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Archive for the ‘ Byron the Mastermind ’ Category

When Trying Isn’t Enough

By on March 15, 2010

Kelly Dwyer on Ball Don’t Lie:

These guys are really, truly, giving great effort. Jeff Bower has been the coach of the Hornets for about four months, and he’s had Chris Paul(notes) on hand for less than half that time, and yet he’s had this team playing .500 ball in the West. It’s a phenomenal accomplishment, because more than any other team with any other player, the ball really rolls right off the table once you take Paul away. Bruce Sutter-styled dropoff, my man.

But the Hornets worked their way back. These two rookies are unflappable, Darren Collison(notes) might be a bit excitable, but Marcus Thornton(notes) is as cool as … geez, don’t touch that! That’s freezing. Damn.

When are we going to start considering this kid for the Sixth Man Award?

And speaking of dropoff, after Collison, on the Hornet bench? Darius Songaila(notes), and Aaron Gray(notes). Every opposing announcing duo laughs at Gray when he comes off the bench. Seriously. Every one.

The Hornets are always there, though. So much respect for this team. Give ‘em a watch if you can.

I’m really glad someone else (besides our little band of Hornets fans) sees this. I know we’ve lost, what, eight out of the last ten, and it’s hard to get used to the losing. But damned if I’m not having so much more fun watching this team lose than watching last year’s group of disappointed vets. I’m now truly at the point where Thornton and Collison are worth the price of admission, and don’t look now but David West has actually done a pretty good job leading this team lately.

Marcus Buckets gettin more buckets

Marcus Buckets gettin more buckets

6th Man of the Year, though? I’m happy someone brought this up, although just like the rookie honors, I think we can blame Byron Scott for blowing Thornton’s chances early. From every indication, from LSU to summer league (led all rookies in scoring) to preseason (outplayed Devin Brown and Morris Peterson yet unfairly was the guy starting the year in a suit), he could have been doing this all along for the Hornets given the opportunity. However. For your consideration:

Buckets Post-All Star Break

30 minutes
21.5 points

4.2 rebounds

47.2% shooting … FROM THREE
48.5% overall

1.5 assists, 1.5 TOs, 1.1 steals
All off the bench

I think I speak for us all when I say, “Eeep.”

I’m sorry, did I miss something?

A screenshot of ESPN's front page last November

A screenshot of ESPN's front page last November

I thought Chris Paul hated Byron Scott. I thought this had been established. Like, mainstream established. I mean, I saw it on ESPN. They’ve been mentioning something about it every third day since last November. But then I get up and here are all these articles saying he’s terribly upset over Scott’s firing.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE, PEOPLE?

Previously, on Lifestyles of a Small Market Team With a Top 5 Star Who Everyone Thinks Is Being Wasted In a Small City and Oh My God It’s So Horrible How Dare They Want a Star? Who Do They Think They Are, New York? … Bill Simmons went to a Clippers game in November 2008 and wrote his usual sports humor column. I’ll excerpt the relevant parts:

“The way players walk toward the bench after a timeout. (Goes one of three ways: “I’m interested to hear coach’s thoughts,” “I look forward to sitting down” or “Great, I get to listen to this bonehead again.”) How fast someone jumps up when the coach calls for them as a sub. (If they jump up fast, that means they’re totally in the game; if they jump up slow, that means they were either daydreaming about that night’s sexual conquest or imagining he’s punching the coach in the face.) Whether they listen or don’t listen in the huddle. The body language of the coach himself. And the telltale sign … what happens when a top player gets called over by coach when someone is shooting free throws.This can unfold one of three ways:

A. Player runs over respectfully and seems genuinely interested in the coach’s wisdom. Watch what happens when Popovich calls over Duncan or Parker in a Spurs game. Total respect. They look like someone jogging over to a police officer.

B. Player jogs over, doesn’t seem totally interested, but doesn’t want to seem like a jerk either. This usually sums up 75 percent of the league.

C. Player does a double-take and his head kicks back briefly (like he’s thinking, “Really, I have to talk to this guy again???”). He saunters over disdainfully. When he reaches the coach, he makes eye contact for the first two seconds, then starts subconsciously pulling away (first with his eyes, then with his body leaning back toward the coach), and at about the six-second mark, he just starts walking back toward the court whether the coach is finished talking or not. Everything about the exchange says, “I’ve just had it with this freaking guy.”

I mistakenly believed that Chris Paul and Scott had an “A” relationship but in the second half of Monday’s game, it was revealed that they were a “C.” At least right now. Translation: I am no longer sold on the 2009 Hornets.”

Basically, Simmons thought the Hornets as a team were in trouble– which turned out to be true– way back in the beginning of last season. I am back and forth on this. He went to one game, didn’t talk to any of the players, and just looked at body language. As a bench-watcher myself, I get that. I sit close enough to the Hornets bench (I’m not saying I sit low down, but I do sit on that end of the arena) that I can see who interacts with who, but unlike Bill Simmons, I see them for 41+ games a year. What he neglected to mention in his column, for instance, is that the game in question was at Staples Center back when the Clippers were abysmal and the Hornets were expected to contend in the Western Conference. The Hornets ended up winning that game, but they were down by around ten points for a big chunk of it, and understandably pissed about it. Simmons skipped over that part. That Byron Scott, by the end, had maybe lost David West and some of the Hornets is true. But it seems he never lost Chris Paul.

For his part, when this Simmons thing took off like wildfire through the articles and blogs, Chris Paul even came right out and told the media it wasn’t true. “I would think me and coach might have one of the best relationships out of the entire NBA. I guess people got to have something to talk about. Maybe he should come to a game. Let’s talk. If I had a problem with coach, I’d say it. I guess he comes to one game, and he can figure it out.” But of course, no mainstream media outlets ran with that story. It stayed buried halfway back in the sports pages of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Let’s be crystal clear here. My issue is not that Bill Simmons wrote an opinion column. My issue is that every mainstream media outlet and their mother, brother, and sister ran with it. “Sources say Chris Paul and Byron Scott are not seeing eye to eye.” “Reports are that Byron Scott has lost Chris Paul.” “Amid reports of conflict between Byron Scott and his star player…” Etc. It was in the Daily Dime. It was in the NBA Rumors section of every site. It was thrown in as a little parenthetical aside in articles about the Hornets losing games. My problem with it then is still my problem with it today: Bill Simmons is a guy who writes a humorous internet column. What he is not … is a source.

It’s also the selectivity of the headlines and news items that pisses me off. Simmons’ column was about the Hornets team chemistry as a whole, and it asked the question of whether they were tuning out their coach. I didn’t think it was true at the time– that was very early in the season, and the team would make a few more good runs before the season ended in rescinded trade drama, injuries, and a devastating playoff loss. Plus for every instance of the Hornets not looking like they liked each other, I had 41+ instances, personally witnessed, that told me they did. But most of the reports that pushed along Simmons’ observation and misrepresented it as fact, like a bizarre game of media telephone, weren’t worried about the rest of the Hornets team chemistry. Instead they saw the words “CHRIS PAUL” and “BYRON SCOTT’ and salivated, like wolves lunging for scraps of meat.

And here’s, really, why I’m such a big supporter of fan blogs, social media, and beat writers. In this age of the internet, when firsthand information about every team, observed by people who actually watch the games, is right here in my blogroll and my twitter feed, why should I trust these national aggregators of “news” and “rumors”, citing their “sources”, to tell me what I should believe? I haven’t included ESPN, with the exception of True Hoop, as a daily read since spring of 2008. To me, they’re a dinosaur. Don’t even get me started on the Associated Press, which will quote a blog or a Twitter account and not even put a link to it. Me, I want a trail of hypertext leading back to my source. Scratch that, I don’t just want it– I demand it.

And so today you will see the same mainstream media giants, whose team preview for the 2009-10 Hornets probably included a snippet about “if the Hornets can overcome the rumblings of friction between Chris Paul and Byron Scott,”  pound out columns. How could the Hornets do this to Chris Paul, fire the coach who was his best friend and father figure without telling him? How can a franchise be so small-time and clueless? Not a single one of them will mention how wrong they were about any of this.

Dolla dolla bills, y’all.

Hornets fire Byron Scott after giving up 75 points in the first half at Phoenix last night. Will be formally announcing at it 1 PM. More later, as the news comes in.

Feel free to leave a brief message expressing your complete lack of surprise in the comments.

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

Hype Negative

By on April 20, 2009

Some scattered thoughts on Game 1:

  • Over on At the Hive, someone coined the term “Douchethuggery.” I find it rather eloquently descriptive of the Denver Nuggets, so I’m totally stealing it for the rest of this series. It’s at least descriptive of Kenyon Martin and Chris Anderson. Lord, but that’s a trashy-looking frontcourt with an obnoxious attitude.
  • We’ve said all year the Hornets winning formula is Chris Paul + David West + one shooter. Well, last night they had no shooters and no David West. They can’t win with that.
  • This is going to come down to how well this team can channel anger. If they can do it like they did against Dallas last weekend (after the Mavs showboated and posed and generally acted a fool in Part One of the home and home), or the Orlando Magic Christmas Massacre payback game, or the two home victories against the Spurs this season, they’re golden. What they cannot do is fall apart emotionally.
  • It worries me that no player on the Hornets team can get a whistle except Chris Paul. Especially the bigs. It worries me that no player can take a charge except James Posey. These worries were pretty much encapsulated by the one play in which Hilton Armstrong was barreled into and did take the charge but then, of course, the call went the other way.
  • Speaking of Hilton Armstrong, he used to be able to hit free throws. The hell?
  • Speaking of James Posey, the boxscore says he played 21 minutes, but I didn’t notice him out there. Which is generally a bad thing.
  • There is really just nothing more I can say about Devin Brown. Someone on Twitter asked me, if it was just me and Devin Brown in an elevator, what would I say to him? (If you’re not on Twitter, you might guess that I was snarking/ranting about Devin all game. If you guessed that, you would be right.) And you know, he might not be a bad guy. And I would never say the things I say about him to his face. But it’s like, don’t hate the player, hate the game. So. I don’t hate Devin Brown. I hate that Byron Scott thought he was a key reserve in this game.
  • (Some*) Denver fans have about as much class as their team. Someone threw a beer bottle at the Hornets bench at the end of the 4th quarter. And apparently someone also threw a towel in Chris Paul’s face. To their credit, the fans around the bottle-thrower ratted him out and then booed him as he was escorted out. *Edited to reflect that a couple of Nuggets fans have found their way to New Orleans blogs and forums to apologize on behalf of that guy. Thanks, guys. We’re cool.
  • Byron Scott called the fan who threw the bottle an asshole on national TV in the post-game interview. Heh.
  • Melo’s postgame reminded me that I really want to buy a menswear-ish vest, and keep forgetting. Like for instance, a pinstriped vest would look fab over the outfit I am wearing today. I do not, however, covet his loud magenta shirt or anything the shade of it.
  • I can’t believe this game was officiated the way it was with David Stern physically in the building. I can only conclude he just doesn’t care about the sad state of things. You don’t call the Hornets bigs for touch fouls (well, except in the case of Sean Marks, who didn’t actually touch anyone on the replay), and then try to make up for it on the other end by whistling Denver for a phantom charge or reach-in by the three point line. How about calling some of the contact in the paint? Meanwhile you have your TNT announcers perpetuating this nonsense by saying, “Now this is playoff basketball!” as players are wrestling with each other for position and people are getting clobbered over the head on the way to the basket. No. This is how people get hurt.
  • Chauncey Billups won’t have that game again. And I’d like to say David West won’t either. But he was covered pretty thoroughly. What he has to do is hit those open jumpers. Those were the shot he was consistently given, and if that’s what they’re going to give him, that’s what he has to knock down.
  • Watching Sixers/Magic (How much does Andre Iguodala desparately need a nickname that’s not “The Other AI”? They’re not remotely similar players. It’s just geography and coincidence. Sad) reminded me that there are teams out there who actually have rookies and young guys playing major roles. I so wish the Hornets would refocus on building with youth next year instead of Byron Scott’s favorite building-with-32-year-old journeymen. At the very least, you’re getting energy even if you’re not getting talent. What our bench has right now is a lot of neither.

This is excerpted from the Minnesota Star-Tribune:

Byron Scott won three NBA championships when he played for the Lakers and he coached the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals twice. He is a worldly guy who can talk intelligently on a variety of subjects.

But if you want to see his head explode, just ask the New Orleans coach if he has a team policy on tweets and tweeting.

“A what?” he asked, his eyes widening…

[...] “Who did? Charlie Villanueva?” Scott asked, unaware of the latest issue inside an NBA locker room. “No, I don’t have a policy on that. I don’t know what the hell tweeting is.”

When told he has a player who tweets, Scott cautiously said, “O.K. …” When told it was Chandler, he said, “I know he has a blog. Is that the same thing?”

Of course not, silly.

“Oh, hell,” Scott said, “I don’t know.”

But if you want to really laugh, read the article to see what Kevin McHale said. And, by a series of alarming coincidences, Hornets 247 also has a post today on Twitter and who Hornets fans should be following. No worries, Coach, Tyson hasn’t Twittered during a game yet. But you might wanna tell him to keep his clothes on after big wins, and stop dropping snarky jokes about the OKC debacle. Haha…

I Knew It, Guys

By on January 2, 2009

They’re just fucking with me now, aren’t they?

www.iwillnotrestuntildevinbrownhasabigfatDNPCDnexttohisname.com

www.turnsoutmyunclehasNBATVsoisaweveryexcruciatingminute.com

www.wearethindepthwisesowhydontweuselineupsthatplaytoourstrengths.com

www.devinbrownrebuildingneworleansfourbricksatatime.com

www.whatmoredoesmopetehavetodotogethisminutesback.com

www.cp3canrunincirclesaroundyourdefense.com

www.whypejawhy.com

www.wearegonnagetoutcoachedintheplayoffsbygoodteams.com

www.wowjamesposeyisactuallykindofadouchebagbutijustlovehimmore.com

I tried to get www.ihatethelakers.com, but no luck. Someone already had it.

Pacing the sideline in an eerily quiet TD Banknorth Garden, with his team gutting out a small lead, Byron somehow found a way to ignore every instinct a coach should have and went with absolutely mystifying decision after mystifying decision.  In one of ESPN’s “Wired” segments, he told his guys that they couldn’t guard in transition.  Hubie Brown followed it up by saying they should kick out to guys on the three point line, because that’s the Beaners one weakness.  Funny, that’s something we do all the time.  Except for last night.  You’re going to start seeing a trend here.

That quiet crowd wasn’t going to stay down all night, and neither were the Celtics.  As is now no secret, the Celtics went on to beat the Hornets.  Some saw in this loss hope.  Hope that the Hornets could take the World Champs for half a game, thereafter take their best effort, and still only be seven down late, on the road, with the unerring belief that a comeback was just a few shots and stops away.  That may be true.  But that’s not really what I took away from this one.  I saw it as a tough, grind-it-out game that we could have won.  Just as we looked bad because they had a great defensive effort, they looked like, well, a typical Eastern Conference team for quite awhile because of our stout D.  That said, I think what turned the tables was our coach lost in the effluvium of his own success and making insane mistakes.  It wasn’t a matter of Doc outcoaching Byron.  Nope, our COY Itossed this one away with his stubborn rigidity to whatever his master plan is.

The mistakes started before the game.  No Tyson, due to injury.  So you’re down a big.  Logically, you activate your extra forward, Bowen, right?  Nope.  Instead he dresses new acquisition Antonio Daniels.  I mean, I’m excited to see him play in due time, but when you’re 99.9999999% sure has no chance of hitting the floor, what’s the point of dressing him.  Maybe Bowen rides the pine anyway, but maybe he doesn’t.  Last time we saw him (the only time we saw him), he looked sharp.  So I don’t get that one.

Also, the starting line-up.  I love that Byron trusts Butler, I love him too.  But Mo is your starter.  He obviously had it all going the other night, cranking out 16 while Butler was finding rim, so why not put him back into the starting lineup?  Even if you don’t, why the hell is Mo riding the pine?  He should be your first guy off the bench.  But instead we see Devin Brown.  Yes, yes, I love that he drives to the hole, but he’s usually out of control, doesn’t always know when he should dish it off, and is a step slow on defense, getting burned by quicker guards consistently.  Plus, Mo/Rasual have several inches on him, which, in itself, is a huge advantage.  Oh, and a better shooting percentage.

Back to the bigs.  Hilton was your starter by circumstance.  He stepped up to the challenge; getting several boards, hustling, and with one completely dumb-founding move in the paint.  Yet you only play him 25 minutes?  Oh, but his stats weren’t great, some will say.  Listen, I know you can’t quantify gut reactions, but sometimes you just have to know a guy is feeling it and go with him.  Sorry if that doesn’t input on some coaches’ chart somewhere, but you do.  For example, one sequence, Hilton gets a rebound and misses two contested tip-ins, but finally grabs the board and kicks it back out.  New set.  That looks like 0-2 with a couple of boards, but he outhustled someone.  Twice.  Maybe three times.  That should count for something.  Plus, everyone agrees he has the talent, but not the confidence.  Maybe rewarding good play would help with that.  Think on it, Byron.

First in for Hilton, was Ely.  Ely was just as effective.  Perkins might be having a nice year, but he wasn’t doing much to slow down our fives.  So to reward him also, Byron only gave him 11 minutes, while going to Marks for extended time.  I saw Marks get yanked once for a dumb foul and once for getting torched for an easy basket.  Yet Byron kept going back to him.  Sure, he made some good plays in there somewhere, but he never got into the offensive groove and was a liability on defense.  Maybe he just still needs to learn the system.  Finally, so irate at Marks, Byron turned to Ju-Ju in the fourth.  Which, incidentally, was when Marks’ minutes took a dip; to that point they were proportionately much higher than they had any right to be, and thus, significantly larger than what the final number (9) looks like.  So it’s at this point, with that much frustration, that Byron turns to Julian?  After riding him so hard, Byron decides to throw him under the bus against the Champs in a physical fourth quarter is a good idea?  Bonkers, man.  What was Byron thinking? Hey, though, no pressure, kid.  So, as usual, Ju-Ju made a few good plays and a few bad ones, and was promptly yanked.  Come on Byron.  He’s young.  He’s barely played.  What did you expect, him to take over the game like the next Jordan and steal a victory?  Yeah that’d have been nice.

Which is my next beef.  A) Julian is one of the team’s best defenders.  Period.  He’s got good footwork, he’s lanky, and is freakishly athletic and quick.  B) He is a chaotic explosion on offence that can drive, jump shoot, or catch that funky alley-oop.  So why is he riding the bench?  Based on his hot performance at the end of last year, even the perennial haters, ESPN, listed him as #10 on its list of sophomores they most expected to explode this year.  And that was on pure potential, because they’ve barely seen him play.  The man is obviously meant to supplant Peja in time.  So let’s get him on the court.  He needs to know that each next mistake won’t be the one that puts him back in street clothes.  Screw Brown, screw Marks (though I like them both personally).  This is a young man’s game.  Give the young man a chance.  Over time, he might surprise you.  Think back to a young, albeit point guard, who everyone said was a liability, and they needed a trade to improve at that position.  Tony Parker.  They guy they said they should trade for?  Jason Kidd, who subsequently got torched by Parker in the Finals.  My point?  Parker wouldn’t have had that Finals fall for him if he hadn’t been playing.  Byron, play Julian.  Otherwise, well, you’re just plain making a mistake.

I really had to ponder over this post for the better part of a day, because there were just so many incredulous coaching decisions last night.  I mean, I hate to second guess professional coaches, because, well, they’re professional coaches and I’m just a guy who watches games now and then.  I mean, I watch a lot of games, but do I know the intricacies of coaching?  Do I see these guys in practice?  No.  So with that caveat, I’m calling on Byron to clue the rest of us in.  I mean, last night, rest CP a lot in the first, sure, because he was going to play the entire second (he did).  But he also barely played Peja.  And when he did, he ran about zero plays for the Serbian sniper.  Why?  The man had been on fire.  Hitting about 45-50% from three lately.  He wasn’t as much bad last night as that he just never got touches.  Besides, Peja is one of those rare talents that can go 0-12 through 40 minutes and then just explode for 9 points in three trips down the floor and win the game for you.  Not many guys can do that.

That kind of shooting, in fact, is exactly what we needed when we fell down by double digits late.  Probably a good idea to put in three point shooters, right?  Peja?  Nope.  Mo?  Nope.  Finally we get Butler, but it’s Posey who’s jacking them all up.  I think about the three minute mark Peja finally came back in.  Normally I’d be okay with Posey taking open threes, but I’d rather have any of the other three guys shooting them.  Let alone Devin Brown, who’s shooting 25%, about 8% below his not-so-impressive 33% lifetime percentage.  What is it about Brown that you are so in love with Byron?

So this is a first for me.  It’s an anti-hype.  I love the Hornets.  I am as encouraged as ever that they can compete at the next level.  Moreover, I think Byron has the potential to take them there.  I really hope, though, that Byron figures something out by tomorrow morning.  Otherwise, this could become a long road trip.

Take Me To Your Leader

By on November 30, 2008

In this morning’s Times Picayune, CP fires back at Bill Simmons. By now you’re aware of my opinion of Simmons’ column alleging the chemistry problems between Chris Paul and coach Byron Scott. But you knew Chris Paul, despite his choirboy reputation offcourt, would have something to say. You can read the whole article here, but this is CP’s quote:

For his part, Paul, too, was dumbfounded over the baseless Internet report.

“It’s crazy,” Paul said. “I figure you guys (beat writers) who are with us every day, if something was going on, you all would see it. Maybe he knows something I don’t know. If he knows something I don’t know, tell him to let me know. I would think me and coach might have one of the best relationships out of the entire NBA.

“I guess people got to have something to talk about. Maybe he should come to a game. Let’s talk. If I had a problem with coach, I’d say it. I guess he comes to one game, and he can figure it out.”

Snark! We knew CP could do snark, after the Rafer Alston incident last spring. Here’s the thing. I don’t care if it’s true or not. They were aware that it was out there, floating on the front page of ESPN.com and giving a negative impression of the team to casual NBA fans, and so they dealt with it. (Just to show you how quick that stuff travels, I’ve already read one article this weekend, and now I can’t remember where, that cited the Simmons column about the CP/Byron clash. “Reports are that Chris Paul and Byron Scott…”) Chris Paul is not going to go rogue, or go Marbury, or any junk like that.

No. You circle up, close ranks, and deal with it behind closed doors. You stick up for the team.

And you know what? I’ll throw a shout-out to the T.P. beat writers too on this one. You did something right.