Red Hot Hornets Take Down the Pelicans

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Published: July 17, 2014
NBA Summer League

The Hornets should consider changing their names to the Opossums, because that is what they played the first week in Summer League. Charlotte was one of the worst teams in Summer League for the first three games, shooting just over 35%. Today, however, they could not miss. And as a result, they pulled off their second straight upset, beating the Pelicans 104-75.

Charlotte shot 50% from the field, as they able to both get anything they wanted in the paint and light it up from behind the arc (shot 60%). PJ Hairston led the Hornets with 21, while Rion Brown and Cody Zeller added 16 and Josh Davis added 14 and 12. Meanwhile, New Orleans only had two of their five big guns show up, as Russ Smith and Courtney Fells combined to score 38 points. Patric Young, Jeff Withey, and DeQuan Jones were virtual no shows however, combining for just 11 points on 8 shots.

Honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered in this game, but the Pelicans were terrible from the free throw line again, shooting just 60.9% (14-23). Russ Smith was doing all he could do keep New Orleans in the game, but he just didn’t have enough help inside, and that is where Charlotte truly dominated. The Hornets dominated the glass (38-26), as the Pelicans got just 4 second chance opportunities, despite missing 34 shots. They were one and done on that end, while the Hornets were getting whatever they wanted on the other end. Hence, the blowout.

Notes and Observations

– This was supposed to be the summer of Withey, but it is hard to walk away impressed, as he has looked clumsy on the offensive side of the ball and incredibly slow on the defensive end. While it is true that Summer League is more guard friendly, I was expecting to see Withey at least be a presence on defense, while scoring some garbage points on the offensive end. He really hasn’t done either of those things. But again, it’s Summer League. It could just as easily be an aberration as a sign of things to come.

– Patric Young didn’t even get a field goal attempt in this game. He took two free throws and missed them both. Young will be going against this kind of size in the NBA, and today showed that sometimes you need more than energy and effort. His defense was good and he grabbed some boards in the first half, but he was not the standout player we saw in the first two games.

– Courtney Fells should get a training camp invite, and perhaps even some guaranteed money. After his Summer League this year, I am sure there will be a few teams trying to snatch him up. He only has 1 assist in 4 games, but who cares? The guy would be brought in to shoot, and he can do that.

– The Pelicans will play at 7PM Central tomorrow against Minnesota. It will be their final Summer League game.

11 comments
jmbell7
jmbell7

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! *Billy Mays voice*

I also like his knack for finding bigs on the short dump-off passes when he drives. He also makes some nice passes in the pick and rolls. Just gotta get those turnovers down. But I think we'll see less turnovers from him because he won't be asked to carry as much of the load as he was in SAC and CHI. 

jmbell7
jmbell7

Another thing worth noting is that his percentages have improved every year. He shoots near 50% from 3, and has drastically raised him FG% since his rookie % of 39% (up to .475). His true shooting percentage has improved every year as well, and is now 6th best among all PGs. Only his Turnover Ratio got worse, but his Assist Ratio increase as well. I hope he gets some playing time, although Monty won't like his defense.


I think he got written off after his rookie season, and then became another product of the Kings culture. In CHI he only played 8 games. I fully expect him to outperform his contract. I think this will go down as another great (albeit small) signing by Dell.

jmbell7
jmbell7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyVEYqV4Q3I

A common knock against Fredette is that he can't create his own shot. I don't think people that say that have watched him play. Jimmer gets buckets, plain and simple.


Jimmer also allows buckets, which is the problem. 


But with AD and Asik etc. he should have a better team around him to make up for his defensive woes. Maybe in time he can contribute 6-10 minutes a game with the right unit around him. I look forward to watching him play for the Pels. He's very exciting and creates offense (not that the Pels desperately need that). 

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

Good stuff on Fredette:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2130772-why-arent-the-utah-jazz-interested-in-free-agent-jimmer-fredette?is_shared=true?is_shared=true

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2070632-jimmer-fredette-to-pelicans-latest-contract-details-analysis-and-reaction

First one has a great comparison chart of Fredette's stats vs guards signed in free agency this summer including Roberts and Morrow...Fredette's shooting percentages from both in front of and behind the arc actually exceed both of these guys.  His PER is better (don't remember what goes into that calculation) and of course his scoring/36 (min?)...

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

Also re-signed Darius Miller as many expected...the same day as a Pelican presale for Darius Rucker tickets...coincidence? I think not!

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

Not on topic, but Pelicans just signed Jimmer Fredette to help fill the void of departing Anthony Morrow.  Another example of finding a guy with a special set of abilities that may not translate to the starter level, but the boy sure used to be an incredible scorer...read a quote from April from Joakim Noah where he said he's never seen a guy work as hard as Fredette...sure he needs to, but I think we found another floor stretcher...it's rainin' 3's out there!

kfte
kfte

Fells & Smith were it. Everybody else suck. Dequan Jones deserves a invite. I was truly disappointed with Whitey. I anticipated he would be a dominating center in this summer league. However he looked loss and slow, hate to stereotype him, but the shoe definitely fit today. The good and bad of getting a lot of minutes is either you get to show off all your skills or you get exposed. Whitey got exposed today, but everyone is entitled to a poor game. I hoping he bounces back strong next game. I agree  Young plays with a lot of energy , but he must do a much better job defending the pick and roll. I will chalk that up to a lack of pro-experience , he needs a lot of big men coaching. Raw defense talent , offense talent very little thus for. I thought any chance of making a comeback went down the drain when Fells didn't start the second half. The guy that started , I don't know who that was , missed to wide open jumpers when we were within ten points. Fells is the best shooter on the team and one of the best that I have seen in this summer league. Smith IS THE MAN! case closed!

jmbell7
jmbell7

Fells=Morrow? I want fells, Southerland, and Dequan Jones to get training camp invites for the last roster spot. If none of them prove serviceable, then sign another vet for 1 year.

BigBLDavis
BigBLDavis

Oh and before I forget, when is it that we start to believe in our front office and coaching (yes the combo of both) to where they may have been smarter than most of the league by not signing Jackson and then ultimately trading him for Russ Smith........Just wanted to hear myself say it, I know you guys have been in full support all along!

BigBLDavis
BigBLDavis

Yup, happens everytime I get excited and involved in something.  It's probably for the best though as it's common to learn from your mistakes, and not you success...expecially for a young team like ours.  We def can move forward with confidence that the trade for Russ Smith was valid.  He was able to adjust his came and stand out jjjjuuuuussssstttt enough to meet expectations of most.  I hear that a lot of people had similar expectations of Young...I did not.  Anything can happen, but I walked away with my eye on the young duo!