The Hornets continued their confounding habit of not being able to win close games and dropped a winnable one to the defending champs 83-81. I'm gonna keep this short because I'm tired and I didn't watch this game with intentions of recapping tonight (read: I drank a few beers and yelled at the refs.). Completely random bullets below.
-Biggest positive of this game had to be the return to form for Carl Landry. 19 points on 13 shots and he was not settling for the jump shot. He out-muscled Shawn Marion and was too quick for Brendan Haywood, who simply hacked him after his first step. Late in the game the Mavericks, realizing they had no one who can guard Carl one-on-one (first time I've said that about a Hornet this year), elected to double, and the Hornets could not capitalize. Still, great to see this from Carl after his recent struggles. Keep it in the post, big guy.
-The other hero of the night for the Hornets is Emeka Okafor. 16 points and 17 boards to go with some great defense and smart play off the ball. Mek shot 7-13 and had a highlight-worthy block on a Dallas drive. Though many (myself included), will wish we had seen more of El Titan, the Hornets needed Landry and Okafor on the floor in this one as much as possible.
-Rough night for Jarrett Jack, who couldn't hit anything tonight. He finished 3-12 for 12 points with 6 assists and 2 TOs. Had a couple of late game miscues yet again, and couldn't quite muscle up a shot of an intentional FT miss that he actually executed quite well. I can't fault the guy for this game at all, as he is obviously playing his butt off the entire time he is on the floor. At one point he dove about 4 rows deep into the crowd after almost getting a steal from Jason Kidd. He is constantly vocal both on and off the court and clearly has assumed the leadership role on this team. The results are obviously not ideal, but it is certainly not for lack of effort..
- Marco Belinelli took 6 threes and missed them all. He was probably wide open on 5 of them. This is a guy whose one NBA skill is 3 point shooting. He still played 25 minutes. Not good.
-I really dislike Jason Terry. To my delight, he was way off all game, missing a ton of open looks. Of course, he hit some huge jumpers in transition and sank all of his free throws down the stretch to just keep the Hornets at bay.
-Not much Ayon, besides missing two free throws. Again, no complaints here because Landry really had it going.
-Quiet night from Jason Smith, who I assume will return to the bench if Landry gets back to playing like himself.
-Squeaky Johnson played 5 minutes and registered an assist and a steal, along with 2 missed 3s.
-Trevor Ariza took 15 shots to get 12 points but filled in 6 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block. A very Trevor line. If he can be your 4th or 5th option on offense, he's a starter on a contender. Does a lot to help a team.
-Either by necessity or choice, Monty did not bite on matching the Mavs' small-ball lineup and at one point had a Vasquez-Summers-Aminu-Landry-Okafor ( I think Oak was at the 5, but let me know if I'm wrong) lineup, with everyone on the court being at least 6'6". The lineup wasn't particularly effective, but it was interesting.
-Summers had a dunk attempt absolutely erased by Yi Jianlian. I know this sounds like the most unlikely sequence in the world, but it was vicious.
-Does losing not suck as much to anyone else because of our lottery hopes this year? These last 3 losses all hurt. Bad. But, after a few minutes I find myself thinking about how we could potentially be one step closer to Anthony Davis and that ridiculous bat wing of a unibrow (pictured above in case you didn't figure that out). Anyways, the tank keeps a rolling.
-I'll close with a bizarre and potentially disturbing quote from Monty Williams on Eric Gordon courtesy of Bradley Handwerger of WWL TV:
I know some things. I’d love to tell you guys as much as I do know but I’ve got to hold onto it for another day or two and get some more information from the doctors. They’re still running tests on him but we’ll know more Monday or Tuesday for sure.
Yeah. I'm sure that won't freak anyone out at all. Yikes.