The Hornets pulled out their second win in a row (getting their second 2 game winning streak of the year despite only having 6 wins) tonight in Milwaukee over a Bucks team that struggled to make shots. The Hornets got a huge boost from a suddenly not-useless Marco Belinelli who hit 6 threes on his way to 22 points. The Bucks shot 38% from the field and though I'd love to say that it was due to a stout Hornets defense, the Bucks missed a lot of makeable shots. The VERY AVAILABLE Chris Kaman chipped in his second straight double double with 18 points and 10 boards. Bullet points after the jump.
Bring out the Italian flags! Marco Belinelli continues his mini-resurgence in a big way tonight with the aforementioned 2 points on just 10 shots (6 of which came from beyond the arc). Just for fun, he threw in 4 boards and a steal. Marco was averaging close to 12 points a game on 37% 3PT, which are both improvements over his abysmal start to the season, BEFORE tonight's game. If his shooting is trending upwards towards his career numbers, Marco will be a fun player to watch for the rest of the season. Or he could go back to throwing up enough bricks to get to Oz.
Greivis Vasquez had a tough matchup with the speedy and tough Brandon Jennings tonight, and it showed. Early on Greivis was looking for his own shot and it worked very early on, getting him 4 points in the 1st, unfortunately he wouldn't hit another field goal for the rest of the game. He struggled getting past Jennings (or anyone) on the perimeter and rarely turned the corner on the big if he got a switch. He did manage 7 assists (and 4 TOs) mostly passing from the perimeter, but did have a nice penetrate and dish inside to Ayon late. Jarrett Jack is hoping to return Friday (vs Linsanity), and it would be nice to have Greivis back as a backup in that one. He is much more suited to it.
Speaking of Jack, he spent another chunk of the second quarter joining Bob and Gil courtside calling the game. Once again, it was excellent. Jarrett is an intelligent dude and provides a nice break from the parade of puns. He is also obviously the leader of this team as he stopped every other sentence short to yell at a teammate or referee. At one point he stopped in the middle of a story to call Vasquez over to tell him that they were in the bonus. Tough not to like this guy.
Chris Kaman got 18 points and 10 rebounds which looks great in the box score and is great for the Hornets chances of getting something decent for him. In reality he got his 18 points on 23(!) shots and turned the ball over 4 times. Not a model of efficiency. I can't harp on him too much, because many of his rebounds were big ones, and I don't know where else the shots are going to go with this lineup.
Oh wait, they should go to this guy. Gustavo Ayon. I love me some El Titan (I'm holding out from calling him "Goose") 12 points on 7 shots to go with 12 rebounds. He oddly didn't record a block in this game (I swear he had one), but he did have one sweet assist on a backdoor cut by Trevor Ariza that led to a dunk, plus 2 steals. If his teammates actually looked to him early in the shot clock, Ayon could really start to impress. Really hoping Monty realizes this soon.
A very Trevor Ariza game from Trevor tonight. 14 points on 13 shots, 7 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Solid play from a guy who has been playing his butt off lately.
Al-Farouq Aminu had a very unimpressive game, but personally I think he's looked much better lately. He missed some bunnies that should have gone down, but he looked more confident in his time out there. He missed his shots, but they weren't shots that made you cringe as soon as he released them. I think he has looked comfortable in his minutes, perhaps knowing that he is going to get minutes on this depleted squad. This is a big admission from someone who had given up on him completely not long ago. Hopefully this is an actual trend that develops into something meaningful, and not a figment of my optimistic imagination.
Donald Sloan didn't impress much in his 22 minutes. 3 points and 4 assists on 1-5 shooting. With Jack coming back soon, I'd be surprised if he got another 10 day.
Solomon Jones looked decent in his 11 minutes and finished with 6 points and 2 boards.
Lance Thomas found out he was getting a second 10-day contract before the game and then played all of 2 minutes in the game.
I know that winning games isn't necessarily in the team's best interest right now, but damned if I can't find any way to actually root for my team to lose. I'm going into the Linsanity showdown on Friday fully hoping that the Hornets are the one who leave the Garden with their winning streak intact. Geaux Hornets.