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.