Hornets Can’t Hang With Blazers, Fall at Home on MLK Day

Published: January 16, 2012

The Hornets lost their sixth straight home game and their tenth of their last eleven overall, as the Blazers were just too much to handle.

Yeah, Thats how we feel...Again

Portland Trail Blazers 84 FinalRecap | Box Score 77 New Orleans Hornets
Jason Smith, PF 12 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -14Started in place of Kaman and struggled immediately against Aldridge. Can’t really blame anyone but Monty for that call. He’s clearly and obviously not a starting caliber player. One of the best 4th big men in the NBA, and a decent third big man on a good night, but not a starter… ever. Energy can’t (and didn’t) overcome a big discrepancy in talent.In the second half he made me eat my words within seconds, recoding a nice block and hitting a jumper almost immediately, but then missed two straight jumpers, committed a dumb turnover, a bad foul and allowed Aldridge to get four easy buckets. It’s hard for me to even give a grade all things considered. I guess he did about what we expected from him as a starter.
DaJuan Summers, F 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -11Continued his solid play, but as a starter he’s one of the worst in the league. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does coming off the bench against backups. Still, it was a nice effort overall. He makes a lot of correct decisions and isn’t scared to let it fly when he has a shot.
Emeka Okafor, C 30 MIN | 4-5 FG | 4-8 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +1Emeka is never going to be what any of us would refer to as an offensive minded player, but he’s certainly looked a lot better this year while creating his own shot. His right handed hook shot in the second quarter was probably the best offensive move I’ve seen him make, and he finished more often than not tonight when he took it to the floor. I’m confident in saying that Okafor is the best player on the floor for the Hornets right now, and that’s probably a big reason why they keep losing games.
Jarrett Jack, PG 43 MIN | 6-13 FG | 9-10 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 21 PTS | -2Jack pretty much played shooting guard today, not really distributing and petty much only making an impact as a scorer. Well, that’s not entirely true. He had three turnover as well. He did some stuff again in garbage time to pad the stats, but don’t be fooled—Jack played poorly. I will say, he was giving it his all and has the bruises from hitting the ground to prove it. He looked really tired late in the game. Must be hard being the number one option on offense when you aren’t particularly good at
Marco Belinelli, SG 21 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -16Another ugly game for Belinelli tonight. Gordon can’t get back fast enough. If there is a positive, it’s that he’s not playing particularly bad defense, just normal bad.
Chris Kaman, C 24 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -2Could find the jumper early and struggled on offense throughout. He was making dumb mistakes as if that’s what we’re paying him for. Still, he was grabbing boards consistently, and was one of three Hornets in double figures.
Trey Johnson, SG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4– Played a quiet two minutes. Not much to say one way or the other.
Carl Landry, PF 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -4Did Landry play today? I can’t quite remember him being in the game… I’ll have to get some more info from Monty about why our best scorer isn’t seeing the floor as the team struggles to keep pace for 70 points. Landry was all smiles on the bench even though he’s been relegated to warmer status in the past few games.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 22 MIN | 0-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 3 PTS | +4Has really struggled to control the ball as of late, and today was no exception. It seems like the more aggressive he tries to be, the more reckless he winds up being with the ball. Monty needs to get him to play at a more controlled pace. When he does, he’s a really nice distributor and a solid scorer. Tonight he had the passing going more than the scoring, and had a pretty nice, albeit quiet, game.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +5Ayon played well enough against anyone he was matched up against to possibly warrant a start in the future. He continues to provide the Hornets with a versatile big man to use on defense, and on offense he remains one of the most efficient players on the team. He can rebound, too, and seems more and more in synch with the rest of the team on defense with each game he plays. He’s also racking up assists, rebounds, steals and blocks. A fantasy sleeper in the making.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 27 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +8Although DaJuan Summer again started in front of him, Aminu came in gave the Hornets some nice minutes in the late first and early second quarters, where he recorded a nice block of Gerald Wallace and a great put-back dunk after an offensive board. He made a lot of good decisions on both ends, and seemed to avoid most of the dumb mistakes and missed assignments that relegated him to bench duty after his brief stint as a starter. He did, however, continue to rack up fouls. As long as he keeps doing that he won’t be a useful asset to the team.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The starting lineup was Jason Smith, Emeka Okafor, DaJuan Summers, Marco Belinelli and Jarrett Jack. Monty wouldn’t tell anyone pre-game what it would be, likely in hope of getting an edge on Nate McMillan, who he is fiercely competitive with despite their friendship.
  2. The Bee Zanies kept the Hive rocking in the first half despite a rather small and quiet crowd. It would have been dead otherwise. Things picked up as the game went on.
  3. In the first 6 minutes of the first and third quarters, the Hornets scored a total of 12 points. Interesting call by Monty to trot out the same group the second time around. The third quarter is when things fell apart for the Bees.
  4. This could have been a lot uglier if the Trailblazers had been hitting their shots and putbacks early on in the game.
  5. Double digit leads in the fourth quarter feel insurmountable this year because of the lack of firepower on offense.


No postgame notes today. Gotta get to MLK day festivities! Join me.



Jarrett Jack & Raymond Felton

Jarrett Jack, Gerald Wallace, Chris Kaman

Jarrett Jack forced to call timeout

Emeka Okafor


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