« Game On: New Orleans Hornets vs. Charlotte Bobcats
Davis’ Domestic Debut Downright Delights Denizens
All statistics appearing in the article were generated in a victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. Any resemblance to playing real teams, regular season or preseason, is purely coincidental.
The Hornets dazzled hundreds of eyes tonight at the New Orleans Arena. First, they scored 35 points in a quarter. Then, they scored 11.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I hate Dickens.
The Hornets showed their best and their worst on offense in a half where there was no real defense, allowing the Bobcats to surpass their 28 point first quarter output by an entire point in the second.
At halftime, a cow jumped over the moon or summat, real life hit the Bobcats like an Acme anvil hits Wile. E. Coyote, and they summarily `subpassed’ the Hornets’ offensive woes rolling out a 25 point second half.
Game. Set. Beep-beep.
For those that don’t believe me, here’s the box score.
Of note for those worried about the hundreds I referred to above, the “Attendance” was reported as 9,264. The full season ticket count is necessarily no more than this total.
Anthony Davis: Let’s get to the man of the hour-day-week-month-year-decade for the New Orleans Hornets. In 30m of play, he scored 22 points on 18 shots, grabbed 9 rebounds, added a block and an assist, all while amassing . . . one foul. Don’t let the one block plus zero steals fool you; Davis changed many a shot. He was moving on offense, tried a three, and even drove the length of the floor once, only to dump the ball off but failing to net the assist.
After halftime, Dell was out on the floor mentoring him, and of course he and Monty were engaged all game. Davis even tapped Monty a few times from behind. They are clearly getting on well.
There was a scary moment when Davis was down and sort of writhing. Turns out, it was a glancing blow on the baby-maker. He collected himself with a wide-arcing stroll to the bench. He showed no ill effects subsequently.
Austin Rivers: Austin had pretty much the same game that he had Sunday, but with only two free throw attempts. 13 points on 13 shots in 28m. His other stats are there, but nothing really jumps out. He made some good decisions and some bad decisions. He’s not afraid of contact, that’s for sure. When he finally eats enough Wheaties, he is going to be the cause of some headaches.
Ryan Anderson: We already knew he could hit threes. He was five of six. Other than passing to Davis for an alley-oop, that’s all he did of note, the rest of it all sort of balancing out, which is of note. At $8.5m per season average, you better do something else of note in 23 minutes. I have faith that the Most Improved Player, and frontrunner for Mr. Congeniality, will rapidly get up to speed . . . which is why we deal with preseason, ladies and gentleman.
Al-Farouq Aminu: I said to day in a Gerry V post on Hornets Report that Aminu has the tallest room on the team . . . the largest distance from floor to ceiling . . . which is why he interests me. Aminu was, again, regular old Aminu, but he had some stretches where he showed he could be a bottom 15 starter in the NBA, at least in my book. He’s clumsy, that’s for sure. He’s a country mile from being able to get his own shot, but he’s making decisions more quickly and is clearly working on getting to the basket and finishing, and he’s not bad at it. He’s still working, but the dude is worth some minutes, even ignoring the total inability to replace him at the moment.
Greivis Vasquez: Vasquez looked a good deal better tonight than he did Sunday. This is likely because he was not faced with top 20 guards. Nevertheless, the long point resulting from five field goal attempts fails to bother me. In 28m, he registered 11 assists, one steal, and no fouls compared to two turnovers. Kudos on the bounce back.
Robin Lopez: Well, well, wellwellwell. Forget that this section is for Mr. Lopez. 33m. 8 of 12 for 18 points. 13 rebounds. Two assists, two steals and three blocks compared to one turnover and one foul. Ok, now remember its Robin Lopez. Yeah, I know, right?
Slow clap anyone? It’s ok if it’s a confused clap, just make it slow for the effect.
Darius Miller: I am liking this kid, at least a second round pick for a team with issues at small forward, having like three-quarters of one on the team and all. 12m, 8 points, 4 shots, 0 issues with that. Sure, he was on pace for 16 fouls, we can cut the minimum salary guy a little slack. He’s a thinker, too. I like that. Keep it up, Mr. Miller.
No one else really did anything to impress me, so the absence of your high-hopeful from last game should lead you to check the box score, then perhaps fuss or wait for the dice to land favorably for said player. I’m trying to keep is positive here, at least for one post. Mostly.
Henry did not play, but Warrick managing to pull in a -12 in just 6 minutes in a 15 point victory. Do you know how hard that is to do? These guys are competing for the role of Sir Not Appearing Next Season. Hat Tip to Monty Python.
The team also made 14 of 26 free throws.
Ponder and grumble.
It was mostly positive.
Caught the second half on the radio coming from airport. Team sounds good, but I really miss Gerry V!!! I know one game does not make a season, and that goes for Deshazier, I'll give him a chance. But I used to work in radio. There is a very wrong impression that anyone can do it. Not so easy. Gerry V was and is a radio guy. He fully grasped being a "color analyst." requires a little analysis, and a little color. Let the announcer play straight man, and the ca jazzes it up. I heard no flavor last night. Schlock analysis that you'd hear on a video game. Again, I like Deshazier and will give him a shot, but I loved listening to Hornets on the radio the last few years and I didn't hear so much as a shadow of that quality last night.
A couple things I noticed at the game: Rivers has a sweet floater struggling from range though. Aminu took some bad shots late in the game but played well with starters and took the ball to the basket which I liked. Roberts was unable to escape and handle the pressure/trapping defense. With more time together I think we will see alot more lobs to AD on the backside baseline cut. GV and Aminu missed him on a couple of them in the game last night. For the Bobcats I was impressed with the range and game of Mullens. Knocked down 3 triples in the face of AD.
I was concerned/intrigued that EG wasn't there to be seen at all. I mean, really? A sore knee and you can't sit on the bench in a suit and cheer on your team at least half-heartedly?? Also, X's days must be numbered. If he can't even get garbage minutes in a game like this, I can't imagine his option is going to get picked up.
So I guess Ryan Anderson will come off the bench as the sixth man. It's probably a good move. it allows Davis to play his natural position in the starting five as a power forward. I'm happy for RoLo having that big game. hopefully we can see more of that.
What about Brian Roberts as starting PG? Yes, he doesn't have an upside, but he's better *now* than GV.
As was Mr. Garrity, I was at this game as well...wouldn't miss it. It's late, and I'm not going to beat around the bush. The Unibrow is legit...anyone that questions this is suffering from that newfangled disease known as retardedness. Anderson is a stud. I study the NBA, and there is no other player that has the size to battle down low, and hit threes like he does...he will be a favorite, spread the floor, and open up offense. Rivers will still have to learn, but he's good, and ballsy. I trust him with the ball, even though he'll probably keep it. Vasquez recognizes, and embraces his role. Unlike "Can't get right", who we tahnk God got rid of. And finally...best for last, and pay attention here. Lopez. He's a stud. I knew he was a stud years ago in Phoenix, and yet as seasons went on, he never got the playing time. I was worried about losing Kamen, as we never embraced him during a "Tank" season...it was. I still love my boy, but Lopez is for real. He is passionate, big, has skills, alters shots, can throw it down, block....watch him. Anderson and himself are the strongest, smartest offseason moves this team has ever made. I'm a die hard fan, and excited about this team. I'm going to only focus on the positive for now. And will leave it up to Joe and Co. to elaborate and editorialize Eric Gordons lack of heart...and the fact that he's a prima donna that's too good for a preseason game. Sore knee? You're supposed to be our superstar, and you're our highest payed player...at least show up to the game in a suit, like Smith did (Who plays passionately and has heart, making a fraction of what you make.) I want to believe in EG, and will cheer for him...but I'm already over this wussiness crap. Watch Lopez...he will be your favorite player.
Eric Gordon was not at the game? Can't he walk or what? It is a preseason game during the training camp, it is the bonding and adaptation time of a team full of players who are going to play for the first time together and where is the highest paid supposedly future superstar of the team? Playing video games at home? Watching the replay of Indiana-Connecticut WNBA game? Or What? Eric Gordon tweets about Monday Night Football and his desire to watch the TEXANS on tweeter and he fails to remember to congratulate his teammates for the win against Bobcats? And this is the same guy who tweets about chemistry just a couple of days ago... Like a joke! I am sorry Eric Gordon but I do not like you as a player off the court! I do not know where your heart is, I am not sure what is your caliber, and I do not care what you watch on TV but I hope you will make me like you on the court.
Warrick has been struggling in the Hornets' system so far, it this is a continuing habit, his days in NOLA could be numbered. One thing that I wondered is how Monty will deal with the lineup should Gordon miss a couple of games. I thought this, "How would the Hornets will attack on the basket more without relying on jumpers too much?" Gordon, when healthy, can attack the basket and draw fouls. Where I think Monty will do is let Rivers, try to get in the paint and get the best shot or pass it to the next best player. A wise move is to let Vasquez slide over to 2 guard. Vasquez, does has length to play the 2 and defensively, he would have a hard time defending the quicker point guards in the league. Thus, a starting lineup that we might see it coming should Gordon go down is : Rivers @ PG, Vasquez @ SG, Aminu @ SF, Davis @ PF, & Lopez @ C. The bench rotation could be this: Anderson, Smith, Mason, Douglas, & Miller. Overall, very solid game from the Hornets. They have a lot of work to do, but they are showing some promise. If Davis can have games like that, then this team will be very competitive.
Im with Mike, 4 years of mediocrity cannot be ignored from one game. I hope Lopez pans out, and I didn't see the Charlotte game but I have my doubts. Also he is the 4th best big on the team, so getting on average the 4th most minutes would make sense.
I saw Hornets fans proclaim Denzel Bowles a savior after a Summer League game and a preseason game against the Bobcats is about the same thing in my book. If you listen to the podcast, I say multiple times that I hope Lopez proves me wrong, but my point remains: He is the 4th best big on this team and his minutes should reflect that. Does this one game make anybody disagree with this statement?
Here is an analogy on my thoughts on Lopez: http://www.hornetsreport.com/HRForums/showthread.php?73371-Robin-Lopez-should-be-Hornets-Mike-Karney-Heath-Evans&p=988241#post988241
Michael, It's not one preseason game or two preseason games, it is that your statement is premature. Lopez may be the 4th best big, he may not. The top four bigs may all be so close in overall ability that their minutes may be similar. Big men look like the overwhelming strength of this team. How much they play may be more closely related to their differing skill sets, and the needs of the team, than some arbitrary ranking of players. Rather than putting down Hornets fans, or posting every time something supports or conflicts with your prediction, I suggest you sit back and watch the show like the rest of us. The reality is there won't be a definitive answer here for months.
Even though we versed the Bobcats, I was impressed with the team. Definitely had a better game than last. Can't wait for regular season! Geaux Hornets!