Honestly, the final score of the Hornets game of 120 – 101 doesn’t even begin to explain what went down in Orlando last night. It doesn’t display the 3rd quarter beat down where the Hornets went on a 28-2 run to just absolutely kill any will that the Magic squad or coach might have had in an attempt at a comeback victory. The third quarter ended with a lopsided 35 to 13 score, seating the Hornets with a 29-point lead heading into the 4th quarter. That 4th quarter turned into a very long bit of time to get our bench players more time and our starters some rest since there is game 2 of a back-to-back tonight in Charlotte.
Kemba led the scoring last night with a modest 21 points in 24 minutes, to go along with 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Nic Batum was right behind him with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and a steal in 29 minutes of action. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals in 29 minutes. Cody Zeller had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal in 23 minutes on the floor. He will be one to watch tonight as he suffered a dislocated finger right at the end of the first half on his right hand. He did tape it up and play in the second half, so I would bet he will not be missing any time tonight. His finger is probably just going to be hurting. Marvin Williams closes out our starters with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block in 21 minutes of action.
Are you wondering how our bench fared? Well, it was really good to get them some extended minutes, and also good for those starters to be below 30 minutes on the floor and still come away with a win after that unfortunate loss to the Nets a few days ago. With Marco Belinelli out, Jeremy Lamb, Frank Kaminsky, and Ramon Sessions were the “heavy minutes” guys off the bench. Lamb finished the night with 14 points and 4 rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Ramon Sessions was behind him with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in 21 minutes of playing time. Frank Kaminsky is still having some issues with his shot, and hopefully the 26 minutes he logged help him work out some of the bugs. He had 9 points, 3 rebounds, and a steal. I will continue to call it a little bit of a sophomore slump and I’m sure he’ll work his way out of it. If you had a uniform on last night, you got some playing time:
Roy Hibbert – 15 minutes – 4 points – 3 rebounds – 2 blocks
Spencer Hawes – 8 minutes – 6 points – 4 rebounds – 2 assists
Brian Roberts – 5 minutes – 2 points – 2 assists
Treveon Graham – 4 minutes – 1 point
So everything went right for the Hornets last night, right? 54.8% shooting from the floor, 41.7% shooting from 3-point land, 25 assists, 46 total rebounds, 8 steals, 3 blocks, and 13 turnovers were all reasonable numbers, but I still have one fear: I fear a hangover game tonight. I’m calling it a hangover game simply because I’ve seen it in the Hornets, I’ve seen it on the Bobcats, and I’ve even seen it on my son’s baseball team. When you win a game and win big, that next game, you start getting the mentality that the next game will be just as easy to win, then you lose that game due to overconfidence. The Heat are no joke. They may have a 10 – 22 record, but just as soon as we fall asleep on them, Hassan Whiteside will shut down the paint, and a couple guys will start getting hot with their shots, and the next thing you know, we need a monster 3rd and 4th quarter to get a win against a team that should be close to beating us.
I participated in the #WinPetesSeats on Twitter yesterday, and for that, a HUGE thank you to Pete Guelli, EVP, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of the Charlotte Hornets. If you at the game say hi, I’ll be 5 rows behind the bench. If you’re watching on TV, look for me. If you’re in front of a computer, and you’ve read this article, go on over to http://www.walkercharlotteranger.com/ , Watch, smile, laugh, and then visit http://www.nba.com/allstar and vote for Kemba Walker. This should be his first all-star game. It should be one of many to come in his career. While you’re there, go ahead and vote for Nic Batum and Cody Zeller too. I can’t see a reason not to.
And, as always…
Let’s Go Hornets!