Knicks Continue their Domination over the Hornets

Published: December 3, 2010

After two long years of losses, the Hornets should have wanted it more. The Knicks took them down 100-92 behind a strong performance by Amare Stoudemire. In a word, the Hornets were apathetic. Monty wasn’t aggressive late with his substitutions and was content to just let lesser players stay on while the team got closer and closer to defeat. Paul, who had played only 25 minutes in the first three quarter, didn’t come on until 7:00 to go in the game and the Hornets down double digits.

Again, as has been the trend, it was a very ugly game. The Hornets gave it away 19 times, which led to 29 NY points. Considering the Knicks were supposed to be the team that committed lots of turnovers and we have Chris Paul, this wasn’t what anyone expected. Not only were turnovers a problem, but there were a number of stupid fouls on both ends of the floor and a three second violation.

Jason Smith started in place of the David West (stomach bug), and played the pick and pop to perfection with Chris Paul in the early going. His eight first quarter points huge in getting the ball rolling for the offense. He also had a sick second half dunk which was probably the play of the night. Aside from that he was non-existent in the second half. David West was missed.


He took 14 shots in the first half and wound up with 22 points from them. Quite frankly the Hornets didn’t have an answer for him tonight, and even with West healthy it’s hard to imagine that they would have fared much better. He’s the type of guy that Okafor struggles with and tonight was no difference. Unstoppable seems like the best word to describe his performance.

In the third quarter, with Amare already on foul number two, the Hornets repeatedly went to Emeka Okafor inside in what I can only presume was an effort to get him to pick up numbers three and four. After a few tries they got foul number three, but number four didn’t come. Although feeding Emeka inside is rarely a beneficial offensive strategy, it was just about the only way to stop Amare. Smart move by coach, even if it didn’t work out.

Amare would finish with 34 points on 22 shots, to go with 10 boards. He also wound up with probably seven (a guess) two handed dunks. You can see why Paul wants to play with him. Those two on the pick and roll would be scary good.

Trevor Ariza

Ariza was feeling confident tonight, and let it fly from all over the court. He took 21 shots and wound up with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

It’s not often the Hornets will need Ariza to be their primary scorer, but with West of the lineup and Paul continuing his extremely passive play, this was a good time for him to step up. Despite a nice performance, sometimes he just puts up shots that make you scratch your head. It’s like once he decides that he’s shooting, there is nothing that can stop him from it. The results are bad shots with time left on the shot clock. Remove those three possessions and his game would have been ever better.

Chris Paul

Normally I refrain from talking too much about Paul since everyone else who writes about the game is going to cover every move and breath he takes, but I can’t help but publicly question his passive play. I don’t want to make any accusations, so I’ll leave it at that

Sure, with 5 minutes left in the game he decided to take over, but what about the other 43 minutes? Too little, too late.

He finished with 17 points on 9 shots, 10 assists to 2 turnovers, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. The numbers are great, but there need to be more of them under the point category to win games like this.

PAUL HASN’T SCORED 20 POINTS SINCE 11/17. SINCE THEN THE HORNETS ARE 4-5. – I felt like that deserved capitalized bold letters. Paul used to drop 30 once a week just for fun.

Other Player Notes

  • The Hornets started the fourth quarter with Jarret Jack, Thornton and Willie Green on the floor together and a full court press in effect. they got NY to burn a quick timeout, but afterward reverted back to their normal defense.
  • Thornton saw some more time today, giving the faithful some hope that he will be a real part of the team going forward.
  • Jarret Jack had a few minutes in the second quarter where it was clear that he was one of the most talented players on the floor. Once he gets some more practices under his belt I expect to see more minutes like that.
  • Okafor was abused by Amare on defense, but played pretty well offensively. On the boards he was pretty good, batting half a dozen balls out for rebounds and really keeping New Orleans in the game to some extent.
  • DJ MBenga had 4 points and 2 blocks. It was by far his best game of the season.
  • Belinelli struggled against his fellow Italian. He and Gallinari were matched up often and Gallinari won the battle.

Game Notes

  • The Hornets started the fourth quarter with Jarret Jack Thornton and Willie Green on the floor together and a full court press in effect. they got NY to burn a quick timeout, but afterward reverted back to their normal defense.
  • You know those annoying Knicks fans screaming every time a Hornet took a free throw? Well I literally know them, and if they are reading I hope they know that I hate them with the fire of 1,000 burning Peja heads.
  • All game the Hornets struggled to adjust to the fast paced New York offense, seemingly daring the Knicks to shoot threes. They would oblige and wound up scoring 39 points on 30 three point attempts. The Hornets took 14 and scored only 9 points as a result.
  • Attendance was announced at just over 14,000. It looked relatively crowded, but it’s been a tough year, so take that for what it’s worth.
  • The Hornets had 19 turnovers, a season high. Knicks scored 29 off of them.

I’m no longer undefeated on my recaps. Commence sadness.

Monty’s Postgame Comments

  • “You expect guys to step up and play with a sense of urgency [with West out], but tonight we just didn’t get that.”
  • “I’m always surprised when our guys don’t play with a sense of urgency because that’s who we are.”
  • On what the team needs to do- “Take care of the ball”, “Understand the value of the ball”
  • On changes in strategy- “Teams are playing us differently. They’ve scouted us. They know our play. We know theirs.”


  1. Pingback: So… what’s going on with Chris Paul and the Hornets? | ProBasketballTalk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.