn Timberwolves why don't you lose?

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

We must include the Wolves' pick at some trade.

Hornetsky
Hornetsky

Aminu got scratch on the grade list huh. He had some nice passes and work on the glass. Problem is he really can create his own shot. On the otherhand I like Henry's game. The more he get those minutes the more he'll get better offensively. He's got a great form on his jumpshots.

D$
D$

i agree aminu doesnt look like he did much but he was flying around for rebounds on offense and defense, he does round well and hes extremely active, and he is usually one of the best athletes on the floor against other benches..hes still raw but i actually think he will pan out!

QueenBee
QueenBee

I'll bet the Bulls thought this would be a cake walk. I didn't expect a win but I'm glad the Hornets put in the effort and made the Bulls work hard for this win. Haha.

Hornetsky
Hornetsky

That Chicago Bulls team is on a different level but the bees got them working for the win especially DRose. Man just wish we could have him on our team....

Tim
Tim

Gee I've never seen that before. Jack with the ball in hand, driving with no intent on looking for an open player. Then botching a challenged layup...as always. What DID he expect? It was known to all watching he wasn't looking to pass, and was going to the hole in yet another, selfish, and crappy attempt to prove himself. I'm not complaining, as I've said previously here, I want that high pick, and therefore love the ball in Jack's hands with the game on the line! Thumbs down it all you want. And also, make sure you pimp him in your player power rankings yet again as being the most consistent. That he is...that he is. :-)

Everett
Everett

I'm a huge fan of Vasquez over Jack, but Jack was +10 tonight, while Greivis was -16, so it probably was right to have Jack in the game at the end. That being said, why doesn't Sloan play more? Jack is a scorer, not a point guard, if we're going to play him, why not make Sloan the PG with the 2nd unit and move Jack to the 2? Sloan d-league stats: http://www.nba.com/dleague/playerfile/donald_sloan/game_by_game_stats.html

Everett
Everett

I think Squeaky is a bit of a different case. I liked his approach, but he looked out of his depth to me. Sloan was actually a pretty prolific scorer in the d-league and got a decent # of assists. If Monty's going to give big minutes to a shoot-first point guard during a rebuilding season, give them to a younger guy and at least let us find out what he can do. We know what Jarrett Jack is, let's find out what Sloan is. But maybe their willingness to continue playing Jack is all a part of the tank job.

Tim
Tim

The same argument could be made regarding Squeaky Johnson. Rip him all you want. He shot less, had a higher percentage, and ALWAYS penetrated with the intent on kicking the ball out to his teammates. Something a true point guard does. Jarret Jack isn't a point guard, and not a scorer either. If you made a drinking game for every time he brought the ball up the floor, and took that jumper at the top right corner of the key and missed, you'd be wasted by halftime. Or on a rare fast-break, with two opposing players in front of him, a trailer, and two teammates filling the lanes...only to go to the basket contested and at best, gets fouled. This guys a joke, and I'm tired of the moderators on here, and the announcers on CST avoiding that fact. It's one thing to have a bad team looking to rebuild. But I honestly feel like I'm in the twilight zone listening to the delusional feedback and commentary about this team. Touting Jack as a great player. Ayon is the next MJ. Ignoring Kaman as our best player. And acting as if we are not tanking on purpose. I'm praying that come draft day, we regain our common sense and stop pretending.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Jack cost them the game with his pass to Kaman who was looking the other way setting a screen for Belinelli, followed by said classic head-down Bull rush. When he is playing PG the ball rarely crosses the 3-point line, so drive-and-kick is impossible. Lots of perimeter passing and long jump shots.

Bower's Woodshed
Bower's Woodshed

B+ for J. Jack? For someone who is perfect from the stripe, he should have drawn fouls. That last lay-up towards Rose looked so silly, it made Monty sit down and put his face in palms.

Tyler
Tyler

I'll trade for Monta Ellis anyday.

NOLA Rising
NOLA Rising

Unfortunately I was unable to watch this game( midterms suck!), but I was following it on ESPN and TigerDroppings and I was happy to see we kept it close even though our shooting percentage wasnt high at all. Glad to see we shot a lot of free throws and made a high percentage of those as well. Also, I remeber awhile back someone said ya'll should add a Monty Williams grade to the game reviews, I really like that idea and think it should be added. Geaux Hornets!

Hkc
Hkc

I don't think I've ever seen a player so dependent on one hand. Henry cannot use his right hand. It's pretty ridiculous. So many of his blocked shots would have been avoided if he could use his right, not to shoot necessarily, but to finish with.

Everett
Everett

Needs to work on that, but not neccessarily a fatal flaw. Ginobli is heavily dependent on his left hand and has had a pretty successful career.

champsworld404
champsworld404

being "humped" by the other team? huh?.....other than that, good game by the people who need the pt the most. has anyone heard the Kaman for Monta Ellis trade rumor?

Chuck
Chuck

It's not really a "rumor" it was just a "here's a trade that makes sense for both teams" thing on ESPN That said, I wouldn't really mind it, but only if Gordon walks or is traded. Ellis and Gordon together would be a disaster

Nik
Nik

i realize this might just be rouse but i would be soooo happy with that trade

Nik
Nik

what kaman-monta ellis trade rumor? i doubt they would trade him (an expiring) for a solid (offensively), young sg.. mostly its been the kaman to the rockets

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Great game of the Hornets. Games like this indicate that we are on track. Despite the defeat.