Hornets Struggle in Overtime, Fall to Pacers

Published: February 21, 2012

Cold shooting in overtime dooms Hornets, but first half turnovers just as much to blame for most recent loss 

New Orleans Hornets 108 FinalRecap | Box Score 117 Indiana Pacers

Trevor Ariza, SF 43 MIN | 8-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 21 PTS | -9

Hornets player of the game for a multitude of reasons. Ariza hit big shots, played his typical lockdown defense, and made the extra passes that got the Hornets good shots early. Monty said that he wanted to keep minutes down on this road trip, but he Ariza was playing so well that Monty just couldn’t afford to keep him off the floor tonight.

Gustavo Ayon, PF 27 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -4

Was practically non-existant most of the game, but he showed up big late in the 4th, scoring 6 big points that kept the Hornets close before Trevor tied it up. The Pacers exposed his limitations on defense and on the glass, but his effort was there as always. At worst, Gustavo is a great third big for this team moving forward.

Chris Kaman, C 39 MIN | 8-14 FG | 1-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | -14

Started off 5 for 5, finished 3 for 9 (his last three shots down the stretch and in OT). Kaman was hitting early but was manhandled on the boards. That along with the turnovers in the first half (which Kaman contributed largely to) was what did New Orleans in. It’s fun to watch a 7 footer drill jumpers, but I would prefer a boring 7-footer who grabs rebounds and clogs the paint.

Marco Belinelli, SG 34 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -11

Another solid game that saw Marco do his thing without forcing anything. If he continues to play within himself, he can earn himself a respectable contract next year, either in New Orleans or elsewhere.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 9 PTS | +3

Made a couple of bonehead mistakes in the first half and that was a big part of the reason that Monty played Jack down the stretch. His shooting seems to be improving every game, but he has to cut down on the mistakes to be thought of as a legitimate starting PG in the league.

Jarrett Jack, PG 32 MIN | 8-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 10 AST | 19 PTS | -12

Great numbers, but as several readers have pointed out, he often does it at the expense of the flow of the game. Still, he is a great combo guard to have coming off the bench and could fill that role if the Hornets find a PG that they love to run the team, be it Vasquez or someone else.

Solomon Jones, C 25 MIN | 3-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -4

Prior to Paul George’s windmill, Solomon had the dunk of the night in the third quarter. He is showing that he could be a solid 5th big on an NBA team. Heck, I would have prefered him last year over Dj Mbenga.

Lance Thomas, F 14 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +6

Solid, but unspectacular in this matchup. It would have been nice to see him hit the boards a little harder, but truth be told, if it wasn’t for massive injuries to the front line, this guy would never see the court.

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -1

So disappointing. You just want so badly to believe in this guy but the truth is that if he was undrafted (as opposed to being a lotto pick), you would dismiss him as a D-League player at best. This offseason will be huge for him.

Xavier Henry, SG 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +1

Has the right attitude but he has a lot of things to work on in the offseason in order to show that he is worthy of consistent rotation minutes on a solid team. Because of his inability to break his opponent down or get by his guy with a quick first step, the offense stalled when the ball was in his hands.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Player A- 38 MPG, 15 PPG, 6 RPG, 4 APG, 1.8 SPG, .8 BPG, 45% FG, 35% 3pt, 90% FT
    Player B- 38 MPG, 15.9 PPG, 7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, .7 BPG, 42%, 39%, 77%Player A is Ariza in February, Player B is Deng’s season stats. I know it is a small sample size (11 games), but Ariza has been playing like a top 10 SF this month and you gotta be excited if the Hornets can have this Ariza next year with Gordon and some other quality pieces.
  2. Xavier Henry simply can not use his right hand effectively enough to get to the basket. Whenever he dribbles with his right hand, he is moving laterally, rather than attacking. If he can work on his handles and stroke in the offseason, the kid has some potential due to his defense and toughness.
  3. Aminu gets you excited one night, then brings you back to earth the next. Unfortunate. The Hornets really could have used him on the glass tonight, as the Pacers just had their way with them at certain points tonight.
  4. Jack coming off the bench could be something Monty sticks with for the rest of the season. Vasquez does a good job getting others involved and has a good chemistry with Ayon- who is currently starting. Plus Jack can do what he does best with the second unit; score in bunches. He has been given the green light and it has been working out well for him. As a starter, he is a below average PG, but he will have the mismatch pretty much every night against the other teams backup PG.
  5. Tomorrow night should be ugly. Two teams with that will be dog tired, having played the night before (the last 2 nights for the Hornets!). Cleveland had an impressive comeback win tonight against Detroit, as Kyrie was simply amazing in the 4th.


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