Hornets Battle Back to Beat the Rockets. How U?

By:
Published: January 9, 2013
Greivis Vasquez

The first three quarters of the game were predictable. Sloppy play for the first half followed by a complete collapse in the 3rd quarter. Overall it was pretty bad. Both the Hornets and Rockets shot under 37% at the break and the score was a whopping 34-36. And then the second half started and the Rockets started shooting lights out to take a 69-59 lead after 3 quarters.

Then the 4th quarter started and Roger Mason Jr. went all freakazoid bananas.

Mason Jr. went 5 of 5 from the field in the quarter with 3 made threes. It could have been more as his foot was on the line on at least one other attempt. Not only that but he grabbed 5 boards, had a steal and a block as well. What might have been equally important as his scoring, though, was his defense on Harden. He slowed Harden down enough and held him to only 3 points on 1 of 4 shooting in the final period. It allowed the Hornets to hold the Rockets to a meager 10 points in the quarter while scoring 29 themselves in an improbably sparked 88-79 win.

Seriously, Roger FREAKING Mason Jr. sparked the comeback. Without him the Hornets lose. I’m not lying.

Observations

-If you were to tell me the Hornets would win by 9 in a game where Anderson and Gordon combined for 5 points, I would have bet you lots of money and lost. Neither player had his shot going tonight whatsoever. For a shooter like Anderson these nights happen.

-What worries me slightly was the Hornets didn’t really run sets for Anderson like they normally do. Monty used him as a pick man in the pick and roll, but that’s doesn’t take advantage of his skill set. Overall, there were less pick and rolls tonight, more isolations, and a whole lot of nothing. I was somewhat disappointed with Monty tonight.

-Rivers’ offensive game is bad, yes. But on defense you can definitely see him improving. He played adequate–not good but not bad–defense on Harden tonight. It’s a tough assignment for a rookie and he was going to struggle at times. But overall he held his own. Most importantly, Rivers show a strong ability to fight through screens on defense. This is something the Hornets guards have lacked this season and it prevents mismatches occurring on the pick and roll.

-Aminu played…I’m not exactly sure how to finish that. He shows these flashes at times which make you think he can be good. And then he goes and plays terribly by turning the ball over and getting lost on defense. Then the next few possessions have him crashing the boards and stripping the ball. Honestly, I’d rather have him be consistently bad rather than streaky because at least it wouldn’t get my hopes up.

-Who has worse hands? Aminu or Lopez?

-I’ve been hard on Vasquez at times, but without him the Hornets offense has the potential to look like an absolute mess. His 4 turnovers are not what you want to see, but his line of 17 points and 11 assists is. He’s a boom or bust player but the booms can look so great at times. There was a period in the first half where Vasquez broke out some very flashy passing. It was awesome.

-The Hornets rebounded 35.5% of their misses tonight which looks fantastic. Then you realize then finished 35 of 84 on the night. That’s a lot of misses. The Hornets need to start manufacturing more attempts at the rim. They currently rank 24th in makes at the rim per game.

The Hornets have now completed the Texas Toast Trifecta sweep and look to make it 4 in a row Friday night in New Orleans.

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27 comments
armed504
armed504

Mabe they should send Aminu dwn to the D league. His offence is terrible ! But I'm likin wat I see n the team .

BRhornet
BRhornet

anyone else miss when chuck use to give his end-of-the-game pep talks? It really got the crowd going. I did like how everyone stood up with 20 seconds to go but i wish everyone would be rowdy from the 2 min mark in. worst part about the rockets game was i didnt get to do the cheer that is on the PA when ryno scores. OOOOoooOOOOOoooOOOoo

Mr.C
Mr.C

Well,Well,Well!!! I must say I am a little takin back by what I have been seeing late from the Hornets...The hornets are winning games now that they would have lost earlier in the season, just EG being in the line-up has everyone playing better!!! If Aminu can get a jump shot he can be good at SF,but he rebounding and defense is very good lately!!!

rubberneck
rubberneck

Jeezz..you guys are hornets237 guys negative. You'd rather have a player completely bad? Hornets are finally winning, and all we get or lame trade proposals and negativity.

Jake Madison
Jake Madison

Well, Aminu could be consistently good, too. I'd be fine with that. What would you have liked me to say in the recap instead? I'm all for constructive criticism. I'm not a fan of just praising things/players. I know Jason Smith played incredibly well. I assume most of the readers do as well. We can say that all we want but so what? I'd rather look for some deeper insight into the game. Feel free to let me know here or email me at nolajake86 at gmail.com.

504ever
504ever

Jake, Your article was great. Keep it up!

Jake Madison
Jake Madison

Yes and no. I see where you're coming from but you could say we should do that even in losses. I'm not trying to recap the game in an Associated Press kind of way. There are multiple other places to get that. I want to point out somethings I found interested and go a little more in depth than the recap you'll read in a newspaper. It's why I don't use keys to the game in my previews. Ultimately they don't matter since I'm not the coach. I'd rather point out 3 things which will be interesting to keep an eye on--which might lead you to watching the game in a different light. Other writers here do it differently. That's cool; we just have different approaches. The great thing about NBA coverage is there are so many different types of it. You can get a well rounded approach by reading it all, or just pick the parts you like. Anyway is fine. As for Aminu, even though he had 10 rebounds, I think he had a poor game. I don't really like individual +/- but it's worth noting Aminu was -10 (I think, I don't have the box score in front of me) which was the worst on the team by far. Of those 10 rebounds, 4 were offensive. That sounds great, but then you see he only had 4 points. Usually you see a player grab an offensive board and then try and put it up for an easy make. It's why players have much higher point per play averages on offensive rebounds than elsewhere. But those 4 rebounds produced a total of 4 points and no trips to the line (again, I think). Those rebounds are great, yes, but if he can do anything with them it's a wash. Yes, he did contribute, but I don't think it impacted the Hornets in a positive way.

UptownFuz504
UptownFuz504

I follow that logic but after a win, shouldn't we at least accentuate the positives? If you never watched a game and you only read these articles and comments, you'd think that Aminu is not contributing anything but TO's and cherry picked rebounds. But I have no issues with the article other than what's stated above. I was just answering the comment. He/She made it seem as though Aminu didn't do anything of any worth in the game.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I would love for comments to add to the coverage rather than have writers try to take hours and hours to cover every detail, leaving nothing to talk about. There's a fine line between starting a discussion with some, but not all, good points, and doing a half-baked job. So, if the article is missing the positive . . . point it out clearly, intelligently, and interestingly. The world will thank you.

504ever
504ever

We aren't all negative. But your point is very accurate when more narrowly focussed.

rubberneck
rubberneck

sorry 247...you need a damn edit button as well.

JJacob
JJacob

I was at the game and... Aminu is terrible. His shot is pathetic (He airballed a wide open long two), and he gets in the lane and turns the ball over 50% of the time. The game was really hard to watch until the fourth when Mason Jr. turned into Reggie Miller. Jason Smith was incredible tonight, which made Davis' minutes limited. He just made some great plays on defense and his shot was going in.

UptownFuz504
UptownFuz504

Maybe Aminu has been working out with Rivers. Seriously though, if all you gathered from that game is Aminu's air ball and TO's, you should re-watch the game. Aminu gets every rebound (which gets discredited in this article) and he played very good defense. I don't understand how a young player in Aminu doesn't get the opportunity to learn and get better under Monty (in the eyes of the fans) but Rivers has been given years to learn. From the eye test, Aminu contributes to the team in areas of need ie. rebounding and defense. Once we get a pg, he'll fill another need which is fast break points. On a different note, I really think Eric Gordon should be our future PG. he's a small SG so we should let him slide over to PG and get a SG in free agency or the draft.

RonJohn
RonJohn

Eric Gordon should be our future PG. I thought that too, but a recent post mentioned that when Monty tried it but EG just stood around after his first pass. The experiment only lasted a couple of minutes.

RonJohn
RonJohn

48 Minutes Of Hell seems to be high on young SF James Anderson, who was recently waived. Apparently he played well when Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson were injured. Maybe the Bees could bring him in for a try-out.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Too confusing. Need all the players to have different last names, and I don't want to lose Ryan. Calling him James would bring too many flashbacks of Mike... Seriously, I would like to see a Hornets247 analysis of the recently waived players (stat pack, NBA skills and weaknesses). Way to lazy to look all that up myself. As for Aminu at that position, I'd rather have a performance like the Houston game from him with major peaks and valleys that a typical Lance/Darius/Xavier performance without a single peak. Aminu's defense and rebounding were crucial to keeping in the first 3 quarters. If we can keep him uninvolved in the last 10 seconds of our shot clock and forbid jump shots greater than 3 feet he is a strong net positive. I'm impressed with the activity level on defense over the last 3 games. Earlier in the season we were not active, and it made us a horrible defense. Now we are moving our feet, getting low, helping out somewhat, and keeping hands active without too much reaching. That is cutting down on foul calls and forcing turnovers. Same people (except for Gordon), but a different level of intensity. As noted, the fans have responded. Keep it up boys!

NolaHog
NolaHog

Can you say playoffs?

504ever
504ever

Where is Jim Mora when we need him: "Playoffs!? Playoffs?". We have to win around 75% of our remaining games to make the playoffs. That ain't gonna happen.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Not unless I can say "Hornets move to the Eastern Conference"....

Rafa Brazil
Rafa Brazil

You might have forgetten to mention the outstanding job Jason Smith did tonight! The guy was the heart of our defense, fought hard all night long, was out there in the final minutes, blocked shots, assisted, hustled... This win is as much his as it is Mason's. Liked the game Vasquez had tonight, but don't know, Lin isn't a real test... Wanted him to push the pace more often, like he did at times tonight! Davis, Aminu and Gordon are great in transition! GO HORNETS!!!

loudlikepat
loudlikepat

Seriously like this streak. Their level of play wasn't as good tonight as it was against the spurs, but a win is a win. Lopez, Smith, and Mason were on. A lot has been said about the talent level of Vasquez, but he has shown constant improvement night in and night out. He used to overlook AD in the paint, but he is finding him a lot more as of late. Every single game he makes an impact. His three game has improved, his drives to the basket and banking it off the glass, and his turnovers are getting smaller as time goes on. Anderson and Gordon have had off nights, but Vasquez has made an impact in every single game. He really needs to work on his defense and get a post gamr because of his size, but I have very few doubts that those areas won't be addressed. He has the drive, and he will continue to get better. I think he is one of the most improved players in the league. This was an ugly game until the fourth. I wish Ryno, the Commish, and Skynet would have had good games. It would have been a blowout. Even when Gordon's shot isn't falling, his defense and his courr vision make me thank Dell and company for matching the contract. I'm ready for Miller to come back from D-league and also ready to see what Dell has up his sleeve trade-wise. Sorry, random comment, just haven't posted for a while and I needed to vent. Go Pelcs!

NOHrevolution
NOHrevolution

The fact that we were able to pull off this win while EJ and Ryno had 5 combined is extremely impressive, but it actually gets me more excited going forward. I mean, I don't think nights like this will happen very often, especially for both guys simultaneously. This streak, however small, feels soooo nice! Hopefully this little run can turn into a big run. One more little thing that didn't really matter a whole lot but bothered the hell out of me. Early on Anthony Davis grabbed a rebound then Harden fouled him trying to steal it back. The refs called the foul but they evidently didn't count it toward's Harden's foul total. After that, Harden picked up two offensive fouls. He would've had to sit in the first half due to foul trouble, and again in the third quarter when he picked up his 3rd (should've been 4th). But annnyyyyyway... Awesome win!

Chris W
Chris W

What an exciting game. Actually most of the game was hard to watch, especially the 3rd quarter, but man, Roger Mason had his NBA Jam On Fire shot going tonight. I would like to see him coming off the bench ahead of Rivers, and not just because of tonight. Yeah sure, Rivers is improving on defense but doesn't really have much else going for him right now. Mason however is a vet who is a proven long ball shooter. I didn't think they would pull this one out with Anderson and Gordon just not having it offensively tonight. But it is very encouraging to see that Gordon can have an off night and the team can still manage to pull out a win. Also, great energy in the Arena tonight, crowd was really rocking.

mojart
mojart

One Word: DEFENSE kudos to roger mason as well....geaux hornets

RonJohn
RonJohn

Thoughts: 1) -8 in Q3 is in no way shape or form a "complete collapse". 2) Harden being the only Rocket in double figures should worry Houston. 3) With consistently bad shooting, sooner or later, opponents will stop fearing EG. Then we'll be right back where we used to be. 4) All of our bench was "+", but only EG of the starters, and that was just +2. 5) Rock on Jason Smith!! 6) What happened to AD?

bywas2008hornets225
bywas2008hornets225

Im not sure opponents necessarily fear EG, since they give him his jumper, and tonight was a night of whistle swallowing for the refs or eg easily has 10 + pts off free throws and who knows what that does to his confidence... Agree with you on everything else.

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

In the beginning of the 4th after attacking the rim EJ said to one ref "Y'al justl not going to give me no calls today, huh?" He was right