The Hornets beat the Nets

Published: March 17, 2012
New Orleans Hornets 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 New Jersey Nets

Three big shots by the Hornets to win the game, one each from Jack, Kaman and Marco. That was fun.

Trevor Ariza, SF 31 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | +5

Ariza has been on and off with his effort recently, but tonight he was working hard, going to the floor twice for loose balls and generally playing hard, intelligent basketball.

Gustavo Ayon, PF 28 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +2

Great line for Ayon, and he was all over the place in the first half, leaving his imprint on almost every play. He looked tired coming out in the third though, and Monty didn’t play him too much in the fourth except for defensive substitutions.

Chris Kaman, C 29 MIN | 9-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +9

That last shot was worth an “A” by itself. I will say nothing more.

Jarrett Jack, PG 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 16 PTS | +7

Jack had trouble for a stretch of the game finishing those floaters he’s usually so good with. It didn’t matter in the end, though, and he buried a huge three off the dribble in the fourth to put the Hornets up with a minute to go. Jack has one of the most bizarre pull-ups in the league, lunging forward as if driving, planting that lead right foot, and going straight up into a shot. The thing is hard to defend.

Marco Belinelli, SG 31 MIN | 8-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +3

Belli hit some crazy shots. Anyone else notice that he’s just playing with a lot more confidence in general? He’s got swagger and in the last three games, I’ve seen him give hard forearms and words to people getting too physical with him. I haven’t seen much of that in the past. He used to just flop. On, and if I give Kaman an A, then his shot gets the A+.

Jason Smith, PF 21 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -8

Smith was really rusty and wasn’t really used to the group he was playing with out there. It showed. Still, his energy level was as high as usual.

Lance Thomas, F 18 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +11

My turnaround in feelings about Thomas continues, as I found myself wishing Monty would pull Smith and play Thomas for some energy. The guy just works hard and makes himself available to make plays.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 6 PTS | +9

Vasquez is an ideal backup point guard. Keeps the offense clicking and plays hard. His minutes had a big impact tonight, helping bring the Hornets back from their 12-point deficit at the start of the fourth.

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

Aminu didn’t do much tonight. His shot is probably the highest-arcing shot I’ve ever seen, and it’s consistently in the rafters.

Xavier Henry, SG 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -1

Henry didn’t have a lot of impact in his 15 minutes either. In fact, I would have said he played more like 5 than fifteen.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Is there such a thing as winners remorse? I’m feeling it, but a little while ago, I was really enjoying that game.
  2. Aminu got roasted by Gerald Green tonight as the Net’s small forward drilled shot after shot on him. Here’s the thing, though. If we played again tomorrow night, I’d put Aminu on him again and tell Al-Farouq to defend him the exact same way. Green takes more step back jumpers than anyone not named Dwayne Wade. It’s a stupid shot. It went down tonight. I doubt it will continue too.
  3. Demps has put together a nice crew of young, solid roleplayers. I’ll be interested to see how they all shake out over the next few years and what roles they carve out on this team or others.
  4. Deron Williams seems to always be kvetching about something or shaking his head in disgust. Just a sour dude.
  5. Make the call, guys. Thomas or Smith? Similar playing styles. Which energy guy do you got?


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