That had to have been one of the most exhilarating games I have ever watched. Have you gotten a chance to catch your breath? Or are you still holding it? Relieved about the win? Or are you still sweating and freaking out?
The game was up and down for the New Orleans Hornets and went something like this: Early lead, falling behind, up by 2 at the half, falling behind, making it 78-78 to start the fourth, looking dead at the end of the game, full court pass, ball smacked out, circus shot, overtime, overtime win.
That’s not the story though. Unfortunately, David West was taken off in a wheelchair after a monster dunk tied the game at 103. He stayed down under the basket screaming and holding his leg. I’m not a doctor and I wont try to speculate what how bad the injury is. It could be bad, maybe it’s not, let’s just wait to hear what the team says. But my heart sunk when it happened. Let’s do this…
I’m torn on what I think about this game. Obviously, I am crushed by the West injury. But besides that, on paper this shouldn’t have been close. Since the Jazz completely remodeled their organization, they have been playing well below .500 basketball. Plus their starting point guard was out injured.
Things looked good when the Hornets raced out to a 9-0 lead. Then, just how this season has gone from one extreme to another, the Hornets suddenly found themselves trailing the Jazz. David West got hurt, the Hornets were losing and I thought the roller coaster might be over. Nope. BOOM! Circus shot and overtime. What a crazy season this has been. No middle ground. It’s either one extreme or another.
Is this a good win where certain players stepped up when the team needed themt? Or is this a poor win where the team played inconsistent basketball? I’m inclined to think there are parts of both mixed in. The three-point shot became a problem again as the Jazz shot 8 for 18 on the night. They also out rebounded the hornets 30-25. But the Hornets stayed in the game and eventually pulled out the win.
The Hans Gruber Villain of the Game Award
Everyone please welcome Paul Millsap to the club. This is especially appropriate since Millsap (villain!) battled David West (hero!) all night long. He went 13-20 for 33 points tonight. He also had 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. But he did foul out in overtime and failed to lead his team to victory. HOW’S THAT BENCH TASTE, MILLSAP?
-Let’s just wait to hear more news on West’s injury before jumping to conclusions about him being out for the season or how this affects his contract. As of this post the officially it is being called “knee trauma,” X-rays are negative and an MRI is scheduled for tomorrow.
Before the injury he was having a strong offensive performance with 29 points on 25 shots. The dunk he hurt himself on was tremendous and tied the game. Get well soon, Mr. West.
-THANK YOU EMEKA OKAFOR. This would have been such a worse night if not for your last second heroics.
-Aaron Gray stepped up big tonight. He had 10 points on 5 shots including some clutch free throws. Never thought I would say that. He was aggressive and looked like a real NBA player. He also had clutch rebounds. He finished with 8 boards on the night, 5 offensive. Huge. The Hornets don’t win without him. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:
-I like vintage Chris Paul. 24 points on 15 shots and 12 assists. His movement looked good. But I’m going to wait until he does this for the rest of the season before saying he’s back to his old self. I’ve seen him play well one game then disappear the next too many times to fall for that again. Oh, and his effort to get the ball to Okafor on the final play of regulation? Amazing.
-Thank you to Rohan from At The Hive for letting us know that the Hornets offensive rating for the game was 129. As we head towards the playoffs I’m encouraged that the offense is playing much better.
-Jarrett Jack went to Kevin Durant’s School of Swing Throughs. He drew a foul from behind the three-point line just like he did to win the game against the Mavericks.
-With West potentially out it’s time for Carl Landry to step up his game. He went 0 for 3 tonight. That’s not going to cut it if we want to win in the playoffs.
-I like seeing Marco Belinelli going 3-4 from behind the arc. His outside shooting will be very important in the playoffs to force teams to defend the perimeter.
-Follow me on twitter @nolajake!
Well I’m spent for the night. Let’s hope to hear some good news about David West tomorrow. And don’t forget the Hornets play the Suns tomorrow to finish off their last back to back of the season. Anyway, you all have a good night.
Oh you thought I’d leave you without a video of Emeka’s game saver? Don’t worry, we have you covered.