We played without a legitimate NBA center and point guard. We started two small forwards, two shooting guards, and one power forward. Kaman and Okafor are centers: legit post defenders and average post offenders. Smith, Thomas, and Ayon are worse in both those areas, and can't be considered as centers in my opinion. Chris Johnson hasn't been put in that position against starters, but I suspect he is not either. Ayon has proven himself as a power forward. He is much more efficient than Landry or Smith and better defender up and down the floor. His lack of hops and his personality make him less exciting than either of those guys for the average fan. I see him as a shorter Tim Duncan, and hope he stays here for a long time.
« Game On: Hornets @ Clippers
Griffin/Paul Duo Too Much for the Hornets to Overcome
Turnovers kill the Hornets as Clippers roll in the second half.
From the beginning, it was easy to tell that the Clippers were into this game and it was going to be a long night for the short handed Hornets. LA came out with an 18-2 run to start the game and took advantage of mistake after mistake for the Hornets. The Hornets finished the game with more turnovers than assists (27-23) for only the second time this season, and were simply out-played and out-hustled by a team that simply wanted it more.
In the last meeting against LA, the Hornets had a tough time holding onto the ball as well, but they made up for the turnovers with deadly shooting in all three phases (FG, FT, 3Pt). In this game , however, the three was not falling and when they did get to the line, they didn’t take advantage (21-31). But even if they had more success from the field and at the line, it would have been hard to beat the Clippers on this night. Paul and Griffin were determined to come out of this game with a victory after what happened Thursday night, and the Hornets simply don’t have the talent to overcome those two when they are on the games.
Notes and Observations:
– Thanks a lot Rodney Stuckey! With his buzzer beater tonight over the Wizards, he simultaneously hurt our lotto chances and helped Portland in their quest to get a top 5 pick and make the Gerald Wallace trade one of the worst in NBA history. I don’t forgive easily Mr. Stuckey.
– In the two meetings against the Clippers, the Hornets are averaging just 60.5 FGA per game, which is almost 20 shots per game less than their season average. Yes, their FT attempts are up by 10, but that is the equivalent of 5 FGA, so it is still a huge difference that is a combination of the pace of the game between these two teams and the Hornets willingness to just give the ball away. The Hornets have shown that they can get just about any shot they want against the Clippers, but they have to keep the ball in order to get those shots.
– The Blake Griffin foul on Trevor was excessive and more dangerous than the Smitty foul, but it wasn’t retaliation. If the Blake/Smitty incident never would have occurred, and this same situation would have unfolded, Blake would have done the exact same thing. It will get more play because of what happened on Thursday, but it was simply a good, hard, clean foul.
– I know that Aminu scored the majority of his points in garbage time, but I don’t care. I am looking for any reason to believe that he can develop into somebody worthy of a lottery pick and his jumper tonight gave me at least a glimmer of hope. But why can’t he put both facets of his game together? It seems like when he is scoring, he is not rebounding and (more often) when he grabs a large number of rebounds, he is not scoring.
– Belinelli disappointed me with his 1 turnover. If not for that mistake, he would have had such a clean box score. Goose eggs in rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, and fouls. But that 1 turnover!!
– Going into the season, the plan was to root for the Hornets all year until the playoffs hit and then root for the Clippers and CP3 once the Hornets were eliminated, but the Clippers are just so hard to root for. The team is full of cry babies, whiners, and generally unlikeable people. I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.
i agree...very hard to cheer for the clippers...they also play like and act like they are entitled to something...which they are no way close to!! i think xavier should start over beli...i'm not a big beli hater but he seems to play better when coming off the bench...must be some stats to prove this of course but maybe i'm wrong and hes bad either way haha..looking forward to seeing gordon soon
That foul on Ariza was not only excessive but very dangerous. There was no play on the ball & from his comments & those of his teammates its was definitely retaliation for Smith. He should have been ejected & suspended. If Trevor had done CP3 like Blake did him or Kaman did caron butler like jordan did Ariza they would be yelling bounty just like they did Smith. That's how we always get treated.
The game was pretty bad for us but I knew that the Clippers would play well at home plus we were down Kaman, Smith in addition to the injuries. But if you choose to make lemonade with your lemons then the Hornets play hard. I tried to be positive about Belinelli but he is dreadful!!!! Coach likes his work ethic but his talent doesn't match. This guy definitely should not be eating up minutes on the floor and definitely not playing basketball for hire. Okay, our hope has to be the draft!!!! I'm simply keeping my fingers and toes crossed in hopes that we can get a high lottery pick and that when we do, we pick the gems of the draft. As Hornet fans we have a very big wish list attached to a lot of probability (smile). Onto the Clippers game, I was glad we won and I'm slightly glad that the Clippers are somewhat dysfunctional and the stepchild of LA. Yes, I like CP3 and wish him well, just not before the Hornets. Don't worry, I share the same feelings about the Pacers and David West. I'm 90% certain that neither of those teams will see the championships this year and in my mind that makes us equal.
Gustavo Ayon has disappointed me. I expected more from him after he became a starter. Griffin overcame with ease. The absence of Jason Smith was terrible last night.
"The team is full of cry babies, whiners, and generally unlikeable people. I can’t do it. I just can’t do it." Could not agree more. Being coached by VDN can't help. Also I disagree that Blake's foul had nothing to do with retaliation. I don't think he was trying to hurt Trevor, but I do think it was in his mind to show people you can't push him around. I think it was called correctly: a flagrant one, a tech for the way Ariza reacted (I think that was called) and nothing else. Wouldn't call it "clean" though. I've been wondering this: if not for the Hornets, would Belinelli get regular playing time anywhere? Everytime I see him play I just keep thinking he's god awful. He's a shooter who shoots well 1 out of 5 games, often takes ill advised shots, and doesn't contribute anything else.
Totally agree, I was happy for the Hornets to be in tank mode this entire season, then when playoffs rolled around, I'd put on my CP3 jersey and wish him the best of luck, but F that! I couldn't have been more pleased when we beat those guys last week and CP rushed off the floor, minus his Clippers jersey.