I'm just gonna go with bullets for this one. I know this was the second game on the road of a back to back. But the problem wasn't fatigue. It was discipline. Absolutely no discipline on the glass- no boxing out, and pointless fouls on plays where guys were already boxed out. No discipline on defense- the Blazers were driving to the rim at will. I don't mean any disrespect to the Blazers, but the Hornets just tossed this game away. That second half was pure garbage, and I'm sure every player in the locker room knows it.
"Right this way, sir. Would you prefer the scrumptious pass to an un-gaurded teammate for three, or our in-house favorite: the delicious one handed layup? Both can be served with a fine glass of "pointless touch foul."
- 5 turnovers from Chris Paul. His TO's have been high(er) this year, and I keep expecting it to even out. His ability to take such good care of the ball despite handling so many possessions is what made him special last year. He couldn't have lost it suddenly, right?
- 5-15, 10 points, 3 rebounds from David West. You know, I don't mind the 33% shooting line. Players go in and out of slumps, whatever. But that 3 rebound stat just eats at me. West has simply not been trying on the glass this year. It's a lack of effort. He simply hasn't hustled to balls off the glass, balls on the floor, balls anywhere really. He earned his minutes as a rookie by rebounding over 7 footers, over guys that weighed 30 to 40 pounds more than him. Now he's getting out rebounded by Brandon Roy. West is one of the last guys in the league I'd peg to not give his all, every night. I know that's maybe the harshest criticism I can give to a player. But I'm not going to shy away from what is so clearly visible. David West isn't trying on the boards.
- Sean Marks took 15 foot+ jumpers on three consecutive possessions. Three consecutive possessions. Melvin Ely, who impressed in Denver last night, didn't play. Byron Scott, I don't know what to say.
- The bench is Abominable. Abysmal. Alarming. Appalling. Atrocious. Awful. Deplorable. Depressing. Disconcerting Disgusting. Disquieting. Distressing. Disturbing. Dreadful. Frightful. Ghastly. Hideous. Horrifying. Repulsive. Shocking. Vexing. BAD.
- 4th quarter. Hornets in position to possible make a come back. Sean Marks hits a potentially momentum changing three. Here's how New Orleans' next 4 defensive possessions go:
- Travis Outlaw makes lay up
- Brandon Roy makes 4 foot floater
- Rudy Fernandez makes layup
- Travis Outlaw fouled on 0 foot shot, makes both free throws
- Notice something? Four key defensive plays, four must have stops, and the Hornets give up four shots within four feet of the basket. Ball game.
- Brandon Roy dominated this game. 11-16, 25/10/6 with 2 turnovers. He owned Chris Paul, owned James Posey, owned our ball boys. Props to him.
- Portland took 7 free throws in the definitive 11 minutes of the 4th quarter. The Hornets? Took zero.
- 7 blocked shots for Portland, 2 for New Orleans. Yet another category the Blazers dominated at. Pretty much every drive for New Orleans, there was the looming threat of a shot block waiting at the rim. Pretty much every drive for Portland, there was the looming threat of a weak foul and a defender waiting to dish out a complimentary three point play.
- Sorry if it seems like I'm hating on Marks. I love the guy. This video JChangNZ posted in the game thread shows the dude can ball. But we needed Ely's rebounding tonight, and I would've liked to see Scott go to a red hot Peja more often. Very few players, no matter how good they are at shooting, can miss 10-15 games, come off the bench cold, and reliably drill long jumpers. In all honesty, I'd be very happy if Marks was worked into the offense more, in place of Hilton. But tonight was neither the time nor the place.
- I'm willing to acquire Stephon Marbury at this point. I'd rather have a dysfunctional locker room than a dysfunctional bench. The Devin Brown experiment needs to end pronto. The guy is not a point guard. Everyone jumped all over Mike James for "not passing enough." Why should Brown get a pass for shooting 8 (mostly awful) shots and 1 assist? Is it because he doesn't "look" like a point guard and is doing a more "difficult" job and should get more slack for it? How does that make any sense?
- Brandon Hoffman of Baller Blogger wrote a great article for RealGM today about the Hornets. His conclusion: "Until the Hornets find a serviceable backup for CP3, I’m afraid they’ll remain on the outside looking in and championship contention." I have to agree. Mark it down: the Hornets, as presently constructed, will not win an NBA championship. One of two things must happen- a player acquisition or smart, strategic manipulation of the lineup. The longer Byron Scott proves unable to perform the latter, the more pressured Jeff Bower will be to opt for the former.
- Was that last sentence eloquent or what?