Hornets road woes continue as they lose to Timberwolves

Published: December 27, 2010

If you are a mediocre player or a young baller who has yet to achieve success in the NBA, make sure you pull out the schedule and circle the date when your team plays the Hornets, because you are bound to go off that night. Wesley Johnson, the Timberwolves talented but raw rookie, got the memo and went off for career highs in three-pointers (6) and points (24) as he provided the spark in Minnesota’s 113-98 win over the Hornets on Monday night.

Johnson was so hot that he was even having a hard time believing that his shots were going in- and that was after he made his 3rd three-pointer! Numbers 4, 5, and 6 were just cherries on top for a team that shot light out from deep, going 11-23, which of course is uncharacteristic of the Timberwolves, but that’s just how it goes some nights.

In addition to Johnson, the Timberwolves got big contributions from Michael Beasley (30 points), Kevin Love (double-double), and Darko Milicic (14 points in just 20 minutes). The Timberwolves defense was also uncharacteristically decent, as they forced New Orleans to stay primarily on the perimeter by rotating quickly and using some zone. The Hornets shot 42% from the field and just 3-11 from deep.

David West and Chris Paul showed up, as usual, for the Hornets but nobody else really stood out against the worst defensive team in the league. CP3 picked up where he left off against Atlanta, as he looked for his own shot more often earlier in the game and hounded players on the defensive end. He was completely into this game, and I think the Hornets win this game if the other nine guys had half of his focus and intensity.

Long story short, the loss was in part due to lack of intensity by the Hornets combined with a red hot shooting night that we have to tip our hats to. They had it going tonight and when the Hornets allowed Minnesota to stick around in the first half, their confidence grew. Another bad loss on the road- their 7th straight- and it doesn’t get any easier as the Lakers and Celtics are the next two on the schedule.

Other News and Notes:

– The Timberwolves did a smart thing by putting Milicic o West and Love on Okafor. Okafor doesn’t have the post moves to take advantage of Love down low and Milicic frustrated West for most of the possessions he was covering him, blocking 2 of his shots and changing 2 or 3 others.

– Thornton and Jack were simply off tonight (combined 3 for 15), but they were taking a lot of the same shots that they normally make- it just wasn’t their night. Shots weren’t falling, but on a positive note the two only had 1 turnover in 39 minutes of play.

– Quincy Pondexter knows his limits and he doesn’t try to do things that he does not do well. This is one of my favorite attributes of good NBA players that often goes unnoticed.

– The Jason Smith banner just isn’t working. Not even the magic of Dariusz could bring his game back to life.

– Earlier this season the Hornets were battling the Spurs and Mavericks for best records in the West and the Southwest division lead. At this rate, they will soon be battling the red hot Houston Rockets for 3rd place in the division.

– At least the Saints won, guaranteeing a spot in the playoffs and an outside shot at the division. Go Saints!


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