Before we get into the dramatics we did not deserve to win this game. The Hornets tonight put up a dreadfully ugly looking win fighting back from 14 to win in overtime. David West led all scorers with 29 points and Jarrett Jack put up his best night as a Hornet finishing with 23.
For some reason though this seemed like this was the Rockets game. Every possession the Hornets had, I cringed and prayed (well hoped) that we’d make a basket. It just seems like most nights it’s a struggle to put up clean looking possessions.
With a little more than 2 minutes left in regulation the Hornets found themselves down by 4 and marching back. One-and-done defensive possessions limited the Rockets effectiveness but really it was David West who came out strong. West scored 6 of the last 8 points for New Orleans and hit a couple of clutch free-throws to secure the overtime opportunity.
Once D.W. had secured the tie, Chris Paul decided that it was best for the team if he would show up. In the first minute or so it seemed that Paul was more than willing to stand by and watch his team-mates go at it. Something tells me that Paul is acting more of a shooter in the role of the offense and it’s something I don’t like. A CP3 steal and layup then a 20 foot jumper and the Hornets flipped the scoreline in their favour and it was all NOLA from there.
A big win, but again the team has to keep going on to the next one. Let’s head over the jump.
Chris Paul: B-
I rarely say that opposing point guards outplay Chris Paul, but I hate to say it but to some extent Kyle Lowry did just that. I must remind others though, that Paul rarely guarded Kyle (he’d take the tough task of guarding Kevin Martin) and it showed as Lowry finished with a career night. However CP3 showed up when it mattered, kind of. In overtime it was time to do the Christopher Crunch™. Some defense and a few layups later and his barerly respectable. He only get’s a B- because of that, if not it’s a C. Also it appeared that Paul injured some part of his leg. He was till able to play but he just didn’t seem like he wanted to force things to much. Could be a bump or something, but still something to keep an eye on.
Willie Green: D+
As a starter players hope to maximize their opportunities. It doesn’t seem like Willie Green has that in mind. I have to praise him thought for, how should I put this? Staying out of the way. In the first quarter Green didn’t attempt a shot and played within the motions of the team. He really didn’t do anything of value tonight except for hitting his free-throws, very nice!
Trevor Ariza: B
Tonight was the second time that Trevor Ariza would get an opportunity to face his old team and even though he didn’t have the most efficient game his value on the boards was as high as the sky. His defense was present tonight but again he really did a tremendous job of cleaning up the glass, limiting Houston to one shot. As well he had a couple of key offense put-backs that had my heart thumping. T-Rev finished with 14 points on 15 shots, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
David West: A
Can someone, anyone ask David West and Luis Scola to stop making deals to stop guarding each other. For some reason they just dominate each other and have season high nights. I have a feeling too that if the unimaginable was to happen and West was to leave NOLA he’d sign immediatly with Houston. Why? Because he loves their arena. Also did anyone else lose it when David West dunked all over Jared Jeffries? Good god that was the definition of rude. On to a more serious note it seemed that New Orleans wanted to put the ball in his hands late in the game. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with the matchups but they liked what they saw from the Rockets double-teams. Even though he had 7 turnovers we can overlook that as David finished with 29 points on 20 shots, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and a blocked shot.
Emeka Okafor: A
I said a few weeks ago that it appeared Emeka Okafor was getting comfortable. His role in the offense seems established and he knows when and where his team-mates take their shots. One of the most beautiful things I saw tonight was in the first quarter where Chris Paul received a double screen from West and Okafor and both rolled, Chuck Hayes went with David leaving Okafor wide open for the jam. Emeka finished with 17 points on a ridiculous 8 shots, had 15 rebounds and a blocked shot.
Wild Card Grade, Jarrett Jack: A
This one was a no brainer. Jarrett Jack played out of his mind tonight finishing with 23 points on 14 shots, had 7 assists and 3 rebounds. In addition he was 2-2 from downtown and looked in sync with everything that was going on. A couple of nights ago everyone was excited over the play of Marcus Thornton. Tonight though everyone has switched that same emotion towards Jack. If both he and Buckets could get it going in one game (or series) this bench unit could be highly dangerous, worst bench in the league no more.
- I’m still not sure if “Chuck Wagon” is funny to laugh at, with or if it’s indeed a good nickname…
- I can’t usually stand the Rockets commentators tonight, but they were very praising of New Orleans and seemed level-headed when it came to assessing their team.
- Not sure what the attendance was in Houston, but it has to be less that 14,000. For all the crap that New Orleans takes for not supporting an NBA franchise it didn’t seem like Houston did a great job either tonight.
- I’m not to sure how it could happen, but I want Kevin Martin on our team, far out he’s amazing.
Next up is the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow night. A tough little back to back as Paul Silas has the Bobcats confidence up. Hopefully the Hornets can keep their streak going, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Final Word: Palpitating
Can’t forget the juicy dunk-on by David West….