Hornets Comeback Bid Falls Short in Loss to Warriors

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Published: December 19, 2012
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Yet again, the energy was there from this young team on the road and after Anthony Davis sunk a free throw to tie the game at 92 with 4:07 left, you had the feeling that they were going to snap their seven-game losing streak. But it wasn’t to be. The Warriors controlled the boards late and got to the line at will, finishing on a 11-4  run to take this game 103-96.

Though the Hornets suffered yet another loss and now sit at 5-19, there is still of plenty of good things to take away from this game. First of all, there was a six minute stretch in the fourth quarter that showed you what this team could be if they can focus on every possession. The offense was crisp and showed diversity. The defense made all the right rotations and all five players did their part on the defensive glass. Ryan Anderson was fantastic once again, almost single handedly keeping the Hornets in it during the second quarter when the Warriors looked like they could pull away. Vasquez had another spectacular game statistically, going for 20, 11, and 5. And Anthony Davis had a career-high 16 rebounds to go along with 15 points on just 7 shots.

Overall, it was a game that this team and its fan base can take a lot from. There are losses and then there are losses. This was a good loss, if you believe in such a thing. The Hornets came face to face with one of the hottest teams in the NBA, in front of a home crowd that was ecstatic to have them back after a long road trip, and they almost pulled out a victory. Two or three years from now, when we are far closer to 19-5 than 5-19, we will think back on games like this as stepping stones to greatness. It’s one small step at a time in this league, and a step was definitely taken tonight.

Other Notes and Observations

- Davis is averaging 2 blocks and 1.5 steals per game this season. Only 3 players in NBA history have averaged 2 blocks and 2 steals;  Hakeem Olajuwon did it four times in his prime, David Robinson did it once, and the Gerald Wallace did it most recently back in 2005-06. Davis looks like he can become the second player in NBA history to do this multiple times in his career and if he has more games like this, he could easily do it in his rookie year, which would be unprecedented.

- Austin Rivers has really figured out when to release his floater. In the beginning of the season, he picked up his dribble too early and was shooting 12-14 foot floaters and not surprisingly, he was missing. Then, he took it in a little too close and was getting sent away by guys like Larry Sanders. Now he has found a perfect balance and that is why we are seeing much better results.

- Over Robin Lopez’s last 60 minutes of play, he has three defensive rebounds. Three. Even if that ugly hook is falling, I don’t know how you can play a 7-footer who is slow in the pick and roll and can’t rebound significant minutes. 15 is about right for him. Maybe even slightly less when Smith comes back.

- When Roberts has time, he has one of the most beautiful squared jumpers in the league, but when people close hard on him he tends to learn to the left as he releases. Small thing. Fixable.

- The refs actually sent Ryan Anderson to the line tonight! Baby steps.

- After a Davis dunk, a Ryno three and two Davis steals, the Hornets had all the momentum and had cut the lead to 9. Two badly missed jumpers later, followed by Warriors buckets in transition and the lead was back up to 13. On both possessions, the Warriors forced Mason to put the ball on the floor and take a pull up jumper. We all know that is a recipe for a Mason miss, but my question is- How does Mason not know that? This is why I love players who play within their limitations. It is an intangible that is rarely talked about but it is invaluable in this game.

- Dominic McGuire does a fine job on the court and is incredibly active, but he has a bad habit of dribbling the ball up the court after a rebound. He should be getting it to a guard and filling the lane on the wings.

- And on a McGuire-related note, I hope both Henry and Aminu are renting in New Orleans because selling a home is tough in this economy. You better believe that Dell is on the phones day and night looking for a home for these guys. Basically, they just lost their job to a guy who lost his job to Mickael Pietrus, a guy who couldn’t get a minimum contract this season. They are done for, and here is hoping the fate of Roger Mason is similar when Gordon comes back or when Dell can pluck a marginal upgrade out of obscurity.

- Guards have a terrible habit of just standing and watching when the ball is in the air. It was no coincidence that the Hornets went on a run in the fourth quarter when the guards started crashing the boards, with Vasquez specifically pulling down a couple of rebounds.

- Tomorrow night at Clippers in a game that will see Team USA teammates (and future Pelicans teammates!) Chris Paul and Anthony Davis square off. The Hornets got the best of the Clippers last time in what was probably the most entertaining game of the year. Should be fun yet again.

32 comments
maximumballer
maximumballer

I believe we should just let rivers n davis go one on one for rest of the season so they can figure out how to get their shots off. we all know the ceiling on andersen gv lopez smith. its time to let the future franchise players make their mark. they both should b taking fifty percent of the shots n yes rivers should be ballhogging from the get go. its dumb watching us lose n seeing rivers n davis get very little touches. I know monty wants to win but this season is a lost cause

Nola moondog
Nola moondog

Can we please get rivers the ball at the beginning of the shot clock in late game situations? He is showing the ability to get to the Rim in crunch time. instead of letting Vasquez eat 18 seconds and dump it to him for a contested 3, let him take it down the court and try to create early, THEN if need be get it to Vasquez to try to pull a slick pass or shot.

Jack
Jack

Let me point out some fact here. The team was out rebounded by 11 in this game. GSW has 8 more offensive rebound. Davis got 16 rebound, but Ryan only get ZERO rebound. I also wish you can see the fact he used 26 possessions to get 28 points. Let's admit David Lee was a beast on him last night. With Jason Smith injured, Ryan will have more load on his shoulder. Steven Curry was pretty much owned by Vasquez last night. I only saw Vasquez lost a couple of position on defense after that frustrating travel call. That's a bad call, but I do wish he can calm down next time. Also I hope people blaming Vasquez watched the full game not from 92:92. The team had one travel call on Vasquez which is not travel and one blocking call on Rivers where Jarret Jack was showing his elbow. Both I was able to see from the replay, and even GSW reporters said they got home advantage on those calls. Those are pretty much the turning points of the game.

Andres
Andres

I told you all before the beggining of the season that Lopez was awful and that he didnt even rebound. That's why no team threw an offer to him during the offseason when he was a RFA. He's an overpaid center that cant shoot, cant rebound and hurts the overall offensive flow

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Robin Lopez played for 15 minutes and grabbed only 1 rebound last night (Ezeli played for 11 minutes and grabbed 6 rebounds, 3 offensive and 3 defensive). In the previous game, Lopez grabbed only 3 rebounds. With a center like him, I'm not surprised that our campaign is so bad. And yet there are people complaining about Vasquez. I don't never will understand it...

Jordan J.
Jordan J.

You could see Anthony getting pushed around A LOT against this Warriors team. Can't wait to see him dish it out in a few years. When I watch Ryan Anderson I'm just in awe. He's unbelievable.

MZURK
MZURK

Nice effort Hornets. If they continue like this, they might eventually win a game. 8 straight now, I believe. And it's not getting any easier next game or the game thereafter with games at LAC and SA on tap. Most likely we'll be stretching our "streak" to 10 before we have a realistic chance to snap it against Indiana.

Gavolt
Gavolt

it will be interesting to see what davis is able to do with his body in the future because he once again had the worst +/- on the team tonight, and i would bet that is because of his horrible defense, and i wonder if his poor strength for his position is largely to blame. robinson and hakeem were also lithe, but very muscular as well. still, i like a young guy who is active and getting stats-- however empty they may be-- over the alternative. it at least shows me he is looking to get things accomplished on the court.

Chuck
Chuck

"The refs actually sent Ryan Anderson to the line tonight! Baby steps." Please, please stop complaining about the refs. It's not fun when anyone does it, and it always just sounds like whining, especially on the last podcast. I don't know if it's true (haven't seen all the recent games) but whining doesn't help anything and just makes all Hornets fans sound whiny.

mojart
mojart

Rivers is really the player to watch now......:)

shay
shay

Mason appears to have forgotten that good jump shooting starts at the base he's always floating all over the place sliding his feet all over the place, whens the last time this guy actually shot the ball consistently 2007 ? Rivers is winning me over I wish Vasquez was the backup to a capable starting PG so I could fall in love with him again Ryan Anderson is showing something new every game , hook shots baby

Kanye East
Kanye East

Can we please, PLEASE find someone who can hit Davis on a pick and roll! How open does the guy have to be? This isn't chess, it's checkers. He's open, get him the ball. Mark Sanchez could complete these passes...

Rick
Rick

It's a joke.. Chill out.. Lucas you really need to get that stick out of your ass... Have a sense of humor and maybe be more open to the game. Instead of just praising Vasquez no matter what, be objective and watch him play. DId you see the possession at the end of the game where we needed a quick shot and he held on to it until 3 seconds left on the shot clock and dished it out to Rivers for a hard contested 3. He's not perfect and he played well tonight, but he definitely makes a lot of mistakes. Sorry if that post really affected you. Honestly why do you care...? Its obviously a joke.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

I don't understand how there are people who spend the time in their lives writing this kind of crap...

Noah
Noah

What the....

NOH Domination
NOH Domination

I'm telling you that was a foul on AR. Yea, he got the wrong end of it, but he's the one the reached. He committed the foul first and therefore anything after that doesn't matter, including getting accidentally hit in the face. The travel call was bad and the called block on Davis was bad, but that reach was not a bad call.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

Jarrett Jack committed the foul on Austin Rivers and the referees reversed. He clearly left elbow in the Rivers' face. Moreover, the referees of the last night's game were terrible. Especially for us.

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

Lucas, my friend, you need to take a deep breath. Even in the post you are responding to, no one is applauding Lopez. Read Michael's bullet about him. There are a lot of bad players on this team, and we call all of them out at different times too. Most of them have essentially been dismissed at this point because they are so bad. Vasquez gets the most discussion because he's such an amazing mixture of really good and really bad and it's hard to decide where to stand on him.

NOH Domination
NOH Domination

I agree with you Chuck, whining about officials isn't something you want to get into a habit of doing. However the officiating down the stretch of this game wasn't good and even the Warrior commentators were feeling bad for the Hornets. Having said that, Austin Rivers totally fouled Jack on that play. He reached all the way across Jacks body and that's why his face ended up in his shoulder. It was a dumb play by Rivers since it looked like he was trying to foul and there were only 8 seconds left on the shot clock.. The biggest call that went against us was the called block on Davis.

Pluto D
Pluto D

You probably didn't see the play at the end of the game where Jarret Jack shoved an elbow into Austin Rivers' face, and Austin getting called for the foul. Talk about insult to injury. Jarret's free throws sealed the game. I guess Austin's face got in the way of his elbow. Reasonable to complain after such plays. And Hornets fans aren't whiny. Lakers fans are whiny.

shay
shay

And where the hell is Darius Miller

xman20002000
xman20002000

EG will see him... Our back court isn't ready... They don't see him let along look to pass to him... Rivers is finding his way and Vasquez is another story...

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

The joke was in bad taste, sorry. And your opinion of Vasquez or any other player I just respect. Incidentally, I respect all opinions, although I don't agree with many of them. But... Stick? Ass? Showers? Are you gay?

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

We support everyone on the team & hope they do the best, but support isn't saying someone is good when they're not, that's just not being realistic. For example, not alot of people think Aminu is very good, but we still support him & hope he does well.

Canadian62
Canadian62

Well Ryan, Vasques IS your starting PG right now. Do you see another one in the near future? I don't, unless a trade happens soon. So, it shouldn't be hard to decide if support him or not. There are ways to make comments about your players, like Michael saying that Anderson was "fantastic", obviating comments about his 4 of 14 from 3pt, his zero rebounds and zero assists. He wants to praise a player, and decided not to mention his last night flaws... But he also found a way to diminish the performance of another player, who had very good numbers, adding the remark "statistically" after the word "spectacular", meaning he doesn't believe the last. He could have called Vasquez's performance as simply good, without the remarks. Anyway, it was a nice game recap, somehow different, and definitively more objective than the one you wrote for the Hornets-Wolves game

MZURK
MZURK

Darius Miller who shoots 37% from the field and averages around 5 to 6 points per game per 36 minutes. He's not horrible, but he really has quite a way to go.

xman20002000
xman20002000

Monty seems to like Lance Thomas but dang.. our SF scored 8 points... Thomas had 4 points in 40 minutes; McGuire 4 in 20; Aminu 0 in 4; and Miller DNP... Lopez is rumored to have interest from Boston and he has an attractive contract... We will need another big... Several players need to move on...

Melvin E
Melvin E

I don't understand why Monty doesn't give the kid a chance. He has played well this season when given an opportunity but 2 DNP in a row on a team as bad as ours is weird to me.

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