Dunk That Sh!t: Answering Chris Kaman, A Trade, Fourth Quarters, and Fan Support

Published: January 13, 2012

Our writers answer your burning questions about The Hornets on TV, Al Horford, fourth quarters, and the support of those in attendance at New Orleans Arena.

Aminu Dunking that Sh!t

Want us to answer your questions next week? Shoot them to @Hornets247, or @GerrityJoe, throw them in the comment section here, email us (Hornets247@googlegroups.com should work), or just go outside and yell it into the air. We’re everywhere. You just can’t see us.

1. Chris Kaman via Twitter (this wasn’t sent to us directly):  “Is it true a lot of ppl in Louisiana can’t even get the Hornet’s games on TV?!”

Joe Gerrity: Yes, that’s 100 percent true. DirecTV does not carry the games on CST. What makes matters worse is that because DirecTV carries NFL Sunday Ticket, and CST and Dish Network don’t, football first sports fans in Louisiana often can’t watch the Hornets in their houses. That also means, and this may be more important, that the Hornets aren’t available on a number of bars in the city, and when they are it’s often only on a limited number of TV’s. I tried to throw watch parties thinking this would be an afterthought. It wasn’t.

Until late last year the Hornets were also unavailable on the main cable provider on the northshore (St. Tammany Parish), Lousiana’s most wealthy parish per capita.

Making matters even worse is that CST typically only carries 65 games a year, and recently the Hornets only get televised nationally once or twice a year. That leaves fans with the option of either not seeing their team live from home 15 or so times a year (plus some preseason), or purchasing the NBA network (getting you 5 or 6 more) AND NBA League Pass to watch all the games, even though the Hornets games are blacked out the other 90% of the time because of local restrictions.

It’s not completely unheard of for NBA cities to have TV problems, but the situation in New Orleans is and has been abysmal. Supposedly a new TV deal is being worked on now, but there’s no word on what that means for the future of CST and DirecTV (or U-Verse, which people supposedly use).

What some people do (and I hope everyone really hears me here, because this is an option that will likely become much more mainstream in the coming years throughout the country and world) is find an illegal streaming site online and watch a choppy feed for free.

Chris Kaman responding (this was also not sent to us directly): I need to do a contest to give out tix to ppl who don’t get the games! @snavetrebor @ChrisKaman this is true.The club has a horrible TV deal.

Back to Questions directed at us.

2. Chris Savoie via email: Now that Atlanta center Al Horford looks to be out for the year, do you think that they might be interested in Kaman or Okafor? If so, what could we get?

Michael McNamara: Kaman would be of greater interest to Atlanta, but Demps could have a rare opportunity to move Okafor here and possibly get something for the middle of the pack center with an upper echelon contract. The question here is whether or not the Hawks can be convinced that Okafor and Horford could play together once Horford returns.

If they don’t think that these two could co-exist, there is no way that they will commit to paying both guys 12+ million in future seasons just to patch a hole this year. But if they do think that the two could feed off each other, then maybe they make the move with the hopes of trading Josh Smith next offseason for an upgrade at SF or PG.

If this is the case, the Hornets could deal Okafor for Kirk Hinrich, Jason Collins (both on expiring deals), and a future pick. Then, when Hinrich returns, they could trade him to a contender (Lakers?) for a late first rounder or buy him out and save some cash.

Kaman is a different story all together, as he fills a need for the short term, and comes off the books at the end of the year. For this very reason, I expect several teams to be interested in Kaman, and several of those teams will be able to give the Hornets better assets than Atlanta can. If the Hawks want to get in the Kaman sweepstakes, they will have to include a third team that can give the Hornets an additional asset or two. Or better yet, find a team that can take on Trevor Ariza’s contract.

3. @Gnarain via twitter: How can the Hornets look so good for three quarters, and so bad in the fourth? Is it coaching? Tanking? What is it?

Jason Calmes: I decided to dunk this sh!t for two reasons: my research is keeping me away from the New Orleans Arena, and I take umbrage with the question. It’s not that I disagree, it’s that I double-to-triple agree. I agree with you more than you agree with you.

Through 10 games, we are 3-7. The following facts do be informing me answer to your hijacked question:

1) The Hornets have the following average scoring differentials by quarters: 3.1 (1st), -1.5 (2nd), -2.2 (3rd), -3.7 (4th)

2) Neither our first nor our third quarter scoring differentials have statistically significant correlation with outcome (win or loss) (at most 0.15 for the curious folks)

3) Our second and fourth quarter scoring differentials are each strongly correlated with outcome (at least 0.8 for the still curious folks)

Point 1) shows a constant and depressing drop in overall performance on the (score)board as games wear on.

While points 2) and 3) seem to implicate to bench play at first blush, the rotations we are using and our health issues render the concept nearly as moot as I’d like to be rendered. Rather, the first and third quarters have few substitutions by both teams, while the second and fourth quarter are much more varied.

So, they don’t look good through three quarters, though they look good through one, losing only one this year . . . a win in Denver. They won four second quarters, three of which were in our only wins. The third quarter is mixed nuts, and our four best fourth quarter performances are associated with three wins and one loss.

Summing it all up: coaching. Open court one-handed jam.

Now, this does not mean that Monty is the problem or isn’t the answer. It’s just that the coaching staff needs to address this. Changes on the staff may be necessary, but, to be fair, the line-up has been volatile due to health and personal matters more than normal (all teams are dealing with short camps, late line-up changes), and we all know that the roster needs an overhaul.

The coaches need better tools, but they are getting out-coached for the time being.

4. Ryan Walls via email: Last night I watched Vasquez make a fabulous play from my couch in New Zealand. After the play was over,  he tried to pump the crowd up, but got little to no response. The Hive seems dead when I watch on TV. Is this the case in person too?

Joe Gerrity: Not dead, but certainly not on par with what it was like in the days of the CCC or last year in the playoffs against the Lakers. Early season attendance and fan support problems for the Hornets in New Orleans are typically a result of football taking priority in the hearts and minds of most New Orleans sports fans. With a late start to the NBA season, lots of the early season basketball apathy was sort of skipped since most high school, college, and pro football are over by late December, but with LSU playing in the final college game of the season and the Saints still alive and kicking in the NFC playoffs, the Hornets have faced a few competitors for their fans’ interest.

There are also a lot of new season ticket holders who don’t quite have a firm grasp on how to be a optimal fans. I remember when I first started going to games, I wasn’t really sure how to cheer either. It took me a while to really get the hang of it.

I imagine that after the Saints win the Superbowl and people stop being depressed about LSU losing to ‘Bama, the Hornets attendance will pick up a bit, as will the volume of those in the crowd. Compared to early season games in years past, the fans have actually been pretty solid so far. It will be interesting to see what the fans and attendance is like later in the year against superstar-less teams, especially if the Hornets have been eliminated from the playoff race.


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