« Hornets Can’t Keep up with High Powered Thunder
I’m screaming revenge again
I’ve been wrong for far too long
Been constantly so frustrated
I’ve moved mountains with less
When I channel my hate to productive
I don’t find it hard to impress
Bones in traction
Hands break to hone raw energy
Bold and disastrous
My ears can’t hear what you say to me
Hold your mouth for the war
Use it for what it’s for
Speak the truth about me
— Pantera, Mouth for War
The Hornets went 1-3 since the last weekly summary, dropping their record from 3-8 to 4-11, but it’s really all the same. It all amounts to 1 in 4 games being a win. More telling is that the team was 3-5 with Davis and has gone 1-6 without him. With him expected to miss all four of the games before next Sunday (at this point), the latter will end up being 1-10, 2-9. Those games are against the Bucks, Lakers, Grizzlies, and Heat, two of whom are the best in each conference and the two best in the NBA, and the lowest ranked team is the Lakers. Brutal, with or without Davis.
The bright spot here is not the win itself, but that it was a win over the Clippers and the fashion in which it happened. Despite the 3-pt assault continuing against the Hornets, the balls were falling for New Orleans and they were able to stay in the game and withstand a push at the end. Also, Clippers forward Blake Griffin was held to a career low of 4 points (2 from the field) before fouling out (intentionally) after nearly 35m of action. After the tensions between he and Jason Smith, this was extremely satisfying, especially with such an outstanding performance by the fan favorite forward for New Orleans.
The party didn’t last as the team dropped a pair to the Jazz and the Thunder. These games were marred by terrible shooting by the Hornets, especially from the outside. Bad nights happen, and the losses should be placed upon the shoulders of said shooters. Rather, this team is not build (at present) to compensate when their few good skills are not `clicking’ on a given night. Keep in mind, winning three of four games is quite a feat in the NBA. This sets an expectation of at least one in four games or so to be substandard in some aspect. The trick is being able to compensate. With the salary restrictions and injuries, this team just can not recover from these random fluctuations not lining up in their favor.
Davis’ ankle injuries started against the Thunder on Friday, November 16. Then, he had 2 other issues with it between then and Monday, all associated with intense activity. Finally, on November 20, it was disclosed that he has a stress reaction in that ankle, summarized here. It’s also pointed out that he sprained that ankle in an early workout with the team. These should not be directly related as the one was a soft, connective issue injury and the other is an issue with bone.
Davis believed the issue was fine on November 19, but was held out starting the next day.
It was reported that the boot was off, but the context was temporary . . . it was off at that moment. There was no intense weight being put on that ankle, just his normal weight. Davis wore the boot Saturday night at the Thunder game.
So, the no big deal was downgraded to day-to-day, and this was further downgraded to 1-2 weeks out, and one week has passed with no evidence of a return to the complete range of physical activity needed to compete in an NBA game. So far, the most pessimistic outlook based on the team’s reports is about 3 weeks from the start of treatment. Typical ranges for healing this kind of injury start around 8 weeks, but this can depend on a number of factors unknown to Hornets247 at this time.
Also Jim Eichenhofer has this from Monty:
At least a week away from us even thinking about ramping up his conditioning, let alone playing
which bolsters the above. As noted in the link above, the training regimen increasing at an appropriate rate, once the patient is to a certain point, is key. This is starting to look more `typical’ than the hoped for two weeks.
The other major injury this team is facing is that to Eric Gordon. Gordon joined the team while they were Los Angeles to face the Clippers. He’re what we learned there:
- Monty and Eric got re-acquainted before the game
- Gordon joined the team at 6:40 in the first quarter
- Gordon sat on the second row behind the bench initially
Something is missing. When something does not make sense, it could be that some facts are incorrect, but it could be that some are missing, and this seems like the latter is at least partially to blame.
Consider that Monty Williams talked to Chris Paul for months (at least) after he was dealt to the Clippers when they worked together for only a season. Why is this star player with the same amount of common employment any different? Why did I have to say common employment and not “working together?”
Consider that the bench Eric Gordon did not go is where he works. That’s his place of employment. Then consider that he did not sit there for nearly half a quarter. As exciting as a game is, it should not be surprising that he was excited at the end of an exciting game. What is surprising it that he didn’t join his coworkers while they were working, and held himself apart. That is, it’s surprising until you realize we may be missing some information. Then, that act itself becomes information.
The 4-6 week time frame for Gordon’s return has been entered. If one interprets 4 weeks to be a month and 6 weeks to be one-and-a-half months, then the clock has just started ticking. But wait! Just one week ago, there was no timetable for the return? Really? It’s not 1-3 weeks?
Again, there is something missing here.
Both large video screens are up on the chamfered edges of the Arena facing the highway (to maximize efficacy). So far, I’ve just seen ads for stuff at the Arena, like Hornets games. That’s nice, but that’s not going to bring in big money. We need to see some real ads up there.
Before this season got underway, we had a point v. counterpoint about attendance. The question, which was, essentially, will attendance be the best ever now that the uncertainly about the team’s future here in the city has stabilized, has effectively been answered.
As noted in the counterpoint, light could be shed on the subject in the first few week of the season. It’s been just over 4 weeks.
With 9 home games in the books, the Hornets have had a total of 124,111 in attendance (tickets paid for plus free tickets that were actually used), making for a average of 13,790. The highest attendance was 15,458, and their lowest was 10,693. Packing in 17,500 for the rest of the season (unlikely) would give the Hornets a total attendance of 684,111, which is 11,616 short of the 695,727 mark set in the 2008-2009 season.
As noted, attendance is far less directly important than it was when it was referenced in the Hornets’ lease on the Arena. This is just some information to follow-up and stamp case closed on the issue.
Mrs. Gayle Benson indicated that the preferred colors for the rebranded team are red, gold, and navy blue, changed from red, gold, and black. This could indicate a few things, including nothing. The case for Pelicans has been made, but other theories are out there.
Tom Benson attended St. Aloysius here in New Orleans, which became Brother Martin after a merger with Cor Jesu. Their team name is the Crusaders, and their colors are crimson and gold. Crusaders has the negative of being associated with the sacking of a region for centuries, but it can also be phonetically shortened to Cru, a homophone of Krewe, a popular rebrand idea among fans and a cultural staple of New Orleans. This is also not a “New Orleans” name on its face, a stated goal. Others point out that the could point to Voodoo, with purple being dropped and some slight color modification. The downside of that theory is . . . why? Why make those changes? Why not just take what the Voodoo have, which Tom Benson put together (or approved of in 2004 and later), lock, stock, and barrel?
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As far as content goes, Royce Young from Daily Thunder and CBS joined Ryan and Michael on In the NO. They were then joined by Jason Smith just after this tremendous Clippers game from the 100th episode of the podcast.
Then, Friday was Ryan Anderson day, with a Beneath the Screen focusing on his shooting followed by the debut of a recurring piece on his performance while not playing with Dwight Howard, something that worried some.
`Voices’ of the People
This is a great assessment of the kid but its called a learning curve.. He is not the only alpha dog in this hunt.. In sum, based on the author’s viewpoint we can say that Mr. Rivers will be just fine… especially for a 19 year old one year out of high school…
whatever will be the name….pelicans,krewe or voodoo..i will support this team whatever happens..thru ups and down…win or lose….i love this team..i know everyone is with me…..
What a night! Watched till 68-63 and had to go to the delivery room to have my first son, and found out later the L streak was over winning the game i wanted the most. Life’s good!
A special thanks to voopster who attended a Chalk Talk with Dell Demps, a little group Q&A session with Dell (in this case) extended as a benefit to season ticket holders, Saturday prior to the Thunder game. Here is his report (from memory):
They are testing Davis ankle every 3 days, but before that Dell stated he would be out 3-4 weeks…first I heard of that
He said that Gordon’s quad was at 10% strength on the affected knee when he practiced with the team and was contemplating starting the season. He said EG10 went to LA to get the full attention to rehab where training staff had to attend the others on the roster. He stated the quad is now about 65% and they won’t play him until he is all the way back.
Now how is quad was at 10% when he had no training camp and was presumably getting conditioning and rehab for all of that time is beyond me. What his quad strength was he was competing for Olympic tryouts or with the Spurs for 10 days was not made clear.
He said CP was similar quad problem after his knee surgery while with Hornets and he is thankful to the staff for the treatment to build it back…Dell said this was stated to the Hornets attending the Olympic tryouts — voopster
Anyone else got notes from this or another chalk talk?
A few things. I’m wondering when the clock starts on the 3-4 weeks. We’ll see if we can find out, but if it was measured from that night, it puts the total time at 5-6 weeks, which is approaching that typical window that starts at 8 weeks. Also, if Gordon had 90% of the way to go in 4-6 weeks, and went 55% in 4 weeks, then it would seem 2-4 weeks more is necessary. Of course, these numbers are quantitatively meaningless, but from a `feel’ or qualitative perspective, this is reasonable. We shall see.
Sometimes the discussion of rebounding needs some additional context.
First, comparing team A’s offensive rebounds to team B’s offensive rebounds is pointless in most cases. It’s ok for determining if a team is underperforming or overperforming to an extent, but without comparing this to the competing defensive rebounds, it lacks some key contrast.
For example, in the Saturday loss to the Thunder, the Hornets had 16 offensive rebounds. This is above the NBA average for a game, which is about 11.5. The argument can be made, however, that the Hornets poor shooting (37% overall, 25% from deep) inflated this number, making it a lazy or lucky 16.
When factoring in the 34 defensive rebounds the Thunder got, which represent more opportunities for the Hornets to have rebounded the ball offensively, we see that their offensive rebound rate was 32%, as shown in the box score. This is very good and does not suffer from the same sorts of vulnerability to the charges of laziness or luckiness being a large factor. This so-called advanced stat is very useful in these contexts.
Of course, the Thunder’s offensive rebound rate approached 29% and shot over 50% and nearly 43% from deep, so perhaps they were more energetic, but that does not mean the Hornets were lazy.
Not to say what I'm sure everyone else is thinking but the thought of a head coach becoming "re-acquainted" with his star player is incredibly unsettling. Maybe it was a poor choice of words and maybe there is a plan behind all of this which we don't see, but all signs are pointing to a half-season audition for a trade in a best case scenario. I will totally admit I'm a casual fan that has become far more informed and interested in the team through this site but it can be difficult especially with regards to Eric Gordon. If he doesn't want to be a leader or believes he's too good for the team, then that should be discussed with the head office and dealer Dell will figure it out as best he can (pennies on the dollar at this point). It seems the majority of Hornets fans have such ill will toward Gordon that I don't know how he will ever be a good fit wearing our uniform. Here's to hoping I'm wrong.
On EG's 4-6 week timetable. If we are assuming it began 4 weeks ago and he's now at 55% (from 10%) then I see the logic behind your comments in terms of another 4 weeks. 55-10 = 45, 100-55 = 45 all adds up to another 4 weeks. However, I think it's likely (based on recent personal experience with something similar) that the remaining 45% will be built up much more quickly. Think of it as an exponential curve where the amount of effort or power you can put in (x-axis) has increasing returns on your gains (y-axis.) As his quad is approx 5 times stronger than it was before, his recovery should occur at a much faster pace. Particularly considering he has increased his capacity 5 fold in 4 weeks and doesn't even have to double it to be good to go.
Went to Dell Demp's chalk talk...this is from recall, no notes They are testing Davis ankle every 3 days, but before that Dell stated he would be out 3-4 weeks...first I heard of that He said that Gordon's quad was at 10% strength on the affected knee when he practiced with the team and was contemplating starting the season. He said EG10 went to LA to get the full attention to rehab where training staff had to attend the others on the roster. He stated the quad is now about 65% and they won't play him until he is all the way back. Now how is quad was at 10% when he had no training camp and was presumably getting conditioning and rehab for all of that time is beyond me. What his quad strength was he was competing for Olympic tryouts or with the Spurs for 10 days was not made clear. He said CP was similar quad problem after his knee surgery while with Hornets and he is thankful to the staff for the treatment to build it back...Dell said this was stated to the Hornets attending the Olympic tryouts
I just wanted to say that I enjoy the new "voices of the people" feature, and I'm not just saying that to get on it. And while I appreciate the professionalism and secrecy the team employs concerning injuries, it's really irritating considering the now two season long Gordon conundrum.
The coverage of the Arena and the efforts to keep the team are and have been top notch. The level of detail and effort put into understanding these byzantine state and municipal wrangling has been impressive. I of course agree that information is being withheld re:EG. I don't blame them, though. This is really a pretty unprecendted circumstance. Year one of a max deal? Has this ever happened before? And not the injury, but the smoke/fire surrounding it.
Commenting on the Jeff Duncan article: 1) The Hornets are not in "Year 2 of a rebuilding campaign". This is Year 1 - only 16 games into Year 1. Uninformed. 2) Duncan compares the Hornets 22 starters from last year (when the NBA owned the team) and the 8 starters this year to the Thunders starting the same 5 this year and the same four almost all of last year. Apples and Oranges. Comparing in a negative way the stability of an experience team that went to the Finals against a team without an owner last year. Lazy and uninformed. 3) "The enthusiasm of the offseason has yielded once again to the dread of a second consecutive rebuilding campaign." Really we are now the second consecutive rebuilding campaign. Duncan contradicts himself. I thought this was "Year 2 of THE rebuilding campaign". Lazy. 4) "Now in Year 3 of the Demps-Williams regime, all of this wheeling and dealing is starting to look more like deck shuffling than program building." Is Ryan Anderson deck shuffling. How about Davis and Rivers? Are they not about program building. Lazy and uninformed. 5) "The Thunder went to the playoffs in Year 3 of the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook era. The Spurs won it all in Year 3 of Greg Popovich’s tenure." Jason, you already resonded to that one. Again Duncan is uninformed.
Jason another informative post. Much better than that Duncan garbage on the TP site. Your thoughts on the Gordon and Davis injuries brings up a good point. One thing that really bothers me about the Hornets management team is the vague responses we get about these injuries. Gordon started out last year with a knee bruise that turned into minor surgery. Then this year we are told he needs futher rest but no one has any idea what the doctors are telling the team. We hear rumors about possible microfracture surgery but, if so, what exactly is the problem. One interesting thing I have noticed is that each time this season Gordon has been asked if he will play this season, he has been noncommittal. On Davis injury, it is obvious that the docs are seeing something on the MRI that has them worried. Davis stated he doesn't have any pain or swelling. The team at first says day to day, then one or two weeks. It now appears we will be lucky to see Davis play before Christmas. I understand that this is a business but being more upfront with the fans will build greater loyalty. This team is in a long term rebuilding stage and I think the fans will stay committed if they feel they are getting the straight story.
This is the kind of information we need from the Hornets. Much better than "nothing new to report" we have been getting on players out for extended periods of time.
Promoting this to the article. Thanks. voopster . . . I added some questions to the article. Got an answer to the timeframe? When was this chalk talk?
It's irritating. Well, our readers are among the best out there, world-wide. I believe that, and so do the rest of the guys. This is just one thing we're trying to highlight the single most important thing about the site in a way that isn't just mere pandering. When a reader says something better than anyone else in the world, we'll throw it up there to make sure people can see it. The issue is space limitation and my ability to search. Someone is going to say that that spiel and quoting readers is mere pandering. I beg to differ. Picking great comments, pithy comments, and tossing them up there so that readers know that the ESPN and the world may see them will, to an extent, make us all better. That's how it's not mere pandering.
On points 5 and 1. If we're taking the rebuilding era in terms of point 5 (i.e. Thunder making playoffs and Spurs winning) that refers to it as the Era of Westbrook and KD then I think this would be year 1 of ours. I'm basing this on the fact that this is the first year we have Davis + EG as our two key players. They then picked up Harden and Ibaka the following year which puts us one year ahead as we already have Rivers and Anderson. Also, Anderson is not a rookie so you could argue that we're 1.5 years ahead as he won't need 2 years to breakout like Harden and Ibaka. Once it start's being referred to as the KD + Westbrook rebuilding program rather than just the KD rebuilding program we gain an extra year. Does that make sense?
1) I agree with year 2, but I see what you are saying. The team is in year 2 after losing a star player, but they still had decks to clear. This seems like semantics to an extent. 2) I read this as comparing yourself to the best in your category (so them as opposed to the Lakers and Heat who attracted stars). I think this is necessary. This is why we had Royce on last week. 3) This seems like a typo or some assumption thing more than some conceptual flow. consecutive (year of the) rebuilding 4) There were gains and losses. I think he's saying it's kind of a net 0 or net loss. 5) Yes. I really appreciate you putting this together, and me putting up responses is not me saying "I'm right and you are wrong." Rather, I'm just tossing up a counter-point, then we'll see what happens. I just love these sorts of discussions. Really.
To put it inexactly, the communications staff has a difficult job of communicating facts that may not be correct or may change to a broad group of people with different passions, interest level, and knowledge and experience bases, all while not being experts about most things they are communicating (e.g. medicine). Ultimately, they do a great job of keeping people interested. Fact. This is incontrovertible at this point. What that says about the facts, how they are possibly changing or revealed to have been true or false, and how this heterogeneous fan base will react in their estimation is up for discussion. You still follow, right, despite any so-called mishandling of situations? And what would the mass of casual fans do if told a star player would miss an extended period of time? How about comparing that to sequence of `stay tuned' messages? ETA: Let me add that I enjoy Mr. Duncan. I think following basketball deeply seems newer to him, so perhaps he's being calibrated. He's frustrated with the same things we all are, but talking basketball is a different process than talking football. I have nothing but confidence that Mr. Duncan will fit in nicely. By they way, I called out to him at a Saints game the other day. He had no idea who he was, and I couldn't really hear all he said (loud), but he was pretty nice, even in that potential den of vipers. Very professional and personable.
Thanks Jason. You made some good points. Duncan's article just hit a nerve. Potential Hornets fans read it and think it's all gloom and doom. The Hornets do have issues as I and others point out on this post but most of us see a bright future ahead.
You are right that I continue to follow like all of the passionate Hornet fans on this site. It's the casual fan that can lose interest quickly if they feel like they are not getting the full story on why the best players are not playing. Granted this may be complicated information to communicate and it probabaly can change over time, but I still believe we are getting responses to injuries that are too vague for the passionate or casual fan. As for Duncan, he may be a great guy in person. I don't know him and won't argue that point, but that article he posted today on the TP site, is lazy and uninformed. Maybe he's speaking as a casual fan but I think we should expect better.
THAT is big time concern, but it's not his place (or any of ours) to manage that message. That's where Hornets PR comes in . . . which opens up the other can of worms about accuracy, etc. It does it a nerve. It does. Largely because it's true. Duncan has a talent for doing that, but I think (my opinion strictly) is that he's saying things that need to be said. At some point we have to both trust that a segment of the fan base will embrace the team in spite of these things, and we have to trust that what we all love about the team is what others will love, good or ill. At some point we have to let this team-as-cultural product stand on its own, without our `protection. Right?
Here is the article for those reading this: http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ssf/2012/12/the_buzz_is_gone_for_the_new_o.html I do not that the post is lazy or uninformed. I feel like the post is very honest if not benefiting from a larger perspective. I disagree with the conclusion drawn here: This isn't how it's supposed to work in Year 2 of a rebuilding campaign, especially after you land the No. 1 player in the draft and secure popular local ownership. The Thunder went to the playoffs in Year 3 of the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook era. The Spurs won it all in Year 3 of Greg Popovich's tenure. What goes on in year 3 has little do with what's going in year 2 especially with the Gordon drama and the recent injuries early in this season. Duncan was very healthy and landed into a ready-made team with a HoF coach. The Thunder were in year 2 of their franchise with draft picks playing in Europe and a fan base who had to be support the team given the team's newness. I don't think he said anything that others haven't said, and I found it well-put-together. What specifically did you not agree with?