Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

Archive for the ‘ Playoffs 09 ’ Category

Some of these thoughts are things I’ve already posted on Twitter or in comment threads elsewhere. I’m just copy/pasting. If you follow me around EVERYWHERE you will have already read some of this (stalkers). Sorry. I’m home sick today, and alas, it is a bit too much to ask of me, to summon great thoughts twice. Perhaps mW has his own stuff to add.

Devin... we meet again.

Devin... we meet again.

On The Great Fallacy of Tyson Chandler Coming Back to Save Us All:

New Orleans fans (and players) have clearly been relying on Tyson Chandler’s return to give hope to this team… and… well, he’s something of an emotional leader for them, but he couldn’t even run in the 4th quarter. He was limping up and down the floor. If it wasn’t the playoffs, he wouldn’t be out there. His big return is just not gonna happen. Dude is hurt.

If we don’t win Game 3 shut him down? Just throwing it out there. I know we relied on him to inject some hope in this team, but it’s probably starting to be time to face the facts.

On Chris Paul and David West’s Troubles:

If you had told me Peja and Rasual would be that good from three, Posey would reappear from wherever he went in Game 1 with some mad hustle, and Devin Brown would have 4 points in 8 minutes and only miss one shot, and that we would lose because David West couldn’t hit jumpers and layups and Chris Paul was tentative, I would have laughed at you.

I know Byron Scott is never, ever going to do this, because he would never go all D’Antoni, but wouldn’t it be refreshing to see the Hornets go small and throw Butler, Stojakovic, Posey, and Peterson out there with an 18-point deficit and 5 minutes left, and just have them jack threes? ‘Sual and Peja were on from three all night. Seriously. Please tell me how that would be any worse when you’re already losing and your two best players can’t get into the paint.

On Denver’s Shooting:

Hot. Damn. I’m not sure if I mean that to be read as two separate words, each expressive of the Nuggets’ shooting last night, or as the phrase “hot damn.” I’m not sure it matters.

Here’s a question I wonder if someone can answer for me: the Hornets’ numbers say they are not a bad defensive team. But can you adjust for pace? What are the numbers on that? Are we really defending well, or are we just slowing other teams down to something approaching our 28th in the league pace?

On TNT’s Awesome(ly dumb) “Team Role” Blurbs Under Each Player’s Name

Oh, the fun I could have with this. “Chris Paul. Team Role: Jesus Figure.” “James Posey. Team Role: Hired Killer.” “Tyson Chandler. Team Role: Ceiling Fan Repair Man.” “David West. Team Role: Beast.” “Kenyon Martin. Team Role: Thug.” “Dahntay Jones. Team Role: Mosquito” …..

On Devin Brown:

Last night at the watch party, there was a great moment. Devin Brown hustled to a rebound. Everyone yelled, “YES!” Then he backed toward the corner and raised the ball to shoot. Everyone yelled, “NO, Devin!” But he ended up hitting the shot, and the whole bar went, “YES! Devin Brown!” and it was all very hilarious.

And, just for fun, Great Moments in the History of Fail… with Devin Brown.

You yell at that douchethug, CP!

You yell at that douchethug, CP!

On DoucheThuggery:

After watching all the posing and pouty-face-making that went on in last night’s game, I am standing by my inclusion of Chris Andersen in the “douchethuggery” category. Not on the thuggery part, because he’s an all right guy– he and CP helped each other up after one play, and I caught him and D West exchanging a smile once– but definitely on the douche part. And it clearly was a mistake not recognizing Dahntay Jones in the original post for the douchethug that he is. It was my error. It has been corrected.

On the Topic of NBA Determinism:

Does anyone have ANY doubt that it will be LeBron vs. Kobe? I mean, what’s even the point? Sorry, sorry, but this is genuinely how I feel and it makes me so upset because I want to be surprised and inspired and moved. And that… just won’t do those things for me.

[OK, I posted this on At the Hive, and this next part is me stepping back in to clarify, because a lot of people in the comment thread jumped at me for thinking there's a big conspiracy with the refs calling things against the Hornets, but I didn't actually mean to say that.]

I wasn’t really talking about this game. I don’t believe there is a conspiracy against the Hornets. There’s no reason, if there was, that David Stern wouldn’t want CP3 to go deep into the playoffs. People love him, he equals revenue. I watched part of the Cavs game yesterday and it put me into this mood. I’m feeling rather fatalistic about the whole thing in general. I know the Cavs have played great basketball this year, but that article about LeBron being called for an average of less than two fouls per game? Have you read it? Even Kobe, Wade, CP have been in foul trouble. James has never been, not once. And it’s frankly unbelievable for a guy in DPOY consideration who throws his body around that much and goes to the basket that hard.

My frustration is that Stern apparently has no interest in doing something about the league’s rep for sketchy officiating and ridiculous star calls. And CP’s have gone way up this year from last year, I’ve noticed— anecdotally— are there stats on this? I actually read an article where Brandon Roy said something surprisingly frank about that. [mW informs me he saved this article somewhere. Perhaps he will post it.] Said that after his 50 pt game in November he started to notice the fact that he was getting whistles he doesn’t usually get. But you aren’t allowed to talk about the officiating or you get fined. I just feel like there is a possibility it’s allowed to continue, maybe, MAYBE, because then when things are slightly manufactured, it’s less noticeable?

This is really more a tangiential “What’s the point anyway? We know who’s getting to the final” than “Everyone hates New Orleans.”

I relish unpredictability in my playoffs. But does the NBA give us a court on which Cinderella cannot live? What happened to “anything is possible”? Go forth, young flawed Hawks and Sixers and Blazers. Go forth and dunk and leap and shine. Your time is short. I shall cry for you when you are gone.

On Byron Scott’s Weird Refusal to Give Minutes to a Guy Who Was a Starter Last Season:

You know what? I’ve said enough. Just trade Mo Peterson. He deserves to play. Somewhere.

On Buy Your Damn Tickets For Game 3 Already, for the Love of God, the NFL Draft is Terrible and Dull and Jazzfest Happens Every Freakin Year:

I posted this rant yesterday in one of those team-hating forum threads that just really piss me off. I posted it several hours before the game. It is everything I wanted to say and it still stands:

People get mad when the national media/other teams’ fans/whoever criticize this city’s sports fans and their commitment to this team. “Ha, the Hornets have no home court advantage!” And then look at what the SAME people are busting out with in this thread.

I defend Hornets fans a lot on my blog and around the web. Lord, I’m embarrassed. Ugh. You don’t NOT GO to a playoff game because they’re down 0-2. You think the Spurs fans did that last year? Just because the team might lose does not make it a terrible idea to go to a game. You’re there to be loud and show support and help them win.

Or at least that’s how I feel. I watched the Boston Celtics come back from a 30 point hole on the road in LA, in what pretty much turned out to be the NBA championship-deciding back-breaking game. As a fan, if that’s my team, I want to be able to tell my grandchildren I never turned off the TV. I want to be able to say I was there, I saw it.

Man, I don’t know. Someday, some of you are going to miss something great. I’m not saying it’ll be this weekend, but someday.

Well, that’s why I’m going, anyway. You do what you like.

But some of it is!

I declare that everyone must party

It's just... that you mentioned a party

If you’re looking for some like-minded staying-up-late folks to watch the game with, come on down to the watch party at Handsome Willy’s. It’s hosted by Hornets247.com and NOLA.com, so it’s not technically our party. But you can pretend it is, if that makes you feel better, ’cause we’ll probably be there. The party starts at 8:30, about an hour before the game, and there’ll be food on the grill and drinks at the bar and all that other lovely stuff.

Or you could go to the official one, which is in, like, Hammond or something– which I think is on the Northshore, I don’t know, I went to a party on the Northshore once but all there was was a strip mall plaza and a lot of trees and I got lost and it was kind of sketchy… LAME! (Sorry, if you happen to live in Hammond and I’ve just insulted you– SORRY! You can come beat me up. I promise. Too bad it’ll take you two hours to get here and I’ll already be long gone.)

I’m getting that two-roads-diverged-in-a-wood feeling with this one. My favorite thing about basketball is sitting in my seat in the first quarter, waiting to see how everything’s going to unfold in front of you– it’s about possible futures, it’s about a thousand bounces, a thousand whistles, a thousand ways the game could play out. So in one future, the Hornets win this game, tonight, then get their swagger back. They take the two at home, win the series here in six, and San Antonio has been too beaten up by Dallas to put up much of a fight, and so the Hornets get their revenge matchup, and this time they win, and it’s the Lakers in the Conference Finals, just like none of this up-and-down season ever happened. I see Chris Paul happy, I see the team swallowing the luxury tax to keep the core together. But then I also see the other, darker, future. I see the Hornets collapsing in five, I see Tyson Chandler traded for a non-playoff team’s leftover pieces, the team left without a 7-footer and without a chance against the Lakers, a down year, another draft pick come to nothing, the team getting older, CP not resigning…

The future is too heavy in the air tonight.

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.

Rally NOLA!

By on April 16, 2009

Today after work. Fulton Square. 6:00-8:30. Be there and be wearing teal & gold!

From Hornets.com:

This free event will take place from 6-8:30pm and will include appearances by the entire Hornets team and coaching staff, Hugo, the Honeybees, the Used to Bees and other Hornets personalities and entertainment groups. Live music will be provided by Rockin’ Dopsie and the Soul Rebels Brass Band along with interactive games, contests, and face painting. Merchandise, food and drink specials will also be available throughout the event.

Fans enjoy the rally

FYI, this is where everyone got the FAN UP yard signs and GEAUX HORNETS car stickers last season. I don’t know what they’ve got in store for us this year, but there are bound to be great freebies and fun. And the team’s going to be there too! (You know, for all you stalker types.)

The first two people to come tag me get free playoff tickets– HA! Yeah, right. I already have my tickets, but there’s no way anyone else is touching them!! But seriously, do feel free to come up and say hi. I’ll be the one wearing these shoes and looking, well, pretty much like this, except for hopefully with better hair.

We can’t control what the media thinks of the team. We can’t control injuries. We can’t control how the team is going to play in this series. Home court and seeding and end-of-season slumps? All out of our hands. But this is New Orleans, and the one thing we can do is come to party.

The weather’s just fine down here! 71 and hardly humid. Perfect playoff climate.

FAN UP NEW ORLEANS!

And So We Know

By on April 15, 2009

Denver awaits

Sunday, 8:30 PM. TNT.

How bout you guys?

I thought this one was over when Dwyane Wade went to the free throw line. Then I thought it was over when Paul and Butler screwed up the pass at the top of the circle. The ball looked like it was going to bounce out of bounds. I almost looked away from the TV because Butler’s shot, after he managed to corral it, looked so bad. Then you saw the arc, and you realized it didn’t look bad, it looked good. How welcome were Peja’s 24 points? How crazy was David “Nah, I’ll just beat you now” West’s 8 point OT, after missing jumper after jumper all game? How driven was Chris Paul?

Oh, team. Whenever I think you’re out of it…

FAN UP, New Orleans! We’re in!!

Chris Paul knows Rasual Butler is The Man

“CP came up to me after the ball went in and told me, ‘We’re going to win the game for you now."