The Pacers beat the Hornets

Happy Thanksgiving, my ass.

What we're dealing with here is the poorest performance of the young season by the Hornets. Last night they hosted a Pacers team that had lost seven of eight and given up 134 points to the Lakers just 24 hours earlier.

And, we had Chris Paul back, so you know I was tempted to eat my blueberry victory muffin before the game even started. (I did end up eating it after the game anyway, but it didn't taste quite so victorious, believe me.)

Chris Paul watches from the floor as Marquis Daniels goes to the rack. What's with the dude pointing in the background?

Notes on this one…

  • Final score was 105-93 to the Pacers (box | recap | uninspiring video). It was tight through the first two quarters, with Peja Stojakovic scoring 12 points in the first period and eight other Hornets getting buckets in the half. Indiana didn't have much trouble scoring either, though, pouring in 54 first-half points of their own.
  • Morris Peterson put the Hornets up one at the midway point when he tore down a rebound, raced up court and fired in a 35-footer at the buzzer.
  • The second half was a different story. The Pacers took off on a 13-2 run and our guys were done. The deficit bounced between 5 and 17 thereafter, but the Hornets never looked serious.
  • Byron Scott spoke words from his mouth after the game…

    "The effort wasn't there for whatever reason. It's mind boggling to me. I told everybody to make sure they get a tape of this game. Everybody in the arena could see we didn't play hard and they need to see that. To me lack of effort is something not coachable. Right now I think they feel like they can just walk in here and win a game and it's not going to happen."

    Byron also thinks the media might be to blame. Damn you, John Reid.

  • As noted at that above link by Jim Eichenhofer…

    Scott looked at the stat sheet and was bothered by the fact that over a third of the Hornets' shots were three-pointers (30 of 87 total FGAs).

  • Missing Tyson Chandler is no excuse for this one, as the Pacers were minus their own big men; Jermaine O'Neal and Ike Diogu. O'Neal was a late scratch because he's suffering from (guess what?) a knee injury. Indiana won the rebounding battle, 51-45.
  • Starring for the Pacers was Troy Murphy, who had 18 points by halftime and finished with 23 and 9 rebounds. He was doing damage inside and out. Danny Granger also got some, scoring 22 and grabbing 9. I'm so not speaking to him anymore.
  • So much for Jamaal Tinsley being a big pile of suck (you jinxed us, Ryan!). He finished with 18 points, 13 assists and just two turnovers. He's actually dished 36 assists and turned the ball over just five times in his last three games. I'm no dentist, but those numbers sound good.
  • David West and Melvin Ely were about the only two guys who played well for the Hornets. West bounced back from his poor showing against the Magic by scoring 23 (10-17 FGs) and grabbing 8. Ely continued his strong play, scoring in double figures for the third straight game (10, 10, then 11 last night). He even decided to try out that rebounding thing against the Pacers — you know, just to see what it was like — and ended up with 11 boards. He's considering doing it more often.
  • But everyone else wearing white last night pretty much sucked. Peja shot 0-of-4 in the second half and managed just 5 points beyond that first quarter, finishing with 17. Chris Paul showed heart by coming back perhaps a little early from that ankle injury, but was clearly off his game. He dropped 10 dimes, but could only hit 3-of-12 from the field for a season-low 8 points.
  • Meanwhile, Rasual Butler shot 1-of-5 from the field and Julian Wright sat on his ass all game. You're looking for some energy, Byron? That athletic freak of a rookie at the end of your bench might do the trick. Just a thought.

  • Brandy and her little bro were in the house last night. Yo, Brad Pitt! When are you and Angelina gonna show up and support this team? I know you read this site, dude, trying to pick up some of my impeccable grooming tips. Get your ass to a game and I promise to quit flexing when your lady is in the room.
  • Attendance last night: 11,609. That's actually better than I was expecting for a mid-week game against the Pacers.
  • View from the other side: Indy Cornrows wraps this one up.

The Hornets aren't in a happy place right now. We've got a two-game losing streak, and back-to-back road games against the Jazz and Clippers up next. Those two teams are a combined 9-2 at home this season. What's worse, there's a possibility Tyson might miss both those games, as his knee injury lingers.

I'll leave you with some good news, though. As John DeShazier points out today, Peja's play might be up and down, but at least we're not concerned about his back anymore.

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