Come see who the Hornets select with their #21 pick tomorrow night at the official draft party. The fun starts at 6 PM at Gordon Biersch. With celebrity appearances by ticktock6, Chris Paul, and Julian Wright. (What? I’m a celebrity appearance. I mean, Chris Paul’s a cool kid and everything, but he’s no ticktock6, am I right?)
Seriously, though, it’s cool that CP’s in town. Hornets Hype is gonna be at this shindig. Because we like hanging out with Hornets fans. And because we want to see how draft night goes down. But most importantly, because I haven’t had Southwest egg rolls since the season ended. You think maybe they’re free?
It is safe to say that when something like this happens, the game is very, very over.
Here it is, if you missed the play that exploded the Arena. But you gotta wait till the very end to see it, ’cause it’s the #1 Play of the Night. Julian Wright finished with 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. The crowd adored him.
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?
Or at least let him be heard. Score one for the Hype. Mo first off the bench and Brown a DNPCD last game. Now let’s see Marks sit and Ju-Ju get some burn. Then we’ll declare total victory. Nothing against Brown or Marks, just trying to recognize who can most help us win. Ju-Ju helped accelerate this team from a playoff team to a contender at the end of last season, and most of us Hornets fans want to see him get his fair shake this season. Ryan McNeil, over at Hoops Addict, had a chance to talk to Julian about his playing time this year, and here’s how it went down.
Something I’ve been tossing about with TT6, and also discussed the other day at another great Hornets’ blog, At The Hive, is what I’ll call the Chaos Effect. I think it’s what makes the Hornets offense great, not just good. Normally, they are this San Antonio-type mold offense, who just methodically chunks points away like a banker counting his money. A jumper here, an alley-oop here, a three here, oops, you’re up by twelve! Sweet! But part of what makes them uber-effective is Chris Paul. No surprise, right? But there are two questions that this specifically begs: (1) specifically why, and (2) how does this translate to the second unit?
1. Specifically why (admittedly, only in part…)? Chris is at his most effective when he is swimming through the lane the offensive zone. I’m not sure what the right word is other than swimming. He’s so fluid cutting through defenders and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone do it like he does, his head on a swivel with 360 awareness, juking and jiving, and all at full speed. That’s what’s the craziest. CP doesn’t even slow down. He just tears through everyone. How can teams react, rotate, or defend when they don’t even know where he is? It’s pure chaos. And while teams are scrambling to cut him off, he dishes to the open shooter or someone streaking to the rim. 2 points. It’s this Chaos Effect that makes him unstoppable and can utterly confound defenses.
2. The Second Unit. Now for the tough question. What does the second unit do to replicate this kind of chaotic energy? So far in the regular season, they haven’t. Three point howitzers fired by Posey and Butler have been the key to our second unit. They misfired last game, though, and we lost. Mike James has seemed utterly unable to get the offense to run like it does with CP. Of course it’s because he’s not CP. But it’s also because he can’t create the ChaosEffect. But Julian Wright can. Remember the first few games of the preseason, when we started to think that MJ really was going to be a great back-up? He had Ju-Ju. With MJ able to drive or shoot, Butler and Posey on the wings, and Hilton underneath, it was Julian who was able to terrorize the opposing team’s defense with his chaotic style of play. Ju-Ju might spot up for three, he might take a midrange jumper, he might drive to the hole; or he might just pass it off to an open shooter; but moreso, he did it with freakish celerity and balance, and always seems keenly aware of his floor spacing. It’s chaotic. He’s frenetic energy. And I’m not even getting to his defense here. Julian was the one who created the Chaos Effect on the second unit, and he who made MJ look good. So for once, I’m not sure why Byron is so insistent on returning him to 110% conditioning. The man only needs to play 10-20 minutes. Let him go out there and go nuts on other teams.
I’d like to see it tonight. Please, Byron. I believe. In Chaos.
Apparently Julian Wright is doing a chat on Nola.com starting at 1:30 PM after practice today.
Cool! So if you’ve got a few free minutes you should stop by. Monday is usually Hornets chat day over at the T.P., but this is the first time I’ve seen them have an actual Hornets player on. Usually it’s just John Reid talking Hornets. No offense to John Reid or anything, but he is no JuJu.
Ju-Ju is taking on the presumptive champ, Shane Battier, in Round 3 of HoopsAddict.com’s Floor Burn Tournament, celebrating all things hustle. This could be his last match unless you all rustle up the votes! Do it! Do it!
Um..yeah, and there was some U.S.A.-Germany game. Sorry about that.
It’s Round 2 of HoopsAddict.com’s Floor Burn Tournament, celebrating all things hustle. Had we known that Ryan Bowen was going to re-sign, we surely would’ve nominated him. But as we said last week, it’s Ju-Ju. And he kicked a$$ in the first round!
So let’s make sure he shines in Round 2 against the Blazers’ Joel Przybilla. The vote is close, so go vote now! Tell all your friends!
Hoops Addict is doing a pretty cool Floor Burn Tournament. The first round is up right now and voting runs through August 11th. It’s basically about recognizing hustle players vs. stars who get hype all the time. Here’s the description:
Each night ESPN, NBA.com and YouTube are flooded with clips of players soaring through the air for rim rocking dunks, buzzer beating three-pointers and blocked shots that make your jaw drop in amazement. While those are all entertaining plays, teams who win championships need players who are willing to get a little dirty and do the little things needed to help their team win. As valuable and crucial as these players are to their respective teams success, these players rarely get the credit or respect that they deserve.
(Note: We wrote up a description for both Ryan Bowen, the Captain of Hustle, and Julian Wright, the Giraffe Calf, but the Hornets haven’t resigned Bowen (yet?) for next year, so therefore the Hornets are being represented by JuJu.) Said mW:
“The man is a physical freak; with a wingspan longer than you’d expect, explosive speed, and the intelligence to read opposing players and anticipate their moves, Ju-Ju has quickly become one of the Hornets’ best defenders, while simultaneously snagging steals left and right when he’s not hopping around for boards. He may not have dominated the stat sheet like other rookies last year, but he did a little of everything and was a total hustle player.”
In case you haven’t already caught this over on Hornet247, Dariusz Ejkiewicz has put out a really sweet new JuJu wallpaper (considering I have his other one on my laptop and it looks like he is staring into my eyes with serial killer-like intensity, I might switch to this one!) I actually like the simplicity and the colors here. Comes in many sizes, so people can get their Mac on (or you know, whatever laptop you have that also uses these sizes).