Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

Archive for the ‘ Mo is Money ’ Category

Ahh, Media Day

By on September 29, 2009

There are few certainties in this ever-changing world. Luckily we have NBA media day, which is pleasantly and reassuringly similar every year. We know that Peja will be the darkest he’ll be all year, players will be forced to pose all sorts of ridiculous and slightly awkward ways with a basketball– often two– and we know that David West will, at some point, manage to look extremely skeptical in a photograph, despite there being nothing apparent to be skeptical about.

Below are some of the highlights from yesterday’s posing party:

"Oh, they don't make CP take goofy pictures. Cause he's The Franchise." .... Okaaaaay, maybe not.

"Oh, they don't make CP take goofy pictures. Cause he's The Franchise." .... Okaaaaay, maybe not.

We really need to track the statistics this year on whether Peja shoots better in his dark half of the season or his pasty half. That stat sounds right about up our alley.

We really need to track the statistics this year on whether Peja shoots better in his dark half of the season or his pasty half. That stat sounds right about up our alley.

DWest works out some. Just a little.

DWest works out some. Just a little.

I really want to caption this picture, but I think deep down we all know it would just be a dirty joke. So you can imagine what I would have said, because this is a family blog (HA).

I really want to caption this picture, but I think deep down we all know it would just be a dirty joke. So instead I will let you imagine what I would have said. And you are probably right.

No one really knows what is going on here.

No one really knows what is going on here.

WTF. Who would do this to Mo Pete's picture???

WTF. Who would do this to Mo Pete's picture???

The Phoenix Flies

By on August 12, 2009

86012941_LAM035_NUGGETS_HORNETSNew Orleans will miss you, Rasual Butler. We’ll miss your resilience. We’ll miss your indestructibility. We’ll miss you because of all the things I said in this post I wrote in March.

So he didn’t fly of his own volition. He was traded to the Clippers today for a 2nd round pick. It was a move that I called “pulling a Marcus Camby.” (Link, for those of you were living under a rock this time last summer. Oh, and sorry to ruin the end of the movie for you, but Denver lived.) By that I mean, he was a starter, he did his job well, and he was traded to save the team $8 million. For the sole reason that we have other guys on the roster who are capable of taking up the slack at his position. Is it a salary dump? Of course. Is it a bad move because it’s a salary dump? No.

I certainly am puzzled by people who are confused by this deal, as well as people who think it in any way points to “OMG THE HORNETS ARE TOO CHEAP TO EVER PUT A WINNING TEAM AROUND CHRIS PAUL HE NEEDS TO LEAVE”. My number one assumption going into this offseason was that either Rasual Butler or Mo Pete would be moved. Were there really people who didn’t think so? You have two guys who are the same age, who play the same position, who have roughly the same stats at that position, who play the same role in the offense of the #5 scoring option who gets open threes because people are looking at Peja/CP/DWest, who are both long all-right defenders, who’ve each been the starter 1 out of the 2 last seasons. I would have been much more surprised if they were both on the roster in October.

Is it fair to whichever guy doesn’t end up starting, to be on the team and not playing the role you want? Is it fair to the team, to ask them to pay $4M-6.5M salaries to two guys who are interchangeable, when they’re over the luxury tax? Is it fair to Marcus Thornton, to light up summer league and sit in a suit all year? I mean, these are legitimate questions.

You know I was all about being the spearhead of the “FREE MO PETE” movement last year. But that was never a knock on Rasual Butler. (OK, it was a knock on Devin Brown, but we all know about that so I won’t go into it here.) Butler did a great job. He was the only guy on the team who didn’t miss games because he was hurt. (Even Posey, the iron man runner-up, had to sit a few out at the end.) Last year, that was so huge. At the Hive’s statistical analysis in the second half of the season showed that Butler slightly out-Mo Pete’d Mo Pete at being the starting shooting guard. But a lot of us remember 2007-08, when Peterson was the starter and ‘Sual was in DNP-CD limbo in a suit at the end of the bench because his shot had completely deserted him. It was one year ago, guys. There’s no need for despair here. Mo’ll be fine. The only gamble here is knowing he won’t have an NBA tested backup (well, unless you count De–). But even if Thornton’s clueless, surely one of Peja/Posey/Wright can swing on over.

What does this all add up to? The Hornets have essentially saved $10 million this summer, through this and the TC trade, and are now only over the luxury tax by about $3.8 million. And they’ve managed to do this… arguably without getting worse. I don’t know about you folks, but I suspect the ol’ GM is not as think as y’all stupid he is. No?

Man, this one still stings. In a personal way more than a basketball way. Because all the guys on this team grow on me and it sucks to have to let them go. Strangely, the thing that brings it home to me more than anything else is when I get down to the end of the post… and I realize this is the last time I’m ever going to use the “Bop” tag. But it stings because this isn’t ‘Sual’s fault. He and Mo just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time– that is, the same place– Mo’s contract is longer and less attractive– it’s math. But I hope it doesn’t diminish the year he had in 2008-09. The fact that he was a rock for us when the team needed one.

This was a guy who people made fun of for having a terrible year and missing shot after shot. Sit for a moment and try to imagine what that must have been like: your team has its best season in history, while you’re in a suit having your worst. Watching. But this is a guy who took that and worked. Who came back stronger, better. Who won a starting spot. In the end, that’s why saying goodbye to Rasual Butler doesn’t seem right. In the end, what more could you have asked of him?

“And God help you if you are a phoenix
And you dare to rise up from the ash
A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
While you are just flying past…”

Free Mo Pete

By on April 16, 2009

The Hornets’ starting line-up October 29, 2008: Chris, Mo, Peja, David, and Tyson.   Then, when Mo was injured early in the season, Rasual Butler took over the starting role for Mo.  Though some had called for an upgrade at the two-guard, most of us realized that Morris Peterson was one of the best fifth-starters in the League (i.e., the fifth best starter).  Nonetheless, Hornets fans were pleasantly surprised when Rasual performed well in Mo’s absence.  Slowly Mo worked his knee back into shape, until he hurt his foot in a late 2008 game, and was out again.  By the time he was healthy, it was too late.  Rasual, having the best year of his career, had taken hold of the starting two guard slot.

My Name Is Mo Petey.  Chicka-chicka-chicka.Is it fair that a starter loses his spot due to injury?   I don’t know.  But considering Mo already played the least amount of minutes among all Hornets starters last year, we knew it wasn’t about starting.  It was about getting minutes.  To Mo’s credit, he got that, saying all along, he just wanted to contribute, to help the team, and was the consummate professional at all times, never complaining.  But here’s the rub: the minutes suddenly weren’t there.  Inexplicably, despite having the talent to make him a starter on a 56-win team, Byron Scott refused to give Mo any minutes.

Now, instead, those minutes are going to Devin Brown.  Listen, I want the Hornets to do well.  If Devin’s in, I want him to play well.  But the fact is, Mo has more talent, and history backs that up.  Even this year, an off-year by Mo’s standards, stands as testament to the fact that he should be out there.  Consider the following:

  • Devin, 2008-09: 36% FG%, 29% 3FG%, 1.9 rebounds per game, 0.9 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game, and 0.1 blocks per game, while committing 1.3 fouls per game and 0.9 turnovers per game.
  • Morris, 2008-09: 40% FG%, 39% 3FG%, 2.0 rebounds per game, 0.4 assists per game, 0.3 steals per game, and 0.1 blocks per game, while committing 1.2 fouls per game and 0.4 turnovers per game.

So, basically, Mo is getting more boards, the same blocks, committing less turnovers and fouls, though not getting quite as many steals or assists.  But, oh yeah, he’s hitting at shots at 4% better overall, and 10% better from 3-point range, which in Byron’s system is crucial, as its built to allow Chris’ penetration to open up shots for his shooters.

But maybe you’re thinking the statistical sample is too low given the limited minutes of each.  Better to take their career stats, then:

  • Devin, Career: 41% FG%, 33% 3FG%, 2.8 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game, 0.6 steals per game, and 0.1 blocks per game, while committing 1.6 fouls per game and 1.1 turnovers per game.
  • Morris, Career: 42% FG%, 37% 3FG%, 3.6 rebounds per game, 1.6 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game, and 0.2 blocks per game, while committing 2.3 fouls per game and 1.0 turnovers per game.

In case you’ve lost track in this melange of numbers, Mo is better at every single stat other than fouls, which considering he’s nowhere near fouling out, is irrelevant.  So what the hell is Byron thinking?

 

Doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well.

MEMO TO BYRON SCOTT: free Mo Pete.  The man has skills.  He’s a former starter.  Maybe Rasual is playing well, maybe they duplicate skills.  But what’s wrong with having the same guy come in, when you refuse to change your offensive set for your back-ups?  The case isn’t even close.  Mo Pete is the most talented, most reliable back-up you have among a bench full of inconsistent bench players, so there’s no excuse not to play him.

The stats all say you should.  Isn’t the Hornets’ success in the Playoffs more important than whatever non-basketball issues Byron might have with Mo?  It’s a rhetorical question, and the answer is YES.  So I hope you’re reading, Byron, because you’ve told us what’s wrong with Hilton’s play, the flaws in Julian’s game, but you’ve yet to justify keeping Mo on the bench in lieu of anyone, let alone Devin.  (Sorry Devin.)  Enough is enough. 

Free Mo Pete.

Free Mo Pete

By on January 10, 2009

That is all.

Keep going on with your lives as planned until you hear from me. But we’re starting a movement. You heard it here first. He’s a cool guy. He has pool balls with the Hornets logo on them, we think, somewhere in the Warehouse District (This was on TV. But it was in a bar, with no sound, so we aren’t entirely sure what was going on there, whether that was CST’s version of Hornets Cribs. But whatever, the 8 ball was solid. P.S. Yo, Hornets– you should put that Hornets Insider stuff on the web so people can see it. And not in the audio archives, in the video, because I only know about 2/3 of the team’s voices and I can’t tell who’s talking. And it actually sorta creeps me out to admit that I know 2/3 of the team by voice, and makes me feel like a stalker. Thanks, Hornets).

Anyway, we love Mo. We always have. There will be signage. It was going to be Free JuJu but we decided Mo Pete’s situation was more dire.

Plus, he knows when Boxing Day is. You go, Mo. We’re right there behind you… Oh, and like, the Hornets beat the Clippers behind Rasual Butler and James Posey and stuff. But I’m so irrationally enraged about the Morris Peterson situation that I’m not even gonna talk about it.

This is war, Hornets org. That is, if this post makes any sense. It may not.

I love Mo Pete. And I’m totally sober.

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.

It is all your holiday wishes come true. Believe me. They are wishes you didn’t know you had, but still.

I promise that now your life will be complete.

Merry Christmas and a Happy LakersGame Day!

The rhythm of Mo Pete, the dancing of TC and the lyrical stylings of Mr. Ryan Bowen

Here is a 100% true story from last night’s game.

Last night James Posey already had ten points in the second quarter, before injuring what was apparently his calf muscle. He was clearly limping on court. He was camping in the corner, and Chris Paul had the ball at the top of the circle. mW is like, “Chris! Call time out!” But here’s Posey and he can barely walk, and he’s waving at Chris like, “Yo! I’m open for three!” Because that is just the guy that he is. Tough as… you know, they always say tough as nails, but nails are actually rather easily bendable, aren’t they? Whereas Posey is not. Anyhow, he hangs on through the next possession and a half, and then heads for the locker room.

Now, I had been planning on purchasing his jersey in the team store at halftime, for a couple of reasons. First of all, he’s the only bench guy who has his jersey in the store, and I like to support the guy whose jersey everyone else isn’t wearing. I bought a Chandler one on the internet last year and was one of the only people who had one for awhile, because for some inexplicable reason the store wasn’t stocking them. Second, I think Posey is amazing and I want to be him when I grow up (which, you know, means I don’t have much time to get that amazing, since he is only 4 years older than me). So now I’m like, man, I don’t know. What if his ankle’s injured and he’s going to be out a while? Is it bad luck to buy the injured dude’s jersey? But I buy it anyway, a white pinstriped one.

I get back to my seat, and not a minute later, who comes loping out of the tunnel but Posey. And then a few minutes later, here he is checking into the game. I look at the scoreboard and wonder whether Chris Paul’s 24-8 so far is going to be in danger if I take off his jersey and put on Posey’s. I decide, clearly not. So I put on the new jersey. Posey goes on to score 19 points, and not just threes. I mean he was banging around in the post throwing up all kinds of crazy shots. Indestructible.

Fast forward to the end of the game. They have just finished the T-shirt gun thing. I have just finished ignoring it as usual. The players have come back on the court. mW is on his iPhone checking stats, and I am watching the screen as they announce Pose as the sub of the game.

At that moment something bangs into the glass between our heads. “Holy shit!” I yelled. It was a late shot (and I mean a way late shot– like the kind of thing where some guy brings his arm down and bludgeons some other guy under the basket 5 seconds after the play, and the ref blows the whistle and is like, “WHOA! LATE HIT! Foul!” Except in real life, not in the course of a basketball game, so really you could say it was a party foul) with the t-shirt gun, and it almost killed us. I am not making this up. We put Hugo on the Shit List for this. What the hell. That is seriously dangerous. No one was standing up, waving their arms. No one was looking that direction. The players were back on the friggin court! The deadly projectile ricocheted into the row in front of us. “Hey!” I yelled down to the guy who caught it. “That almost killed me!” And he tossed it up.

And so, James Posey = indestructible. Ticktock6 = narrowly escaped death while wearing the Posey jersey. Now, I don’t know if this all means anything. Take it as you may. But I am JUST SAYING.

P.S. I would be remiss in my job as Hornets blogger if I did not mention the most awesome thing in the history of Christmas, namely that they played a clip on the jumbotron of Mo Pete, Tyson Chandler, and Ryan Bowen singing Jingle Bells. Tyson didn’t do much besides announce the clip and then dance around in back of the other two who were doing all the work. Surprisingly (or not? he’s rather versatile) Ryan Bowen could actually sing. But Mo Pete was doing a nasty nasty beatbox, which totally stole the show. No, seriously, it was awesome. It was by far the best thing that has been on the jumbotron possibly ever. HORNETS ORGANIZATION– IF YOU ARE READING THIS, THAT WAS YOUTUBE GOLD. IT NEEDS TO BE ON THE INTERNET. IT BEGS TO BE ON THE INTERNET. Please either post it or send it to me!!

The James Posey replica jersey: +100 against CERTAIN DEATH (yes, for those of you with good eyes, that is my parents' cat in the background destroying shit

The James Posey replica jersey: If life was a video game it woud be +100 against CERTAIN DEATH

Free Po Mete

By on December 20, 2008

We’ve called for Mo repeatedly.  No offense to Devin Brown or Rasual Butler, but Mo is the best two guard the Hornets have.  (Rasual is second.  Sorry, Devin.  I love you, but sit down.)  We have bitched in every forum we could find.  And tonight?  Redemption.  Byron Scott is renowned for making sure his guys are conditioned properly, so I wasn’t overly optimistic about Mo getting a lot of time after his recent bout with the flu.  But tonight presented a pleasant surprise, courtesy of the aforementioned Byron Scott and his acknowledgment and/or acquiescence to the phenomenon that is Mo Pete.

Mo slipped into the line-up some time in the second quarter, and TT6 and I were on our feet, yelling and clapping as loud as we could.  We love Mo.  He had a quiet few minutes.  Until the Kings slowly stole the lead from us.  The bastards.  And then CP drove to the rim as the clock expired in the first half and dished to the wing.  To Mo.  In the corner.  For three.  Money.  Tie game going into the half.

Huge emotional lift.  And listen, I’ve been a huge critic of Byron for being stubborn, and not recognizing the hot/cold hand, but he proved me wrong tonight.  With Devin and Rasual going 1-13 from the field and 0-8 from deep (Rasual hit one lay-up cutter to start the game.  It was quite nice, but all downhill from there), Byron played Mo most of the second half.  The man responded.  In spades.  He ended up with 4-8 shooting on the night, and was 2-4 from beyond the arc; adding also 2 rebounds–which I feel compelled to say were timely rebounds, when we really needed them, he just happened to be in the right place.

When playing with the second unit, Mo kept us afloat.  When playing with the starters, he fit right in.  Moreover, what those stats don’t show are all the hustle plays he made on both ends of the floor, getting into the right spaces on offense, and sliding into the right places on defense, including key stops on Salmons.  I think Salmons had about 18 at the half, but only finished with 26.  Nice job Mo.

The moral of the story?  Mo is back.  And he’s money.  Hopefully Byron took notice.  Because we sure did.  If the Hornets struggled without Peja, they surely missed Mo too.  Having him back helped seal this win against a pugnacious team that was unwilling to go away, but ultimately was shown the door.  I can only feel that this win, and Mo’s role in it, signal the best is yet to come.

Gumbo With Hornets

By on November 24, 2008

Hey, I wanna have lunch with Po & Mo. And now I am madly jealous. WWL TV has lunch at Emeril’s with James Posey and Morris Peterson. (Actually, I wanna have lunch at Emeril’s, period, now that I think about it. It would be infinitely better than what I had for lunch today.)

I love random Hornets video.

Mo & Pose & Sual

By on October 31, 2008

We thought it was time to bust this out again.

Our man Mo Pete was on a mission last night to prove that, not only can he nail threes, he’s got moves. Come on, Byron, I know he’s not D-West or anything, and I know he’s not gonna always have a game like that, and I know Posey is awesome (we’ll get to that in a sec), but let the man drive more. See how fun that was. Peterson led the Hornets with 21 points. And that one shot he made (the first and-1) was pretty… well, pretty. Mo Pete is the starter that everyone hates on, just because he’s not one of the “Big Four.” Well, guess what. We appreciate your work, Mo! You just keep on doing what you do.

Chris Paul was again routinely statistically great (while, in the paradox that we in New Orleans are lucky to have, not actually looking like he was having a standout game), and Peja was leading the team with 20 pts before he turned his ankle early in the fourth quarter. But the credit for this win really belongs to some guys who are the dark horses of this Hornets team.

The bench scored 15 points in the 4th quarter. I mean, yeah, it consisted of James Posey and Rasual Butler trading dagger-to-the-heart threes, but still. That’s something it would be great to have, just in case it’s needed. And it was needed. Tyson Chandler didn’t play, and the team looked sort of lost in the first part of the 4th quarter after Peja went down. The Suns had chipped away at what was at one point a 16 point lead. Then Posey opened up the 3-fest, and it was just a catalyst moment. Rasual Butler… I thought he was a waste of space last year when Byron Scott kept giving him chance after chance and he put up cringe-worthy missed threes. But it’s heart-warming and redemptive and cool and all those things to see him looking this good early, mostly because he’s tall enough to cause problems for other teams as well as shoot. At this point I have to recognize that nasty block he had late in the game.

So, that leaves James Posey. Everyone else is saying they have a man crush. But I’m a girl. So I guess I just have flat-out lust for #41′s mad clutch skills. Go team. I loved Posey’s interview with Craig Sager, by the way. “It was a business decision.” Which is athlete code for, “I came for the money.” So basically you’re saying you’re a cold-hearted mercenary killer………………. I have approximately zero problem with that.

BACK ROW SIGNAGE: It’s been suggested by a bunch of people that our opening night sign be something Posey-related. So if you can figure out a way to say something clever about NOLA welcoming Posey without actually using too many words, please leave a suggestion in the comments. I’m gonna get busy with the paint this afternoon (um, please do not be picturing anything too creepy here).