Hornets Hype

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Archive for January, 2009

He made the team!

West Reserves:

Shaq, Gasol, West, Nowitzki, Parker, Billups, and Roy

I don’t know how I feel about that. I mean, obviously, we’re happy. But Gasol averaging 17/9, West 20/7, Shaq 18/9…. Al Jefferson 23/10. Let’s not quibble over who’s a forward and who’s a center. Let’s not say who out of those three guys should have been left off. But um… yeah.

There are two other equally on-the-bubble bigs, but you know the haters are totally gonna pick David West to hate on. “David Who?” Sigh. STFU.

Dear Sean Marks and Devin Brown,

OK. You got my attention.

Devin Brown. You, who some nights resemble nothing so much as the barreling and flailing personification of an offensive foul waiting to happen. You, who stole my beloved Mo Pete’s minutes in December. You, of the .150 three point shooting percentage. (I wonder how many nights like the Dallas game and last night you have to have to mathematically overcome 15% shooting? Even today it’s still sitting at .224.) I admit it: I laughed my ass off when mW turned to me in the third quarter and said, deadpan, “The alien who replaced Devin Brown is good.” All right? I admit it. While I’m in a confessional mood, I guess I should also admit that I yelled, “No!!” out loud when you took your third three… it went in. Just like the other two. Devin Brown hitting 6 of 7 shots, 3 for 3 from downtown?

I guess that makes me wrong. Well, it makes me wrong last night.

Where do we go from here, Devin Brown? That’s what I want to know.

I dunno. That was some pretty good shooting, I type as I grit my teeth. It really was. Maybe you should think about settling down, getting an apartment, and ending your capricious vagabond ways. Or, you know, don’t. Live in a hotel the rest of the year for all I care. I’ve given up trying to predict what you’ll do.

OK, Sean Marks and Devin Brown. I'm watching.Sean Marks, Sean Marks.

I will be the first to say that I didn’t get what Byron Scott saw in you. Like, you are a backup backup big man off the bench. Period. We don’t have a lot of them. How come you shot so many long jumpers? Just ’cause you hit a three in your first floor time with the Hornets doesn’t mean we should make a habit of these things, right? Really all you have to do to help the team is be 6-10 and stand in the right spot. And oh lord, for the past month or so, the Sean Marks Experiment has not looked like it was working out.

And then at Minnesota you hit like every shot you took. Okay. I was wary. I defended you when the crowd unfairly booed you last week, but I was wary just the same. And then there was last night.

Sean Marks getting nasty athletic Block of the Night blocks, followed by a swaggering staredown? Well, all right then. It was like someone whispered in his ear that he didn’t have to turn himself into David West. He didn’t have to take every open 17-foot jump shot that came along. (I wept tears of joy last night when, just beyond the paint, Marks found himself with a long rebound. He held tight to it, froze… I held my breath and got ready to cringe… and then pivoted and whipped a pass to Peja in the corner, who promptly sank one.) Mr. Marks, you had a great night under the basket. It was probably your best game as a Hornet.

Whatever, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Marks. I’m onto you now.

Aw, you know I’m kidding, right? You know I love my team.

P.S. I have some messages to pass on to the rest of the dudes, if that’s OK. Tell Chris no one blames him for not being superhuman every night. Tell Hilton we’re proud of him. Tell AD he’s the best cheerleader we’ve ever seen and we’re 100% happy to have him with us. Tell Peja thanks for being rock solid in these dark times, and Mo that we hope his foot gets better soon. Oh, and tell Pose that if you’re cracking up while running up the court after missing your fifth three pointer of the game, taking that sixth one is probably not such a hot idea.

Salute to the 2 Headed Dragon

By on January 28, 2009

Well, the Hornets got Hilton Armstrong and his gimpy knee back on Monday, and it looks like David West could return Friday, so this excruciating stretch of No Big Men Whatsoever may be drawing to a close. It could have been a huge disaster. Yet the Hornets managed to go 3-1 with David West, Tyson Chandler, and (mostly) Hilton Armstrong out, and even the loss was against a team on a hot streak with a dominant big man (Minnesota) and was tied right up until the end.

In the last week and a half, we’ve gotten to see a little bit of what our Hornets are made of. And when the answer to that question is “Grit, heart, and hustle,” then maybe a dash of adversity is not a bad thing.

But there were two players who really stepped it up, making the Hornets a two-headed dragon: Chris Paul and Peja Stojakovic. But especially Peja, because let’s be honest. CP is always going to be CP– he was just CP to a mildly more intense degree this week. Check out their stats over the last four games:

Chris Paul

26.5 points per game (Season Avg: 21.3)

11 assists (11)

6.75 rebounds (5.5)

3 steals (2.7)

Peja Stojakovic

22.3 points (Season Avg: 13.7)

5 rebounds (3.9)

.500 from three (.415)

Bottom line: Peja played like a veteran leader and Chris Paul played like a star. (Bonus leader points to Pose, who apparently gives one hell of a locker room speech. Bonus hustle points to Ryan Bowen and JuJu, for making the most of the minutes they’ve been waiting for.) All right, two-headed dragon– now go forth and beastify thyself against the Denver Nuggets.

And you know, I was gonna check the box to categorize this post “CP3 Will Eat Your Soul,” like I always do, but something stopped me at the last second.

F that. CP3 for MVP.

He Camp, He Shoot!

By on January 26, 2009

So I know Chris Paul had a triple double and 7 steals, but that totally happened last week too, so I hope you don’t mind if I skip it.

The Hornets had a 69-63 lead after the third quarter. Then, to open the fourth, Peja hit a three. Yes, yes, whatever. Then he came down and hit another one. Okay. He proceeded to score 15 straight points on five straight threes. When I say straight points, I mean, he scored all the teams’ points. This occurred on six possessions. A dramatization: “Pejjjjjjaaaaa for threeeeeee!” [something happens on Sixers' end] “Ppppppejaaaaa for threeeee!” [a Sixer probably misses a free throw-- this is just a dramatization but they missed a lot, so why not?] “Pppejjaaaaa! For threeeeeeeeeeee!” [Hornets get rebound, crowd thinks, 'Oh come on, that's just cold, I'm cringing, you don't have to--] “Peja for three!” [Oh, fuck it.]

So here’s the crazy part. He hit all five from THE EXACT SAME SPOT ON THE FLOOR. Now, you might say I am exaggerating. Okay, fine. You might be right. The last one was slightly to the left. Check out the shot chart. He even got a nice little swagger dance going toward the end, and good-naturedly laughed off the sixth three that was called off because of the shot clock… but not before the arena had absolutely exploded.

A HornetsHype conversation (TM)

TT6: (reading recap) The Hornets are 23-7 when Peja scores double digits, but only 4-7 when he doesn’t.

mW: (snort) Yeah, and they’re 11-1 when I scratch my nose in the third quarter.

TT6: But they’re 7-2 when I wear my Posey jersey. [Note: This is a fact. And! Now they're 1-0 when Hilton Armstrong wears tall socks. SOMETIMES STATS HAVE MEANING. SEE?]

And one final note… who was watching at the very end of the game? Am I imagining this, or did Andre Miller intentionally foul Rasual Butler so everyone could get free Popeyes? He’s officially my new NBA hero. No, seriously. Here’s the situation: the Hornets have 99 points and a double digit lead, and the crowd is yelling. Whatever, we’re kind of new to the “Free fast food if they score 100 points” thing, because they didn’t have it before this season. And double whatever, because I was not aware before this season that Popeyes even had a chicken wrap to get a free one of… I mean, frankly, that’s a little healthier than what I want when I head to Popeyes, ya know what I’m saying? I want like a twelve piece spicy box with biscuits and Cajun rice… But I digress.

So Chris Paul gets a rebound with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter, which gives him the triple double. Everyone cheers, but he heads up the court and decides to do the polite thing and dribble it out. Then, with 2.2 seconds left, Rasual Butler is half-assedly dribbling over near the Sixers bench, and Andre Miller reaches out and half-assedly hacks him across the wrist. They close up on him, and he’s laughing. Sual hits the free throws. HAHA!

I just gotta conclude that Andre Miller knows about Popeyes. He knows.

Oh Hey Now, We Know Those Guys

By on January 25, 2009

Chris Paul and James Posey, out and about in Baton Rouge yesterday for the Xavier/LSU game. I guess David West didn’t go because of his back.

#13 Xavier won 80-70.

THE FIX IS IN

By on January 22, 2009

But this time, it’s a good thing!

Chris Paul is an All Star starter. Thank you, David Stern. Thank you. And yes, I am thanking David Stern. You cannot tell me CP made up 158,000 votes, or whatever it was the last time we saw the numbers, in like a week. The more everyone cried out that McGrady starting the All Star Game over him was utterly indefensible, the wider the gap grew. So you can’t tell me that the trend suddenly, magically reversed just like that. I flat out won’t believe it. And yet, they’re saying Chris got 1.1 million votes in the last two weeks!

But hey, it’s totally like the Shaq Scrabble ad. “How did you…?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

It’s all good, Mr. Stern. We won’t. CONGRATULATIONS, CHRIS!!

Update: Hornets 247 disagrees. But then, that’s the difference between us and 247. Next thing you know, they’re going to be trying to tell us The X-Files wasn’t a documentary about the 1990s…

The NBA… Where, ‘It’s Really OK Not To Use Every Photo You Take. No, Really’ Happens

A Little Help from my Friends

By on January 22, 2009

Because everyone loves a game when your starting big men are Sean Marks and Melvin Ely, right? Nah, it’s cool. We dominated.

  • With David West and Tyson Chandler out, CP and Peja were cruising in leader-mode last night against the Nets for sure.
  • I kind of shudder to think how the game would’ve gone if Posey/Peja/Sual had had one of their “cold” games from three.
  • Byron Scott scolded the home crowd for their uncalled-for booing of Sean Marks in the first two minutes of Monday’s game. Rightly so. I really hope a little success doesn’t turn us into a bunch of spoiled jackasses. Like it was the guy’s choice to start. He and Ely combined for a couple of nice rejections last night. Besides, Marks got a long hug from Posey before the game, during which I can only assume the secrets of the universe were whispered into his ear. Who knows what magic he’ll be capable of now?
  • The moment I had been waiting for occurred when Antonio Daniels, James Posey, and Julian Wright were all on the floor in tall socks at the same time. Bonus tall sock points for having Mo Pete on the floor too, with his black hybrid-tall-sock things.
  • I didn’t realize until the fourth quarter that there was a new guy on the Hornets bench. I mean, I knew they signed him. But I didn’t know he was there there.
  • Peja went double digits in rebounds before points!
  • You could tell the Hornets lineup was completely messed up because there were always two guys walking over to inbound the ball before one of them was like, “Oh, oops.”
  • That nasty little dribbling move Peja did before he drilled a shot in Jarvis Hayes’ face? Damn, Peja! We knew you were money like big fat dolla bills.
  • CP was a highlight reel unto himself last night. Everything he did was pretty. Everything. He even sipped Gatorade gracefully.
  • When you roll out a lineup in which James Posey is the 5, I think it is fair to say that you are playing small ball. Or actually, Peja might have been the 5. Who knows? Is that better or worse? Ehhh, forget it, they were rolling.
  • Tuesday night, Ray Allen was in my dream. I was looting this bombed-out building and these people were after me with guns because they wanted some gold thing I found, and then Ray Allen was there, just kinda quiet and chilling, and we went to the hotel next door and he was gonna reserve the pool for a party… It was at that point that I realized I’ve been watching too much basketball and playing too much Fallout 3.
  • To Shawn Marion trade rumormongers, I say only this: Peja. Today. Tomorrow. And always.

And as the time ticked down in the 4th quarter, it wasn’t always pretty. It didn’t look quite like Hornets basketball. But it was fast and a little crazy and fun to watch and it worked.

Oh, and about that bouncy long-limbed guy who came unglued from the bench tonight for 11 points and 6 rebounds?

Consider him freed.

Guys. This is actually really cool. Last year when we got Tyson Chandler bobbleheads, I complained about how it couldn’t really look like Tyson because it had no tats. I mean, that’s pretty lame. If they can get Chris Paul’s two-colored bracelets right, you’d think they can at least stamp some ink on it.

I can see it if the guy has one tattoo, but when even the Allen Iverson bobblehead is pristinely inkless, it just becomes weird. Whatever. You can’t tell me that’s AI. It’s like Iverson’s preppy clone. If it’s acceptable that Iverson the person has tattoos, how come it’s not acceptable for Iverson the bobblehead doll to have them? I THINK THE CHILDREN HAVE EYES. Like, the secret’s out of the bag. The impressionable youth already <gasp> know he has them.

But check out the David West bobblehead we got on Monday. DX wouldn’t be DX without, well, the X? Would he? I didn’t think so. Amazingly, the bobblehead makers agreed, as you can see from the photo–

… HA. Yeah right. The bobblehead makers are corporate whores. But luckily, your friend TT6 likes small (and we are talking really, really small) art projects. I only did five out of the seven (um, unless he’s got some under the uniform we don’t know about, obviously), but I think I managed to create the desired effect. You shoulda seen how sweet the tat under the X looked before I accidentally stuck my finger on it and smudged it…

I kid, I kid. Man, that shot was great live, though. It was one of those… you knew it was gonna go when it left his hands. Check out the replay and sellout crowd reaction. Sucks to be the idiots in front of us who left with 3:00 left in the 4th.

Have a great day, y’all!