Hornets take down streaking New York, win 3rd Straight

Published: February 17, 2012
New Orleans Hornets 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 New York Knicks

Trevor Ariza, SF 45 MIN | 10-20 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 25 PTS | +8

Ariza capped off a brilliant opening stanza with solid, steady contributions throughout the rest of the game. He was dead set and determined to have this game tonight, and turned in a beautiful game.

Gustavo Ayon, PF 29 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-4 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +7

Gustavo has the highest basketball IQ on this team. Outside of Chris Paul, he may have the highest Basketball IQ a Hornets player has had in a decade. Ayon is brilliant at finding space in the opponents defense, great at working the baseline side to side to get open, and cuts hard to the basket at the right time, all the time. His defense was also very, very good against Stoudemire, who spent most of the first half crying about not getting calls against Ayon after getting them every two seconds when Solomon Jones or Lance Thomas was on the floor.

Chris Kaman, C 37 MIN | 3-12 FG | 6-6 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | +14

Normally, I’d kill Kaman for his offensive efficiency and the fact that no big man should be dribbling one step away from the basket and then taking a jumpshot. However, he was instrumental to the Hornets clogging the paint against the Knicks penetration, and jammed the roll man on the pick and roll the way the Hornets needed him to.

Marco Belinelli, SG 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | 0

Belinelli had a nice game. Over the last five, he’s provided consistent scoring, and if he’d done this all season long, he’d be in line for a nice raise next year.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 11 AST | 15 PTS | +10

Vasquez was slicing the Knicks defense apart, except for when Jared Jeffries was guarding him. He couldn’t get past the long-armed Knick, but it didn’t matter because D’Antoni kindly pulled Jared out and let the Hornets offense start up again. Schumpert could have given Vasquez more trouble if he hadn’t been so over-eager out there. He kept getting himself in trouble trying to press Vasquez, who calmly took the openings given to him.

Jarrett Jack, PG 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -12

Jack had a rough first game back. His shot was off, and his decision making was poor as he tried to force the issue.

Solomon Jones, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6

4 turnovers and 2 fouls in 4 minutes of gametime. Wow.

Lance Thomas, F 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -4

I feel bad for Lance Thomas. He gives everything he has every minute he is out there, but he’s just too undersized. When he was trying and failing to guard Amare Stoudemire, it reminded me of a Jack Russell Terrier harassing a Doberman. Thomas was leaping all over, and Amare was simply shrugging him off and doing his thing.

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 17 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -1


Five Things We Saw

  1. The Hornets packed the paint all game long, and the Knicks wouldn’t have even been close if the Hornets hadn’t struggled keeping Chandler and Stoudemire off the offensive boards.
  2. One more thing about Ayon and my man-crush on him. He knows how to defend driving guards without fouling. I may have to make a video about him.
  3. When Jeremy Lin missed that three near the end after Ariza flashed out hard at him, there was a timeout, and you could see the Knicks bench in the background. While everyone else looked a bit bummed out, Carmelo was smiling like a fool. I bet someone in the prolific New York media will be running with that shortly.
  4. I didn’t mention Xavier Henry up above. It’s because I really have nothing to say about him. So far he’s like off-white paint. You notice it if someone points it out, otherwise, you ignore it.
  5. 3-0 week. I wish I could feel more excited about it. But I can’t. Can you?


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