Heading into tonight’s game the New Orleans Hornets and Chris Paul were down 1 full game to the Portland Trail Blazers. A tough determined Hornets ball club fought back at home to claim a superb 95-91 victory moving themselves into the sixth spot out West for the meantime.
It wasn’t easy though as both teams traded baskets in the first quarter never separating by more than 2 points, until Portland went on a 9-0 run to extend themselves into the second quarter. New Orleans looked to double, hedge on every pick and roll but the Blazers were cutting and finishing at the rim. Things tightened up once again in the second as Jarrett Jack and the bench tried to fight back. It wasn’t until the closing minutes of the half, that ended in a Chris Paul “And-One” that put the Hornets back within range.
Skipping the third quarter we head to the fourth where for the most part the Hornets executed. Chris Paul ran the offense, got the ball where players liked it…Oh no, wait…that was Willie Green and his rude put-back. He just took over the final period scoring in a variety of ways, he had a running hook, hit a three from the top (weird…) and had some fast-break layups. It’s what we need from Green, he’s a scorer inside the arc and his aggressiveness and awesome put-backs are welcomed here in Hornets nation.
Let’s recap the wonderful win!
- You have to give it to Willie Green, we talked about how he got his points, well how did he fair overall? He had 12 points on 8 shots, 2 rebounds, a steal and nothing else. I do think we need to remind ourselves that we need him for his scoring and not much else and he produced in such a fashion.
- Carl Landry was big down the stretch hitting clutch free-throws Aaron Gray style. He also was working the ball inside, drawing fouls and attention. He finished with a stellar 21 points on 15 shots, 6 rebounds, a block and a steal.
- Emeka Okafor, despite fouling out, had a great game overall. 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. He was working it inside…and he even hit a fall away jumper, where have I heard of that before?
- Marco Belinelli had a terrific first half. He had a number of WIDE-OPEN jump shots, and he hit them. It seemed strange the Hornets didn’t go to him more often, then you realised he wasn’t having a terrfic defensive night. He ended up with 16 points on 7 shots (!), 2 rebounds and shot 4-5 from three point range.
- Trevor Ariza only did one really dumb thing on offense tonight, pull up jumper that went “Bang!” straight off the backboard.
- Not sure if it is a good thing, but my boy Patty Mills was ballin’. 13 points killed the Hornets, he didn’t miss a single shot!
- Not a disastrous thing by any means, but Chris Paul didn’t have his finest scoring night. He reached double-digits, barely scoring 11 points on 15 shots. He did do his thing in assists getting 12 on 1 turnover, he also had 7 defensive boards (they were big).
- Aaron Gray got 3 minutes of burn tonight. Sad, I know, but he did give us 2 points. Talk about minute by minute production!
- Crowd was pathetic, not those in attendance, those not attending. 12, 575 people turned up for a playoff type game. What the hell was going on? I feel sorry for guys like the Bee-Zanies who go every night, all vocal and loud to have everyone else decide they don’t want to even turn up. It’s no wonder people talk about the Arena Football League being more popular, show up and support your team! I can’t believe this…
Next up is Memphis on Friday, another huge playoff game. The Grizzlies are just winning, no big deal…They are really gelling as a team and we have to put in yet another top flight performance!
Thanks for sticking with us, here’s the Willie Green Dunk, don’t forget to comment and express your opinions down below.