Hornets Forget to Bring their Offense to LA, Fall to Clippers

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Published: December 20, 2012

Just one night removed from some exciting basketball that saw this Hornets offense seemingly take a step towards respectability, they managed to have a game where they took an even larger leap back. Robin Lopez and Anthony Davis punished the Clippers inside during stretches, but the perimeter players couldn’t seem to get out of their own way, missing shot after shot in a game that looked nothing like the one when these two teams last met.

Ryan Anderson had his worse game to date as a Hornet, going 2-13 from the field- including 0-8 from three. The backcourt of Rivers and Vasquez managed to go just 2-11 from the field and had nearly as many turnovers (9) as assists (10). There have been times in the past where a Hornets team could play this poorly on the offensive end but still manage to stay in the game with defense. Tonight was not one of those nights, as the Clippers shot 50% from the field and Chris Paul controlled the flow of this game, dishing out 12 assists in just 28 minutes of play.

DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin played to a relative draw with Davis and Lopez, but the Clippers absolutely destroyed the Hornets on the perimeter due to their ball movement, quickness, and efficiency. The Hornets looked like a tired team that came out flat against quite possibly the hottest team in the NBA right now. That is not the way you go about breaking an eight-game losing streak. And it doesn’t get any easier as the Hornets head to San Antonio on Friday to face a deep and talented Spurs team.

Notes and Observations

– Okay Vasquez fans, is it okay if I say he had a poor game tonight? Can we all agree on that without two dozen comments saying we are Vasquez haters? Well, even without your permission, I am going to say it anyway. Vasquez was horrible tonight, but this was to be expected as the Clippers have the ability to throw ultra-quick and aggressive guards at him all night. He simply does not have the foot speed to compete with certain guys on either side of the court, but to be fair, guys like Paul and Bledsoe are the exception, not the rule. Vasquez is still a monster when guys lay off him and he will continue to succeed against guys like Jeremy Lin, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, etc. But as long as he is the starter, we will be treated to nights like this on occasion where he is just unable to get to certain spots on the court no matter what he does.

– Ryan Anderson looks downright exhausted and he more than anyone will benefit from the return of Eric Gordon. Right now he is working way too hard to get himself open looks and it is starting to wear him down just a quarter of the way through the season. It sucks that we lost tonight, but perhaps the fact that Anderson only got 27 minutes as opposed to the 36-38 he has been getting more recently will benefit him down the line.

– Speaking of Eric Gordon, it was reported that he met with Dell Demps today and that he would be rejoining the team on Saturday. It looks like he will just be attending practices and going through walkthroughs with the possibility of starting to practice full-time in another week and possibly playing at the end of the month.

– It was odd to see such a passive Austin Rivers tonight, but it appeared that he saw the big men playing well and thought it would be better to work the ball inside. Monty wasn’t exactly pleased with how passive he was, shooting at him to shoot the ball on multiple occasions.

– Reason we lost: No J-Smitty. He is the Blake Stopper, plain and simple.

– Rumbles earlier this week were that Chris Paul is not all too happy in LA. We can make you happy Chris, please come back 🙂

– How sad is it when you recognize that Dominic McGuire is, without doubt, a below average NBA player but you still want him to get the majority of minutes at small forward? I mean, Lance was okay tonight but he is still out of position at the three. X and Chief are just disasters and need to be gone like yesterday. That leaves McGuire by default. Best SF we got. Ugh. At least we got to see some Darius Miller tonight. Solid, but like all our small forwards, there were turnover issues.

– Better night tonight from Brian Roberts. Small positive. I’ll take it after this ugly game.

– Talked to people inside the TrueHoop Network and they think Eric Bledsoe will fetch a hefty bounty on the trade market. They scoffed at Lopez and Vasquez. Scoffed again when I added a protected first rounder. Wanted a package that featured Rivers AND perhaps our upcoming 1st unprotected. Alright, let’s slow our roll here people. He is a nice guard putting up great numbers in limited minutes, but where is the evidence that he can lead a team/run an offense? Remember what Jason Smith said about how great it was to go out there for 15-20 minutes and play 100%? He said that if he had to play major minutes, he would have to change his game. I just haven’t seen enough from Bledsoe to make me think he is a sure-fire starter in this league that can be amongst the top 12-15 PG’s, so I am not giving up either asset- Thank you very much.

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