New Orleans Hornets Lift Off For The Win Against Houston Rockets

Apr. 14, 2010 - Houston, United States - (100415) -- HOUSTON, April 15, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Houston Rockets

It almost seemed like Trevor Ariza was back playing for the Rockets with tonight's performace, but Hey! We still won!

Another game, another win. Another game, another great defensive performance. What I liked about this one was that it was a game very uncharacteristic of the Hornets. I mean the Hornets didn’t get outrebounded (45-45), where they blocked 11 shots (wow!) and held the Rockets to under 100 points. It seems to me that this team is indeed different, in a good way. Chris Paul constantly talked about the unknown, like it was being a rookie all over again. Fans were concerned also as to whether this change was for the better or worse. For me, I constantly reminded everyone that if the Hornets just win, then the Chris Paul rumors will disperse themselves.

Sure, it’s only 4 games and there are a tonne of games to go, but it’s the way the team has played, along with the teams they’ve beaten that has the Hornets brass so excited.

Let’s hit the jump to revel in our undefeatedness…even though it is not a word…

Good Stuff:

  • Must give Emeka Okafor big props for the way he played tonight. Just to hold that defensive praise for the moment, offensively Okafor was aggressive, working Yao over, pinning him in the lane and running the floor on the fast break. Emeka was rewarded handsomely getting to the line 12 times! Add in his defensive performance and I can quite honestly say it’s one of the most perfect games to date for Emeka in a Hornets uniform. He finished with 5 blocks and secured 7 defensive rebounds as well as finishing with a well deserved 15 points.
  • I know Chris Paul should have been mentioned before, but Emeka really played well. Paul as well was all over the place, in a good way of course, finishing with 25 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and an amazing 4 steals! Oh and for those people saying Rondo is a better passer Paul had 1 Turnover while Rondo had 6 today. Rondo’s 2.5:1 to Paul’s 8:1, I think I’ll take Paul every day.
  • Must give Jason Smith some love. For the very few that read this site, you will know I’ve been high on Jason Smith for a while now, not in an altered state of mind kind of way though. Smith showed me exactly why I tell everyone he’s good cashing in jumper after jumper. As well he played very nice defense making sure nothing was easy for the Rockets bigmen. Add in the fact he rebounded the ball well (9 Rebounds) and you can safely say Jason Smith is here to stay. He finished with 14 points, much needed production off the bench.
  • Monty Williams and his superb game planning. Forgive me for not having this higher, but it’s just how my mind is sifting through the game. With the Hornets down at the half Williams came out of the half having the team focused and aggressive. It’s not like it’s the first time, numerous times when the Hornets are down Coach Monty puts the team in the right frame of mind for a certain stretch of the game. To start off the second half the Hornets went on a 14-2 run.
  • Marco Belinelli and his shot showed up for tonights game. Okay well maybe not for the entire game but for the significant stretch of the game. Marco ended up with 18 points which to me was very surprising. It seemed like had only 12 points but he hussled and got easy layups on the fast break as well as a couple of nice hoops round the basket. He needs to keep hitting his three’s as he finished with 4 from 7 attempts.
  • Pondexter was active and Peja was not. While Quincy didn’t play I love the fact that he’s at least dressed in uniform and has the potential to get in the game, hopefully if the Hornets are blowing someone out then he might get some time.
  • We had an absurd amount of free-throw attempts, 42 to be exact. That is not the New Orleans Hornets of old.

Bad Stuff:

  • What’s up with Trevor Ariza? His first half defense was okay, but if it’s only “okay” then he’s not doing his job proparely. The thing that really annoys me is that he’s not working it on offense. It seems he hasn’t quite found his groove with the team, hopefully that will change with time.
  • After a stellar first quarter David West all but disappeared for the rest of the game. If it were not for Jason Smith I suspect we lose this game because Mr. West was a black hole on offense. Defensively he was average, meaning he was good in parts but very terrible in others.
  • Everyone is raggin’ on D.J. Mbenga so I will too. Outside of his shot-blocking ability he is a very terrible basketball player. He can’t catch the ball, dribble, rebound, run, shoot or do much really. That’s why everyone is calling for Aaron Gray because at least he can do some of those things, not much better mind you.
  • Marcus Thornton didn’t have a great game. I mean just didn’t seem comfortable out there.
  • Jerryd Bayless needs more time!” So says the generic Hornets fan. I’m sorry but the guy has to show a marked improvement in the next 3 or 4 games or else I’m going to throw the gauntlet down.

Other Observations:

  • The Rockets commentators have the filthiest nicknames for some of their players. I’ve known this for a while, but it still enrages me to the degree that I find myself yearning for the soft and wisdom like voice of Mark Jackson…Okay maybe not, but still names like “Chuck Wagon” and “Bud” followed by an orgasmic “Ohhhhh” are not the most pleasant of sound-bites.
  • Apparently when CP went to the bench he couldn’t find a seat so he sat near some fans who heckled him and took photo’s. Chris talked back both with his play and his voice box.

Final Word: Montgomery

Tags: Chris Paul D.J. Mbenga David West Emeka Okafor Houston Rockets Jerryd Bayless Luis Scola Marco Belinelli Marcus Thornton Monty Williams New Orleans Hornets Peja Stojakovic Quincy Pondexter Trevor Ariza Willie Green

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