Game On: Lakers @ Hornets (Plus Live Chat!)

Published: April 22, 2011

The Hornets and Lakers begin the third game of their series tonight at 8:30 Central time in front of a sold out New Orleans Arena. After winning game one, and struggling with turnover and free throw shooting in game two, the Hornets are feeling confident about their chances in this one.

Boo hoo. I need a caption!

“We feel as though we kind of beat ourselves,” Hornets guard Jarrett Jack said of the second game. “Take no credit away from them, but we definitely had some mistakes.”

Michael really hit the nail on the head going into Wednesday’s game, so make sure you take a look at that.

Some other keys…


After playing nearly mistake-free ball in game one (three turnovers), the Hornets gave it up a whopping 16 times in game two. Jack alone matched the team’s game one total by himself. He wasn’t the only one. Guards not named Chris Paul were just as likely to record a turnover as they were to make a field goal or record an assist.

Guard Play

That can’t happen again. Someone, anyone, needs to get hot from the field and relieve some of the pressure from Chris when he gets doubled up high. If Belli, Green, or Jack can execute open from the perimeter, then whoever is guarding them won’t be able to cheat as much on Paul, and that will ultimately open up the floor for CP3 to do his magic.

Last game the defense was just able to force Paul to the corners way too often, and from there he’s remarkably less effective. As a result, the team scored 31 points less and shot 13 percent worse from the floor than in the previous game. What’s concerning is that Paul didn’t play poorly. He just had everything in the book thrown at him, but never got any help from his buddies. Tonight someone needs to step forward. Maybe Willie Green can go nuts?

Emeka Must Show Up

Okafor’s first playoffs can pretty much be summed up by one noise- “fweet!” He’s had 10 fouls in the two games, playing only 46 minutes total as a result. In that time he’s 5-9 with 9 boards, hardly the numbers one would expect after arguably his best season as a pro. In both games he’s picked up two quick ones and had to leave the floor early in the first quarter, and has played only 7 first quarter minutes so in the opening period as a result.

Really though, his biggest contributions need to come on the defensive end.

Ariza to Believe

People told you that Ariza was a postseason monster, but I bet you didn’t believe it. If you’re not thrilled with Trevor’s contributions on both ends of the floor against the Lakers, you haven’t been watching the games. Or perhaps you just had a little too much beer at the watch parties. Fact is, the guy is keeping us in the series with his defense on Kobe. Bravo, Ariza. Keep it up.

Make the Dammed Free Throws!

I talked about this a little yesterday, but the Hornets have just got to make their free throws. Their four misses in a row with between seven and eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Ariza and Okafor combined to miss four straight while down 13, killing any last hope of a comeback. If the Hornets are bricking them again, then it’s going to be a long night in the Big Easy.


There have been a few games this year in which the Hornets fans have been sort of…well…. outshined by those of the opposition. That can’t happen tonight, and I don’t think it will. The team needs the fans to provide them with some serious noise, because holding home court in this game is absolutely crucial. Even the Hornets realize that winning another one in Los Angeles is going to be tough. As has become the norm, the Bee-Zanies will be key in providing the proper atmosphere for a victory.

Notes from the Arena

  • Just got word from my source that Marcus Thornton will be attending the Hornets game tonight. He just couldn’t stay away.

    Yes, I have a Marcus Thornton source oddly enough.



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