Game Notes: Magic at Hornets
Civic pride on display in New Orleans.
by Toney Blare
-Colder than hell in New Orleans terms, like 40. No pre-game fiesta tonight.
-This is my first game since the NBA took over the team. No signs of change as yet. Not going to be easy, either. There’s the attendance clause to meet and a man named Bobby Jindal who’s busy shutting down hospitals and probably can’t do nothing for you, man. Still, the city has done its best to rally and you have to think the new mayor won’t let the team go without a fight.
-”Being” John Hollinger in the building.
-The Hornets enter to “Black and Yellow,” the clean version with “lesbian” blotted out. Quentin Richardson enters to Heart.
-Tonight’s anthem comes courtesy of the Soul Violinist, Lee England Jr. He’s good, too.
-Also was looking forward to analyzing the CP3-Belinelli backcourt, but the latter comes up lame with the first two minutes, hobbles through the tunnel. Two feathers from DWest make it 4-0, and another NO bucket brings a Van Gundy TO.
-Pre-game MLK Jr Day will feature DJ Raj Smoove. That’s what’s called a vet, youngsters.
-West gets switched on to Dwight. Uh… and one.
-The PA advertises the Bee Fit program for youth fitness while two Honeybees hold up placards featuring large golden arches. Mixed message.
-Quint Davis, head honcho of Jazzfest, is in the house, as he is almost every game. A lot of business-types have been trying to show corporate support for the team, but a guy like that (love him or hate him) might be a good fit at that the table when it comes to marketing ideas to save the squad.
-Agent Zero checks in at 2:17.
-Dwight lets Mek fall, supermans the ho, and A-Gray’s knees start bouncing on the bench. 21-17 Orlando.
-Don’t know how the NBA takeover effects them, but the two lady ushers manning this press table are having a ball.
-The second units bring a Ryan Anderson-Jason Smith match-up, and the wrecking crew known as Marcus Thornton. Messy dude, but the gunning and driving creates the chaos necessary for a good bench. He makes SVG call another TO.
-Who’s that jolly fellow shooting a loose ball during the huddle? Why, Chris Duhon, New Orleans-area native. Make that money, Chris Duhon.
-Jeremy Piven is here. I don’t know, there’s always something filming in this city. His date seems to be local trumpet player Jeremy Davenport, who controls the bar in the Canal Street Ritz Carlton.
-Dwight comes back in relatively early, picks up two travel calls. Somehow, the Hornets have a 20-16 advantage in the paint, which is about to change. Bass hits a baby book, 37-32.
-Hornets timeout, Chris and Monty stand in the middle of the paint while two disco balls appear on the top corners of the key.
-Adults have replaced kids in the in-game contests. Meaning?
-Get ready: Lee England Jr is coming back for halftime. Two-for-one cost savings?
-Posting up Jameer Nelson, pounding the hell out of the ball, then hitting a turnaround, Thornton makes it 38-37, Big Easy.
-What you see in Cleveland right now is Byron Scott without a great point guard. Karma’s a police.
-Sloppiness as time runs down, then Ariza steals and dunks on the break. JRich makes a long two at the buzzer, 40-39 N.O.
-Lee England Jr plays to an accompanying video on the jumbotron, where a taped version of him explains that Beethoven wasn’t his thing, that he wanted hip-hop and drums, y’know, SOUL. Underneath the jumbotron, now wearing a tilted fitted, Lee noodles away on the violin.
-Is there a way to quantify just want the perfect passes of Chris Paul have meant for David West, who was born to hit a 16-foot jumper standing flatfooted? A great touch, but how easy would it have been for teams to overlook an unathletic dude like that without these set-ups? Taking nothing away from him, either, but there must be a number there.
-”He just fell, numb nut!” someone yells from above me to the ref. WTF is a numb nut anyway? Is that like sciatica of the ball?