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We Can Haz Rookiez? No?

By on October 29, 2009

LOL Rookies! ... oh wait, not LOLing

LOL Rookies! ... oh wait, we're not LOLing

Look, I am not gonna be that overeager fan jumping up and down going, “Start the rookies! They’ll save us! Straight to the championship!” I just wanted to make that clear.

But.

It is frustrating in the extreme to watch the Hornets lose to the Spurs on national TV and be left thinking, “Huh. The same stuff that pissed us off last year has not changed. At all.” The loss is not what’s frustrating. I expected it– the Spurs core has been the same for years, while this Hornets team still hasn’t played an entire game together (Diogu, a guy who we expect to get significant backup minutes, is still out with an injury, and last night was Okafor’s first outing after missing the entire preseason). The Spurs are a good team, and realistically they weren’t going to lose the season opener on their home floor.

I won’t say I’m panicking– I have calmed down after a night of sleep. But I am concerned that our first round pick didn’t see the floor– in a game in which the Hornets were down by 14-20 points in the 2nd half– until 2:30 in the fourth quarter. I am concerned that Byron Scott thought Marcus Thornton, the team’s third leading scorer with 12.2 PPG in preseason, wasn’t ready to even dress. I am concerned we pay Peja Stojakovic and James Posey a combined $20 million and they combined to take one shot in the second quarter while our undrafted minimal-salaried backup point guard took 5 and missed them all. If you’re going to move Peja to the bench, the first thing you do when he checks in is run a play for him. Having him get three shots an entire game is an issue that needs to be addressed by the coaching staff. If Bobby Brown can’t or won’t facilitate for guys more talented than him, he needs to be slapped with a red light and sat down, not given the most playing time of anyone off the bench.

Byron Scott is like a parrot at this point. He apparently felt called upon to defend his decision to not dress Thornton in favor of Devin Brown (my old nemesis….. we meet again):

“He’s still got a ways to go, ” Scott said. “Devin (Brown) is much farther along on both ends of the floor as far as knowing our offense,  and Devin knows almost every position,  which is vital. Defense,  he understands what we’re doing with our rotations and things of that sort. Marcus is getting there. He’s just not there,  yet. I don’t think it’ll be all year long he’ll (be inactive) because he doesn’t get it on offense and defense. He’s going to get it.”

“Marcus is a young player who is still learning. He makes a lot of mistakes in practice. Devin (Brown) is a veteran guy who I think I can depend on a little bit better on both ends of the floor. It was a tough decision, but I think it was the right decision.”

Yeah, well. This is exactly what Devin Brown did when he got into the game: He immediately committed an offensive foul. Then on the next Hornets possession he threw a wild pass that went out of bounds. Whoo. I just don’t buy it. “He understands what we’re doing with our rotations” on defense. Who saw that game? Did ANY Hornet look like they knew their rotations on defense?

Frankly, I’m depressed that “Devin Brown getting talented young players’ minutes” is already something I’m complaining about one game in. I thought George Shinn issued a mandate to play the youth. The coaching staff responded by…. doing the opposite. Great way to start the year, guys. And watching Eric Maynor and Ty Lawson get minutes for Utah and Denver in the late game just rubbed all kinds of salt into the gaping raw wound. The bottom line is, I don’t care what naked pictures Devin Brown has of Byron Scott– what he brings is just not enough to justify playing him over young guys. Particularly Thornton, who can and should be getting at least ten good minutes off the bench because, despite being a 2nd rounder, he fills a huge positional need. Period. As far as Scott’s unnecessary comments to the T.P. about “well, Darren Collison didn’t have the whole playbook memorized before summer league, like Chris Paul did”… don’t get me going. Really. News flash: Chris Paul is a once in a generation talent. That’s so colossally unfair to make that comparison. Drafting a kid in the first round, then trading for a run-and-gun undrafted point guard and giving the draft pick’s minutes to him, and not giving him minutes even in a blowout… if Darren Collison’s confidence ends up getting destroyed, I am just saying we know who to blame.

But there were good points. The defensive rotations were horrific, by the starters and the bench alike. The team just looked like a bunch of guys who hadn’t played together before. But you know what? That can get better. Ryan at Hornets 247 points out the Hornets actually played at a decent offensive efficiency, scoring 96 points on 86 possessions. Okafor’s 18-10 game blew me away, mostly because I had set my expectations low. Imagine with those three guys (Paul, West, Okafor) clicking offensively and defensively. Julian Wright had his ups and downs, but I think he’ll learn. If the three point shooters are involved early, rather than left to stand around, one of Peja/Peterson/Posey should get hot.

Oh, and speaking of which, I think that’s how I’ll wrap this up:

Memo to James Posey,

The season has now started. Anytime you feel like showing up, that would be, you know, cool.

Love,

The Hornets



Comments

10 Responses to “We Can Haz Rookiez? No?”

  1. Surprising stat of the night: Devin Brown ended up with the highest +/- of our players. An amazing +1. I’ll bet coach Scott thinks swapping Brown for Brown was what we needed. Unfortunately, we still end up with Brown. Maybe they need to play together.

    I think you need a tag for ‘FREE THORNTON FREE COLLISON’ until this blows over. I’m thinking I’m going to end up posting that every game here and on ’247.

  2. So very right. D. Brown is D-League at best. Byron literally has no idea how to develop talent, and on a team that has such shitty contracts, we absolutely cannot afford to not develop our young talent.

    Also, B. Brown can create his own shots, but doesn’t really know how to pass. Byron should be smart enough to figure out that it’s Collison who brings the dribble-drive off the bench to set up Peja and Posey, not Bobby Brown.

    I really think that Byron believes in seniority, plain and simple. You can dress it up however you want (‘earning respect’ or some other drivel), but it comes down to him playing an older or more experienced guy over a young player every time. Except when you draft CP3. I think Byron has given Juju his confidence problems by calling him out all the time, and he’s already starting with Thornton and Collison.

    I think Avery would do wonders for the team on this front, by the way, once Byron is gone.

  3. “on a team that has such shitty contracts, we absolutely cannot afford to not develop our young talent”

    This is exactly why I was so excited we drafted cheap help this year. And the preseason gave me hope they would play, especially with Thornton looking like a potential scorer. And yet here we are, back where we always are.

    I think at this point, Byron Scott can say what he wants. But it isn’t going to fly with fans and management, when the fact is the guys he won’t play can’t possibly be worse than the guys he does play. I just don’t believe him, spouting off about defense when Bobby Brown plays terrible D (anyone see him stand still and watch loose balls go out of bounds last night? I saw it at least twice) and Devin makes a stupid mistake every other time up the floor. I agree that he’s an old school guy who likes old school guys. He should just admit it. Because his excuses make it sound like he can’t see talent when it’s in front of him.

  4. Screw Byron Scott.

  5. Julian is a goober with the ball.. I’m inpressed with E.O. i’m leaving it at that… cant wait till the Kings er um Queens yeah!!!

  6. As I said on Twitter last night, I’ll give Byron two weeks. Then I’m on his ass. Free Buckets.

  7. lsuhornet17 says:

    Thanks for venting for all of us. I am getting so frustrated watching other games this week and seeing a ton of rookies playing. Bulls, Spurs, Jazz, Nuggs. All their rookies are getting burn. Oh and the second round thing for Thornton is a cop out. Didn’t our entire bench get outscored by a second rounder last night? Damn you Byron. You’re making a possible Wacko Jacko trade look almost good. Damn you.

  8. D-Brown made some noise with the Spurs, but he was being coached by a future Hall of Fame coach. He was solid off the bench with them, but he’s not like that anymore. I’m not trowing Beskee under the bus right now. I think he’s a decent coach, but needs to get his shit straight. Our big three right now is Emekay, Dewest, and CP(I wish our overpaid bench player could contribute). I believe with a little more coheison time and we will go to work!!

  9. PAUL-OKAFOR-WEST says:

    For the hornets fans in the arena and even watching at home for tonight’s game, lets make noise to make byron play our deserving rookies!!!. byron scott boo!!!!

  10. PAUL-OKAFOR-WEST says:

    Collison! Thorton!



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