On Tuesday night, it was Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. On Wednesday night, it was Chris Paul and Willie Green's turn as the Clippers easily dismissed New Orleans, 93-77, at Staples Center. New Orleans shot under 39 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers, including six by point guard Greivis Vasquez.
Hearing a "Woo" in the background when Paul made a play was especially galling. Incidentally, Paul recorded his 5,000th assist, dropping a dime to Blake Griffin for a second half layup. Of course, the preponderance of those assists came with the Hornets.
CP3 is the third youngest player (27 years, 228 days) to reach 5,000 assists, behind only Magic Johnson and Isaiah Thomas. Paul finished with 10 points and 12 assists, including a rare dunk. Griffin led the Clips with 18 points while Jamal Crawford had 17. Green had six points.
On Tuesday night, Golden State downed the Hornets 103-96 at Oakland as Jack torched his former team with 16 points and 10 assists off the bench while Landry came off the bench to pump in 16 points and nine rebounds.
Make it nine straight losses for New Orleans. The losing streak in the longest current streak in the Western Conference. Woeful Charlotte has lost 13 straight games.
Revenge was sweet. The Clippers were no doubt smarting from a bad 105-98 loss to a bad Hornets team on November 26 at Staples Center. That was the last loss for the Clippers.
Talk about two teams heading in different directions! The Clippers have won 11 straight games, tying a franchise record established in 1974 when they were known as the Buffalo Braves. L.A. is a long way from N.Y! The Big Easy team is a long way from the level of the secondary squad playing at Staples Center, maybe closer to the under-achieving glamour occupant of that building.
The Hornets have struggled to defend while struggling to score. That is a tough combination. Ryan Anderson, the team's only true scoring threat on a consistent basis, could not throw it in the ocean Wednesday night. missing all eight of his 3-point attempts. He was 2-of-13 from the field for just seven points.
Vasquez was equally off the mark, missing 7-of-8 field goals, scoring five points though he did dish out 10 assists. Robin Lopez came out of the gate strong, scoring 10 of the Hornets first 12 points, putting in 14 in the first quarter and finished with 22 points, sinking 10-of-16 field goals.
The Clippers shot 50 percent from the field, despite going just 4-of-20 (20%) from 3-point range.
Former ESPN analyst, Ric Bucher, who now works in the Bay area, spoke somewhat critically about Anthony Davis after watching him play at Golden State.
Memo to Bucher--Davis is 19-years old. He will grow and grow into his body and get stronger. He is a talent, who works hard and will improve. He was a can't miss, consensus No. 1 draft pick.
Yes, David Lee overpowered him with 26 points and nine boards and had his way with him. Lee is 29-years old and has been in the league for eight seasons. Davis is just starting and has already missed significant time. He will be fine but thank you for the concern. Davis had 16 points and five rebounds against the Clippers.
Eric Gordon showed up to watch him his at his former home in Staples Center. Wonder if he longed to be back in a Clippers uniform when fans began chanting his name in the final three minutes of the game? It was audible on the telecast.
For his part, Gordon said his knee is doing better and that he wants to be a Hornet, speaking with Jen Hale on Fox Sports New Orleans on the pre-game show to the telecast of the game. So pleased to here that. Gordon was visible in team huddles during timeouts. Wonder if the players knew who the intruder was?
Gordon says he will return with the team to New Orleans and begin practicing. Encouragingly, he said he plans to play in a game before the year is over. The Hornets host Indiana Saturday night, before traveling to Orlando on December 26, hosting Toronto on December 28 and playing at Charlotte on December 29. Jason Smith does not figure to return prior to the New Year.
Now 5-20, Monty Williams is searching for answers as the team goes from the fire to the frying pan at San Antonio Friday night. He is giving significant time to newcomer Dominic McGuire, an effort guy who cannot score a lick. The small forward spot is a real sore spot. Al-Farouq Aminu has disappeared after struggling on both ends of the floor, Xavier Henry cannot shoot and current starter Lance Thomas works hard but is limited.
The Clippers are now 19-6 and they are a legitimate contender in the Western Conference, trailing only Oklahoma City in the Western Conference. New Orleans has miles to travel, whatever the team's new nickname will be, to get there.
Speaking of nicknames, Pelicans looks real good compared to the latest names trademarked.
Not sure what a Bullshark has to do with our culture, not to mention you already have a legendary franchise with the name Bulls. Moquistoes does not convey a positive image for those of us who have endured our share of bites for many years. We want to eradicate the things, not spotlight them. Swamp Dogs? Again, swamps are not a very positive image, not to mention the fact that no other NBA team has two-word nicknames. Throw that one to the dogs!
As for Rougarou, what in the world is that? I am simply not that smart. I had no idea what this was. A mythical monster? Let's go with Bigfoot, instead!
In the final analysis, this almost seems like a setup to usher in Pelicans. Seriously, could you come up with worse names? If you want to dip back into the past, why not Buccaneers? It is an intimidating name and there is basketball history here with the former ABA franchise. There are many other good suggestions by fans.
As for Pelicans, I have no problem with the name. It is indigenous to the culture. It is one word. My late father was a Pelicans fan. I attended the modern Pelicans (1977) games in the Superdome.
Of course, Pelicans is not intimidating and based on public reaction, not very popular. Tom Benson bought the name in an attempt to put a minor league (AA) baseball team in New Orleans in 1992 but was trumped by the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs.
Personally, I agree with my friend Pete Finney of the Times-Picayune, who recently opined that the name Pelicans is a legacy name--for baseball in the Crescent City. On the other hand, based on the choices presented, the Pels could be become my pal.
If the youthful Hornets do not show some improvement in the New Year, fans, who have stayed away from New Orleans Arena for the most part, may begin calling them names not registered or welcome by the organization. We all want the Hornets, or whatever their name is, to succeed. Unfortunately, it may take more time than anyone wants to admit to arrive at that place in time unless Gordon is your basic elite, transcendent player.
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