Game On: Jazz @ Hornets (Live Chat!)

Published: April 11, 2011

Utah Jazz (38-40) @ New Orleans Hornets (46-34)

Pace: Jazz 93.7 (17th), Hornets 90.9 (29th)
Offensive Efficiency: Jazz 104.8 (14th), Hornets 104.2 (17th)
Defensive Efficiency: Jazz 107.5 (24th) , Hornets 102.2 (7th)

It's down to the wire in the Western Conference playoff race

The Jazz head to New Orleans for a game that’s sure to matter somehow, but it’s unclear how exactly. With a cluster of teams fighting for both 2-3-4, and 6-7-8, Monty and the Hornets will continue to take things one game at a time, as they have all season.

While they controlled their own destiny as of yesterday, the loss to the Grizzlies along with LA’s loss to the Trailblazers really hurt the Hornets chances of locking up the 6-seed. They can still do it with two wins, but they need some help in the form of a Memphis win tomorrow over Portland. If that happens, and the Hornets win tonight, they will likely control their own destiny on Wednesday against Dallas in the regular season finale.

It’s really hard to even figure out what exactly where the Hornets and their fan base even want to finish. We know from the most recent Hornets247 poll that fans overwhelmingly want to face Dallas if given the chance between SA, LA, and the Mavs, but what if OKC is put into that equation? After winning four in a row and watching the Lakers tank, it’s all of a sudden possible that OKC could wind up as high as the two seed, although it’s still most likely that they wind up in number four. Both LA and Dallas hold tie-breakers over the Thunder.

(edit- LA holds the tie-breaker over both teams, and the Thunder hold the tie-breaker over the Dallas via winning their division)

LA controls their own destiny, but facing SA at home tonight is  a tough contest, and going to Sacramento for the season finale in a game that could possibly be the end of basketball in Sacramento (BOOOOOOOOOOOO!) should be nearly as difficult.

Let’s pause for a second and think about the absurdity of that. Those fans have supported that sub-par team for years and years, paying hundreds of millions of dollars (if not more) for tickets, jerseys, hats, etc, and the owners are just going to throw them under the bus on the way out of town. They are some of the best fans in the NBA, despite the team’s struggles, and this is how their owners and the league reward their passion and dedication?

Absurd. The Maloofs (and anyone that supports/approves this move) should be ashamed of themselves. That’s what’s wrong with the NBA, by the way. Good luck getting those fans back if the Kings move.

Keep the Kings in Sacramento

As for tonight’s game-

The Jazz have lost 10 of 11 games, and seem entirely dedicated to getting the best pick they can in the upcoming NBA draft. Perhaps they really think that Jimmer is going to save them (lol). Fact is, there hasn’t been a more disappointing team this year than the Jazz. They lost one of the best coaches in NBA history, one of the best pint guards in the league, and needless to say, their replacements haven’t exactly been tearing it up.

Since Chris Paul was drafted, this is the worst Jazz team he has faced, and if memory serves, he owes that organization some payback for all the defeats over the years. Hopefully he also can make at least one shot, after going scoreless for the first time in his NBA career as a starter over Memphis. He was out-scored by the now immortal Patrick Chewing Junior.

Paul can’t play like that again this season if the Hornets want to keep advancing. They simply can’t win any game in which he does. That’s what to watch.

Otherwise keep your eyes on the inside, since Utah isn’t particularly big. The Hornets should be able to play Okafor and Landry together for most of the night, but don’t be surprised to see a Gray-Okafor combo. That’s the duo that wound up contributing in the overtime portion of the Hornets last thrilling win over the Jazz.

Let’s check out Okafor’s shot one more time-

Notes from the Arena

  • As usual- If you don’t have tickets yet, they are still available. Come to the game and watch the Hornets whoop on lowly Utah. It will be a blast.
  • Jazz injuries: Raja Bell, Kyrylo Fesenko, Ronnie Price, and Mehmet Okur are out.
  • Still trying to give away this FREE HAT AND JERSEY for whoever correctly picks the winner and score. Good luck. Today you can do it in the comment section below, but next time we’re back to the New Orleans Hornets Forum.

Quotes from Monty’s Pre-game

  • Our defense put our offense in a tough spot last night.
  • “I didn’t talk to him about it. I felt like enough people were going to talk about it”. He went on “He missed some shots last night, but that happens. And let’s be real- he only played 28 minutes. I could have got him in the game last night where he could have scored a point and nobody would be talking about this, so if anyone is to blame, it’s me. I could have put him back in the game, but I’m trying to be smart about his minutes and I didn’t think we had a chance to win that game last night after the third quarter”
  • He soon followed with “I wouldn’t want to play against him tonight”.
  • “We talked about the dog we have to have down the stretch, and it wasn’t there last night.”

Some more thoughts- It’s hilarious how many questions Monty has been asked this year that he’s completely and utterly brushed off. To be honest, I’ve spent most of the year just observing since I’m relatively new to this, so when I start asking him wild questions about advanced stats next year (drawing certain bewildered looks from fellow writers in the process), he will probably be surprised. Hopefully that lead to some more interesting insight into the mind of Coach Williams in the process.



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