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In the NO Podcast Episode 122: Hornets Tanking? »
A Hero Falls
We are falling – falling to rise
Pain is the guide out of the wastelands
We don’t need a hero
We are falling – falling to rise
No charlatan to show you the light
We don’t need a hero
— Edguy, We Don’t Need a Hero
A 2-2 week for the New Orleans Hornets brings the team’s record to 21-39 with 22 games left to play, with three games in the coming week. The Grizzlies game is the last of the non-televised games, and it’s away, so it’s radio or LP for that one. The Magic and Lakers game are home games.
2-2 may seem like a good week for a team that is only winning about one-third of its games, but the wins were against teams with records similar to that of the Hornets while the losses were against quality opponents.
The win against the Kings was a solid one, with it remaining close into the fourth when the Hornets built and held their winning margin of 15 points. The game featured good performances from Davis, Anderson, Gordon, and Vasquez, plus help from Lopez, and Mason. Aside from Thornton, the Kings had no bench help.
In the loss to Brooklyn, the Hornets fell into an 22 point hole before cutting their deficit to 16 at the half. During a steady comeback in the third, Anthony Davis suffering a shoulder sprain that cased him to miss the rest of the week. The deficit was 7 at that point, and the Hornets did not get closer than 3 the rest of the way. During the run, Davis scored 4 points on 2 shots while going 2-of-2 from the line, grabbed an offensive rebound of a close Aminu miss, stole the ball once, and blocked two shots in the eight minutes he played in the third. Still, Davis’s exit had less to do with the Brooklyn victory than their 12-of-20 from behind the arc.
Neither Gordon, nor Davis, nor Smith, nor Captain America played against the Thunder . . . with even worse than expected results, losing each quarter by at least 8, leading in no significant category, losing by 45.
Without Smith and Davis, the Hornets managed to outlast the Pistons 100-95. The Hornets actually had a 3 point lead with 2 seconds left and the ball while the Pistons had no timeouts. The Pistons fouled Aminu seemingly to give the fans a chance at free fries. Aminu hit both, icing the victory and opening the fry vault at McDonald’s. The game was really pretty bad, and, in the end, it was free throws that really kept the Hornets out front even before the final foul, with the Hornets going 23-of-31 while the Pistons went only 10-of-16.
On the court, the biggest news in the short term is that Davis’s shoulder sprain is keeping him day-to-day but missing games despite Monty saying that he could have played later against Brooklyn. That could have just been adrenaline, they could be showing some caution, or it could just be that they are letting the oft-injured soon-to-be-20-year-old just heal up generally.
The longer term concern is that Jason Smith is going in for surgery to repair the torn labrum he’s dealt with for weeks. He’ll miss the balance of the season, and he’ll be missed.
The Hornets also signed Forward / Center Henry Sims to a 10-day contract.
New Orleans Hornets Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Dell Demps announced today that the team has signed C/F Henry Sims to a 10-day contract.
Sims, a Georgetown University product, started 36 games this season for the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League and averaged 17.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 32.8 minutes per game. The 2013 NBA D-League All-Star joins the Hornets coming off a double-double performance (21 points, 12 rebounds) against the Maine Red Claws on March 1st, 2013.
After going undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, Sims played for the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls in the 2012 NBA Summer League. He signed with the New York Knicks before being waived at the end of the preseason.
This contract will last through the Nets game. He is eligible for a second 10-day deal with the team. If taken back-to-back, it will last partway through the long home stand at the end of the month.
Here are some highlights from some college games, a pre-Draft interview, and draft combine interview from Draft Express, along with his profile from them. Here is some info from Georgetown, where he played for 4 years before going undrafted in the most recent NBA Draft.
From an article referenced in the Draft Express profile:
A key cog alongside Kyle O’Quinn, Henry Sims was a presence on both ends of the floor as well, playing with terrific energy. Though Sims is certainly not an elite athlete or a finished product offensively, he made the most of his 7’4 wingspan and impressive frame, blocking a number of shots, pursuing the ball off the rim aggressively, and finishing around the basket. Struggling to rebound the ball at a high level as a senior, Sims’s effort-level was a positive here, as he made an effort to go after caroms that he did not seem intent on chasing as a Hoya. Sims did not consistently knock down his jump shots, but he did show the same unique passing ability we saw from him at Georgetown. His high basketball IQ made him a terrific complement to the players around him here, and at 6’10 with a strong frame and excellent length, his budding skill-level stood out among some of the other big men in attendance, particularly when considering he was one of the youngest players in attendance.
Off the court, the Hornets have opened up season ticket renewals. They are discounting many tickets and offering new benefits and payment plans, including a 12-month payment plan that I think is great. The Party Perch seats will be similar to the Hub Club without the food. The Lagniappe program is being discontinued and replaced with greater concierge services from reps.
Also, the Hornets held a season ticket holder appreciation event at the Saints Practice Facility. The event featured interaction with players including Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon.
Around the Site
In the In the NO podcast this week, Mike and Ryan dissect the trades and non-trades and discuss Anthony Davis.
Reader Michael Pellissier gives a progress report on Eric Gordon, Jake looks at how Davis affects space on the court, and Michael looks at different models of team-building that can apply to the Pelicans.
`Voices’ of the People
So the Hornets with 30% of their prime rotation minutes missing get rolled by one of the favorites to win the title and panic ensues?
I keep seeing comments complaining about GV being the weak link. Theres no question Westbrook had an advantage over GV but your looking at a player who has an advantage over 25 of the 29 other starting PG. Having been spoiled for years with the best play at the position in the game I think we need to reset our expectations for the position. CP3 isnt walking through that door. If the hornets want elite at any position it has to be coming in the draft.
Right now the Hornets are overpaying for mediocre in EG. We are not getting league average out of the 3. Maybe those positions develop over time but to expect GV to “carry the team” OR Anderson to carry the team against the Thunder who are playing better at nearly every position when the Hornets are healthy is not a reasonable expectation.
I went to the game and a few random comments
My husband who doesn’t follow basketball about Ryan Anderson, “geez,that guy can shoot.” Makes you wonder why he didn’t shoot more?
Monty Williams – putting his hand’s in pockets, shaking his head (down) walking back to his seat after Kevin Martin hit a wide open three pointer.
The Thunder have their own problems – they have played pretty stupid in February, makes you want to shake your head and just go sit down.
I don’t see The Thunder beating The Heat.
Thanks guys for this piece, the Hornets have provided us with some amazing sports memories over the years. All of the mentioned moments are in my top 5. Nothing beats playoff basketball in my opinion. That Mavs series was a blast and so was the San Antonio one despite losing, but game 4 against the Lakers really stands out to me because no one gave us a chance, I got to see a legendary performance by someone who will go down as an all time great in Chris Paul, and it was the last time I got to see Chris Paul in person as a Hornet, that is what the stories you tell your grand-kids are made of. Can’t wait to be in the playoffs again when the arena is full and jacked up!
— Chris W
Let’s talk about this labrum thing.
A labrum is a ring of cartilage in the shoulder joint. This can be injured in a number of ways. Smith’s injury is a SLAP injury, which stands for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. In this case, depending on the severity, the ring of cartilage becomes detached from the bones forming the structure of the joint, possibly involving other connective tissue.
This is not the same degree of injury that Drew Brees had.
The most common surgery for this kind of injury is arthroscopic. It will take a few weeks before significant rehab can begin, and it will take 3 to 4 months for a full recovery. In many cases, the recovery truly is a full one.
For reference, 4 months from the announcement is July 1 . . . just prior to when trades can be officially logged. That is also right around the time Smith can be waived and cost the Pelicans only $1m next season. This could be a motivation to deactivate him when they did rather than a little before or a little after. Depending on the injury, non-surgery options are available, and maybe that path was being taken but ran its course. He could also have had a setback of some type. The dates are compelling, regardless.
Given that things are set up to part ways with Smith if it is beneficial, despite seeing no good reason to do so, I wanted to say a few things.
Smith has gotten better each year with the Hornets, and every arguably so this season despite being hobbled with this injury. His minutes per game increased steadily until this season, but is still respectable, allowing his improvements to directly affect the outcome of games. He’s played through injury and played exactly as Monty wants him to play, all while being a fan favorite due to his energy, dedication, and attitude both on and off of the court.
The longest tenured current Hornet has played his last game as a Hornet, but, to me, Smith represents the spirit of this team, and is exactly what the team needs going forward. If that spirit carries on without him, then the Pelicans and their fans will be happy, but I, personally, will be happy if Jason Smith plays in the very first Pelicans game and retires in the red, blue, and gold.
Take care, Mr. Smith. Best to you, no matter what.