Ariza goes for a layup in a 3rd Quarter comeback attempt (Getty)

New Orleans Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers: Game Recap

Okay so I got to see the entire game today and there were a lot of highs and a lot of lows. It’s good to see both extremities in a pre-season game, but I really am hoping a team cohesiveness develops before things get worse. The final score ended 101-98 a nice effort from the boys.

Let’s head over the jump to get a view at some of the high’s and low’s.

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Bad Stuff:

  • Alright most times we’ll start off with the good stuff, but today I am thinking we start off with the bad, as the Hornets did too.
  • Marcus Thornton had a stinker. He was 0-5 and just couldnt get anything going on offense. In the stats sheet it said he only had 1 turnover, but I counted numerous times where Marcus would dribble inside to look for a score only to have it knocked out of his hands forcing him to scramble and find someone else. That isn’t going to get it done.

It seems to me that people have figured out Thornton’s game, but more importantly it shows that he can’t really          create his own shot as many of us thought he could, he really needs to be working with a point-guard that can create and Willie Green is not that.

  • Speaking of Green, he is a terrible point guard. Sure he ended up with 10 points on 4-9 shooting, but he didn’t distribute the ball, never created for his team-mates and hoisted up contested long two’s that somehow dropped. I am yet to see Shakur play and I’m not that pleased about it.
  • Trevor Ariza is going in both categories today. In the first half (other than the nice early start) Ariza was terrible. He would try to create his own shot, trying to act like a point guard but your not. I do believe I said this last game recap. Trevor, all you do is catch and shoot the ball, play defense and run the floor and dunk on people’s heads, that’s it, don’t dribble the ball more than you have to, leave that to CP.
  • The Pacers would have won by 10 or so if they could’ve made their free-throws. They ended up shooting 70% from the stripe which isn’t bad, but that’s mostly because Hansbrough got to the line in the second half because of…
  • Joe Alexander. I’m sorry, but you are cut. I haven’t seen anything to like from this kid. While I’m sure he’s got a world of potential we can safely put him in the Julian Wright category for players who cannot play NBA ball. Joe had 4 fouls in 2 minutes. That’s right in 2 minutes he fouled the Pacers 4 times. Sometimes I wonder whether that is even physically possible.
  • The last negative would be summed up by this, “Boy can do we suck at rebounding.” The rebounding margin did end up going 41-38 to the Pacers, but in the first half I think they were out rebounding us by about 15. Outside of Okafor the next best rebounder we have on this team is Paul, which is a huge insult to every single one of the players who are 6 foot or above, which is essentially the rest of the team. No one could box out, secure the rebound and get the outlet pass, and it led to several second chance points which the Pacers gladly took advantage of. Sure it’s preseason, but dear god our rebounding sucks.

Good Stuff:

  • You thought we’d never get to the good stuff did you? Well here it is, in all it’s glory.
  • Okafor is ready for a good season. I have to stand up and applaud this guy and you should to. His free-throw shooting has improved out of site. Emeka is shooting 76% from the strip so far in preseason and that’s a good sign. For a guy who has difficulty finishing around the rim he can finally take advantage of getting to the line. He was very active looking for his shot and it’s a pleasant thing to watch. As well his stroke looks pretty and he’s crisply hitting the free-throws so props to him.
  • Our pick and roll defense has systematically improved. It seems the coaches have done a great job of teaching the guys how to hedge picks and rotate. In the first half our rotations were atrocious, but in the second we came out and closed out harder on shooters while ensuring no easy shots were taken.
  • On that note lets give the coaches some props for those half time adjustments. We were getting beat down, Monty and company stepped it up and told the guys what they needed to do in order to get back into the game. You could see the energy spike up every time we’d get a defensive stop and finish with a basket, the guys were pumped, but as soon as Joe Alexander came on things went to crud.
  • I’m really liking Jason Smith’s game. He’s got a nice shot and he can space the floor. He’s more aggressive than I thought because he drives to the rim looking for contact if the defense gives him the lane. Played very smart disciplined basketball and he’s very confident in his shot. He’s 7 feet tall but moves like a gazelle, well…maybe not.
  • Ariza fits into this category because his energy burst at the start of the 3rd was incredible. He was getting steals, tipped passes, rebounds, dunks, layups, drawing fouls, shooting “catch and shoot three’s,” it was a thing of beauty to watch. I really think he is the new James Posey on this team, he will only give effort when he see’s fit. Hopefully that changes when the regular season begins.
  • Chris Paul had a nice game against his former young padawan, Darren Collison. Paul had the best of him though because he forced Darren into 7 turnovers. Silly Darren, you thought you had Paul’s number…
  • Watch out boys and girls because Peja’s three point stroke is back…

Outrageous Observations

  • It wouldn’t be Indiana without the mention of Indy car racing. They had some driver on there, but boy does that “sport” suck.
  • The Pacers commentators weren’t all that bad. Usually these guys are completely bias, like the Rockets or Clippers commentators, but these guys weren’t all that bad.
  • The Pacers had 22 assists on 31 field goals made, the Hornets had 17 assists on 34 shots made. Just goes to show you that we have no one else creating for others.

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Tags: Chris Paul Darren Collison Emeka Okafor Hornets Preseason James Posey Jason Smith Joe Alexander Marco Belinelli Marcus Thornton Monty Williams New Orleans Hornets Peja Stojakovic Trevor Ariza Willie Green

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