Posts Tagged ‘Hornets’

Three For All Round Up: Hawks, Bucks, Pacers, Spurs, and Wizards

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. 

As we near the season’s home stretch (my god it’s weird to say that, but it’s true — the Bobcats became the first team to officially be eliminated from postseason qualification with tonight’s loss to the Timberwolves), we’ve seen so many teams face back-to-back-to-back challenges over the past few days that it’s hard to keep it all straight.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll run down each of the five teams that completed the threeplay along with a few comments about their performances.

Indiana Pacers (Mar. 22-24): A road win in Washington, a loss at home to the Suns, and a blowout win over the Bucks in game three nets the Pacers 8 points (2-1+7) for their three for all, good enough for a tie for seventh-best mark so far this season. The win over the Wiz was particularly impressive, as Indy rallied from down 22 to win. A pessimist might wonder how they got down to the Wizards by 22 in the first place, but there’s no room for that kind of negativity here.

Milwaukee Bucks (Mar. 22-24): Not a great showing for the Bucks, who sandwiched two home losses to the Celtics and Pacers around a double-digit win in Charlotte over the Bobcats. Big deal. My local rec league team could beat the Bobcats in Charlotte at this point. Or Kentucky, one of those two. One highlight of their threebie was the game with the Pacers, which was the first game this season between two teams on the final leg of the back-to-back-to-back. 3 points (-2+5+0) for the Bucks, a team that better get a hitch in their giddy-up pretty soon if they want to make the playoffs.

Atlanta Hawks (Mar. 23-25): And we have another undefeated entry! The Hawks become the fifth team to sweep a three-play, beating the Nets at home, the Wizards on the road, and the Jazz at home, a game that went to quadruple-freaking-overtime. I am so impressed by the Hawks winning the third game of their series in 4OTs, I’m hereby awarding them an extra point. THIS I DECREE! From now on, any team that wins a three for all game in 4OT gets an extra point. 11 points (1+4+6), and I promise to update the scoring system chart soon to reflect the change. Also, the Hawks are the only team now with two top-ten finishes in the three for all.

San Antonio Spurs (Mar. 23-25): Of course the Spurs would also go undefeated at the very same time the Hawks do. Can Atlanta never have the spotlight to themselves? Naturally San Antonio did it better, beating the defending champs and Atlantic-leading Sixers by double-digits and escaping the plucky Hornets on the road in New Orleans. 12 points (2+4+6) for Los Spurs, good for a tie with the Thunder for third best overall score this season. And did we mention the win over Philly came without the services of Tim Duncan, who was apparently too old to play?

Washington Wizards (Mar. 24-26): We spend a lot of time around NBA.com arguing about which teams are the best, and thankfully we have the playoffs to settle any questions of team dominance. But what of the league’s worst teams? How will we ever know which team is more terrible between the Bobcats and Wizards? Yes, Charlotte may have four fewer wins at present, but they did put up 3 points in their three for all earlier this season. The Wizards? Bagel. -3 points (I’m not even adding the math here because the – and + get confusing with the negative numbers — just trust me they had -3) for Washington, which lost home games to the Hawks and Pistons and on the road at Boston. Washington is the fifth team to take the collar, but they do get another crack at it Apr. 4-6. Goody?

Up next: Things slow down for a few days, then the Memphis Grizzlies play three straight April 2-4.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks I (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Los Angeles Clippers II

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the L.A. Clippers, who played three straight from Mar. 20-22.

Some teams, when faced with the three-for-all challenge, choose to look big picture and not worry so much about the individual outcomes of such a difficult stretch of games. And by some teams, I mean the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers? Something tells me that will not be the case with them as they embarked on their second threeplay of the season. With rumors of unrest and discord swirling around them, how they performed over this span could end up shaking the team to its core:

Game 1: Pacers 102, Clippers 89 – A bad start for the Clips, but a loss to the Pacers isn’t the worst thing in the world. Blake Griffin had 23 points and 10 rebounds, but was 2-7 from the foul stripe. BG, you have got to work on your free-throw shooting dude. It pains me to dislike a single part of your game. -2 points

Game 2: Thunder 114, Clippers 91 - LA gave up 66 first-half points to Oklahoma City, which I’m not sure is a great recipe for success in this game. This was the first outing for Derek Fisher in a Thunder uniform after being unceremoniously dumped by the Lakers at the deadline. Maybe it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he’d been ceremoniously dumped? -1 point

Game 3: Hornets 97, Clippers 90 - This one hurt. I don’t care if it was their third-in-three, you can’t let Chris Paul lose his first game back in New Orleans. Yeah this was the Super Bowl for New Orleans (Even Jason Smith played like a Saint — too soon?), but no amount of motivation should be enough to overcome the talent differential between these two squads. For shame, LAC, for shame. 0 points

Interestingly enough, there have now been four teams to go undefeated (Heat, Bulls, Thunder, Suns II), and four to go defeated, as the Clippers put up -3 points and join the lowly ranks of the Mavericks, Suns I, and Pistons in the winless column.

Nothing of note came out of the previous three teams putting up a bagel. Will that be the case for Vinny Del Negro and the Clippers?

Up next: The Bucks and Pacers both play three straight Mar. 22-24.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Samuel L. Jackson Shepherds The Hornets Through Pregame Intros

by Micah Hart

In the midst of a rebuild after dealing Chris Paul before the season, the Hornets have had to dip into the bag of tricks to make things interesting at New Orleans Arena. One thing they’ve hit upon with success has been celebrity emcees, first with Will Ferrell, and now with Samuel L. Jackson, who did the duties before tonight’s Clippers-Hornets game:



A few things to note:

1. Jackson is a funny guy, but he’s no Ferrell. They made a smart decision not having him try to replicate the “fun fact about each player” aspect from Ferrell’s intros.

2. I did enjoy Jackson working in his famous lines from Pulp Fiction, but seems to me he missed an opportunity when introducing Paul, who some fans may not have forgiven for leaving the city. I know Dave Chappelle agrees with me.

3. Having said that, I did think it was funny Jackson referenced Paul as “used to be #1 in your hearts, he’s still #3 in your program.” Paul actually received a pretty warm reception from the crowd — much nicer than many players who chose to leave a team for greener pastures. Maybe Hornets fans realize being a Clipper may end up being no picnic.

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Three For All: New Orleans Hornets

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the New Orleans Hornets, who played three straight from Feb. 20-22.

The Nets, formerly one of the worst teams in the league, put together a surprising 8-point effort in their three for all earlier in the week. Can the Hornets, their brethen of the basement, do the same? They’d have their work cut out for them, as not only would all three games be on the road like the Pistons and Heat, but they’d be at the tail end of a five-game road trip.

Game 1: Thunder 101, Hornets 93 - Oklahoma City had won ten straight at home, and was 13-1 overall in their own building coming in. So yeah, not a real surprise the Hornets fell short. They deserve credit for battling, as after falling behind by as much as 26 in the third, they cut the Thunder lead to just six with a minute to go. Still an L though. -2 points

Game 2: Pacers 117, Hornets 108 - A step closer to a win, as New Orleans takes the game into overtime before falling short at Indiana. Jarrett Jack had 19 points and 10 assists off the bench. -1 point

Game 3: Hornets 89, Cavaliers 84 - Success! The Hornets get the win at Cleveland, which may not seem like much at first but Cleveland has been surprisingly competent this year, thanks in large part to future Rookie of the Year winner Kyrie Irving. The award is Irving’s to lose, but he was gawd-afwul in this game, scoring a season-low six points on 2-13 shooting. Chris Kaman continued a bit of a resurgence since rejoining the Hornets, dropping 21 and 13. No one has said why he suddenly chose to play instead of sit out and await a trade, but my theory is he got a taste for some jambalaya at Acme and decided New Orleans wasn’t so bad after all. 6 points (5 for win, 1 for road)

Pretty tough slate, and though the Hornets end up with just 3 points, they improved in each game. They even finished the road trip 3-2, and with the season already a lost cause, that’s something to be proud of.

Up next: The Minnesota Timberwolves take their second crack at the threeplay, with three straight contests Feb. 28 – Mar. 1.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Utah Jazz

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Utah Jazz, who played three straight from Feb. 12-14.

Given the Heat’s performance over the same period of time, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the Jazz completed their three-play, also all on the road. Unfortunately, they didn’t fare quite as well.

Game 1: Jazz 98, Grizzlies 88 - Pretty nice way to start things off — a win over the Grizzlies on the road, with Al Jefferson leading the way with 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Gordon Hayward had 23 points and one rebound, and I can’t decide if I think the coaches congratulated him for that effort or made him stay after practice. 3 points (1 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Hornets 86, Jazz 80 - They should get extra negative points for this loss, as the Hornets had only four wins on the season coming in and were losers of eight straight beforehand. Chris Kaman boosted his potential trade value for New Orleans, dropping 27 and 13 on the Jazz. -1 point

Game 3: Thunder 111, Jazz 85 - Third games in three nights will produce results like this from time to time, as the Jazz got behind early and often, shot 35 percent from the field, and got blasted on the Western Conference-leading Thunder’s home court.  0 points

If you told me before the start of their trip the Jazz would lose two of three, I’d have probably agreed. I wouldn’t have presumed that one of those losses would have come at New Orleans though, that’s for sure. 2 total points for Utah.

Up next: The Phoenix Suns play three straight Feb. 13-15.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Will Ferrell Provides Hornets’ Only Highlight of the Night

by Micah Hart

Hot off doing a Super Bowl beer commercial that ran only in North Platte, Nebraska, Will Ferrell decided to continue his string of bizarre but funny choices by doing a little PA work at Wednesday night’s Hornets-Bulls game:

Sadly this was pretty much the highlight of the night for the Hornets, who got blown out 90-67 by the East-leading Bulls.

I tell you what though — I’d go to a lot more Hornets games if Ferrell introduced them every night (or if I lived in New Orleans).

UPDATE: He did the Bulls too:



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I come for the basketball, but I stay for the oyster po boys

by Micah Hart

Miami skyline at night

Previously, Hornets web guru Jim Eichenhofer polled a group of NBA PR professionals for their rankings of the league’s best arenas. But there is more to a road trip than just playing the games, so Eichenhofer went back to his blue-ribbon panel with this question: Which are the best NBA cities to spend time in?

Each panelist ranked their top 10, and then the results were tabulated using a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point system. Check out the whole thing at the Hornets website, but before you do that, here are my unsolicited rankings:

10. Washington
9. Dallas/Houston/San Antonio
8. Toronto
7. Portland
6. Miami
5. Los Angeles
4. Boston
3. New York
2. San Francisco/Oakland
1. New Orleans

I supposed I should admit some bias for New Orleans, as I grew up just a few hours away from the city, but I’d take eating in the Big Easy over just about any activity available in any other NBA city. I grouped the Texas cities for similar reasons — I love Tex-Mex, and you can’t walk 15 feet in any of those cities without stumbling into a restaurant with great chips and salsa (and guacamole), which as far as I’m concerned every restaurant should offer.

Check out the Hornets’ rankings here and here.

How would you rank your favorites?

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Where’s the best place to catch a game?

The Mavs’ arena is known to be fan friendly, but did it make the list?

by Micah Hart

While the Magic’s website were taking a glance back at the history of NBA team logos, Jim Eichenhofer over at the Hornets’ site was busy taking a look at the NBA’s finest arenas.

Polling a group of PR executives from around the league (who see every arena every season), Eichenhofer put together a list of the NBA’s top 10 venues based on their voting.

I won’t spoil which joint took the top spot, but I will say I was surprised to see the Pacers’ Conseco* Fieldhouse clock in at #2. I need to check that one out. Given the state of basketball in Indiana (pun not originally intented, then left in anyway), I suppose that should be no surprise. I hear the basket there measures 10 feet, just like anywhere else.

*I like to think the naming rights were bought by Jose Canseco, who promptly misspelled his own name on the building.

I’m lacking in the amount of NBA stadia I’ve been to in person — I think it’s limited to Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Memphis, and Los Angeles. 12/30 isn’t terrible, but clearly I gotta get out on the road more.

What are your favorite NBA arenas?

Favorite NBA arenas, 10-6 [Hornets.com]
Favorite NBA arenas, 5-1 [Hornets.com]

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Some entertainment suggestions for teams without 1st-round picks

by Micah Hart

Quick story — when I worked for the Hawks, draft night was always a huge production. It was probably my busiest night of the year, between liveblogging, interviewing front-office types, owners, new draft picks, etc. All except for 2008, when the team, thanks to previous trades for Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby, had no draft picks at all. My God was that a boring night. Draft night is no fun when you are watching the entire thing from the sidelines.

Fortunately there are no teams that are completely sans draft choices this year, but there are seven squads without first-round selections at this point, which means the top half of the evening will be fairly uneventful for their fan bases.

With that in mind, here are some entertainment suggestions to help them bridge the gap between the start of the evening’s festivities and your team’s respective draft slot.

L.A. Clippers
No picks until: 37th pick – also have 47th
Entertainment suggestion: If I’m a Clips fan, all I am doing tonight and any other night is watching reruns of Blake Griffin highlights and thanking whichever gods I pray to that he’s on my team.

(more…)

Ranking 2011 NBA Playoffs by levels of excitement

by Micah Hart

The excellent Tom Ziller of SB Nation is known for many things, but one of his best moves is his love of summing things up in graph or chart form.

Today he examines, quite colorfully, the amazing drama we’ve seen from an unforgettable 2011 playoff run so far.

The title is ever-so-slightly NSFW, but the content is definitely worth your time.

Pretty comprehensive list by Mr. Ziller, who goes on to elaborate on the graphic in the post, so definitely click through and read the whole thing. It will no doubt make you say, “Seriously, how amazing have these @#$%@ playoffs been so far???”

Seven Circles of Holy Sh#t [SB Nation]

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