Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

Archive for February, 2008

This is what CP3 looks like before he eats soulsFree! CP3 Posters for everyone tonight! (See left.) Clearly meant to be a depiction of what Chris Paul looks like shortly before devouring someone’s soul. And they’ve done a good job with it, too.

ESPN the Mag Hype for CP: This article just appeared on the front page of espn.com. Everyone wants to be friends with Chris Paul. It’s the cool thing to do. Except, where ya been lately on that whole yelling-at-Tyson thing?

What-EVER, Marty Burns: People who disrespect the CP3|MVP mission end up in a special place. It’s called the Shit List.

CrowdWatch: I think we’ve got another sellout for tonight. There were only 300 tickets left as of this morning.

Bonus Random Hype That Can’t Quite Be Categorized: Hilton Armstrong and Julian Wright go bowling. Why? How? No one knows. I love you, internets.

And remember to smile at the game, because you’re on TV!

I myself have whoooo-ed in this same tunnel.

Tyson: Bitch, please. I don’t need a cape.Sellout of 17,931. The hype is blaaaaazzzzzing. The arena was rocking. The sun went down Wednesday night.

Seriously, though. If that Tyson dunk is not the #1 on every highlight show, I will… well, never mind what I will do. He was like, “Hey, Dwight. WHAT-EV. I don’t need a cape to fly.”

Hornets 120, Suns 103. Hornets sweep the season series with the Suns. I debut a new homemade T-shirt. (But. I go back to the TC6 jersey on Friday just AS A TRIBUTE to the much-improved play this evening. Fierce. Does he read the blogs and forums?) We witness the return of the dominant third quarter. There is free beer.

And, everybody together now: What’s the only beer better than a dollar beer?

FREE BEER!

T.P. Watchdog: Hornets have a box stickied at the top of nola.com currently, where the main story usually is. I have never seen that.

Anyone who has followed the NBA knows that it is home to conspiracy theories. Like the Knicks mysteriously getting the #1 pick in 1985 draft to obtain Patrick Ewing, despite having the smallest chance to obtain that lottery pick. Or the phantom foul called on Scottie Pippen in the 1994 against the Knicks, the first year after MJ left, basically handing victory to the Knicks. Others accuse the league of moving the three point line forward in 1994-1997 to help the poor shooting Knicks advance in the playoffs. Others point to the 27 free throws awarded to the Lakers in the 4th quarter alone in the game 6 against Sacto in 2002. Or that league officials have been instructed to call fouls more strictly on Shaq because otherwise his combination of size, speed, and power would make him unstoppable and the Lakers/Heat/whoever would win every year. Others suggest expanding the no-charge box on defense is meant to help “exciting” teams like Suns and Mavericks, who run, or one-on-one stars like Kobe, McGrady, and Iverson.

The ConspiracianatorNow these are conspiracies for a reason: there is absolutely no proof that these or others exist as any sort of deliberate action. And like any other sport, officiating can be subject to human error and limitations (such as being screened by players from seeing a foul). League rule changes, are similarly given the benefit of the doubt of being intended to benefit the league, not any particular teams. But here’s what I see as the latest conspiracy: New Orleans is a great story for the All-Star game, but too small of a market to compete in the NBA finals. (Just think how much already we’re being told to expect a Lakers/Celtics finals, or how much hype has centered around Kobe potentially going to Chicago or Lebron going to the big apple because he’s friends with Jay-Z. Conspiracies usually favor large market teams.) As such, it is my belief, after analyzing this season’s games, that the NBA officials have been instructed to make things hard for the Hornets.

Ordinarily, I am inclined to believe in my own bias, and those of any one else in the Arena, in that we will boo any foul against us or any perceived slight not called a foul. However, after the game versus the Wizards, I was apalled. The refereeing was horrible. I even watched the replay today on CST, to check my initial instincts and utilize instant replays and was again appalled.

Let me give you the bare bones highlights. Hornets fans feel free to comment here with your own. The technical foul in the final quarter against Tyson? There was NOTHING going on. They showed the replay several times. Two guys going for the ball, Tyson gets a personal, fine. (You could have let it go too, but anyway.) Then the guy shoots and makes the free throw, Tyson goes to take the ball out of bounds, and there is a phantom technical called. No apparent comments being made, Tyson’s not looking or calling to the ref. It just came out of nowhere. How about the so-called charge on David West with 35.7 seconds remaining and the Bees up by 1? Insane. David did NOT lower his shoulder AND the defender’s feet were moving . Are you kidding me? It should have been a block, sending D-West to the line . Do these refs not realize the game is on the line and they’re blowing these kinds of calls? I would say it’s inexcusable, but with the scrutiny these guys (and 1 lady) are forced to endure, that seems unlikely. So dare I say it, it must be intentional. Lastly, the foul on Hilton that gave the game away. Here we are again, with a player barrelling out of control toward the bucket who is rewarded for jumping into a player. Refs are usually smart enough to make a no call in this situation. Unfortunately, Hilton had the audacity to make a good play, jumping back, leaning over, and swatting the ball away. He should have just let DS (he deserves no name) miss the shot without the block. But with a block, refs felt they needed to employ Stern order #147 and the fall was called. DS jumped INTO Hilton, I don’t buy a foul there. Should have been a no call.

My whole problem I’ve seen this year is that David Stern’s shock troops have been inconsistent in Hornets games. Refs will call games tight or loose, and usually call it the same way on both teams. That’s fine. But when you call tight on one team and loose on the other, it is bullshit. I’ve seen it a lot and I’m sick of it. I for one, hope Byron Scott and the coaching staff send a tape of this game to the league for review. Someone should be censured for this.

That is, unless there is a conspiracy to stop the Hornets.

HypeMeter: Dead

By on February 26, 2008

  • Attendance was 11,289.
  • The Hornets lost to the Wizards.
  • The Hornets are on a three game losing streak.

There is no hype. There is negative hype.

Last night, despite the 98-89 loss to the Spurs, we met up with some people off the HR boards at the airport. We had beers, jerseys, flags, and signs, which is really all you need when you are drinking in a cold parking lot off the back of the airport at 12:30 AM waiting for the team to come home. It was cool to put some faces to the names.

I got my Chris Paul jersey, which I won by correctly guessing his line in the All Star Game. Much excitement! Ryan Bowen rolled down his window to say hi, and most of the players waved and honked as they drove out of the gate. I now know that most of the players drive something sleek, expensive, and black. The better to stalk them, my friends. (I kid.) There was a tense moment when we thought security was coming in a long white car to kick us out of the lot, but it turned out it was just Gil’s wife. The TV guys thanked us for being out there, or commented that we were all crazy.

I’ve been called crazy for lesser causes. Geaux Hornets!

If I was a Hornet, I’d be pretty stoked about six people at the airport for a loss. That being said, I hope Chris Paul singlehandedly eats the Wizards’ souls tomorrow.

Quote of the Night:

“Did we see David West yet?”

“I think I saw him go by.”

“Which car?”

“A BMW?”

“That really narrows it down.”

“A black one?”

“Riiight.”

Tyson Chandler Appreciation Day

By on February 24, 2008

TC6 is our manI have randomly decided to dish out some TC love.

This blog is an unabashed fan of the big man. As you might have noticed, I wear his jersey. I wasn’t going to buy it, though. I was planning on buying a Peja Stojakovic one, because of both his superhuman ability to nail 3′s and our common Balkan heritage. But then something funny happened… Tyson grew on me. On his best nights, his energy is infectious and his rebounding superb. But mostly he just seems to be having such a great time out there. And he gets so genuinely excited for the guys on his team.

I had to get my #6 jersey online because they STILL don’t sell them in the arena. Which is, if you ask me, a travesty of the highest order. I’m talking to you, Hornets Nest. Let’s make it a little easier for people to rock the #6!

Some of my fave Tyson moments:

  1. This dunk against Golden State. The staredown afterward is really the best part.
  2. The league-leading CP to TC alley oop connection. I keep hearing that it blows every other pair in the NBA away by far, but I can’t for the life of me find where that stat is. It’s got to be on the internet somewhere.
  3. Perhaps the day will come when I cease to be entertained by the leaping chest bump he does with Chris Paul during the intros at home games… but it hasn’t happened yet.
  4. Tyson plays some great ball when he’s pissed. He gets this look on his face, then stalks back to the other end of the court and destroys someone on the rebound. He’ll rip that thing right out of someone’s hands and growl. Well, it looks like he growls. I can imagine he growls.
  5. After that win against the Clippers where Peja lit it up, Peja is standing there getting interviewed and Tyson runs up behind him and jumps into the camera yelling, “THE MAN IS ON FIIIIIRE!” Classic.
  6. The last time I watched a game on CST, they ran a couple of Chandler highlight clips, and one of them is him dancing on the bench.
  7. Tyson has a blog. I have two blogs. I love blogs! Sold!
  8. The first time the crowd really got into it with the “MVP” chant for Chris Paul, Tyson jumped up off the bench and started waving his arms at the crowd to keep it going.
  9. Just in case he’s ever in a situation where he forgets his name… it’s on his arm!
  10. Ladies. Come on.

More Julian Wright!

By on February 23, 2008

One big ball of energy is Mr. WrightUgh. The only positive thing about tonight’s game was Julian Wright. And, I suppose, the sellout. But mostly Julian Wright. He just comes off the bench with such energy and versatility. I wish we could give him more minutes instead of, say, Rasual Butler, who often seems invisible out there. He got 6th Man of the Game after playing for, seriously, what seemed to be only about 6-7 minutes.

Now that I think about it, that may say more about how the rest of the team played…

If you weren’t there for the pre-game warmup, Julian started off the night with a ferocious dunk off a pass to himself. Not to be outdone, Chris Paul followed up with a dunk of his own… which was pretty sick for someone his height. Then the whole team just started to screw around and dunk. Julian Wright’s were by far the most awesome, though. It had us cracking up. (It says something when the game’s most entertaining moment is in warmups…)

Our new guys were on the bench. I like Mike James’ fashion vibe, at least. Velvety blazer + jeans = slick. They seemed to get along with each other well, even though they didn’t talk as much to the other guys. Or maybe they were just laughing at the Hornets’ offense…

Besides Julian Wright, the only other moment in the game which provided me with a satisfactory level of entertainment was when David West stripped on the bench in the 1st quarter. Our row was kinda like, “Wait… did he just run off the court, take off his shorts, and run back on?” Three trainers attempted to block for him using towels. We couldn’t really figure out why, though the whole incident appeared to crack up Wright. Maybe they should use D West at the halftime show instead of the quick change artists.

Bullets of the Moment

By on February 22, 2008

  • Yesterday afternoon I was in my car listening to actual Hornets talk on WWL. I thought, “Is this happening?” It was rather unbelievable. One guy said he has Direct TV and doesn’t get to watch the Hornets games. Wednesday’s game was the first time he’d ever seen Chris Paul play. He said he called up and immediately bought tickets for the next two Fridays.
  • How big is the love fest for CP right now, by the way? The crowd on Wednesday wasn’t a sellout, but it was probably the loudest of the season. They were ready to go crazy right from the get-go. They screamed for Shinn when he talked about how great New Orleans did at hosting the All Star Game. They screamed for the starting line up. There was one moment when Chris Paul was just dribbling the ball up court, not even particularly doing anything except touching it, and there was a spontaneous standing, screaming ovation.
  • Chris Paul systematically dismantled Kidd and the Mavs. He possibly was bent on destroying their souls. That was fun.
  • Sorry to see Bobby go, especially after the game he had. The deal gave us more options, toughness, and a bit more size, but it remains to be seen whether chemistry will be disrupted. One would think Byron Scott would simply bench any one who even started to start shit. I imagine they know that about him and I hope attitudes won’t be a problem.
  • At Casino Night last night, I missed my moment to get my pic with David West. (I was totally gonna blog it, too.) We were like ships passing in the night. Or really, ships loitering by the buffet table. I decided to go for the food first, but alas, I didn’t know the players were going to take off shortly afterward due to their game the next day. Opportunities pass.
  • We got a nice numbered print with Chandler, Paul, West, and Stojakovic on it. If you renewed your season tix, you got free courtside seats for an upcoming game. We didn’t bite, but many people did.
  • Hey, did you know there’s a whole aisle of Hornets gear in Walmart? I generally boycott Walmart as a rule, but I had to stop and get cat food on the way home from Metro. We were all excited to see it. They have jerseys (I didn’t know there was a whole other tier of jersey below the replica, but it turns out there is), T-shirts, sweatshirts, and… Chris Paul pajama pants!
  • More and more I get the feeling this is the Hornets’ moment, and it is really starting to roll in NOLA. I feel momentum. I hope they sell out the game tonight! And hey, Buzzfest!
  • I seriously don’t think I can live without a pair of Chris Paul pajama pants, so if anyone knows where to get them in a size smaller than XL, please tell me where!

To Trade or Not to Trade

By on February 20, 2008

Excellent analysis here.

Our blog happens to agree. The chemistry on this team has been key all season. It might be dangerous to mess that up by bringing in someone who wouldn’t fit into the clean-cut, attitude-free group of guys the Hornets have. Plus the team seems to genuinely like each other. While our bench is weaker, how many minutes is the bench really going to get come playoff time? And not everyone is in the position to make the type of blockbuster some of the other teams in the West have made. What parts do the Hornets have that other teams want? What players are left who would be a fit for us? Looking at the Hornets’ core, David West came up slowly, but has been with the Hornets since he was drafted. Chris Paul was also drafted. Even though it seems sometimes like Byron Scott plays the younger players infuriatingly little, it would be a shame to let them go before we even know what they can do. Imagine if Marcus Vinicious or Julian Wright became our “one that got away” like Tyson Chandler is for the Bulls today.

Besides, as much as I’m loving this season, our core is also the youngest of all the playoff-contending West teams, except for Portland. We don’t need to win this year. Or next.

Scott said there are 11 or 12 players on his 14-man roster whom he does not want to lose, and General Manager Jeff Bower said Tuesday that he does not feel any pressure to be involved in a transaction before Thursday’s deadline. “I don’t have any pieces I’d like to part with,” Bower said. “As a team, honestly, we like our players, and there’s not one guy here that we want to get rid of, that we want to trade away.”

I wonder who the 2 or 3 are who are in the doghouse. Could probably take a stab at that…

At any rate, huge game tonight. Geaux Hornets!