For all the offseason banter, hype, coverage, whatever you want to call it, your New Orleans Hornets are 5 and Oh. Both the Heat and Hornets had juxtaposing offseasons as members of the media annoited the Heat’s Haul, and drooled over the Chris Paul trade rumors. But I have said it from the very beginning, winning takes care of everything. You can dissect and discuss things all you want, but at the end of the day, does your team win?
Today The Hornets put in one of the best efforts I have seen since the 2008 playoffs. Plain and simple, it is the truth. Any way you cut it this team played their tails off, they really wanted this one, and the Heat did not.
The only time Miami looked even remotely interested was with 2 minutes to go. You could see them cutting, playing with energy and all that. But the Hornets defense was just to good.
The intensity of the team is back and you can tell the guys are playing like a team possessed.
Let’s head over the jump for the delicious recap of what was a night for the men in creole blue.
- If you don’t start with Emeka Okafor for this one you clearly didn’t watch the game. He was insane. This has to be the best game of his career going 12 of 13 from the field, being active on the defensive glass and constantly altering shots. Okafor had the mis-match all game long and punished the Heat for it. As well a new slightly altered version of the CCC might be back as Chris Paul hit Okafor in the opening moments of the game for the thunderous dunk. Mekaokafor as he shall henceforth be known finished with a team high 26 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot.
- 19 Assists on 3 turnovers and 5 steals, this is indeed the man of steel, Chris Paul. After today’s game many will quiet their Chris Paul rumors, probably even shut them up for good because the MVP is back. He made James Jones look like discarded bunch of bones, that was unbelievable. Often the Heat would try to take the ball out of CP’s hands only for him to give it to a team-mate for the score. Great game from Chris, this game should keep him in NOLA for quite a while.
- Have to give it up to Marco Belinelli and Trevor Ariza. These dudes played some defense and then some tonight. Marco played Dwayne so well tonight, his team-mates helped him on the pick and roll and he made sure that Wade never got the step on him. Trevor played Lebron as well as you can forcing him to as many tough shots as possible. As well Ariza hit a huge shot at the end of the game that put the game out to 4, big clutch play.
- Jason Smith, oh how I adore you. Monty said after the game, “We didn’t expect his play in the preseason to carry in to the regular season, but it has and he’s been huge.” And boy is he right. With West picking up to many early fouls, Smith came in and pulled up the slack. It’s finally great to see a bigman be productive off the bench, let’s hope it continues. I have to say though that his main form of scoring is the midrange shot. Once teams adjust on it and he starts missing more I hate to say it but his offensive production may wither down.
- Willie Green is an animal. Dude is just a fighter, he played great, tough defense tonight making sure that nothing was easy for the Heat. We need to remember he was actually a starter in Philly, so having him off the bench can be our definition of a “luxury.”
- David West did a nice job of fighting his way back into the game hitting some tough shots down the stretch, those free-throws were torture until he made them.
- We outrebounded the Heat 42-36, Chris Paul had as many assists as the entire Miami team, 19 and the Horents are apparently the best on the defensive glass so far this season, that’s a far cry from a year ago.
- Monty Williams is a scheming genious and our little Popovich, sorry San Antonio.
- We have not let an opponent score more than 100 points this season.
- For those of you still rolling around in joy stop reading now and comment below.
- We let the Heat back into the game, it’s not really a negative per se because their always going to get back in it, but you would’ve liked to of seen them never get a sniff.
- The God-Damn-Refs. You all know what I’m talking about.
- DJ Mbenga, how many times have we said that!
- Our crowd was awesome tonight. Sellout, something the Heat have never achieved this year…
- Chris Bosh is a tad overrated. He had 1 rebound tonight…
- The celebrities were out tonight The Saints were there with Drew Brees, Darren Sharper and Tracy Porter. Rap artist Lil Wayne was there after getting released from jail recently.
- The National media is going to be all over this…Listening to them babble on about the Hornets (not really knowing what they’re talking about) is both amusing and enraging at the same time. Maybe this might wake people up to the fact that CP3 is the MVP.
Next up is Milwaukee. We need to savor this victory but remember that there are nearly 77 games left…Teams will adjust and make plays on this team we have to remain open-minded, something Heat fans have a tough time coming to grips with, let’s be above that nonsense.
Final Word: Ecstasy
Topics: Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, D.J. Mbenga, David West, Dwayne Wade, Emeka Okafor, Jason Smith, Lebron James, Marco Belinelli, Miami Heat, Monty Williams, New Orleans Hornets, The Williams Way, Trevor Ariza, Willie Green