Sunday, April 6, 2008

LiveBlog: Warriors at Hornets


11:31AM: Boom goes the HP! I'm bloody well psyched, people. Two fantastic games, neither with LA, SA, or Boston involved. This is just going to be freaking amazing.

Some quick thoughts.

ABC just gave the intro to the Hornets. So NOLA is no longer on the downlow. They've realized they can make them into a story. We'll see how far that takes them.

Wilbon cracks on the college game. Well, done, Mike, you blog-hating, crotchety bastard.

Boston wins home-court throughout the playoffs. SHOOOOOCKER.

Denver loses to Sacramento. I've been saying the whole way Denver's not making it. In this race, you have to win the games you're supposed to. Dallas and Golden State have shown they can do that. The Nuggets have an allergic reaction to it.

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12:01 PM: Professional wrestler Ric Flair is in New Orleans for the pregame. Because THAT makes sense. Tirico and Hubie are both as confused.

Golden State looks pretty intense. But then, it's Golden State. They're not exactly happy puppies.

Let's Get It On!



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New Orleans wins the tip.

I'll say it. I like the big loud buzzing thing. I think that's cool.

The refs are not on their game today.

Paul's pump fake jumper is absurd. ABSURDLY BEAUTIFUL!

Hornets are going to have to kill the Warriors on the boards. The Dubs are terrible at it, and they usually lose when they get murdered.

Peja with two ugly misses to start. He needs to remember that he needs to position shoot.

Dizzle doesn't look all that fast on the break. He was running against Chandler, which isn't really a race, as it were, but still.

West. Best. Jump-shooting. Power-Forward. Ever.

Peja's coooold.

12:09PM 10-8 NOLA

For some reason Peja's down low on both offensive and defensive positions. He looks cold and tired today.

Dizzle's getting booed every time he touches the ball. Who says NOLA fans aren't smart sports fans? Of course, all you're going to do is piss him off, which is not a good idea, but hey.

Tirico: "(Peja) strolls for the score." That's pretty appropriate.

Scott needs to get Bowen or Armstrong in. They need the size.

18-14 GS. Bad defense by New Orleans early, which is weird.

I will say that these noon starts are absolutely horrible for the players. Imagine going to work every day at 7PM the entire year, and then suddenly, you have to go in at noon. Hell, daylight savings screws me up.

*******
12:17 18-14 GS: The Warriors are getting separation when they want, which is not good for the Buzz. They're forcing West into faders, which are not his game.

Iso for Jackson and Peja strips it.

Chandler's getting fouls. The Dubs are ready for the dish and drive and are getting charges.

Dizzle's 4 of 5, Warrriors on a 12-2 run (thanks, ABC!).

Bonzi throws it away. He still has problems in the system.

22-14 GS: Armstrong draws another charge. They're pretty much not challenging shots at all. Call it the UNC defense.

Warriors defense is screwing with Hornet's spacing, Hubie notes before I can. Old crotchety bastard. Just kidding, Hubie! I love you!

Turnover, fast break, Biedrins scores and Armstrong doesn't get out of the circle. Hornets are uncharacteristically sloppy today.

24-14 Dubs. They're focused and hitting shots, haven't even started really running the break yet. They're running Dizzle in ISO and it's working, because the Hive doesn't have anyone to counter.

12:24, 24-14 Dubs: The Paroxywife says this is the sexy meat matchup of the year. She compares Paul vs. Dizzle to be like Orlando Bloom vs. Vigo Mortenson from Lord of the Rings. No, I'm not annoyed. It gets her to watch the thing, so she can drool over Dizzle's arms all she wants.

Wells drives and slams. Nice job. Wells is getting aggressive, which is good. They need to open the lanes with a driver. When wells gets tired, they should give Wright some run. I know it's a risky proposition, but you've got Nick Young type potential.

Wells goes to the fadeaway. Not so much.

The Hornets have no answer for Biedrins right now. Peja's still frozen.

GS 27-18.

Al Harrington is my favorite Warrior, and he just killed West in the low post, then dished over the shoulder to the weak side cutter, Biedrins.

Biedrins sits, Hornets have to make a run here.

Pargo's in, so they have a shooter, but for some reason, they're going smaller. I don't like that counter.
**********
GS 29-22.

Dizzle and Harrington MUG Paul, and they call the TRAVEL! The Golden State Warriors are getting calls. What univers am I living in?

THE LOB TO HARRINGTON WITH .04 SECONDS, TO THE BASKET OOP, GOOD!

I hate it when teams allow stuff like that. It's so easy to defend.

End of 1, 31-22 Warriors. Hornets have to settle down. They're getting goaded into the Warriors game, and sloppy ain't their way.
*******
Holly's right, Nellie looks absolutely miserable.

I love the fact that Nellie is willing to come out and say, "Oh, we got away with one there," basically. He's my favorite coach interview in the NBA, and that counts Popovich versus Sager.

West decides he's had enough of backing down the Dubs and goes to the head fake spot up. Which works, because that's his strength. Funny how that works.

33-24, Monta Ellis cleans up the glass. That's a bad sign.

ANOTHER OFFENSIVE FOUL on the Hornets.

Apparently the league has had enough to LA not being in the top sot.

Oh, man. Killer drive by Ellis, nails it and draws the foul. Kid's amazing. If he learns to effectively distribute he's going to be top 10.

They're feeding West on the lob and Pietrus is fronting, which doesn't work.

Captain Jack is not awake, today. Travel.

Pargo with the nice runner. Pargo's providing a spark, this is good for the Hornets. If they can pull the Dubs out to the perimeter, it's going to open the lanes. Letting the Dubs control the paint is not acceptable.

Jannero with the three! 9-0 run!

Biedrins answers, that guy is killer today.

38-33 Dubs, 9:08 2nd Quarter.

Wells hits the three. This is all with Paul on the bench. Good spacing on defense for the Hornets. Rebound, nice behind the back by Wells, feeds Armstrong, a miss, Chandler follows on the weak side!

38-37! Cue the Buzz!
*************
Anybody else think Wrangler Jeans isn't really speaking to its demographic by having ads on the NBA? Just sayin.

I can't get over the Kings beating Denver last night. Seriously. Can't we just vote them out like Survivor? They have an easier schedule but there's no way they make it out of the first round. If Denver makes the playoffs, I'm putting money on a sweep.

38-37 Dubs, 8:20 2nd Quarter:

Ellis nails the jumper because the Hornets go under the screen.

Chandler just realized he's stronger than Jackson who was on the switch. Huge dunk.

I know it sounds like suicide, but the Hornets might want to double... Biedrins. The Dubs aren't hitting their threes, today, and Biedrins is killing them, though he just missed both free throws.

Three steals by the Warriors, but they miss two opportunities! Davis misses another three.

44-39 Warriors 6:30 2nd Quarter.

Peja with the floater, he's 3-8. Biedrins with a monster offensive board, but the Dubs are frozen from behind the line.
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44-41 Dubs, 5:44 2nd Quarter: Timeout.

12 Turnovers for the Hornets. That's just gross. They have to settle down. They're letting the Warriors get them in their game, and not playing smart.

Get this. The Hornets' bench have outscored the Warriors, 17-0. Who saw that coming?

Chandler can't defend Biedrins at all because of the fouls.

Pargo with 12! Another three! I love this kid's game! And he went to school an hour from my hometown!

47-43 Hornets, another three, this one by Wright! Told you! Let the wings play! JANNERO WITH ANOTHER THREE! PARGO-A-GO-GO!

Sorry.

50-46 Hive, 4:11 2nd Quarter.

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Hornets on a huge run. CP3 just made a three off of a missed lob. Wow.

52-48 Hornets. Paul only has 4 points, but 6 assists.

Chandler misses both free throws. He's off.

Azabuike's non-existent on the stat sheet, but he's doing his glue guy thing. NO ONE CAN HIT A THREE. That's five possessions with run run, three, all misses. West works inside, 54-48 Hornets, 1:34 2nd quarter.

*********

Last possession, 2nd Quarter. Paul drives, stops, pump fakes, closes defense, dishes to Peja in the corner...MONEY!

Great half for both teams. Jannero's on TV. That's insane.

Dubs can get back, but they actually, get this, need to go to the half-court game. And start hitting threes. The Dubs are frozen behind the arc.

59-51 Hornets at the half. Gotta take the Paroxy-Dog out. Back for the second half. (ABC halftime shows make me violent and nauseous at the same time.

**********

AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! CREEPY SHAQ/KOBE LIKE COMMERCIAL WITH LEBRON AND GARNETT! MORE INTENSE THAN ANYTHING EVER! IT HAUNTS MY DREAMS! WHY?! WHY, NBA?! I'M MOVING TO ARGENTINA TO GET AWAY FROM THAT!

Wait, Manu's from there. Damn it all!
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Okay, I got suckered in. They're actually showing Hornets stuff instead of just talking about Kobe.

I love David West. I can't say this enough. He's probably my favorite player in the NBA right now.
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1:19PM: Oh, God. Mark Jackson with the Suns and Mavs to hate on. This is going to be uuuuugly. Over/under on "You're better than that!"s: 10.

I swear I just thought I heard Mark Jackson say "ass face." It was something about spacing, but it made my head snap up.

Ooh, someone in the truck is getting a talking to about feeding Stu the wrong number of the Hornets lead.
*****
Nellie at the half: "We're not going to change the gameplan, the gameplan's sound.

Scott says to protect the paint. Smart.
******
Harrington opens with a three, 59-54 Hornets. Harrington's game is terrific, with the range, drive, and size. He can be huge for them in the playoffs. And he then turns it over. Sorry, Al. I'll shut up now.

61-54 Hive. Hornets are giving them the threes to start the game. Paul tries three times at a steal, can't get it.

The Hornets are going at Ellis, challenging him and trying to pick up fouls on him.

63-56 Hornets, Ellis has 4 fouls, and Nellie's leaving him out there.

Refs are off today. Way off. Not what the league needed after the Atlanta screwjob.

Davis works the jumper, closes it to 5. Ellis on the break, closes it to 3.

63-60, Hornets, 8:50 3rd Quarter.

Chandler picks up his fourth on a dumb foul. Refs are turrrible today. Every call is late. With Chandler picking up the fourth, he can't go at Biedrins, and Biedrins scores.

Paul decides to take over, draws the foul on Biedrins, and one.

66-62 Hive.
*********
7:52 3rd Quarter. Why do I try and liveblog Warriors games? Why? Why do I hate myself and my keyboard?

West just can't get it to go, he's 3-9. Harrington out in front, and one. Weak foul by Paul. Hubie notes. Hubie's getting better as the season goes on, I gotta say. Early in the year, he hasn't done his homework. he's caught up now.

Wright gets a huge rollon a three.

Warriors with numbers, Ellis hits the layup, 21 for Monta.

69-67 Hornets.

ANOTHER OFFENSIVE FOUL ON THE HORNETS.

Look, refs, I don't mind one every now and again. But you're not proving anything at this point, you're just pissing us off.

Ellis nails it in transition, 69 All, 5:47 3rd Quarter.

Peja with a three. This is getting harder. Anytime you guys want to go back to slowing it down would be awesome.

West gets pissed, uses the footwork, nails the floater. 73-69 Hornets. Chandler with the easy one in transition. His ability to run the break with Paul is really an assett. Hubie keeps beating me to points. I was literally typing "Peja goes the corner for the transition space forceout" and Hubie mentions it, so it would sound like I was ripping him off. I could mute it, but I'm enjoying his analysis too much today (who knew?).

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Tirico notes Paul is two rebounds and one point away from a 3D. He almost always goes short on rebounds in this position, though.

75-69 Hornets, 4:30 3Q.

Peja with another three, he's warming up.

Harrington can't get the go on two tries, good defense by Hornets. Harrington says, "Fine, I'll hit the jumper, bitches."

Paul apparently likes the bobblehead they made of him.

Warrior flop and the refs are tired of it so no call, which means West has the open jumper. Guess how that worked out.

Well, Paul's got the points. Nice drive down the lane.

Dizzle with the three, Warriors are 3 of 17 from the arc. UUUUGh.

82-76 Hornets, 2:00 3Q.

Ellis baseline and he's gone plaid! He gets to the rim faster than he can react, almost.

82-78 Hornets, this has turned into something special.
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Uh-oh. West is getting comfy in the jumper.

84-78 Hornets, 1:12 3 Q.

Azabuike not hitting today. He's turned into an important part of the offense.

Peja with the rainbow!

They bring a perimeter double on Davis, then the strong side key defender, then a down low defender, who finally draws the charge. That's a lot of effort on one dude, and he's worth every second. West with the rebound and the put back. He's gone nuclear.

88-78 Hornets after three. Great call by Tirico.

"New Orleans is basketball country again!"
*******
Great picture by Layne Murdoch of Getty Images:



West again. 90-78.

Loose ball foul on Ellis. Huge run by the Hornets.

Oh, man, awesome mike-up on Paul. He begged Scott to keep him in. Says "I swear, if I need one, I'll take one."

That's MVP, right there.

Golden State switches to 2-3 Zo...damn it, Hubie! Again!

Paul needs the rebound for a 3D, Warriors making a run. Davis crossover, cross court to Azabuike, misses, tap back miss by Pietrus, Ellis with the rebound? Kid has KILLER ups.
******
90-84 Hornets, 9:23 4Q.

Chandler and Ellis have avoided the fifth foul so far.

90-86 8:57.

Pargo airball. Whoops. Back to Clark Kent mode. Ellis hits the jumper, 90-88, Ellis has 31. Jackson has been NOWHERE today, it's been all Ellis. No help on the screen. Ellis out jumps the pass, gets the steal, and jams it for the tie!

What a game.

90 all, 8 minutes.

CP3 ANSWERS WITH A THREE!

Dizzle tries to answer, can't get it to fall.

OH MAN! Rebound by Paul (triple double), quick pass to Pargo, touch pass to West, killer pump fake completely mystifies the defender, West nails the jumper!

95-90 Hornets, 6:33 to go.

Ellis answers, 35 for him. 96-92 Hive, 6 Minutes. Ellis out rebounds West. Sick game by Ellis. Nobody on the Warriors wants it more than Ellis right now.

Hornets need to burn some clock. So of course West jams it, they get the turnover, ahead to Paul, lay-in.

12-2 run by NOLA. CP3 may have just won the MVP.

102-92 Hornets, 4:55 4th Quarter.
*******

Jackson misses another three. He's been wretched today.

105-94 Hornets, 2:33 4Q.

Jesus, West. Again. I'll say it however many times you want me to say it.

Best shooting power forward in the game.

107-94, 3:06 4Q.

Sidebar: Josh from Dinosty on his team's playoff chances:
"Josh: Yeah I really don't want to watch us I'm the playoffs
Its gonna feel like someones pulling out my scrotum hairs
(Sorry to go down low on you)
me: haha
Josh: I want to be chris paul when I grow up"

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I find this amusing.

Please let them lose to Seattle, I'm sorry PickAxe and Nugg Doctor. But the comedy is too much, and I really want an all-competitive slate of first rounders.

And the defense for New Orleans putting the finishing touches.

West with the monster rebound, 108-94 1:09 4Q.

Paul goes to the bench with Chandler.

MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP!

The PA announcer should have led an MVP chant there. Weak with the "woo!"s.

Hey, Brandon Wright got a bucket! Have I mentioned how much that guy should have spent time in the D-League this year?

Warriors half game out of the 8th, with Denver playing Seattle tonight.

Fear the Hive.

New game thread going up shortly.

 
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