In the Hornets lone appearance on national television (ESPN) David West’s quiet, yet stellar night was to much for Blake Griffin and his Los Angeles Clippers. The game started off with the Clippers showing their moves, but the veteran play of Chris Paul and West payed dividends as they controlled the tempo to hold Los Angeles to just 87 points.
There was a lot happening on in this game, namely the talk about Blake Griffin. “Who?” you might ask, Blake Griffin. You know the guy that can dunk, and do wicked awesome stuff in the air. His name is Blake Griffin.
Despite the overuse of the discussion on Griffin the Clippers stayed in touch for much of the game. However it seemed any time they’d get within striking distance they’d let up just a little bit giving New Orleans a few easy baskets. The Hornets did a fantastic job of containing Griffin in the second half showing hard double teams to force the ball out of his hands. He had no clue as to what was going on. He has a reputation as a good passer, but tonight he was not.
Aside from that the Hornets didn’t get to see their new acquisition of Carl Landry due to geographical reasons. Emeka Okafor sat out tonight due to the oblique strain that has hampered him for what seems like a month. He is due back against Minnesota.
So boys and girls, let’s head over the jump to break down a Hornets win (Yeah I know right? Exciting!)…
- Have to say it feels much better to get a win than have a loss, so a fair amount of good stuff coming your way. Let’s lead with our point-guard though. Chris Paul tonight had a spring in his step. It was a welcome sight after questioning whether he’d lost “it.” He took shots, broke other people’s ankles and in all looked like he was having fun. Tonight he took 17 shots, which I am actually happy with even if he only ended up with 19 points. I’d rather him take those shots than say, Jason Smith. He also had 10 assists on 2 turnovers, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
- David West put in a great performance against what we will call a pesky Blake Griffin. You got the sense watching the game that DW was angry with Blake getting the media love and he wasn’t going to back down. It was a fire that we’ve rarely seen this year, but he took it to him. West finished with 22 points on 18 shots, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot.
- Willie Green seems to fit into the starters role nicely, for now. Remember this is the Clippers, but it was good to see him being aggressive and looking for his shot. He hit a couple of three’s (and another that should have been) and played physical defense. Green is averaging 17 points as a starter, great production from our 2-guard. Tonight he had 17 points on 11 shots (efficient, not something he’s known for), 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
- While Aaron Gray didn’t have the most outstanding game statistically it was clearly noticeable he was the best big-man out there for the Hornets. He used his size, played his role on offense and made sure he came extra hard on doubles to Blake Griffin (there that name goes again). It’s no surprise he had a +13 tonight, the highest on the team.
- Marco Belinelli chipped in with a quick fire 12 points in 12 minutes. I remember some guy who used to do that who was awesome, but I forgot his name (sorry TickTock if you are reading this just a little joke–she’ll kill me right?).
- 46 points in the paint outscoring the Clippers there. Surprised to say the least.
- Jason Smith is just a wreck out there defensively…
- 23 personal fouls on the Hornets to 16 on the Clippers, referees you are on watch…
- I love Hubie Brown but it is pronounced Nuu-Or-lenz.
- Mark Cuban is an idiot who reminds me of Shane McMahon (also a D-bag).
Great game all around, it was great to see the Hornets on national television, Hubie Brown showed us a tonne of love saying we could be dangerous once we get Okafor back as well as Landry (once we all gel). He’s right, but we still need a few more pieces of talent to come our way.
Next up is the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Final Word: Joy