Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

There was a moment just before the final buzzer sounded when I’d forgotten the Hornets just lost.

DC: happy and hustlingIf you follow me on Twitter, you probably watched me completely spaz out and go crazy when Darren Collison and Lil Buckets checked into the game with six and a half minutes left. And did they ever hit the game with a splash. Thornton had 8 pts and 1 rebound in 6:34, going 2-3 from three. Collison went 6-3 with a steal, running the fast break more times than I think we saw all game. Both rookies hit all their free throws. And they were zipping all over the place, cutting to the basket.

I’ve been mostly Thornton-Thornton-Thornton till now, I know, but there is just a joy and energy that Collison brings that I really enjoyed last night. You can just see it in the bounce of his feet. When he got slammed under the basket by a flagrant foul, he popped right up, clapped his hands, and grinned. And if Byron Scott thinks Bobby Brown brings speed to the lineup? Collison’s speed blows his out of the water. These guys were hungry. It was so contagious even Songaila and Posey seemed to perk up a bit. Hilton was inspired to do at least two things right.

Will people pay to watch a losing team? That’s the question, isn’t it? Clearly one of the answers is you pay to watch Chris Paul, because he’s a future great. But last night I found another answer. I watched Darren Collison steal the ball and zip up court, and Marcus Thornton cut all over the place. And I thought, “I would pay money to watch these kids make mistakes and lose.” If you couldn’t see the difference between those six minutes and watching 4 or 5 guys nearing the end of their careers going through the motions and looking depressed as they realize they might not regain their old form, then you must be blind.

Do I have sympathy? Yes. I do. People get older. I’m getting older too, and the reality is that most of us hate it. My 50-win predictions for this team were based on Posey/Peja/Peterson maintaining some kind of consistency with their career stats. We could probably handle a drop-off from one. But not all three. And you know– this may come as a huge shock so be prepared for it– I don’t include Devin Brown in that bunch. Not today, anyway. Because I think he really tried last night, put in an impossible situation, and he hit his shots. And I love all of these guys. I wasn’t upset when we traded Rasual Butler, because between the Three Ps, the Hornets looked to have that role covered. How do you predict things like this?

But the bottom line is, if Byron Scott really means it when he says he wants the team to run more, if the Hornets take a deep honest look at themselves and finally accept that some players have deteriorated, if the team wants to put a product on the floor that’s exciting for the fans, the last six minutes of Lakers/Hornets is what we need to see. I want to see Chris Paul balling with young kids who are creative, who can keep up with him.

Look, you don’t play the rookies because you think they’re going to be some magical solution, some great mysterious hope that can be plugged in to fix the problems with this team. They won’t. You play them because, even though you may lose with them, you’re already losing without them. The fans who pay the money to sit in the seats deserve to see something fun. They deserve to see something that gives them hope for the future. They deserve to see hustle and heart. Beginnings not endings. The local kid getting his chance and making his dream come true under the bright lights.

If you’re not giving us a championship this year, give us something we can love. That’s all I ask.

Oh, and pssstt. Byron. You looking for answers? Here’s a freebie: Thornton is your starting 2.



Comments

12 Responses to “What Makes You Leave With a Smile”

  1. LSUhornet17 says:

    Excellent work. I was more into the last 6min of this game than I was at any time since CP3 went to the bench in the 1st. Signs point to Scott maybe warming up to the rooks, but one missed defensive rotation could probably change all that. It looks like Marcus’ game has transferred fully to the pro game, which is tremendously exciting to me, having watched the majority of his games the last 2 years. Kid can play. Collison is an absolute blur. He has the potential to be a pest on defense and a terror in the open court. They also look like they play well off of each other, though I’d like to see Thornton get a shot playing alongside CP3. This is, so far, making up for the fact that Julian appears to be failing to live up to our expectations in the least. Oh well, happy thoughts, GO ROOKIES!

  2. I enjoyed seeing them last night. You can tell they want to play so badly. It was nice seeing so much energy. Hopefully they can bring it again tonight against the Clippers (that is if they’ll be allowed to take their warmups off).

  3. CP and the other guys on the bench looked like they were happy for the rookies.

  4. Oh and I guess Bill Simmons will use his ticket tonight to watch our actions and communications during timeouts right?

  5. Love those rookies. They definitely need more minutes, Scott is nuts. Not just for entertainment purposes, these guys are better basketball players than the guys in front of them in the rotation.

  6. [...] Someone please get TickTock6 the controls. She knows what’s up. And Lil’ Buckets. Lil’ Buckets is up. [...]

  7. Strike another victory for Hornets Hype. Collison enters the game in the first, and Thornton starts the second. And they both look good.

  8. PAUL-OKAFOR-WEST says:

    can anyone tell me the status of ike diogu?.. he’s actived tonight ryt?

  9. Yup. Apparently the word over the weekend was they were shutting Diogu for another two weeks.

  10. I want to see Torton lay down some buckets again.. He want buck wild in the chase for the sweet sixteen last year. I think fans would like to see that. I mean we(lsu) dominated the sec basketball last year, although it’s a pretty weak basketball confence.but in any case he still kind of has a following, and I’m sure that pursaded hornets management to aquire him.

  11. [...] 2009-2010 versions of D. Brown, Posey, and Mo Pete want to be out there? Only if you don’t want Hornets fans to smile. [...]



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