Hornets Hype

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Archive for the ‘ Vegas Baby! ’ Category

  • So Darren Collison is leaving Vegas? Too bad. Thornton looked like he was forcing a lot of shots without him to penetrate last night. Our team will probably beast on everyone a little less than expected.
  • Quincy Pondexter is quite the multi-tasker, isn’t he? Nice shot, nice aggressiveness, nice muscle, nice energy. He’s put together two straight nice games. Julian Wright should be worried. Right now this kid looks more deserving of his minutes.
  • CON: Brackins pulled down zero rebounds last night. But he did eventually dunk, toward the end of last night’s game. I was so excited to see him in the post I thought I was hallucinating.
  • PRO: Monty Williams, on Brackins’ game: “Playing that many minutes without a rebound is not something that we will put up with.” BWAHA! I like this guy already.
  • Kevin McHale thinks that David West doesn’t have a post game. No wonder Kevin McHale is no longer coaching…
  • Did anyone see Nellie at Friday night’s game? He looked totally drunk or stoned or both.
  • Lawrence Frank is now my new favorite thing on NBA TV. After the game, he insinuated with an entirely straight face that Nellie was drunk, so I know it wasn’t just me who thought that. How’d I miss this guy? He’s much more suited to being on my TV than being with the Nets anyway.
  • I like this Kyle Hines kid. He plays like he’s much bigger than 6-6. Think the Hornets will give him a camp invite? (Don’t know where he would play… he’s a 4. But he’s way undersized. And we already have all these undersized power forwards. But it doesn’t hurt to ask him to camp.)
  • Hornets signed Aaron Gray. Guess that means they don’t need the Dude With the Aaron Gray Hair (Sonderleiter). They already have the real one.
  • I think the people who harp on Thornton’s defense are just parroting stuff Byron Scott used to say and not really watching him. He is both fiesty and fast, plus he crashes the boards with abandon down there among the tall trees. I think 5 out of his 6 rebounds last night were on the defensive end. He’s not as long as some other guys, but he works hard.
  • In fact he outrebounded everyone on the team… this says more about them than about him, however.
  • I did think Lil Buckets was lazy on O last night, however. Every time he tried to involve others, they dropped the ball or something. Lazy or frustrated, couldn’t tell. He took a bazillion poor fadeaway jumpers. Still shot 7-14 though, which is 50% so it can’t be as bad as I remember it being. But those two missed FTs probably lost the game for the Hornets.
  • David Thorpe: “One of my lasting memories of this week will be Marcus Thornton ferociously attacking the rim the way a tiger  goes after a deer. He makes an angry face and blows to the hole.  If he was 6’6, he’d be an all-star.  As it is, he’s a terrific NBA player.” This should be on Thornton’s bulletin board.
  • That Wheeler guy has brown hair on the sides with a yellow stripe on top. @LSUHornet17 described it best when he said, “It’s like a mohawk made purely out of hair dye.” Haha.
  • Hornets had a late lead in both games and somehow managed to lose anyway. #rookiecloserfail
  • I think we need a Summer League Drinking Game. Therefore, when Brackins finally gets a rebound on Tuesday night, let’s all do a shot! If he gets two, do another one! … Don’t worry, you won’t get that shitcanned. Trust me. (If you’re reading this, rook: prove me wrong! Get us all drunk! Do it!)

On Our Hero Chris Paul, a final word:

We’ve all seen the various media reports and various goings-on of the past couple of weeks. Man, I want to think the best of Chris Paul. I want to continue to see him and Drew Brees as New Orleans’ heroes. I want him to play here for a long time, and I want to make trades this year to get some great players alongside him. But… it is really hard for me to feel the same way about a player if he has one foot out the door. Maybe we’re into “It’s not you, it’s me” territory. Maybe that’s my mental block. I don’t have a problem with putting pressure on our front office… they’ve been pretty conservative, although to be fair, at the moment the salary cap won’t really allow them to be anything but.

NOLA isn’t a place that’s going to take kindly to you, though, if you’re gonna flirt with other cities for two years. I’m also a bit disappointed that CP didn’t choose to distance himself from the shitstorm of a backlash that’s hitting LeBron and his crew right now. I still don’t think we should trade him under any circumstances, as long as there’s a chance to win with him. And I don’t believe he will pull a Baron Davis and pretend to be hurt, or any of that nonsense. As I said, I really, really want to think the best of this guy who’s been so great to New Orleans up to this point. But do I have the same unwavering faith in him that I had a month ago? No. It’s like how you can sometimes sense a breakup coming, so you start picking fights and distancing yourself before it happens. I hope Chris Paul has the ability to step away from his friendship from LeBron James, just for a moment, objectively, and see how some of his friend’s behavior in the last two years was inappropriate and inconsiderate. Not the person, the behavior. They’re not the same thing. (Or are they? Are we who we say we are, or are we our choices? Something to think about.)

Anyway, I hope he continues to be the upstanding person and representative for New Orleans we have known him to be. I would never want to lose that Chris Paul.

There are two reasons I’m excited about Summer League. The first is it doesn’t involve things not restricted to but including anonymous sources, league sources, World Wide Wes, trade rumors, free agency, Chris Paul hating New Orleans, or LeBron. What a dull week. Seriously. You’re fooling yourselves if you think greatness is made in business transactions. Greatness is made on the court. Which brings us to the second reason: Marcus Buckets Thornton and Darren Collison! Do you realize most of the other top rookies (Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry) from last year aren’t playing? Therefore we can expect Lil Buckets, Lil Dimes & Co. to put a world of beatdown and beastliness on all the other teams in Vegas.

This year, probably thanks to having two of the top 5 rookies in the league, the Hornets are going to be televised on NBA TV for four out of their five Vegas games. This is, apparently, some sort of record for us and also means I’ll be able to watch on a screen big enough to actually see the numbers on the uniforms, rather than in an itty bitty low-res window on my computer. Yay?

The Hornets summer league roster is generally underwhelming besides Our Favorite Rookie Heroes, but you should note that Craig Brackins and Quincy Pondexter are going to be added to the roster July 8th. I’m sure they’re already there with the rest of the team, or headed there, but the team isn’t allowed to officially talk about it because trades and signings don’t become official till then. Here’s a mini-preview of who the Baby Buzz will be up against. I broke it down into 3 categories: Actual People You’ve Heard Of, Draft Picks, and Former Rookies Who Are Too Cool For School Unlike Our Rookies Who Will Feast Upon Your Team’s Flesh in Your Absence Ha Ha Suckersss.

HORNETS 2009 NBA SUMMER LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Friday, July 9, vs. Golden State, 7 p.m. (9 p.m. Central), NBA TV

Actual People You’ve Heard Of: Reggie Williams (that kid from the D-League who destroyed us in one of the most infuriatingly stupid Don Nelson-esque comebacks of all time last season), Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright. Draft Pick: Ekpe Udoh. Not On the Roster: Stephen Curry.

Sunday, July 11, vs. Miami, 7 p.m. (9 p.m. Central), NBA TV

Actual People You’ve Heard Of: Jon Scheyer (that kid from Duke who makes really douchey faces), Michael Beasley (I’ve seen like 2 sites saying he’s on the roster and 2 saying he’s not, so I have no idea). Draft Pick: Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Da’Sean Butler (all 2nd round). Not On the Roster: Mario Chalmers. Fun fact: Chalmers and Beasley are actually the ONLY two players currently on the Heat roster. I am not making this up. Have fun with that, guys.

Tuesday, July 13, vs. Portland, 7 p.m. (9 p.m. Central), NBA TV

Actual People You’ve Heard Of: Dante Cunningham, Jeff Pendergraph. Draft Pick: Luke Babbit, Armon Johnson. Not on the Roster: Monty Williams will not be coaching. ‘Cause he don’t work there no more.

Friday, July 16, vs. Washington, 5 p.m. (7 p.m. Central), NBA TV

Actual People You’ve Heard Of: Sun Yue, JaVale McGee, Jon Scheyer (shut up, no he’s not, he’s playing for Miami. Update your shit, Wizards internet. Haha). Draft Pick: John Wall. El Numero Uno gets a nice challenge here going up against DC. Not on the Roster: I don’t even know who’s on the Wizards anymore.

Saturday, July 17, vs. Toronto, 3:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Central)

Actual People You’ve Heard Of: Bobby Brown (BOBBY!!!), Sonny Weems, DeMar DeRozan, Joey Dorsey. Draft Pick: Ed Davis, Solomon Alabi. Not on the Roster: I think all the Raptors young players are here. Lots of vets could equal a challenge for our squad. This game is the only one not on NBA TV, but never fear, I shall post the address of the illegal feed when I find it.

Let the countdown begin!

He’s a talker, this one. Welcome to New Orleans, Craig! We don’t care if you washed your socks or not. :-)

Hornets 247 has a video of his reaction to being drafted. (I am a sucker for heartwarming draft night videos, oh yes I am. Especially when they cry. Just kidding. Well, maybe not.) More interesting is this story and this one, indicating that Iowa State’s coach — and former T-Wolves exec– Fred Hoiberg knew or guessed at least a half hour in advance he would go to New Orleans. (He wrote “No. 21, N.O.” on a piece of paper after the #16 pick and put it in his pocket.) I wonder if we just liked his workout that much… I know some Hornets fans don’t like this pick, but you really can’t go wrong with two first round prospects for the price of one (not to mention trading Mo Pete’s $6.5M contract). Fun Fact: Brackins wore #21 and was the #21 pick.

Here’s Quincy Pondexter’s post-draft interview. One reporter mentions that there are rumors OKC traded his pick to New Orleans, and he brushes it right off. Guess he was so excited to get drafted he didn’t care where. Haha. Fun Fact: Pondexter’s also responsible for this bit of YouTube hilarity:

I hope both of these kids make the team. They both sound awesome. Oh, and I guess we also hope they’ll play some ball…

There are two unalienable truths in the world of Hornets Hype: 1) James Posey is amazing, and 2) Tracy McGrady sucks. Rare indeed is the gossip item in which we get the two in practically the same paragraph.

Spotted at TAO Nightclub, James Posey of the New Orleans Hornets. The NBA pro was with twelve guys and girls celebrating a friend’s birthday. Tequila was a favorite at the table and the basketball player even bought a bottle of champagne for a group of girls on the dance floor.

Also seen at TAO with friends was Houston Rocket Tracy McGrady. The shooting guard was extremely friendly to all and stuck to water throughout the night.

Original post here.

I guess not everyone is epic enough to have champagne and bacon for breakfast… And no, the fact that he was allegedly nice did not succeed in distracting us from our hate. By nature this blog cannot bring itself to trust someone who goes clubbing in Vegas without drinking…

Vegas, baby. Vegas. Or Game 6

By on July 20, 2008

First Quarter Impressions: unfortunately, we don’t get to see Jerry-Dee Bayless play tonight (yes, he’s on our list of players whose name we refuse to pronounce correctly). Regardless, the Hornets came out looking good. Bobby Brown had 5 assists in the first stanza, and the word from the announcers is that Jeff Bower is really excited by BB’s play. Hilton is looking imposing on defense and aggressive on the offensive end. Derrick Byars, meanwhile, is one of our scoring leaders, with a high shooting percentage, nice second-efforts, and just started the second quarter with a nasty fast-break dunk.

Second Quarter Impressions: off to a slow start, Ju-Ju is getting aggressive and getting to the line; I like it. Several good plays on the defensive end, too. (Although, his socks and shorts almost meet, and that’s weird.) BB seemed to walk off a turned ankle from the end of the 1st quarter and continues to play well. Baby Bugs up by 10. Haven’t seen much of Dalron Johnson this summer, but he’s made some good plays tonight; couple long jumpers on one end and some good hustle rebounds on the other. To answer TT6′s ongoing “Where is Chris Paul?” question, the answer today is in Vegas, watching the Baby Bugs. OoooHHHHHhhhh!!!! Last basket of the half for the Bees is a sick alley oop from BB to fellow-starter Brandon Bowman. Nice way to close out. And by the by, while Bowman’s been quiet on the offensive end, and strangely wears a long-sleeved shirt under his jersey, he took down a couple nice boards near the end of the 2nd. That said, our lead’s down to 2.

Third Quarter Impressions: rough start here. To quote ticktock, “we’re building a brick castle here. Not a brick house.” Yeah. Bowman and Haluska both throwing up several ugly shots. Hilton getting to the line is the only thing keeping them in the game. They’ve brought in a lot of reserves, like Courtney Sims, Ndubi Ebi, Filip Vedenov, and Larry Owens, but to little effect. Another nice alley oop to Byars, though. Then, Byars finishes the quarter with a nice basket on a pick and roll from BB. Baby Bugs now down by 5.

Fourth Quarter Impressions: the Hornets are sticking around, but haven’t done anything to shrink the lead. For a team that has been outstanding in the 4th quarter in the first five games, they haven’t really impressed tonight. Bowman and Haluska are nowhere to be seen and Hilton looks exhausted. The Blazers’ J.R. Pinnock is lighting them up for about 30 points, and now they’re just jacking up 3s to try and close the gap. None are falling. Baby Bugs lose by 15. Rough second half. Oh well.

The Vegas Summer League is over. Not the excitement or skill level of the NBA game, but it get’s you hyped for the season to come. The Hornets still have quite a few roster spots and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

Baby Bugs Win in OT!

By on July 17, 2008

As we’ve said before, it doesn’t really matter if you win in the Summer League, but I liked how they won tonight.  They were down by 11 or so at some point in the second half, and then managed to use solid defense to whittle the Clippers’ lead away, all the while steadily plugging away a the other end of the court, culminating in a 23-14 fourth quarter lead and a 6-2 overtime lead.

The story of the game was Hilton.  Monster 25-8 game in just over 30 minutes (on 10-17 shooting).  Bobby Brown again looked good, leading the team on its comeback, and recovering from a poor shooting start to go 4-6 at the end of the game, for a total of 17 points; although, he did have a few Pargoesque moments where he inexplicably jacked up a three or long two on the move rather than pass to an open teammate.  Ju-Ju didn’t look as great on offense this game, but put in solid defense.  Similarly, Adam Haluska continued to struggle with his shot, but played some good defense down the stretch.

Surprise of the game was 6’11″ Courtney Sims going 6-9 and putting up a quick 13 points.   Larry Owens also had a good showing in limited minutes, although Derrick Byars and Filip Vedenov struggled again.

Rumors that new Hornet, James Posey, would play in this game were not true.  Okay, there were no such rumors.  I just like to say “Hornet, James Posey.”  Sweet.

Next Vegas game is Saturday at 9:30 CST. Have some Abita and watch the game before going out!

The Dirt on James Posey

By on July 17, 2008

Let’s see that one in teal and purple… teal and yellow… teal and white?Whether or not you have issues with the slightly excessive 4-year contract (OK, OK, I’ll stop… hey, at least in 2 years we’ll have a hot ‘n’ spicy expiring contract to use as trade bait!), we can all rejoice in the fact that, after a maddeningly dull offseason, we have a new Hornet on the roster! The last time we saw Posey, he was chillin’ in the corner bombing 3′s for the Celts during the NBA finals. Ya know, if I was going to retire at age 36, I’d do it in New Orleans, but maybe that’s just me… ;-)

I would be remiss in my duties as Queen of Hornetblogging if I did not scour the internet for everything you need to know about Posey. (This is a blatant fabrication. As you will see, most of this post will consist of things you didn’t need to know. But it’s more fun that way….) Here you are:

  • Posey wore #41 for the Boston Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies, and #42 for Miami. I’m going to guess that was because 41 wasn’t available, because he also wore 41 in college. And hey, we’ve got #41 free!
  • Posey went to Xavier, but was drafted in 1999. This means he didn’t overlap with David West, who graduated in ’03. (Ha– I didn’t even have to do the math in my head on this, because I too went to college from 1999-2003.)
  • Now the Hornets have 3 guys on the roster who shared the same college coach, Skip Prosser: West, Posey, and Chris Paul.
  • Posey’s birthday is January 13th.
  • In 2005 he was involved in the massive wacky 5-team trade that also resulted in the Hornets getting Rasual Butler from Miami.
  • He wears a mouthguard striped in the team colors (see above– that’s Miami, and the Boston one was green/white, naturally)! Teal and purple… teal and yellow… teal and white… oh, the possibilities! What’s he going to pick?
  • There are questionable photos of him on the internet wearing no underwear. Hey, I said I was gonna bring you only the best!

P.S. Summer League Alert: New Orleans Baby Bugs (Hornets) vs. L.A. Dinghies (Clippers) coming up at 5:00 Central via webcast.

Oops Upside Ya Head

By on July 16, 2008

Slacking here. Missed Summer League Game 3. Sorry folks. But I can give you the word on the end result. Hornets won. Not that that matters. What is important is that Ju-Ju and Hilton continued to look good. The biggest disappointment, though, has to be Adam Haluska, who again had a miserable shooting game; get you confidence back, son, because you know you can play. Our other starters, Bowman and Brown, continued to look good, with Brown looking more and more like a possible backup PG, and 6’9″ Bowman putting up his own 12 points on 3-6 shooting from the field and 5-6 from the line. Over at TrueHoop, Henry Abbott named Ju-Ju the best defender of the Vegas League and Brown the best surprise. The next game is on the 17th, at 5PM CST.

In the real NBA, Marcus Camby got traded by the Nuggets to the Clippers for, drum roll please, cap space. The Cavs gave Daniel Gibson a 5-year deal to keep him. The Knicks signed another guard, Anthony Roberson, to a 2-year deal. The Magic signed backup PG Anthony Johnson.

UPDATE: Bucks get Tyronne Lue and Malik Allen. T-Wolves re-signed Craig Smith. Also, Clips signed Kelenna Azubuike to a 3-year $9 mil offer sheet (Golden State still has the chance to match). Elsewhere, Darius Miles, out 2-years with an unprecedented “career-ending” medical designation, is trying out with several teams, in attempting a comeback. In Utah, the Jazz allegedly gave D-Will $2 mil more than CP got on his 4-year deal…suckers.

According to Boston.com: “New Orleans Hornets should know that in James Posey they are getting a pure mercenary, totally devoid of sentiment according to Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan.” This, after the guy helped bring them a ring? Wasn’t the whole city cheering him a few weeks back? That’s gratitude for you. A.K.A. the city that caused the scar across my eyebrow. Fuck Boston. Enjoy your one and done like the Heat had a few years back. We have a stacked line-up for the next 4 years.

Hilton and the Young Bees receive instruction from Charlie ParkerSo our Young Bees kinda sucked it up in Friday’s game. Let’s see if they can do a little beasting of their own on the Bobcats this afternoon. Game is at 3, so if you’ve got nothing better to do, you should check it out. Here’s the internet feed.

And I am not joking when I say nothing better to do. The screen is itty bitty, and it’s kind of hard to tell who’s who. If you look at the pics, the uniforms have names and logos and everything. But on the tiny 4×6 rectangle you get from the web feed, all I saw were numbers. And there are no commentators (although there is random 90′s rap!). The only way I figured out that the Hornets were the black team and not the white team was because I recognized Julian Wright’s unique bouncy run, then squinted and confirmed that he was wearing a 32.

P.S. Marc Stein of that 4-letter channel says that the Hornets are looking like the frontrunners to get Posey. Take that as you will.

EDIT: Baby Bugs win 77-75.

Las Vegas Summer League: Game 1

By on July 11, 2008

Hornets v. Grizzlies. I only got to watch half the game, but it got me excited, and it was free on NBA.com (don’t get TT6 started about free…) Yes, the Hornets summer roster leaves much to be desired, but everyone’s summer league roster does. There were some good signs, though, and some bad, bullet-style:

The Good

  • Filip Videnov: A native of Bulgaria, he played in Italy last season. He’s a 6-foot-5, 28-year-old shooting guard, who was a pretty sweet 2-3 from deep, and 3-4 overall, and that other made shot was a deep two.
  • Hilton Armstrong: plenty of minutes for this Hornet, but a strange game. He looked strong in the paint defensively, which was a real good sign, but only hit 33% from the field, yet was 7-8 from the line and his shot looked surprisingly smooth. Although, he had 9 fouls. Not a typo. 9 fouls (summer league rules give players 10 fouls).
  • Adam Haluska: this ex- and maybe future-Hornet looked pretty good. He was only 2-6 from the field, but 4-4 from the line; I saw him make a sick penetration move late, get fouled, and then still put it in and then add one.

The Bad

  • Julian Wright: a sure-thing Hornet and probably our best player on the court. But 4-17 from the field? Methinks someone was a tad overeager to prove himself. And he got a double-double. The bad kind. 12 points and 11 turnovers. Oof.

The Ugly, but Not So Much

  • Bobby Brown: undrafted in 2007, he’s a 6’1 guard, who alternately looked good and bad. Saw some mean bricks, and sloppy turnovers, but he also had 5 assists and 11 points. He got the most minutes of anyone, so obviously the coaches want to see what he can do. Let’s see what he brings next game.
  • Not a Hornet, but ex-Hornet-draftee, 6’9″ 225 lb. Darrell Arthur, must have been pissed about the draft day antics which resulted in him being traded 37 times, because he put up 18 on the Hornets on 9-12 shooting in only 26 minutes of play…

I didn’t really see much of anyone else, but the stats are on NBA.com, and maybe Ticktock will add more later. Game 2 is Sunday afternoon, so check it out!

Edited by Ticktock6: mW wondered why Derrick Byars wasn’t playing. I said I read somewhere he played for Orlando yesterday so he didn’t get there in time or wasn’t ready. He questioned the reliability of my source (mW, unlike me, is dubious about “the forums”), asking if that was even possible. Short answer: It is. He did. You can play in Orlando Summer League for one team and Vegas Summer League for another.