I think it’s going to be one long season for the New Orleans Hornets. What once was promising youth-movement by the organisation is now a team gutted of much of its talent and cohesivness heading into the regular season. Tonight there was no Chris Paul or Emeka Okafor, so I’m not so much foccused on the result of the game as much as the performance.
The “team” played as 5 individuals all looking for their own shots. On defense you could see exactly that as rotations were almost non-existent leaving Thunder shooters wide open on pretty much every possession. You can say they tried or that if Paul had been playing the team might’ve looked better, but you know what? This is the time for these guys to step up, to realize that the only way ANY of them makes the roster is if they play as a team, and outside of David West there wasn’t a whole lot to be impressed with…
Let’s head over the jump, but don’t you go jumping off that cliff just yet…
- Like I said before, not a whole lot to be impressed with but if we were to give a game ball to someone it’d be my main man De Dub, David West. His shot was falling tonight and because of it he got 24 points on 10-17 from the field, nice work David.
- I’m really liking Jason Smith, not just for this year but the future as well. He gave a lot of effort tongiht hustling after loose balls and rebounds. He had a nice block as well. On the offensive side of things he hit a couple of nice jumpers, added in he was trying to get easy baskets in the paint, which are hardly ever easy. I like his potential, hopefully he can become a solid rotation player.
- Quincy Pondexter had a pretty lifeless game for the most part, until the 4th quarter. Q showed us why he’s labelled a “scorer” as he droped 10 points on 4-7 shooting. Pretty much all those points came in the final quarter so it’s nice to see that he can “turn it on.”
- D.J. Mbenga got the start and looked good defensively finishing with a nice 4 blocks. Offensively he was efficient going 4-5 for 9 points. He was active on the glass and it was nice, props to the crazy Congo man.
- For every good thing listed above there is three things that went wrong. I think it was just the team was over the long road trip and wanted to go home and get the season started. Now people may use that as an excuse as to why we lost, but if they can’t possess the mental toughness to psyche themselves up on a long road trip then this year is going to be tough. For example from games 10-14 we have a long western road trip. Better wake up guys.
- Marcus Thornton has become a clear concern as nothing was falling for him AT ALL. Marcus was trying to be agressive, but he was trying to hard. Last year we noticed that MT had a tendency to shy away from contact around the rim to get his shot off and that would result in a hidious looking shot and no foul. Marcus needs to calm down and let things come to him and just try to be assertive, but not to assertive. It’s going to be tough, but Buckets may be a “Lil'” once more.
- Uhh Joe Alexander is cut.
- This was the first action I saw of Curtis Jerrells and I wasn’t all that impressed. He tried to be the distributor but it resulted in 4 turnovers and only 4 assists. I’m hoping it’s all about familiarity because I’d like him to hang around to get a better look at him, but it’s most likely he’s sent to the D-League, if that is possible.
- Trevor Ariza stunk, but it wasn’t as if he was “trying.” I said a couple of posts ago that Ariza will be our James Posey. If he tries then he could be good or flat-out terrible. But for the most part he will be lazy and not give two-hoots about what’s going on. It showed tonight as he finished with 1 point on 0-1 shooting, nice way to assert yourself Jame..I mean Trevor…
- Kevin Durant killed us in 30 minutes of action. Ouchy.
Yes it’s only preseason, but the signs are there. If this team had decent role players we wouldnt have lost by 15, probably 5. Sure without Paul and Okafor this team is going to suffer, obviously. But you’d be a fool to not notice that this team lacks a certain pedigree on the defensive side of the ball.
To me I see this as someone coming back from a major surgery. After the procedure, they just dont get up and start walking around and get back to full strength. It takes a while for all the pain to subside and go through the basics to get back to where they were before it.
This is just like the Hornets. Early on it’s going to be tough (particulary because we play a tonne of playoff teams in the first 10 games), but we have to see a progression of team play. Even in the losses that’s what I’ll be looking for, even if the national media is going to jump all over the terrible play and say CP is going to get traded.
Next up is Milwaukee, I’ll have a the season preview up before that game analyzing all the aspects of the team and organization and this years team issues.
Tags: Chris Paul D.J. Mbenga David West Dell Demps Emeka Okafor Hornets Preseason Hornets Training Camp James Posey Jason Smith Joe Alexander Kevin Durant Marcus Thornton Monty Williams New Orleans Hornets Oklahoma City Thunder Quincy Pondexter Trevor Ariza Willie Green