There’s no hiding behind it these referees had some kind of agenda tonight. The foul count for the night, 22 on the Hornets and just 11 on the Lakers. L.A. had 27 free throw attempts, the Hornets just 4. Sure you have to attribute some of it to the game play of the Hornets perhaps not being as aggressive as they should. But there were numerous times the Lakers bumped, smacked and interfered with layups, off ball movement and everything else. The Hornets meanwhile got called for any real contact with a Lakers opponent. It was unbalanced, but you’d think David Stern owning us would have some pull with the referee’s, apparently not. Sure everyone makes mistakes, but it’s when trends develop and inconsistencies show themselves that we become angry and upset. Sure it’s okay if an official misses a call here or there. It’s when he misses 10 that we take notice.
Aside from all that riff-raff the New Orleans Hornets fought valiantly only losing by 6. It’s tough when two of your starters are out so it was a welcome pleasure to see that each and every one of the Hornets put in their best effort. Having said that a loss is a loss it counts the same as a blowout. We can play the “if”, “but” and “maybe” game, at the end of the day though things are what they are.
So let’s hit you up with some Good Stuff, Bad Stuff over the jump!
- Chris Paul was a trooper tonight, the way he walks seems un-easy, but the way he plays is ridiculous. Again, I’d still like to see him play more aggressive and become more of a scorer, it seems like those days are over because there are numerous possessions where he isn’t involved at all. He finished with 21 points on just 11 shots, 15 assists on 4 turnovers and 0 steals (thanks referees).
- Before we get to the outstanding play of the bench we must talk about Aaron Gray. Rohan from At The Hive ripped on me in the pre-game thread about my view that Paul needed to score 40 for us to win (a vision I still hold). It is apparent there are more than one way to win a basketball game and I figured it was more likely we would win if the CP scored 40 than if some of our role players showed up. Aaron Gray played his best game of the season to date putting up 10 points and 10 rebounds. He could have had if it weren’t for the referees, but he still showed he has some value in this league.
- Shout outs to every Hornets bench player, Marcus Thornton, David Andersen, D.J. Mbenga and Jarrett Jack (Oh and err…Willie Green). Also give props to Sasha Pavlovic he played great team basketball (registering 3 assists in 9 minutes). I like this signing and I wouldn’t mind if we kept him for an extended period of time.
- Biggest attendance post-Katrina at the New Orleans Arena: 18,426. Phil Jackson, you still want to comment on that pig-headed statement?
- I know it sounds like I’m bitching about the refereeing a lot, but if you take offence to it you are clearly a Lakers fan. If you’re not, then you’re a closet Lakers fan.
- Quincy Pondexter gave us straight noughts tonight.
- Marco Belinelli tried to put on a show for his family and friends, and boy did he laying the foundations for a brick house.
- David West had an ugly game, just wasn’t there past the first quarter. Again, attribute that to the refs, thanks guys!
- Pau Gasol has his way against us.
Other Notes and Quotes
- By no means am I attributing this loss entirely to the referees. There were other factors in the performance of our players. Sometimes though the referees feel like they have to assert themselves and feel like they are apart of the game. Even if they consciously don’t want to influence the game one way or the other they do. All fans, players and coaches ask is consistency across the board. Tonight we got none of that as one call on one end was not equal on the other. If you neglect any of what I am saying you are ignorant to the way basketball is played. You have to realise that officials are a big part of the game and can be the difference between winning and losing. Think about this for a second. If the Hornets received just 6 more calls the game would have been tipped in their favour. Consistency across the board is all we ask for.
- Aaron Gray clobbered Derek Fisher with a big time screen. Fisher returned to the game to knock down a three.
Next up is the Minnesota Timberwolves, let’s obliterate them.
Final Word: Inconsistency