Somebody Save Us

Published: December 23, 2012
Squirrel Perched (by Nicolas Suzor)

Everybody’s got opinions
But nobody’s got the answers
And that **** you ate for breakfast
Well it’ll only give you cancer
We’re runnin’ in a circle
Runnin’ to the morning light
And if ya ain’t quite workable
It’s been one hell of a night

— Cinderella, Somebody Save Me

Thanks for Nicolas Suzor for the image.


When the New Orleans Hornets tip-off in Orlando Wednesday, they will have gone over 3 weeks without a win. The now 5-22 team will face two teams it shares the NBA cellar with in the remaining games of the week. They host Toronto Friday then head to Charlotte to complete their back-to-back. These games are good chances for wins. Or a win.

The loss to Portland could have been the toughest of the week for a number of reasons. The margin of victory in the 94-95 loss is one. The fact that Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis’ rival for Rookie of the Year hit what amounted to the game-winning three point shot is another. The 29 three pointers, made at an average rate, might be another. In a game this close, the fingers will point every which way, including the last play, which was a two-point bucket by the Hornets.

The loss to Golden State was both better and worse. While the Hornets played well and had the game tied deep into the game, they were just outdone. The team only had 17 FTA compared to 34 by the Warriors. Jack and Landry accounted for 15 of them.

The loss to Los Angeles was pretty complete in character. The Clippers shot 33 of 54 from two point range and took care of the ball while the Hornets did not. Both teams stunk from three, but Clippers had the better game even from three.

The loss to San Antonio was similar to that against the Clippers, except the Hornets really killed it on the boards.

Against Indiana . . . the Hornets blew a 22 point lead. The end.


The big news this week is the return of Eric Gordon, and that it is closer to happening now that in was . . . no, we were told it would be October 31 until October 31. So, I suppose there is no real way for us to say it’s closer than anything reasonable that would matter.

Dell has given a no-earlier than of the Bobcats games this Saturday, and set up the Rockets game as the far end of the window, one that we all know can move around. This 4 – 6 weeks established early in the season expired more than a week ago and is now more like 8 – 9. If he returns and plays the rest of the season, then it was worth it.

He’s been cleared for contact, is with the team, and has participated in some activities with the team, which is more than he’s done in the past 2 months unless the team came to him in Los Angeles.

Recent articles indicate that the NBA has filed for trademark protection for several names for the New Orleans Hornets, one of which is New Orleans Pelicans. This is mostly a non-story for the following reasons:

As indicated here, trademark protection is conferred upon use in commerce. Registration is an additional step. Many a team has used or revealed their logo / branding then had the registration complete afterwards. Also, sometimes these have been filed after the team has but things into use. Additionally, teams tend to register things in groups even if they have no intention on using them. This gives the filer plausible deniability as to what `the secret’ is, and gives some wiggle room if necessary.

The point is, these things take time to go from conceived to viewable on a website, so these do NOT represent up-to-the-minute thought.

What it does is tell us what we knew: These were filed on 12/5. Spears’ report came out on the afternoon of the 4th.

Also, if Benson wanted to use Brass or Voodoo and use the existing branding, they’d have to buy the mark, not file for a new one.

Still, as much possibility as there is for something else, the evidence still points to Pelicans, as reported here for quite some time.

So, non-story.

Around the Site

On the podcast this week, the guys discuss our guard play extensively. First, there is some talk about Vasquez and Rivers. Later in the week, Eric Gordon again enters the conversation along with rebrand talk.

Keeping with the Eric Gordon talk, Chris Trew reviews Eric Gordon’s tweets from the past few months. Then Jake looks some plays the Hornets ran last season with Gordon.

Also, we’re continuing to tinker with the redesign. We’ve been messing with the twitter feeds, and the rest of the issues will be addressed.

Some have expressed some frustration at being able to find material. Here’s a rough primer.

At the top is the Spotlight. This are just articles we’d like to bring your attention to. They are usually longer reads or some sort of news or item of interest.

Below that lie two columns. One is filtered for short-shelf-life material like Game Day posts. The other is for long-shelf-life material. This split helps keeps the relevant content in front of the reader.

Below that is a list of all the stories in chronological order going backwards in time and is unfiltered.

I hope this helps.

`Voices’ of the People

Perhaps the Almighty is smiting us for eliminating the beloved pre-game invocation……


Although these losses are bad and frustrating, many of the things that I am looking for in the long run are there:

Anderson, other than tonight, is playing very well inside and out even as the #1 option. Rivers vastly improved his shooting from outside and is finishing many more plays he creates with his great quickness and ballhandling. Davis is showing effort, getting open, grabbing boards, making shots, etc. Lopez, while he may not be a piece for our future dynasty, capitalizes on his opportunities.

A bad game from Mason, Roberts or the SFs don’t seriously factor into the future. And the aura of Jason Smith wore off early and Blake Griffin went into his typical offensive foul showboat-y dunks game. I’m ready for us to add some pieces because games against the Clippers always seem more passionate; it could be a fun rivarly.


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.

— Nola moondog

42 sense

The New Orleans Hornets played their 27th game of the season last night. They lost it. Just like they lost the other 4 this week. Just like they lost the 10 before that. The once 3-2 Hornets became the 5-11 Hornets and are now 5-22 Hornets.

Now, I sort of hate what I just did there. Me saying the team went 3-2 REALLY means the team went 3-3, right? Just like 5-11 means 5-12, right? If not, I would have said 4-2 and 6-11 unless I was using some fixed increments . . . 3-2, 3-7, 4-11, 5-15, 5-20, and now 5-22.

Dispensing with all of this, let’s just list the games with the obvious coding, adding in italics for OT games and – as guides to the eye every 5 games:


It’s not pretty. The idea that we won about 2/11 games is overshadowed by the fact that we’ve won 1/11 after the first 5. Projecting the first percentage over the remaining games nets 15-17 wins. The former is a straight projection; the latter supposes we split the next two (ignoring the opponents) and projecting that going forward. Let’s call 17 the upper end of the projection. Playing the same game but ignoring the first five games yields 10-13 wins. Let’s call 10 the lower end of the projection.

For reference, the Bobcats 7-59 record is surpassed if the Hornets make it to 9 games. So . . . four more wins! Four more wins! Four more wins!

Talk about small victories . . .

In the end, are these projections anything but mathematical constructs? Slightly more. There’s reason there, but it’s just sense of what will happen if history keeps repeating itself, give or take. In fact, tossing this data into a reasonable distribution, a likely range is 7-23 wins . . . a pretty wide range of low win totals.

Either way, these low totals are what’s in the future unless something changes. Will Eric Gordon be enough of a change once he begins play? If he returns and the team starts winning half its games, the Hornets will finish with about 33 wins. If it’s more like one in three wins, the total is back in 23 territory, and that would be somewhere between a factor of two to a factor of four increase in output, depending on what the assessment of the current rate is.

Improvement in the back court may be that effective, sad commentary on the Hornets’ back court as that may be.

With injuries starting to catch up to a team with razor-thin margins, Eric Gordon’s return will be needed to keep the Hornets away from historically bad play (which winning 1/11 games over a long stretch is), and bring them up to the bad play everyone knows, loves, and ignores in the NBA.


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