Hornets Kill Kittens

After taking on and losing to the Grizzlies, the Baby Hornets (Bats? Yes, Bats it is) faced off against the Kittens of Charlotte. My game notes:

  • In terms of NBA-ready talent, I thought this game would be far more boring than the Grizzlies one. Instead, it was a lot easier/more fun to watch.
  • The feed was surprisingly better than the Grizzlies feed. In fact, at some points it was basically equivalent in clarity to the regular season League Pass feeds. So if you were scared away by the terrible quality on Friday, fear no more!
  • Charlotte's three lottery picks- D.J. Augustin, Kyle Weaver, and Alexis Ajinca- all started for the 'Cats. I learned that Ajinca's first name is pronounced Alexee... so if you ever meet him, you know what to say.
  • Hilton Armstrong struggled mightily at setting picks. That's something he was bad at during the season too- it looks like he gets scared of contact as the opposing player rams into him. That's fine if you're setting a pick to clear Baron Davis or Chauncey Billups. But shying away from screening 5'11" D.J. Augustin?
  • Having said that, Augustin certainly packs a punch for his size. He flat out leveled the Hornets' Brandon Bowman in the third on a drive to the hoop.
  • Throughout the game, there was a guy who kept yelling things at the top of his lungs. Like "OH MY GOODNESS!!!!", "TERRIBLE!!!!" and "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!!" And the dude had a sidekick who would make a less charged remark immediately after, stuff like "you gotta work at both ends." I couldn't tell if they were Charlotte coaches or just Charlotte fans.
  • The Charlotte coach was wearing shorts and kept getting up and sitting down. Would've been funnier if it was Larry Brown.
  • ticktock6 mentioned on HornetsHype that most of the arena music was 90's rap in Game One. This time, it was mostly 90's rock/hip-hop. So they stopped poisoning our eyes (with those horrible feeds) in favor of poisoning our ears. Terrific.
  • D.J. Augustin sure looked good. He didn't have too many assists, but his passes were crisp and direct. I didn't like the Augustin pick at #9, but he could sure make me change my mind. He also has great handles. From what I saw, his biggest weakness is running the pick and roll; he just couldn't make the right read often enough. Obviously, that's something that can be easily coached.
  • Wright's and Armstrong's minutes were definitely toned down today. JuJu hardly played in the 3rd, while (I may be wrong on this) Armstrong didn't play at all in the 3rd period. Not sure as to the reasons behind this.
  • The game went into a mad fast-break frenzy at the start of the 4th that included a huge wind-up dunk from Jemareo Davidson and an alley-oop throwdown from the Bats' Derrick Byars.
  • A huge decrease in fouls from the first game.
  • Alexis Ajinca- Consider me impressed. Ajinca was one of the guys I wanted the Hornets to draft with the 27th pick. AA moves extremely well for a 7 footer, has a great free throw stroke, and uses his long arms well on defense. His biggest issue would probably be banging inside; his frame isn't filled out. Still, I think Charlotte got a steal in him.
  • Adam Haluska- An afternoon to forget. Not only did he have a terrible day shooting, he had a couple of turnovers and a bone-headed foul on a 3 pointer in a crucial stretch of the 4th quarter.
  • Bobby Brown (Bats)- He didn't shoot well, but I liked his aggressiveness. He went to the line a ton and attacked the rim real well. Some have mentioned that Brown has an outside chance of getting a training camp invite, and today he justified that. He spent most of the game going one-on-one with Augustin, including spewing some audible trash talk at the soft-spoken D.J. The 6'2" guard from Oregon has some legit talent.
  • This game got crazy down the stretch. Everybody was screaming, the players were going wild... and Hilton Armstrong won it with a clutch free throw line jumper and then a slam dunk (by the way, JuJu assisted both). Great to see Hilton step it up down the stretch; he finished with 14 points on 4-8 shooting. JuJu and Hilton combined for 8 of the Bats' last 10.

We won! We won! The Bats picked up their second summer league win in 4 years at the expense of the Kittens. The contest got about as intense as a summer league game is ever going to get.

I mentioned in my notes that there were less foul calls... I just checked the box score and apparently there were actually 57 fouls, or 1 more than yesterday. Ha ha. Anyways, that's it for today. The Bats take on the Baby Spurs (The Childrens' Size Boots?) on Tuesday and then the Young Clippers (not even gonna try) on Thursday, both of which I'll probably miss.

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