I'm wondering if it wasn't something arranged with Lionel. Midway through the second quarter, there was a time out and Eric Hasseltine described Lionel coming out to meet the team with a smile on his face after three terrible offensive possessions. Eric was wondering why he was smiling.
Well, how do you explain Zach Randolph getting 13 rebounds, albeit only two offensive, but still only taking two shots in 23 minutes of time on the court? Either no one was getting Zach the ball (belied by his three assists) or he was passing up shots that he would normally take. If he was having a bad game, Lionel has shown he is not afraid to use the hook, even with Zach. So, maybe Lionel decided "how better to embarrass the players who are wanting to just chuck up shots than just let them have their way in a game against somebody that should not beat you, unless you can't make shots."
Long range shooting is a streaky business, and after being so hot last night, people were bound to cool off, and cool off in a major way they did. Even worse, this was before a national televised audience. Rudy performed, Marc was performing until he got hurt, Mo Speights was doing okay. Zach was a rebounding machine. But our perimeter players, other than Arenas, blew it, and blew it big.
O.J. played 27 minutes, a good chunk of that at point. How's this stat line: 11 points, 3 of 12 from the field (0 for 7 from three), 5 of 8 from the line, 4 rebounds, two assists, one steal and six turnovers? I doubt lilojmayo is crowing tonight.
Mike had a bad night shooting (1 of 8), with no steals. Tony was a non-factor, and Quincy wasn't much better.
Something makes me think that our interior game will see much more opportunities come Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
From the time Zach entered the game at about the five minute mark in the third, until we put in our scrubs, the Hornets out-scored us by 12. There was a brief respite, with a flurry of six points in a row from Rudy Gay, but otherwise the Hornets killed us down the stretch.
The Hornets beat us by scoring 29 and 26 points in the third and the fourth. After a first half in which our offense failed, our defense also failed in the second.
Zach didn't play any defense at all, which is inexcusable, and we didn't ride Rudy, who was the hottest hand on the court. Rudy was the best player on either team tonight and we went away from him. He missed a three because Zach gave him such a poor he couldn't go up in a fluid motion, the only jumper I think he missed in the second half. He missed a difficult layup. He got clobbered on an offensive rebound that got ruled a turnover for traveling. Otherwise, he was incredible in the second half. But we didn't ride him.
So, was Hollins cool not only with Zach taking back seat on offense to prove a point, but also his horrible play on defense? That doesn't sound right at all. And otherwise, why didn't we ride Rudy? To prove to Mayo that he's not going to be hot every night?
I can't figure out what happened tonight either. The players didn't show up for most of the game, obviously. Once that was clear, I could be convinced that Tony Allen is being given a last chance to prove he hasn't lost all of his magic. I really felt like tonight, if Tony wasn't in the game, the Hornets don't get away from us. I could also be convinced that Zach was left in the game down the stretch to make clear his defensive shortcomings.
Hollins' head down in his hands late in the game said a lot, but I'm not sure what. He was obviously frustrated, but by what specifically I don't know. It was all just so strange tonight.