Hornets fight back from 21 down, fall just short

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Published: November 14, 2012

That game felt a bit like a disaster for a time.  It’s hard to take a 39 point quarter and feel warm and fuzzy.  Yet I do, because these guys never lay down and die.  Vasquez, who laps up underdog moments like a Kardashian does attention, would not lay down and take it,  (unlike the aforementioned Kardashians) while Ryan Anderson did his best bulldog impression out there, fighting for boards as he accounted for six of the Hornets nine offensive rebounds.  Defensively the team showed grit in the second half.  It was good to watch.

Now, I’m not going to dwell on some of the lucky shots the Rockets hit, because the Hornets had their fair share as well.  Instead, I’ll absorb the fact the Rockets earned a Free Throw rate of .275 against the Hornets, nearly double what the Hornets had given up so far this season, recognize this will sometimes happen, and move on.

So let’s start with Vasquez’s game.  Faced by two Rockets guards who did not pressure his dribble at all, Vasquez looked like an all-star, getting into the paint and hitting big shots while still managing his normal passing excellence.  24 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, and two turnovers plus several huge shots in the fourth and a potential four point play that was waved off.  Grumble!

Observations:

  • The Hornets put Aminu on Harden all game and he did a fine job despite Harden’s numbers.  The problem was Harden kept getting free on the pick and rolls as Aminu followed over and his first step was so quick the Hornets couldn’t cut him off to let Aminu recover.  Still, when Harden went Hero ball on four possessions, Aminu did hold him to two points from free throws.  Not bad.
  • Xavier Henry played fifteen minutes and was actually pretty good defensively.  It’s probably why he played – he could match up better with Parsons than Rivers.
  • Rivers had his best game, but with Aminu taking Harden he kept being matched up against the taller, stronger Chandler Parsons.  It got really ugly on the boards as Parsons just kept tossing him around.  Still Rivers is slowly figuring this thing out and actually hit a couple threes.   Give him a couple years he could be a solid guard in this league.
  • Both Rivers and Vasquez came up hobbling with ankle issues.
  • Roberts did his Pargo impression tonight, got momentarily hot, and got carried away by it.  I’d be fine if he did that if he could shed his terrible habit of stopping the ball.  Watch him closely on the perimeter on any possession.  If the ball swings his way he always catches it, holds it for just a second to see if he has a lane or a shot, and then moves it on to the next step.  That decision needs to be made as the catch is received.  Don’t wait!  Move it!  Rotating the ball is done to gain just a second of open space.  Don’t waste it.
  • Anthony Davis had a tough night.  Of course, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 3 blocks is a pretty nice bad night – especially with some of those blocks being amazing plays.  Davis was just being pushed around a lot and kept catching the ball near the three point line – outside of his attack range.  That’ll change as he puts on weight.
  • Have I ever mentioned how nice it would be if this team had just one more explosive scoring guard?

Next game is Friday against OKC in the Hive.

50 Comments

  1. Jordan J.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Does anyone else think it looks like James Harden travels on almost every drive?

    • thekeymaster

      November 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      I’ve always thought the same thing as well, same thing with Ginobili. I figure it might just be b/c both players are lefties and use the “euro-step” a lot creating a sort of optical illusion.

    • Gary Walker

      November 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      No you are not good sir

      • Gary Walker

        November 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm

        Woah. I had in my head a different question. Yes I think he travels ALL the time

    • Bombay

      November 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      In Houston they let Harden get away traveling all night…Also Harden should be fined for flopping..He is the Flopmaster..

  2. Mark

    November 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Loved the 3-pointer block by AD early in the game. And Rivers looked like he was establishing some consistency, but he always seems one step out of control, which I worry for injuries.

    2nd quarter was abysmal, I think because AD was getting close to foul trouble? Really looking forward to when we get Gordon back, it’ll be fun watching this team scrap their way to wins.

    • Gary Walker

      November 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Funny how you say when we get Gordon back. Ive personally lost all optimism for gordon

    • Lucas Ottoni

      November 15, 2012 at 7:21 am

      Gordon will be traded. And he goes away later. His career in New Orleans was disappointing.

      • 504ever

        November 15, 2012 at 8:41 am

        Gordon’s contract and injuries make him untradable for at least this year, unfortunately.

  3. SJ

    November 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Still cant get over how explosive this team would be with MT5 at half of Gordon’s cost.

    • Chuck

      November 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      For the record, Thornton is average less than 1 PPS this season

      • Chuck

        November 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        *averaging

    • Ron

      November 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Yet our defense would always be 4-on-5. 🙁

  4. Chuck

    November 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    When Anderson starts hitting his 3s, he’s going to be an absolute beast. Some of those were just barely in and out. I couldn’t get over how he just flew out of nowhere for an offensive rebound+putback. Happened at least 3 times in the 4th quarter alone.

  5. Will

    November 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Even though Anderson does more than just sit behind the arc and shoot, I’m getting a little anxious with his 3 point shooting. I have a feeling he’ll get more consistent as the season goes on and fortunately, he has other skills that will make him valuable until then.

  6. Thechosenuno

    November 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I want to know why Monty pulled so many starters in the first q when he did. greivis was hot and on a roll, and then things just ground to a halt when he subbed a bunch of guys in with Houston’s starters still in. Then he didn’t adjust enough in the second quarter. I love Monty, but I hope he watches this tape and better adjusts rotations based on matchups.

    • jwalterlsu

      November 15, 2012 at 12:32 am

      I hear you….too many substitutions early on in the 2nd….

    • 504ever

      November 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Perhaps the upcoming schedule, including 3 games in 4 days and 5 games in 8 days, was a factor in the substitutions.

  7. Ron

    November 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    warm and fuzzy is probably the wrong phrase. Encouraged, proud and heartened are what I felt.

  8. Ron

    November 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Just noticed this interesting stat line: For all his 30 pts on 20 shots, Harden was -2 for the 39 minutes he was in the game.

  9. mojart

    November 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    don’t know why AD has only 7 FG attempts in this game….but anyway nice game by the hornets….almost a comeback win….what i like is the team not giving up even if the lead is 21….happy for rivers hitting his 1st NBA 3 as a pro…..many more to come…..:)

  10. Snow

    November 15, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Question for Hornets247 writers, are yall going to do the player grades like you did last season where you grade each person’s performance? Just wondering.

    I’m real proud of how the Hornets didn’t give up the whole game! There is so much potential for our team! I still think Vasquez should of gotten the 4 point play =P

    • Jason Calmes

      November 15, 2012 at 7:18 am

      On the rare occasion I recap a game, I will not engage in such a practice.

      Boiling a performance down to a grade is an exercise, in my opinion, whose value fails to exceed the cost. Ergo, energy is best spent elsewhere. Telling people how who did their job well ended up doing their job well (or the opposite) is a better alternative from where I sit.

      What others will do, I have no idea.

      • ImSorryMonty

        November 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

        Grades and power rankings are fun though.

      • Snow

        November 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        Thanks!

  11. NOEngineer

    November 15, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Harden got continuation a full second and 2 steps after the whistle in the first quarter for a 3-point play, and Vasquez took zero steps on his 4-pointer. Can someone explain the rules behind that difference, or is it just referee leeway?

    Poor shooting by Davis and Anderson, poor first-half defense on Harden, and sloppy play without Vasquez cost us the game.

    Great adjustment on Harden as the game wore on. He was not getting the easy lefty layups in the second half. He is getting the Kobe treatment on foul calls as he smashes into opposing players flailing his arms. Meanwhile Ryan Anderson can’t get any free throws… Also much better contestage (contenstation?) on 3-pointers in the second half.

    Roberts plays like he wants to be Jarret Jack when he grows up. Unfortunately, I don’t like Jack’s game and Roberts seems to be done growing…. He plays with head down, is indecisive with the ball, and when he is decisive he is often wrong. He has a nice shot, but none of Jack’s strength. I’d rather watch Squeaky…

    Very proud of the effort tonight. I hope Erica’s boo-boo feel better soon…..

    • Ron

      November 15, 2012 at 6:49 am

      Vasquez took zero steps on his 4-pointer.

      IIRC, the radio indicated that he ran out of shot clock.

    • Jason Calmes

      November 15, 2012 at 7:22 am

      How would Seimone Augustus take this feminizing of Eric’s name as a means of insult or expressing displeasure?

      I think she would not take it well, and that, frankly, is something I would consider.

      NOEngineer: This is not directed at you. I’ve seen this all over the place, but this is just the time I am choosing to make this point. I did this because now I think the boo-boo thing is much better.

    • ADubs

      November 15, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Harden isn’t receiving the Kobe treatment on that, he’s receiving the star treatment. CP3, Lebron, Kobe, Durant, etc… all get that continuation call. I will say the Vasquez no-shot call was probably the correct call, and it reminded me a lot of when CP3 used to do that all the time (sometimes from half-court), until the NBA changed the rule or the interpretation of the rule and stopped calling it (at least when CP3 did it). The big difference between the Harden and Vasquez calls, besides being their levels of stardom, was probably Harden’s play was a bit more of a “runner” while Vasquez stopped on the floor, then shot the ball. If Vasquez takes another step there he might get a continuation call.

    • Magic Mike

      November 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      The answer for traveling is simple. When Harden was fouled, he received continuation because he didn’t put the ball back on the floor (dribble) after the foul was made. When Vasquez was fouled behind the 3pt line, the call was that after the foul, Vasquez let the ball touch the floor once (dribble) before he shot it. You don’t get continuation if you dribble the ball between the foul and taking the shot.

      • ImSorryMonty

        November 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

        This is somewhat incorrect as you are assuming that the foul had already occurred. If you watch the play, the foul is STILL in the process of occurring. Vasquez got the shot off before the HOU player even hit the floor. IDK. It could have gone either way. All you really want is consistency, which there obviously wasn’t. BTW, I truly think that’s continuation at home.

  12. Lucas Ottoni

    November 15, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Vasquez was tremendous last night! If he was in court during the entire second quarter, we would have won the game.

  13. ktrufant

    November 15, 2012 at 8:57 am

    “who laps up underdog moments like a Kardashian does attention, would not lay down and take it, (unlike the aforementioned Kardashians)”

    was more disappointing than any box score on the night. Jokes like these tend to be sexist if not sexist and racist. Do not like.

    • Jason Calmes

      November 15, 2012 at 9:23 am

      If one sees this as either, it’s a statement about the reader, not the writer.

      • Chuck

        November 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

        Jason, funny you say this right after making a point about people saying Erica Gordon. So when commenters say something that can be construed as offensive it’s on the writer, but when this site’s writers say something similarly crude it’s on the reader?

      • Jason Calmes

        November 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        Those are different.

        One is making a specifi .man feminine as an insult.

        The other is poking fun at particular person or people for particular public actions.

      • Chuck

        November 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

        Note: not trying to insult the writers on this site, I just wanted to clarify the apparent double-standard.

      • ktrufant

        November 16, 2012 at 3:19 am

        Jason I thought you were better than “I know you are but what am I?” rebuttals let alone defenses of another writer’s words.

        In any case you are mistaken. Ryan’s joke about laying down and taking it (which, obviously is the remark I found sexist/racist) is only amusing if one thinks slut-shaming women for sleeping with black guys is funny.

        Calling it tasteless is letting it off easy. It’s offensive.

        And really though, however you feel about it, it has little to do with sports and nothing to do with the Hornets. So, you know, why even bother?

        (And thanks for the acknowledgement Ryan. I hope it’s clear that I was not making a comment about the writer i.e. you. I’m sure you’re good people if a little sensitive when it comes to the Hornets … not unlike most of us here.)

      • Jason Calmes

        November 16, 2012 at 6:16 am

        I didn’t defend it. I didn’t say it was great. I said that my conclusion that the sexist or racist content was brought to the table by the reader, not the writer, as I saw it. In what way was a female stereotype brought in, or an action of any K projected to all / most women? Same for race . . . at what point did that enter into it or come out of it.

        You are talking about a particular incident and assuming that the genders or races of the people involved are germane to the point, as opposed to the relishing of the attention following their publication.

        You gave your opinion. I gave mine. I’m glad you gave yours, and I’m explaining why I disagree. That’s about all there is to it.

      • ktrufant

        November 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

        Heh, you weren’t defending it so I guess you were just attacking me …

        Anyway.

        Point taken. And while I understand that you feel we simply disagree, understand that I wouldn’t say that you’re mistaken unless I knew that you were. Which is to say that calling this about opinions is something of a cop-out. I mean mocking the KARDASHIANS – used to refer to the family or at least certain members of the family – for laying down and taking it is objectively sexist at the very least. You can’t make it go away by saying you didn’t see it that way.

        I don’t believe I mentioned any particular incident. And the only problem that I have with the remark about the Kardashians loving attention is that it doesn’t help me to understand the game or the Hornets or the sport any more than if it hadn’t been said. But whatever, humor is not illegal. (though, you know, that Trump guy seems to like attention a lil’ bit just to name a random individual that could have been referenced just as easy but was not … )

        So yeah, I’m talking about a specific offensive joke about Kardashians laying down and taking it. Don’t blur it with other less offensive/non-offensive comments or hide things under some Cloak of Opinion. Tell me what is objectively amusing about Kardashians (and I’m assuming the female ones – correct me if I’m wrong) laying down and taking it that is not inherently sexist (and possibly racist) and I promise I will acknowledge my presumption.

        But probably I’ve gone to far. This ‘disagreement’ has assuredly gone past the boundaries of this post. I’d be happy to detail my point in a more on-topic setting, (this is now pretty much between two individuals and definitely adds nothing to a conversation about basketball or the New Orleans Hornets), as I have gotten the impression that you all take this fairly seriously … and would appreciate perspectives/opinions that would improve the content you provide … if you are amendable to that.

        (And don’t misread me here. I’m not a troll or just showing up yesterday or something. And to be honest, I actually appreciate your style of writing – you and Ryan are actually my favorite writers here. No offense to the other guys, I just appreciate Ryan’s eye for numbers and skepticism and your more rational and non-traditional perspective on sport.)

        Anyway PTI everyone, Kanye out. (Was that too much maybe? My name’s not actually Kanye … )

      • Jason Calmes

        November 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

        No one attacked you.

        Sexism: Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

        Where was that? I don’t see it in the text.

        Same for racism.

        I don’t see how any stereotype is being referenced or projected here.

        You didn’t mention a particular incident, Ryan did. The comment you are talking about, that was about a particular person, etc.

        The text speaks for itself. I’m going further into this. There is no point.

        You can try to convince me at jason at the site’s jason address if you need to discuss this further.

    • StefanC

      November 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

      I thoroughly enjoyed the joke.

      • Ron

        November 15, 2012 at 9:46 am

        Lacking taste, but in no way racist or sexist.

    • cloud520

      November 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Not really sure how this is sexist or racist.

    • Ryan Schwan

      November 15, 2012 at 10:36 am

      The parenthetical was tasteless. Must have been in a punchy mood when I did this last night.

    • Russ Reed

      November 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

      I think you meant to say it was “sexy” and “racy”.

  14. John in MO

    November 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I enjoyed the fight the Bees had trying to stage a come back, but if we are going to win consistently, we need to figure out how to prevent digging such deep holes in the first place. I was impressed with how Aminu and AD worked together on D, but we also need to commit to getting Davis more touches if we want him to develop. AR and GV were far more competitive than I expected them to be against Harden and Lin. Hats off, boys. Also, great board work by Ryno. I look forward to the day his shot starts falling consistently.

    • Ryan Schwan

      November 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

      AD and Aminu are going to be monsters when it comes to help defense. As for Davis – they ran some plays for him, but he was rarely in position to attack and usually moved the ball on to the next option. Patrick Patterson and Morris were shoving him way out of the paint. It’s just a strength issue that will resolve itself over time.

  15. Bombay

    November 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Where is the pick and roll alley oop to davis play? Also, Monty needs to adjust the 2nd team..The starters played well early..2nd team almost gave the game away early when they couldnt buy a bucket…Gotta get a little more out of the bench.

  16. Bombay

    November 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Just have to say i like aminu’s game..If he can develop a mid range shot with his athleticsm hell be an awesome player…

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