Game On: Hornets @ Magic (With LIVE CHAT!)

The last time these two teams met, the Magic had a 9 game winning streak going and were simply destroying teams after making two massive trades to shake things up. The Hornets, meanwhile, were struggling, having gone 11-15 in their previous 26 games after an 11-1 start. The game was a turning point, however, for the Hornets. They went nose to nose with the bully and walked out of the arena with a 92-89 overtime win that helped propel the Hornets to a franchise record 10 game winning streak.

Marco Belinelli sprained his ankle two minutes into the game, and as a result, Marcus Thornton got 32 minutes and scored 22 points while pulling down 9 rebounds. He wasn’t terribly efficient in that game, but his energy and effort woke this team up and gave them the boost they needed to defeat the hottest team in the league. With Ariza and Okafor both ailing and the Hornets defense suffering as a result, somebody other than Paul and West is going to have to step up with a huge game if the Hornets have any hope of walking out of this game with a W.

When the Hornets Have the Ball:

The last time these two met, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor combined to shoot 15-23 for 34 points. Neither are expected to suit up tonight. Honestly, it is going to be difficult for the Hornets to put up points against this Magic team, as Dwight Howard will be able to cheat off of Gray and keep CP3 and West out of the paint. In addition, the Magic have been great at keeping most teams from scoring on them in transition. Add it all up and there are only two ways the Hornets win this game:

1.) They play their first great defensive game since Emeka went down, hold Orlando to between 80-85 points.

2.) They start raining threes (somewhere between 10-15)

Which one is more likely? Honestly, it will hard to see either one happening. But hey, that’s why they play the game. Right? …. Right?

When Orlando has the Ball:

Dwight Howard went off for 29 and 20, and that’s when the Hornets had their best defensive player on him. Tonight he will be guarded by Aaron Gray, David Anderson, and DJ Mbenga. Hornets fans all remember the game last year in New Orleans where Aaron Gray outplayed Dwight Howard in the 4th quarter to lead the Hornets to a 100-93 victory. What they might not remember, however, is that Gray picked up 5 fouls in just 24 minutes against Howard. Dwight is a much better player now, and this time Orlando will be at home. Just sayin’, don’t be surprised if Gray picks up 2 fouls in five minutes (especially with the way refs have been treating the Hornets as of late).

Outside of Howard, it is impossible to predict whether anybody else will show up for Orlando. They have seven other guys who can go off for 20 points on any given night (Nelson, Reddick, Arenas, Anderson, Bass, Richardson, and Turk). Each and every one of those guys are equally capable of going 1-9 like Nelson did the last time these two met. The danger for the Hornets will be the fact that they must double Howard, and if you give the Magic shooters enough open looks at home, they are likely to blow you out.

Other News and Notes:

– Join us for a live chat during the game. 7 EST/ 6 Central.

– As usual, thanks to Dariusz for our gameday banner.

– Last time the Hornets were in Orlando, a 135-81 preseason loss that left most Hornets fans thinking that this would be a loooong season. Lesson learned, next preseason I will take nothing positive or negative from a preseason game.

– Hornets have given up 100 or more points in 7 of their last 8 games. All-Star break can’t get here soon enough.

– As you can tell, I am not to optimistic about this game and I am still reeling from back to back losses against Minny and the Nets. Cheer me up by Captioning This Pic!

75 responses to “Game On: Hornets @ Magic (With LIVE CHAT!)”

  1. Mark my words: I hope we win but I say we lose this game by 11 unless Thornton géts 20+ minuþes of play, btw b.bass is out! He helps orlando a lot and I think he’s more of a threat than dwight howard, but he just geþs less playing time and less attention. Kind of like marcus is for us

  2. With how unpredictable this team has been this season I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be a win. or a devastating blowout loss like orlando gave us in the pre season. Following this team is one hell of a roller coaster ride.

    • Just to be on the side of the 11 thumbs down so far-

      The team, essentially as comprised, was predicted in the preseason to miss the postseason by the overwhelming majority of sports writers and analysts.

      Currently, Williams has them 5th out West, despite Paul being noticeably slowed. The Hornets have been mentioned as potential contenders by the MSM two separate times this year already. Monty has them doing this, despite playing what is so far the 5th hardest schedule in the league.

      Frankly, the team is exceeding even the most optimistic predictions of where they would be at this point in the season. I get that people don’t agree with his decisions on all matters, but at least acknowledge he’s got the team overachieving so far.

      • Watch yourself when you say words like “overachieving” thats saying that we are playing better than we are, aent true im ready for the trophy and banners in the hive.

  3. Just A Fan – That’s a little bit rough, if your more than just a fan you’ll know that we are only a few wins away from beating last years record, and still have a shot at a 50 win season. I feel like we are just one player away….

    And that’s what Tony Parker had told Chris Paul after we lost to the spurs in that magical (no pun intended) 07-08 season. Even though we have lost about 7 games this season that we should have won, I’m still a happy camper. This is the happiest I’ve been as a Hornet fan since 07-08 and we aren’t even at the all star break lol.

    Monty is a rookie so he makes rookie mistakes, but he’s not bad for a rookie.
    Marcus is technically still a rookie but he’s also not bad for a rookie.
    I would love to know marcus and coach williams personally and have then Co-incidentally meet for a cozy dinner in a booth somewhere so they can bond and finally get this ship sailing full throttle (no homo)

    • I agree Max. Monty can only play with the cards he has been dealt. With Ariza and Okafor out(and a seemingly less than 100% CP3), I think Monty is doing the best he can to hold things together. Lets see how things look after the all-star break.

  4. Let’s all remember how AG totally shut down Dwight Howard last year when the Magic came and played at the Hive.

    Here’s to his repeating that performance against Howard!

  5. “Van Gundy’s deer-in-headlights look came after he asked the bike rental guy if they had anything bigger than a child-sized safety vest. The guy responded that he had already been given the adult XXL.”

  6. I’m not too optimistic regarding tonight’s game~having seen the awful rotations of the last few games. I can only hope that Monty ‘at least’ recognizes when things aren’t right, then MAKE A CHANGE! Sometimes it’s not always about making the right call, but sometimes just changing things up a bit is all any of us can ask. I’m tired of hearing about this ‘ROOKIE’ status…c’mon, when you’ve been around the game (professionally) as much as Monty has, coupled with an entire coaching staff (I know, cuz I see them everynight), doing nothing is UNACCEPTABLE! If we can keep the margin relatively narrow, I think we can make this game very very interesting. C’mon guys…let’s do this!!

    • I think Monty is trying to change things up. Just so happens not everything works. Nor does everyone agree with all his decisions. The guy is trying, though; I mean, he definitely wants to win.

  7. Monty is starting to become the Mike Singletary of the NBA. Extremely stubborn. Won’t admit he makes a mistake. No adjustments. I’m hoping we can move any combination of thornton, smith, banks, bellinelli, picks, cash for g. wallace and a decent backup 5.

    • Are you kidding me!? Monty always admits when he makes a mistake or when he believes he could have handled things differently.

      You’re talking about Byron Scott.

      • Always? No. I kid you not. I really like what Monty has done with the defense. It’s amazing. What Monty has failed to do and never has owned up to is that his focus is on one side of the ball. I believe that once he puts more time into it and develops more offensive plays that put his players into positions where they can score, he will be absolutely one of the best coaches in the league. I really like him but I think we’d all be lying if we said we liked his approach to the offense. Gotta score to win.

      • Dude, Monty says what you say he does not say, and says it weekly. Check the Bee Bite for today, for instance.

  8. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but we might be on our way to a long losing streak before the All Star Break.

    I seriously hope not, but this is me mentally preparing myself.

    • Yep. I too want to believe we can win and will be cheering the Hornets on every second of play, but the reality is that we WILL lose the next 4 games.

      Sucks because things were going so well before these injuries.

  9. Van Gundy- “Thank god i dont have to shop at victoria’s secret anymore, this gives me support and comfort”

  10. So the NBA fined CP $15K? LMAO. For verbal abuse of an official? My brother said the officials need physical abuse. LOL

    I read it on CJ Paul’s twitter.

    “He told the ref he was a “freakin coward” after the game and they fined him 15k…that’s the @NBA for ya!…#shouldvegothismoneysworth ”
    29 minutes ago via ÃœberTwitter

    • Somewhat off-topic, but I hate seeing the refs imposing such subjective calls during games. Games seem more in control now, but I’ve rolled my eyes more than almost any other season and we still have a little less than half a season to go.

      • So the Nba fined the refs of that Phoenix game when there was a clear goaltending, that could have send us to OT or that game against the Lakers when we had a 27-4 FT disparity bescause a lot of non-calls in our favor,this is what really pisses me off on the Nba today!

  11. I don’t really get how people keep thinking that Monty is “only focused on one side of the ball”.

    What we run is a very specific type of offense. We LIMIT possessions in a game. That’s an actual offense, people. Don’t believe me? Go watch a UCLA game coached by Ben Howlin. Or how bout an NBA game coached by Larry Brown?

    We INTENTIONALLY don’t try to run. We INTENTIONALLY hold the ball to run the shot clock. We INTENTIONALLY try to slow the game down.

    The goal in this type of offense? It’s for your offensive efficiency (103.4) to exceed your defensive efficiency (100.2).

    If we tried to run, and outscore teams, we give our defense NO chance. As great as Okafor has been defensively, and as well as DWest has bought into the system, if we don’t slow down our offense, our defense hurts because opposing teams have more fast break opportunities. In which case, Okafor, Smith, Mbenga, Gray, Anderson, and West are not fast enough to get back on defense to protect the paint.

    There is A LOT of emphasis on offense for this team. And the emphasis is to hide our weaknesses.

    If we had a premier scorer like Kobe, Wade, Melo or Durant, we wouldn’t have to worry about this as much. But we don’t (and for those of you who think Marcus falls in that category, I only throw my hands in the air for response to you), so we need to better utilize the components we have and put them in better position to help our TEAM win.

    • There’s a lot more to offense than controlling possessions. In a well run offense there are set plays for players that puts them in a position where they can score. Plays that put the players in position(s) where they are most efficient. We have seen too many Ariza 3’s and not a whole lot of him cutting to the basket. Ariza is most efficient when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. But, we’ve seen him handle the ball quite often. You’ve mentioned our offensive philosophy but (and maybe I missed it) didn’t mention what kinds of sets or plays. And I believe it’s simply due to the fact that our bread and butter is the pick and roll and relying on CP to create chaos (which is a lot of fun to watch.) In conclusion, I like a lot of points you make on other topics and and I’m also glad to finally find a topic I disagree with you on. I enjoy a good debate

    • Couldn’t agree more with Agent Ziko. People seem to think that this is a talented team, but it really isn’t and when Monty has had a healthy roster, he has VASTLY overachieved. They have to play this boring, bland brand of basketball to win. I am sure if Monty had another consistent scorer on his team or even one legit low post threat, we would see a different offense.

      The last time we had a healthy roster, we were coming off a 10 game winning streak. No need to turn on the guy because he is losing now that he has Aaron Gray and Sasha Pavlovic as starters. The franchise has never had a better foundation in place than it does now with Monty and Demps. Wait and see what happens if Monty can get some additional talent.

      • Michael- i agree with how the offensive philosophy is influenced by our defense and all the limit the possessions per game but i dont agree with you saying this isnt a talented team.

        I feel we have played to about where we should be personally. How many other teams out there have 3 legitimate all star contenders in mek west and paul? Not many and we do have a decent all beit not special supporting cast in ariza smith thornton jack. So i disagree with your point about us overachieving since i dont think we have at all and the recent disapproval of the coaching is that even though we have 2 key players hurt we are still loosing to the t-wolves and nets. We have more wins than those teams combined and with our 2 best players still in the lineup we should not be loosing to those teams

      • It is entirely possible that I’m completely missing what you guys are seeing on offense. But I’m definitely not turning against Monty. I think he’s a good coach and has potential to be a great coach. I just wish there was more offball movement and I’d like to see multiple picks on one play every now and then. I think it might improve the offense. But hey, I’m no coach.

    • AgentZiko, I hear what you’re sayn…can’t say u totally disagree (some is quite obvious); however, that plan doesn’t work effectively with descent defensive teams! Rarely do we catch these teams off balance defensively! It doesn’t help us when we allow opposing teams to set up when opportunities pass us by while we’re forced to take poor shots since we’re deep our out of shot clock! That has happened more times than I care to remember! Also…just remember that YOU bought up the Marcus thing??

  12. i wish david west would give cp a little glass of what hes been drinkin all year. I love cp i just wish i could understand why he doesnt wanna go out there and score.

    on a side note Last game monty had us running dual pg’s i was thinking why couldnt we have just scooped AI for a minimum contract beginnin of the year, dual pgs with the answer right now. man

    • It’s possible Monty may not want much scoring out of his point guard. I mean it may be CP3 but anyone ever thought it could be Monty not wanting a scoring point guard? Ever since CP has been in the league paired with West, how many times has CP been the leading scorer on the team? And how far has the Hornets gone with a scoring point guard? IMO, Monty seems to want to get the most out of the PF position than he does the PG position. He loves West and his ‘big hands’. LOL! Monty seems to like to comment on West’s hands. LOL! Just my opinion. Or, perhaps CP’s leg is falling off so he no longer knows how to score. 😕

      • I’m pretty sure I saw the equipment manager approach Chris with a socket wrench during the Minnesota game . . .

      • I wish Chris would just rest the whole All-Star break and try to get as healthy as possible. The guy is just such a competitor. What more could you ask for in your leader though?

  13. I think I’ll go ahead and mute this because I really have no interest in hearing the word “Superman” all night long.

    Supposedly Arenas has been struggling. Here’s hoping that continues tonight.

  14. Last time Stan Van Gundy said the Magic wasn’t able to play their pace. CP needs to control the tempo of this game the way he did the last time these teams met.

  15. That wasn’t a foul. Dwight goes up ball flies out of his hand. I’m guessing (since i’m on mute) he yells so the whistle blows. SMH.

  16. The Hornets need to play good defense and make their shots. Don’t let the refs decide this game. They will certainly come out on the losing end if they let it come to that. Eff you Redick.

    • I keep forgetting about it. Most times when I’m in the game thread I don’t even go back to the top so therefore I don’t see the chat and forgets about it.

  17. well yall marcus didnt play i’d like to see him play but we got the W knock on wood so monty= Great game coaching

  18. Player of the game rankings

    1. Gray
    2. Green
    3. West

    Gray did a GREAT job on Howard and if it weren’t for Gray, Howard could’ve dropped 30-40 on us just going off how Mbenga looked against Howard. He also gave a lot of effort on the offensive glass and pulled some down against Howard. Green was the offense for parts of the game and he was very good. West once again with a dominating rebounding performance. Paul played well even though his shot wasn’t falling. Still good to see him taking the shots instead of being hesitant and passive. Ariza’s shots just weren’t falling, but I’ll give him a pass since it was his first game in about a week and a half. Good job on Turk, Turk was awful tonight and threw away the game for Orlando.

    Overall very good win, and I’m proud of this team right now. We needed this badly and this could definitely end up being one of those we remember if we can finish strong into the break.

  19. I am beginning to think that Dwight Howard is the biggest thug in the NBA. Kudos to the Hornets for a job well done.

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