Hornets lose lead at end. Again.

By:
Published: March 17, 2013
Monty Williams

For the last non-hail-mary possessions of the game, the Hornets went Gordon Iso.  Because, you know, that’s worked all year.  Well, it worked in one game.  So let’s keep doing it!

For the entire season, Michael and I have complained on the podcast about Iso ball at the end of the game.  We got iso ball at the end of the game.  We’ve moaned and groaned about Lopez and Vasquez as a defensive tandem.  The Wolves ran four straight plays at either Vasquez, Lopez, or Vasquez and Lopez to end the game.  Oh, and other than a quick Iso-attack by Derrick Williams that was rebounded by Pekovic – all of them worked.  Hey, wait, another Iso that failed, and plays that work!  I hope next year, when this team will hopefully look very different, Monty shows more imagination at the end of games.  Like he does through the middle of the game.

Sigh.

Lottery balls for the win.

Observations

  • The Hornets were crushing it on the glass tonight, taking advantage of an serious weakness of this Wolves squad – particularly when Pekovic was out.  Lopez had eight offensive rebounds and the rest of the team added another twelve for a blistering offensive rebound rate of 43%.  If you do that and add a modicum of defense and ball control, you should win going away.
  • Unfortunately, Defense was in short supply for the Hornets as it has been all season.  They allowed 27 free throws and 56% shooting from the floor for a team that doesn’t shoot well at all, and over their last 10 games has been terrible at drawing free throws.
  •  I’d whine about the 18 turnovers, but the Wolves were kind enough to match that number.
  • Anyone disagree with the fact that Anthony Davis was once again the best player out there?  Maybe we should run a pick and roll with him to close the game?  Anyone?  Is that crickets?  17 points on 13 shots, 9 rebounds, 2 assists 3 steals and a block.  Kid is going to be a monster.
  • Ryan Anderson  has had a rough week.  I hope that Virus goes away soon.
  • Eric Gordon had six shots in 26 minutes.  Yeah, he had foul trouble, but he’s there to be an offensive threat.  I guess it was a little offensive, now that I think about it.

The good news is it was a tight game, came down the wire, we got to see Davis continue to play well and the Hornets still lost at the end.  And it was a loss to the Wolves, which puts one more win in the bank for a team that will be battling for lottery balls later.  That’s always good.

Game tomorrow night against Golden State!

36 comments
GerryV
GerryV

T-Wolves shot for a high % because of their shot location..19/27 "at the rim"...they are ranked 4th in the NBA in attempts from this area,35% of their FGA for the year are from that area...ave 29 fg att's......factor in the Hornets are ranked 27th in overall defensive play coupled with poor "off the ball defensive play" this season.

whichone
whichone

I have found this whole season a bit much to take. I have quietly questioned what the plan is for this team and now I have just a few questions for the board. One, what the heck is monty doing and I don't call him monty out of disrespect, just quick typing. I mean can you really win in this league letting your point guards shoot all the time? Two, what the heck is monty doing? I mean can you really win in the league when you have no offensive concept only to let whoever has the ball play one on one? Three, what the heck is monty doing? I mean can you really win in this league with mid level talent that you continue to add mid level talent to? and Fourth, what the heck is monty doing? Why draft miller if all you're going to do is sit him and let him watch other players under perform who have had years to figure this thing out!

come on pelican
come on pelican

I don’t know enough about NBA basketball to understand whether an isolation play is the best one to run at the end of any particular game, when and whether a team should try to run a pick and roll, and whether and/or when to flood the lane, press, play zone or try to shut down the 3 point shot on defense. And I don’t follow the lottery odds closely enough to know whether any particular team’s victory or defeat will increase or decrease its draft choice comparatively speaking. But as a Hornets season ticket holder since 2002 who has attended hundreds of NBA games in the Arena, I can offer these reasons why “encouraging the tank” or “rooting to lose” is a bad idea: 1. Tanking deflates your fan base and hurts your season ticket sales and other fan packages the following year. 2. Players pay attention to fans and sports writers when they suggest their team is better off losing games. 3. Tanking doesn’t help that much when you consider the lottery was created to discourage it. 4. This time next year, AD23 will be considering a second contract offer to remain a Pelican, and he will remember whether fans were rooting for the team to lose during his rookie season and will be keenly aware of fan attendance in the Arena. 5. I hate losing.

lsucpolk
lsucpolk

I would agree if the team was still going to have the Hornets name next year. The rebrand will bring a fresh slate and a new attitude, at least from the fans perspective, and even that makes a huge difference. It's no secret that the Hornets are lacking in talent, and need pieces, and the best way to do that for a team like ours is through the draft. The rebrand will make tanking "sting" a lot less.

Michael Pellissier
Michael Pellissier

You make some good points, but I just wanted to point one thing out. Davis's contract has team options on the 3rd/4th years, but those are picked up/rejected by the Hornets, not Davis. If he does not sign an extension, he has the option of entering restricted free agent after his 4th year or accepting a qualifying offer for the 5th year and entering unrestricted free agency after his 5th. Other scenarios are irrelevant because the Hornets are going to exercise his options on the 3rd/4th years.

YoungFella
YoungFella

Mockingly calling drafting high in the lottery the "Bobcats model" doesn't change the fact that at this point it's in all of these bad teams' best interest to lose as many games as possible. I could just as easily mock your "let's win as many meaningless games as possible!" strategy by calling it the "Milwaukee Bucks" model. NBA purgatory is no better than where we are - in fact I'd rather be where we are than where the Bucks are. At least we have hope. Milwaukee will be LUCKY to finally be where we are in 3 years.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

You began by calling those who wanted wins trolls, so ease up on the mocking talk. There is a point on the table you can address.

Nate
Nate

The Tank is a LIE!

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

I disagree that Davis was the best player on the court. He's been active lately, but will likely only be a complimentary offensives player while providing good to great help side D. Williams for the Wolves was clearly the best player on the court last night. We really have a lack of talent issue on this team. I've been saying for a while now that we should be aqcuiring draft picks to solve this issue. We don't have the trading assetd to bring in quality via trade and I just don't see free agency solving the issue. We have to trust our FO to make the right picks. We've already let one deep draft go without fully capitalizing on it. Hopefully our focus is on drafting this team to success instead of making small minor moves that leave us stuck in the same place.

mojart
mojart

Im all aboard now of the tank.....can't wait for the draft...next year should be no excuses for monty and company.... by the way nnamdi asomugha visits new orleans tonight....any news?contract offer?

Michael Pellissier
Michael Pellissier

I'm not trying to exonerate Gordon, but the spacing on that iso was really weird, and if you pause it right after Gordon creates contact vs. Ridnour, you can see he has literally no options, besides a possible pass to Anderson in the opposite corner, which I believe Kirilenko would've cut off. AK47 just timed it absolutely perfectly. I'll live with Gordon's other shot, as Ridnour gave him enough room to justify it. What is unjustifiable is him taking 6 shots in 26 minutes against Ridnour. Vasquez had 25 shots and Gordon had 6???? He had more minutes, sure, but that gap is inexcusable. You gotta call for the rock and do something with it, little guy.

YoungFella
YoungFella

Such an important loss. A win would have dropped us all the way down to 6th most balls, and that clutch defeat kept us tied for 3rd most. Huge. I really think that any Hornets "fan" who is still rooting for wins at this point is simply trolling.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Disagree. I want wins.

mateor
mateor

Nope, here is a similar article with most of the salient details. http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/44363/no-night-to-run-the-bobcats Although, like I said above, it sounds like the NBA's new best way to sell crappy teams to fanbases.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Well, that is Henry's opinion, and Cho may be ret-conning things a bit. The truth is anyone who knows as much about numbers as Cho knows this: if you have the worst record for 1 year, you have a 25% chance at the top pick (if you don't tie in final record with someone), leaving a 75% chance of whiffing; if you have the worst record for 2 years, you have a 43.75% chance at at least one top pick (if you don't tie in final record with someone), leaving a 56.25% chance of whiffing; if you have the worst record for 3 years, you have a 57.8125% chance at at least one top pick (if you don't tie in final record with someone), leaving a 42.1875% chance of whiffing. So, if you `tank' successfully for 3 seasons, you have about a 5/8 chance of hitting your goal, any anything less you have less than a 50% chance. And not every draft has a Davis, a James, a Durant. This is supposed to be what someone risks their career on? No. Their franchise-in-shambles? No. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it. Not fussing at you, mateor. Just the idea. It's nuts.

mateor
mateor

Yeah. It came hot on the heels of a segment where his alternative employment option was coaching high school tennis. Not convincing.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I'm unfamiliar, but I've decided that maybe a charitable interpretation is that is was tongue-in-cheek.

mateor
mateor

What is nonsense? The Rich Cho claim? I read it in the ESPN profile on him and Pritchard early in the season.

mateor
mateor

Supposedly Rich Cho made following the 'Thunder Model' part of his rider for accepting the Bobcat GM job. Unless you're a cynic who thinks that is part of the sucker-sell to ticket holders... The model is fine if you hit on the players, but that is far from a given as the 'Bobcat/Kings/Wizards model' jokes illustrate. But it can be debated that the three teams above hit on exactly zero of their high lottery picks. The Hornets are already ahead of that game. The odds get much shorter with each success. If we can count AD and Andersen/Gordon as two All-stars (debatable to some) then the Hornets have a (prospective) top-three pick and perhaps a coin flip's chance to strike oil.

Michael Pellissier
Michael Pellissier

Amen. The Thunder model is called the Thunder model because all the teams before them who followed the same strategy sucked and aren't worth talking about..

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Bobcats model! I'm going to start calling `tanking' the Rockets model. It's rocket science!

mateor
mateor

Yeah...I chose to be excited for the lottery as the CP3 trade was going down...that was obviously the choice the suits made. But wanting wins is probably the higher moral ground. Next year, no loses will be celebrated, to say the least. But I think the Hornets are in a great spot. In my completely unscientific polling, about 1/2 of top five picks are regular All Starss. Hitting on two in a row is very difficult. However, assuming things hold, we already have half the work done with Davis. So next years pick is huge. I am as tired of hearing about the Thunder Model as anyone. That was an ireplecable series of drafts. But the Hornets have a winner in AD, and a huge piece in Anderson. Should the Hornets hit the next drat pick, the Pelicans have a wide competitive window.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

The idea that the Thunder `model' is an actual model, is something repeatable, is dubious.

Drew
Drew

Bobcats did lose a lot of games and earn lottery balls, but they also drafted like drunken weasels. Kevin Durant's teams won a total of 43 games his first two seasons in the pros, and now they're contending for a title. Smart front offices turn teams around.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

What does this have to do with -- any Hornets “fan” who is still rooting for wins at this point is simply trolling. -- because that is what this is in response to?

YoungFella
YoungFella

Delayed gratification, or deferred gratification, is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Generally, delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later.[

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Oh, like the Bobcats. Please. That may work on some. Not me.

504ever
504ever

I am not sure I am as down on those iso plays where Gordon attacked. That was clearly the matchup where the Hornets had the biggest advantage. Gordon missed a pull up jumper on one and Kirilenko came over to block another. (Maybe Gordon learns something as his head is most often down on drives and he is not looking to pass.) Our last shot was not an iso and Vasquez got it into the hand of a player who spotted up. I think Lopez and Vasquez should get some love for their overall games. They and Davis basically kept us in the game.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

I would say Lopez was solid - 4th or 5th best player in this game. Vasquez was poor. Maybe the 8th best player in this particular game if I was being kind.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

No, Lopez was probably 4th in the game - Davis, Williams, Rubio, Lopez. Vasquez was the 8th or 9th best player in the game if I am being kind when you consider how many shots he took to get his points and his turnovers. Not "giving love" worthy to me. But, yes, Lopez should get some praise for how hard he worked on the offensive glass, though, as Ryan points out, when Minny wanted buckets they attacked him in the P&R and he was helpless to do anything about it. I still dont see any way either guy is here when we start winning, so I know that for me personally I am not focusing on them as much as I am Davis. I root for them to do well for trade value purposes, but thats about it

504ever
504ever

But my point was how good they were for the Hornets! Which Hornets players played better than Davis, Lopez, and Vasquez this game? I say none. Are you saying Lopez was 4th or 5th best for the Hornets? Vasquez 8th best for the Hornets? Then I want to see your ranking player by player for this game. (And if not, why did you respond at all?)

lsucpolk
lsucpolk

Remember when all the rivers haters said, "Don't draft him! He's going to dominate the ball, and play poor defense." Vasquez has become what all the Rivers haters feared.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

The Hornets took 21 more shots than the bad guys and made only 3 more shots. Absolute nonsense.

JJacob
JJacob

First game I was rooting for us to lose hard. If Davis plays well it's a part win. The other parts are Gordon plays well for trade value and Darius gets good PT.