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Another poor 3rd quarter leads to 96-84 Hornets loss to Jazz

Published: November 28, 2012

In the second meeting of the season between Utah and New Orleans, the Hornets were not as fortunate as they were in the first, falling at home to the Jazz.

Make no mistake, this game was a rough one from the start; the Jazz just decided not to take advantage until the second half. The Hornets made a run in the fourth, cutting the 16 point deficit to just 7, but that’s as close as they could get. Before we go any further, let’s look at my keys to the game from earlier today and see how the Hornets fared.

1) Keep Al Jefferson out of his comfort zone. Um, not so much. Lopez had his ups and downs on Jefferson defensively (a few more downs than ups), but Smith was clearly over-matched. The Hornets’ bigs did do a good job of keeping him off of the free throw line (only 2 attempts in the game), but the same can’t be said for many of the other Jazz players.

I asked Robin Lopez after the game about the difference in guarding Al Jefferson between their game in early November and this one. He told me that he was just not as disciplined while defending him. He thought that because he bit on pump fakes and got in foul trouble early (2 fouls in the game’s first 7 1/2 minutes), he became less aggressive against Jefferson later on, which he seemed to regret.

2) Box out on defense and limit Utah offensive rebounds. The Hornets actually did quite well in this area. For the game, their offensive rebound rate was somewhere between 10-15%, well under their season average of 32.1% before tonight’s game. Unfortunately, the Jazz shot 49.2% from the field in this one, compared to just 41.2% in their first meeting against the Hornets, so the offensive rebounds weren’t as crucial to their offense overall.

3) Get Ryan Anderson shooting and the guards attacking early. Not really. Anderson’s hot shooting from long range as of late came to a screeching halt, finishing just 1-6 from beyond the arc and only 7 points overall. As for the guards, Vasquez deserves credit for his commitment to attacking the paint with the slower Tinsley on him, but he couldn’t turn his drives into points. He struggled to get past the Jazz front line, and when he kicked out to shooters as a result, they couldn’t knock shots down. None of the other Hornets guards did much to help in this respect, either, until Brian Roberts in the 4th quarter.


New Orleans went 1-3 in my 3 keys to the game, so it comes as no surprise to me that the end result was a loss. The game doesn’t just boil down to those 3 areas, though; where else did the Hornets go wrong?

  • The third quarter. First things first – not scoring a single point for the first 6:51 of a quarter is never a good sign. The Hornets turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, and nearly doubled that total (9) in the third quarter alone. The result was a 31-17 deficit in the period after trailing by just two at halftime, putting the game basically out of reach. For the Jazz, Marvin Williams and Paul Millsap combined to  match the entire Hornets team’s total for the quarter.
  • Getting to the line. The Jazz shot 17 more free throws than the Hornets, making 28 of their 38 attempts compared to 17 out of 21 for New Orleans. This discrepancy came largely due to Utah’s dedication to keep getting the ball inside to their strong front line, whereas the Hornets settled for more jump shots.
  • Foul trouble for Anderson. Ryan picked up his 4th foul just over halfway through the 3rd quarter, which may have made it more difficult for him to get into any kind of groove on offense.
  • Travel woes. Greivis Vasquez mentioned after the game that while he didn’t want to make excuses, he thought it was pretty apparent that the Hornets’ young guys were struggling to maintain a high level of energy after returning from a long NBA road trip. Hopefully, the 2 days off before their game against the Thunder on Saturday night will help get the team back on track.

To end this recap on a positive note, there were a few good things to take away from this game:

  • Strong offensive 4th quarter. As usual for a Monty Williams-coached team, the Hornets never quit. Led by Brian Roberts’ 9 points in the quarter, the Hornets cut the Jazz lead to 7. Most impressive may have been the fact that, after committing 9 turnovers in the 3rd quarter, they didn’t cough the ball up once in the 4th. On an entirely unrelated note, Al-Farouq Aminu didn’t play one minute in the 4th.
  • Solid offensive nights from Lopez and Vasquez. Lopez finished with 18 points on only 9 field goal attempts to go along with 7 rebounds (3 offensive). He was active inside whenever he was in the game, and had yet another good game against Utah as a result. Greivis wasn’t as efficient as Robin when shooting the ball (18 points on 15 shots), but he did rack up 8 assists while only committing one turnover.
  • Sharp-shooting from the stripe. The Hornets continue to be among the league’s best in free throw percentage, coming into the game shooting 79.4% from the stripe (5th in the NBA). That number won’t be hurt by their effort tonight, making 17 out of 21 (81%).

After two days of rest, the Hornets will face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, aiming for better results than in the two teams’ first meeting, when OKC won 110-95.


  1. mojart

    November 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    one word: TURNOVER…that sums it up

  2. NOS-3RD GEN

    November 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    sounds like to me that the Hornets need a lot of work on mainly everything, but in my point of view the main thing we still need work at is on “Offense”, & as long as monty da coach that will never change. And Benson and everybody else still wants to believe in monty, don’t be surprised if we don’t maken the playoffs in the dictatorship of Monty Williams. Its not all monty fault those, we you Play as team players and coach You win as a team. One fail all fail, team rise we all rise.

    • xman20002000

      November 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      Come on man.. they were flat.. both teams.. Did you watch the game.. We aren’t strong enough to rely on perimeter shooting.. This game had nothing to do with Coach.. This was the type of game we needed shooting but Anderson had 7 and Aminu had 6… Rivers 2 points… Vasquez and Lopez had 18 each… Smith 7 and Roberts 11… 5-21 from 3 point range…

      We had a terrible shooting night… and interesting game with Coach looking for an offensive combination… Its all good… It’s the kind of night we needed our scores i.e. EG and Unibrow… It just wasn’t there.. We were probably out of gas…

      • steve ciro

        November 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm

        I agree with you (coach looking for combinations), but 31-17 on the 3Q is too much, coach needs to react quicker.

      • NOS 3rd GEN

        November 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

        I understand what your saying, but like I said before it’s not “all” monty’s fault, it’s not enough teamwork or offense to help us win games. Do everybody remember our 07-08 year? The most memeberable year of the hornets history. Tell me how we got that far in that year compare to how we are now. I know we don’t have our All-Star players like we did back then, but would it make a difference, would it get us back to where we were in the 07-08. My point is that we need a bond of chemistry, teamwork,Leadership,a trusting coach that focuses on his weaknesses just as much as his strengths, and development staff to get us back. Some People talk about Stats, Per., and all that other junk but the bottom line what I said earlier is the way to get back in the game regardless of injury prone players.

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  4. Rich

    November 29, 2012 at 4:54 am

    If Greivis Vasquez scores 85 points and dishes out 35 assists on 1 turnover on the next game, this blog will still hate on him.

    On the other hand, if, on the same game, Austin Rivers makes 2 points on 500 possessions, has 27 turnovers and misses all his free throws, he’s still the better point guard and should replace Greivis immediately.

    • steve ciro

      November 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

      What a great logic!

    • Ron

      November 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      That’s a meaningless argument, since that situation won’t happen.

      In the latest In The NO, one of the commentators (Michael McNamara?) mentioned how GV was both the best and worst at the same time in the Clippers game.

  5. Mr.C

    November 29, 2012 at 6:32 am

    That game was hard to watch because both teams were bad, but thats when you realize how bad your team is when you cant take advantage of a bad team on your home floor!!! I mean Utah tried to give away the game on several ocassion but we just kept turning the ball over… The Hornets are a terrible passing team, I mean basic passes too…

  6. xman20002000

    November 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Ok.. Let’s quit complaining because we are going to have to undergo growing pains… Instead of looking back to the 07-08′ season when Chris Paul and DWest were with us let’s look back to this season when we played the Spurs wherein we lost the game to a veteran team who just took the game from us..

    The world can see our weaknesses and Coach obviously knows when and where we fall apart.. He is calling more timeouts and sooner when the pups get our of hand… LOL.. I am just waiting until we get everyone on board.. Let’s just pray EG and Unibrow come back together..

    We won’t be talking about Rivers nor Vasquez in the same context.. Supposed either player is passing to and receiving passes from EG..

  7. NOS-3RD GEN

    November 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    This maybe a stupid suggestion, but since nobody shows any respect towards Vasquez. Would be better if we trADE HIM for another Passing PG name Ricky Rubio. He value should be low enough to consider trading for. I like Vasquez, but he’s better as a backup, but he still good as a starter. I’m jus saying if things don’t work out good after Rubio once he comes from injury of course.

    • Jason Calmes

      November 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      There would have to be more involved here.

      • Ron

        November 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

        Exactly. Why would the T-wolves want to trade Rubio straight up for GV?

        Since GV is good at shooting and is 6’6″, would he make a good SG (which AR is too short to be)?

  8. selim sivad

    November 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I think Vasquez will bacame a top ten PG and you will still crying for another player. Why don´t you sheer for Clipers instead or start a Ihategreivis glog. Greivis give them a son…

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