Hornets can’t keep up hot start, fall to Warriors

Published: February 16, 2011

The first quarter was a thing of beauty; CP3 scoring and dishing, the defense clamping down, Marco, Willie, and Trevor all draining perimeter shots, and the Hornets racing out to a 15-point lead. That was the only the first 11 minutes, however, and unfortunately basketball is a 48 minute game. The next 37 minutes saw CP3 miss all 8 of his field goal attempts, the Warriors stroke three after three, and the Hornets get outscored 85-57. (box score)

Against one of the softest defenses in the NBA, the Hornets played soft basketball. Just a few weeks ago they beat this team up inside (60 points in the paint) and ran at them every chance they got (35 fast break points). They did neither tonight, as they settled for jumper after jumper, looked sloppy in their ball handling, and never really seemed to be in attack mode from the second quarter on.

West and Belinelli led the team with 15 points, and West accomplished that on only 7 shots. He was pressured heavily for most of the night when he got the ball, and as a result, had a season-low number of field goal attempts. Chris Paul was beyond awful after the first quarter, which was surprising because: 1.) He’s Chris Paul and 2.) He looked so amazing in the first quarter. After the game he put on the blame on himself, but it is hard not to question the knee and whether it is hard for him to get warmed back up after he sits down. We’ve seen plenty of great starts this last month or two where CP3 fades down the stretch. That is the opposite of what we are used to seeing from the man.

The bench was a mixed bag, as Belinelli and Jarrett Jack played well for the most part, and even Q-Pon returned to give us some solid minutes. Thornton, Anderson, Mbenga, and Smith, however, were vastly outplayed by their counterparts and contributed practically nothing to the team despite some solid playing time. The four managed to go just 1-13 from the field, all playing without the aggressive tenacity that Monty has been practically begging his bench to show. It is no surprise that Monty again threatened certain peoples jobs in his post game interview.

The Hornets head to Portland tonight, in their last contest before the All-Star break. The Blazers, and LaMarcus Aldridge in particular, have been playing better as of late and there is no way the Hornets walk out of the Rose Garden with a victory unless they at least double the intensity they played with tonight. Here’s hoping they can enter the break on a one game winning streak.

Other Notes and Observations:

– Ariza continues to look solid after his return from an injury. I was apprehensive when the Hornets brought him back so soon, but he seems close to 100% and he remains the Hornets only true consistent wing defender.

– You really see this shooting slump getting into CP3’s head. He is pressing too much at certain points of the game and he is just unable to get into a flow. Hopefully being around the other elite players in the world this weekend will get him the boost he needs.

– Somehow the Hornets are still 5th out West despite losing 8 out 10. However, those teams in the rear view mirror are catching up, and the Hornets are only 2 games away from being a #9 seed, out of the playoffs altogether. It is hard to imagine that a team with an 8 game and 10 game win streak in a season could miss the playoffs, but if Emeka misses more time and CP3 continues to play like this, it is not unfathomable.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.