Jazz Deliver Hornets Biggest Loss of the Season

Published: November 24, 2010

They were determined to make their presence felt, and they sure did on this night. They knew nobody was watching this game to see Chris Paul or Deron Williams. Similarly, people did not tune in to witness the unique skills of David West or Paul Milsap. No, this game was ALL about the officials and they knew it, so they took center stage and controlled the game.

I am not going to take all the credit from Utah, who played an outstanding game offensively, but the officials let the game out of control early and the Hornets never recovered. The game was by far the most physical game the Hornets played this season, and truth be told, they might have lost the game even if the refs called the game down the middle- but they didn’t.

Of course the Hornets have played 5 on 8 before and come out victorious (against the Heat), but tonight the combo of Utah’s offensive efficiency and the refs ridiculous calls resulted in a 105-87 Jazz victory. Deron Williams led all scorers with 26 points, in addition to his 11 assists. Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap also did their part, chipping in with 23 and 17 points respectively.

For the Hornets, Chris Paul and David West were the leading scorers with 17 and 15 points respectively while Willie Green was the only player from the bench who showed up, scoring 13 of the bench’s 29 points. The Hornets were horrible behind the three-point line, going 4 for 19. Meanwhile the Jazz shot over 40% from three, which as I pointed out in the preview, is a key them in their victories this season.

This is the second straight loss for the Hornets, and the first loss this season by more than four points. New Orleans has one more game left on this road trip (at Portland) before heading home to face the division leading Spurs who pulled out their 12th straight victory tonight against Minnesota.

Notes and Observations:

*As much as I hated the refs, I have to give the Utah fans props. They were loud all game and seemed to recognize when their team was in a lull and gave them an extra boost. This team will be tough to beat at home in the playoffs.

*Jarrett Jack is now 0-2 as a Hornet. It has nothing to do with his play, however, but it is worth noting. The only critique I have of Jack in this game is that he missed yet another opportunity to get the team a 2 for 1 at the end of the 1st quarter. That is 3 straight opportunities he missed, and something Chris Paul always is aware of. Share the knowledge CP3.

*This year the role of Marcus Thornton will be played by Trevor Ariza. Remember how Thornton would get hacked when attacking the basket and the refs would swallow their whistle? I have seen it happen to Trevor a half of dozen times in the last 3 games. You can tell it is frustrating him, and honestly, it is frustrating me too.

* There was an Aaron Gray sighting, and when you consider Pops’ horrible play and David Anderson’s Visa problems, we might see him again this week.

* Marcus Banks was told to stay home and collect his checks- no need to report. How embarrassing is that? Not to say I don’t envy him in some ways. Stay home and collect a check- can’t help but think of Fight Club.

*Hornets played some zone in this game and it had mixed results. I have a feeling Monty is starting to see that teams are figuring the Hornets defense out and he is trying new things out. The effort is there, but this team still lacks the length and shot blocking ability that elite defenses have. Because of that, they might have to rely on gimmicks from time to time.

* I’m done writing- I want to hear from you. But first, take a breath and think of this season as a big picture that is just starting to be painted. Where are we going? What is fixable? What might not be with the current group of players? Don’t just list the bad because of the current taste in your mouth- paint a full picture; looking forward while simultaneously looking back.

I can’t what to see what ALL of you have to say. Lurkers- REGISTER tonight and become a part of this community- we want to hear your voice.

I turn it over to all of you……


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