Hornets lead in 4th again, lose again

Published: March 31, 2012

The woefully undermanned Hornets once again took on a superior foe – fought to the end, took a late lead, and then couldn’t hold on to win it.

New Orleans Hornets 85 FinalRecap | Box Score 88 Los Angeles Lakers

Lance Thomas, F 33 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -8Thomas routinely gave up 80-100 lbs to the Lakers front line, yet didn’t back down and did everything he could to slow the Lakers a little. No, he wasn’t very effective, but I’m not about to ding him for that.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +14Aminu continues to rebound well, defend well and not have an offensive identity. Expected results equates to an average grade.
Jason Smith, PF 37 MIN | 8-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +4Jason Smith isn’t an efficient offensive player, but he is becoming more versatile and tougher. More than any other player on this Hornets team, Smith’s extended minutes this season has helped develop him into a better player.
Jarrett Jack, PG 33 MIN | 7-20 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 18 PTS | -12Jack is one of those guys that you want around to help carry your offense for the first three quarters like Parish or David West. Then, you need a superstar to finish things off. Nice game up until the end.
Marco Belinelli, SG 35 MIN | 3-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -18Marco wasn’t taking shots he hasn’t made at a decent clip throughout the season, he just couldn’t hit them at all. I had no problem with it. However, I give him this grade because he was the primary option on that final play and he couldn’t find a way to get any seperation at all to receive the ball. He had three seperate screens set for him.
Chris Johnson, C 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | 0His line isn’t bad, but Johnson killed the Hornets in the third. Bad fouls, bad rotations defensively, and general confusion on where he should be. I’m not going to thrash him with bad grades yet since he needs at least another week or two to settle in, but right now, he’s not looking that good.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 24 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -2Vasquez played a great game as a backup point. Too bad he couldn’t sink that wide open three at the end.
Xavier Henry, SG 20 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +7Henry was solid. His attacking instincts remain superb. His free throw shooting remains a real problem that is completely inexplicable.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Bynum and Gasol should have destroyed the Hornets front line. In fact, if Kobe hadn’t been putting up airballs through the first half, they probably would have. I mean – faced with Jason Smith, Aminu and Lance Thomas, how is it that Bynum had 3 shots at half time? 3 shots?
  2. Jack’s statline explains why the Laker’s announcers lavished so much love on him. Inefficient guards really get them excited. Kobe was terrible all game long – and if he’d managed to hit ONE of his first eighteen shots, they wouldn’t have needed that last second three from him. Which, by the way, was a bad shot too.
  3. You know, I’m fine now that the Hornets lost. Big picture and all. Still, when watching the game, I always want the Lakers to lose sooo badly.
  4. I missed it. Anyone know why Landry didn’t play?


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