The Hornets came out guns ‘a blazin’ as Marco Belinelli shot and made 5 three pointers. David West also was red-hot breaking double teams and shooting over longer defenders. But it was the play, or lack there of, of Chris Paul that resulted in a Hornets loss. Time and time again the Celtics would trap Paul off the screen forcing him to hold it above the three and he would in turn pick up his dribble. Any shot he did decide to pull the trigger on he missed, badly. In the fourth quarter CP split the double team ran down the lane for an easy floater– miss, front iron.
He never displayed an ounce of confidence throughout the entire game and it cost New Orleans a win.
It’s not all on the star point guard though, his bench gave the team no help. With the Hornets up bigtime in the first quarter, the bench entered and the drop off in intensity was highly noticeable. Defensive rotations were poor, offense was shockingly boring and stagnant, it was the same old bench. When you ask for a pick up in energy from the bench, these guys gave us the opposite.
This was a tough game to watch or even enjoy early on, because you knew the Hornets would do their typical routine of falling in love with the jump shot and slacking off on the defensive end.
- David West had a sound offensive night getting 32 points on 23 shots, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. His jumpshot was working and he really didn’t have any opposition that could stop him with his array of post moves. It’s a shame that such a terrific offensive performance went to waste.
- Marco Belinelli had it going early on hitting 5 three pointers, he cooled off considerably in the second half though. Overall he was actually pretty good. He troubled Ray Allan for the most part, closed out nicely and did a terrific job of finding the shooters off the screens. You saw just how good of a job he was doing the minute Willie Green stepped on the floor, left Allan wide open, cashing in the easy two-pointer.
- While Chris Paul had 15 assists his offense was embarrassing to watch. After all the excitement over how well he’s been playing recently, he layed an egg for all Hornets fans to see. His lack of aggressiveness, coupled with the fact he never looked to score displayed just how bad he played tonight. He missed all his field goals going 0-9 from the field.
- As mentioned before the bench was no where to be seen. On offense Jarrett Jack would dribble the ball up the floor, pound it for 10 seconds, call a screen, pick up his dribble, make a cross court pass to Ariza who would be stuck not knowing what to do. When you have a post player in Landry I don’t see why you don’t give it to him every time down the floor.
- Willie Green and his air balls.
Next up is the Jazz in Utah, the Hornets have quite a break before that game making it all the more depressing watching them not play tonight. This loss probably drops New Orleans out of contention for the 5th seed, and makes it that much more difficult to get the 6th spot. Looks like it’ll be the Lakers in the first round and an early exit.
Final Word: Typical