The Hornets take down the Wolves

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Published: March 11, 2012

In an ugly game, the Hornets get enough to take down the Wolves, hopefully starting a long, torturous skid for the holders of the Hornets other first round pick.

Even with the ugly finish, with bad offense and turnovers when things got tight, I felt the Hornets played strong, intelligent basketball.  They took advantage of the Rubio-less Wolves propensity for turnovers, and then capitalized.  Then the Hornets shot nice percentages from everywhere on the floor and stuck the free throws they earned.

Also, unlike last night in Denver, they played their pace, and their game.  Grind-it-out, low possession basketball, running their plays and making the extra pass.  It resulted in 28 assists on 39 field goals.  Good stuff, that.

  • I can’t say anyone on the team had a bad game.  Henry missed some open shots, but his aggression, defense and rebounding made up for it.  Bellinelli missed some shots, but he stuck the free throws to ice the game.  Kaman chucked all game long, but I give him credit for scrapping against Pekovic, who is a pure bulldozer.
  • Monty kept throwing different looks out there.  For a few minutes in the second, he had a pure small-ball line-up of Vasquez-Henry-Belinelli-Aminu-Thomas out there.  And it worked, because Michael Beasley thinks stopping the ball and taking stupid jumpers is the way to play.  Wow he’s bad.
  • Ayon was back in full swing tonight.  He had two gorgeous touch passes to Aminu and Kaman and kept showing hard on pick and rolls, turning the Wolves guards back at the pass with regularity.
  • I’m still convinced that Thomas just doesn’t have the physical size to be a real player in this league, but he’s working very had to prove me wrong.
  • Wes Johnson is so inexplicably bad.
  • I’ve decided to take a step back and think about Aminu in a different way.  I’ve stopped thinking about him as a high lottery pick, and now think of him as an energy guy trying to stick in the league.  Suddenly, with those revised expectations, he’s pretty solid.

The Timberwolves are now 21-21.  If the loss of Rubio makes them slip even a little, they can still easily end up behind Utah, Portland, Phoenix and New York in the standings, giving the Hornets two top 10 picks.  It’s what I was hoping for all year.

21 Comments

  1. Calabrone Viola

    March 11, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Good post, i hope Minnesota now lost some position too. Rubio are good player.
    Now the Hornets have 3 home game, Geaux Hornets, beat L.A.!

  2. DownUnder

    March 11, 2012 at 6:40 am

    I read the recap over at ESPN before this one came out looking for my recap fix and one thing caught my eye and made me laugh. A quote from Monty that pretty much said; “Yea if Minni had Ricky Rubio the game probably would have favoured them…… but I could say the same for us if we had Eric Gordon…… and Emeka Okafor……. Oh and Carl Landry……. I think we were missing another, oh yea Jason Smith.” Now these are obviously not his exact word or tone but the Wolves need to realise that a lot of the league has had significant injuries to key players this year and other teams wont feel sorry for you. They’ve been pretty lucky to this point that its only been JJ Barea thats been injured. Unless you want to count Beasley’s injury a negative for them.

  3. Noah

    March 11, 2012 at 6:56 am

    RUBIO IS OUT FOR SEASON!!

  4. Calabrone Viola

    March 11, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I agree DownUnder, but about Wolves… Obviusly have othe big Players, Love, Beasley or Ridnour… but i think too much people underrate Ricky Rubio and his importance…
    The other team have similar record, is possible Minnesota go to slep some positions..

    • Taquito

      March 11, 2012 at 7:59 am

      wat.

    • Eli

      March 11, 2012 at 9:48 am

      Is this english?

      • sweetpea

        March 11, 2012 at 10:17 am

        Cut the guy some slack; you don’t have to have a PhD in linguistics to figure out that he’s from another country (I’d assume somewhere in Latin America … maybe a fan of Ayon of Vasquez) he’s a Hornets fan and he wants to contribute. There’s a whole other world out there beyond the 17th Street Canal and the Industrial Canal. I think its pretty cool we got Hornets fan from around the world.

      • Jason Calmes

        March 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

        What he said.

      • Ron

        March 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm

        Are you bright enough to look at “Calabrone Viola” and think, “Hmm, maybe ESOL” and cut him (her?) some slack?

      • Jason Calmes

        March 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        I want to be clear that I’m not making fun here, but when you wrote ESOL, I thought “English S#$t outta luck” and laughed out loud (literally).

        I love it. Added to my lexicon.

        We have officially made lemonade, people.

      • Eli

        March 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

        I apologize.

    • Jason Calmes

      March 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

      He’s not a native speaker, I’d guess. Try asking for clarification or asking if he meant X rather than possibly forcing his fear of ridicule over his English past his love for the Hornets.

  5. Lucas Ottoni

    March 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Excellent victory. This was a game we had a strong motive to win (draft, draft, draft!). Mission accomplished.

  6. sundance

    March 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Jarrett’s shown he is much better at the SG spot. Monty keeps changing the lineup, why not use Vasquez / Jack / Ariza / Ayon / Kaman as starters? As a scorer Jack is better than Marco, but in terms of ball handling Marco is Jack’s equal. Plus, it keeps Vasquez and Ayon together. Marco backing up Greivis and Xavier backing up Jack could be interesting..

    • Jacob

      March 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Marco isnt a good ball handler so it would not work, if the hornets brought back donald sloan, then that lineup could possibly work.

      • Jason Calmes

        March 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        Let’s set up some perspective here: Aminu is not a good ball handler.

  7. Rocco

    March 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Speaking of foreign supporters of the Hornets… we in potato land (Idaho) salute you NOLA! Here English is also a scondary tongue, we usually talk Amerikun.:)

  8. Ron

    March 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    JJ didn’t hog the ball and kicked out the few times that he *did* drive to the basket. (Except on that abortive fast break.)

    Woo hoo!

  9. Pluto D

    March 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Aminu:
    8 pts (4-5 FG), 6 reb, 2 ast in 16 minutes. pretty damn solid

  10. 504ever

    March 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Think your comments on Thomas and Animu are dead on.

  11. downnout

    March 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    so, the Hornets without Landry, Smith, Okafor and Gordon beat the Rubio-less TWolves? and they say the future is bright for Minnesota

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