Game Notes: Blazers at Hornets
Hornets move up the West ladder.
– Wesley Matthews gets to the basket.
– Wallace plays how Ariza should play.
– Aldridge drops another mid-range jumper has, 18, 10. Landry puts back his own miss. 60-56, Portland. Talk in press seats comparing him to Sheed, but not yet as strong in the post. Or as a passer. I think Bosh is still the comparison.
– Okafor hits his first FT, and a guy on the baseline calls out, you have 3 points. Actually, he has 13. Matthews misses a wild shot, the Italian flags flutter on the break as a Belinelli three makes it 1-point Hornet lead. Wallace responds with three.
– Camby in, Fernandez checking in, but no BRoy. 3:30 left in the third.
– What happens too often in the three-guard lineup is Chris pushes it down to the top of the key and then no one’s doing anything, just standing on the perimeter.
– The jumbotron informs us that JJack is cousins with Chris Duhon, who’s from Slidell, just across the lake from us. Chris Duhon would love that basket support.
– Portland’s lineup is Rudy/Wallace/Camby/Paddy/Brandon Roy. That’s my favorite five of the night. PMills bangs a three.
– With four seconds left, Chris takes Paddy to the hole, hits the lay-up, and one. Ends up on the floor. The FT makes it 70-68 at the end of three.
– Monty leaves CP3 in to start the quarter. Same crazy Portland lineup, but Aldridge in for Gerald. Then Dre checks back in for PMizzle.
– CP3 catches Aldrige on the switch, hits a jumper for a one-point lead. Portland miss, Green with a three, TO Nate. Crowd shouting. 77-73, Hornets.
– Wallace stayed out of that huddle?
– Huh. About six minutes ago, I was about to write some disparaging remarks about Willie Green’s season impact. But I didn’t. He scored 6 points in the last 1:30.
– OH. Willie Green one-handed put-back dunk. WHOA. He is definitely the best replacement for A.I.!
– CP3 on the break, Wallace with just an insanely brutal block. Getting fun right now. 82-75, NO.
– Forget what I said about the three-guard NO lineup. When they hit outside shots, it really works. DJ Tautology.
– Dre Miller pump fakes the hell out of Emeka. Away from the ball, Rudy and Jack get into it. Double techs, weird double headlockish basketball player shoving, old bad blood?
– Jack to the hole. Nine-point lead.
– Jason Smith hurts Matthews with a pick. Getting chippy. Hornets doubling Aldridge.
– This is when Brandon Roy was always lethal.
– High Chris layup after a great stutter step. Since the knee been revealed, game got real. 90-83, Nola.
– GW fouled, Tech on Jason Smith?
– Chris shot clock violation.
– Dre hits in the paint, 90-87. T.O. N.O. Some sloppy play by Bees.
– Landry fouled on baseline drive. These are pretty big free throws. Hits 1-2. Timeout, 46.7 left.
– There is a cat with the groomed 5 o’clock shadow, black button down untucked, mousse hair dancing in the second row to It Takes Two. He’s looking at you ladies. Panther urine.
– Brandon Roy ain’t even in the game. But slick Dre draws a questionable foul by throwing himself into Chris in the paint. Then misses the first FT! Hits the second. 91-88, 40.9 left.
– Jack misses out of the TO and Dre completely fumbles the break, loses it on a sip move. Landry fouled. I can’t believe BRoy wasn’t in the game. Terrible stretch from Miller. Play some Crazy Train, damnit!
– So of course Wesley drops a three so we can do some more fouling. 93-91 with 10.8.
– Coming in, as I think a lot of us do when thinking about the Blazers, I thought of the various talents on display. But this was supposed to be Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge’s team. LaMarcus didn’t touch the ball in the fourth, had 6 points in the second half. They need a star, and they almost had one when Roy was rising.
– Landry hits two FTs. Game, 95-91.
– Decent win for the Hornets. They have the tiebreaker with Portland, so now they’re sixth in the West, overall a decidedly good spot if they end up playing Dallas, with whom they’ve always matched up well. Still a ways to go without your leading scorer.
– Portland needs to figure out how to use Gerald Wallace and let BRoy play. If San Antonio drops to the 2 and remains banged up, they’d be vulnerable to the wildness the Blazers can unleash.
– Forgot to say: The security ladies told me they were so happy to see Aggrey when the Bulls came through a few weeks back. Weren’t we all, I replied. Though they do pronounce his name like “Edgar.” One.