Same story, different day: Hornets stumble late, lose again

Published: February 2, 2012
New Orleans Hornets 81 Final

Recap | Box Score

93 San Antonio Spurs

Trevor Ariza, SF 33 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -1Quite possibly his worst performance this season. He just couldn’t get anything going offensively and he seemed to get unusually frustrated by the missed shots coupled with a few no-calls. Ariza is a 4th or 5th option on a good team, but with Jack and Gordon out, he was once again asked to do too much- and predictably, he failed.
Jason Smith, PF 31 MIN | 2-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -6The shots weren’t falling tonight, but Smith was still all over the place, impacted the game in other ways. If Smith is willing to put it all on the line in a game that is the 4th in 5 nights, on a team that is now 4-19, you know he has the kind of determination and character the that this team will need moving forward. He just needs to know better than to take it up strong on the immortal Tiago Splitter.
Emeka Okafor, C 21 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +2In what was somewhat of a theme tonight for Hornets front line players, ‘Mek got in foul trouble and became a non-factor. He hit a nice jumper at the end of the half to put the Hornets up 1, but nothing really stood out other than that.
DaJuan Summers, F 13 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -5Picked up two quick fouls and made some nice plays as the game was slipping out of the Hornets reach. Best thing you can say about him is that inserting him into the starting lineup allows Belly to come off the bench where he is clearly more comfortable.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 34 MIN | 7-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | -17Started off 7 for 8, finished 7 for 14. Basically, Greivis was a microcosm of the team- both in this game and for the season. His final numbers look solid, but don’t be fooled, Vasquez was severely outplayed by his counterpart Tony Parker tonight.
Carl Landry, PF 28 MIN | 8-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | -17Had a nice stretch in the first half, but he gave up far too many buckets on the other end of the court to get anything higher than a B. Also, it would be nice if Landry attacked the paint more, instead of settling for those 18 foot jumpers. 6 for 7 in the paint, 2 for 5 on jumpers.
Marco Belinelli, SG 29 MIN | 3-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -10Had a nice showing in the first half, but like the rest of the team, he disappeared in the fourth. Belinelli seems more relaxed coming off the bench and it will be interesting to see if Monty continues to bring him off the bench while Gordon is still recovering. If he continues to play like this, perhaps the Hornets can convince some team to take him off their hands in March.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -3He scored on an aggressive move across the lane in the first half, and then never attacked again. He was in a bit of foul trouble, but he needs to be more aggressive on the offensive end. If Monty sees Bonner on Ayon, he should be yelling “Ataque!” every time.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 21 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -8Fortune favors the bold. If that saying is true, expect Aminu to file for bankruptcy shortly. He is so afraid of doing something wrong, that he simply isn’t doing anything. He stands around on offense, and when he does touch the ball he is immediately looking to pass. Hey Al-Farouq, this team ain’t making the playoffs, so there is nothing to screw up.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Another brutal fourth quarter that saw the Hornets settle for way too many jumpers, only hitting two. Makes me think there was just nothing in those legs because they were taking the same shots in the previous quarter and hitting them. 4th quarter shot chart looks a lot like the third, just more X’s, less O’s.
  2. Whoever is covering Al-Farouq Aminu just watches the ball the entire time, as if they have no fear that Aminu will hurt them. And why should they? Aminu should recognize that his defender is looking elsewhere and make a sharp cut to the hole or go backdoor. Instead he just stands and waits. Stands…. and……waits.
  3. I could never say this when he was here, but I always thought it and I can say it now- “Tony Parker is a much better finisher at the rim than Chris Paul.” Go ahead, tell me about the one time Paul did this or Parker missed that, I don’t care. I have seen both guys hundreds of times and I will always be convinced this is the case. Need I remind anybody about the All-Star Skills Challenge?
  4. Hard not to compare Tiago Splitter and Gustavo, but I think Ayon could be even better. Splitter has been fantastic this year, but Ayon has more versatility in his offensive game and can guard out on the perimeter. Splitter was okay last year, but has really blossomed after becoming acclomated to the league. Can’t wait to see what Ayon does with a year under his belt and a full training camp.
  5. Jarrett Jack essentially filled in for Monty tonight, bringing the passion that Monty used to stalk the sidelines with back when the Hornets actually had the talent to win an NBA game. His leadership shows that we need to keep vets on this team to help devlop the young kids. A team full of 20-23 year olds would be a disaster, in a blind leading the blind kind of way.


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