« Game On: Hornets @ Warriors
Shorthanded Hornets Cruise to Easy Road Victory Over Lifeless Warriors
The Hornets back court simply dominates in the decisive victory over the Warriors.
The Hornets had a solid starting five inactive for tonight’s game against the Warriors, as Gordon, Ariza, Ayon, Okafor, and Kaman were all out due to injury (or pregnancy), but Monty still got the guys to come out, play hard, and quite frankly dominate this game. Just as they did in the last meeting between these two teams, the Hornets won the battle of the boards and out scored the Warriors in the paint. The difference this time was that they also won the turnover battle, and they hit their shots from three.
Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli dominated Golden State’s back court, as they combined for 42 points and 15 assists, shooting over 60% from the field, and draining 7 of their 10 three-point attempts. Compare that to just 13 points from the Warriors back court on 30% shooting, and five turnovers from Klay Thompson, who was the star the last time these two teams met. Overall the team had great ball movement, as Vasquez came in off the bench and gave the team solid minutes, dishing out 6 assists while not committing a single turnover.
Whether it was because they were on the second night of a back-to-back or the tank effort was fully on, the Warriors just looked lethargic most of the night. They made a couple of small runs in the second half, but never really threatened a Hornets team that was featuring a terrifying front line of Landry, Smith, Lance Thomas, and Chris Johnson. The loss keeps the Warriors within striking distance of the 7th pick; the highest pick that they will get to keep- but in NO WAY am I implying that is why they lost this game. I would never accuse any team of tanking in the NBA. Never.
Other Notes and Observations:
– A season high 35 minutes tonight for Aminu, and he showed more good than bad. I would have liked to see him take the ball to the hole more against a team that has no shot blocking presence, but that is the only real critique I have. Good energy and decision making from him tonight and that gives me hope that he can lock down the backup small forward position next year, giving the Hornets a solid 15-20 minutes off the bench.
– I saw some people wondering whether Jason Smith will be seen as a villian around the league after the Blake foul. Complete opposite is true; that guy is a hero in the big man community and he has a free pass to the basket whenever he wants now. I’m surprised the Warriors didn’t start a slow clap that ended in a standing ovation when he was announced for tonight’s game. 6-7 from the field, only 1 foul in 26 minutes- it’s gonna be smooth sailing the rest of the season for J-Smitty.
– It’s a shame that there just won’t be any place for Carl Landry on the roster next season because it is fun to watch him play when he is going 100%. Power forward is just so deep this year in the draft, plus Goose and J-Smitty are here. I don’t know; maybe if the Hornets take MKG with their pick and a Center or PG with the Minny pick, he can stay, but I just don’t see that as very likely.
– Kevin Love, I hate you but I respect you. Please, just take the rest of the year off to grow your beard because I am sick of watching you single handedly taking balls from us. Please Kevin Love, don’t take any more of our balls. Please.
– Hornets at Portland next. Another team who made losing a priority at the trade deadline. Tank vs. tank yet again, which team emerges victorious (by losing that is)
I have watched many losses as well as very good wins this year and I have to disagree with you on one important thing Mike. I do not think this team has ever made losing or tanking a priority. That is the difference between our Hornets and the "lifeless" Warriors. Warriors are thinking of shutting Curry down, We are thinking of bringing Gordon back. Our team fights with full spirit and will try to win each and every remaining game no matter we end up with the 1st, 3rd or the 5th pick. Because, you cannot rely on ping-pong balls. Coach should win players that he will use in the future and that's what he has been doing for months now. Vasquez, Ayon, Henry, Aminu are maturing and that's what we needed this year to have a strong bench next season. Look at the potential in this team! By bringing Gordon back, bringing a nice PF from draft whether Davis, Robinson, Drummond, or someone else and by making clever free-agent signings, we are going to be in playoff contention next season. If our draft pick turns out to be an All-Star, then we will be fighting for the top of SouthWest Division which means being top 3 in conference standings. I do not see that in Warriors future but I can see it in our future! Arena? Check! Draft Picks? Check! Owner?? Still waiting. If I remember correctly, I listened to Hugh Weber saying end of March on the radio and on your podcast. It is the end of March! We want a new owner and stability now. We want Dell Demps to be able to make moves without the intervention of other owners please!!!
I love Carl Landry. That dude is a hard worker and he knows his role. I'd rather see him on the team going forward than Jarrett Jack.
The good part about us still winning games is it becomes harder for a new owner to ditch Monty as coach. Seriously, this is one of the saddest lineups ever and we won by 15 on the road. I don't care if the Warriors were (allegedly) tanking, that's still impressive with this lineup. Also I think Jason Smith made a lot of people happy with that foul on Griffin. Either you or Joe talked about how the Clips whining made you sick, and I think a lot of the league feels like that. They also probably don't like Griffin going for highlight dunks to embarrass them any chance he gets (let's face it, that's what he's doing) so they probably loved seeing him get nailed to wipe that Kia-eating grin off his face
Good point. The Hornets have been competitive all year, and they've done it despite the fact that they've been absolutely snakebitten by injuries. I don't think there's any way the new owner can give Monty the pink slip. Also, I agree about J-Smitty. He's a legend now. I imagine that opposing players come up to him now and say "Hey, you're the guy who took out that a-hole punk Blake Griffin! You're a hero!"
Hate to start bursting bubbles here, but I see these guys going on a little roll to finish out the season. I'll be surprised if we finish last in the West. That was a sweet win last night. The Warriors shouldn't have talked s#@t at the end of the game last week. . . they could have saved themselves this ass whipping. I knew it was over when Marco hit the step back three in Nate Robinson's (primary trash talker at the end of last week's game) face and said to him "Lil' midget, you just got visited by the pwny express!" Or, at least, that's what he said in my mind.