Sunday, February 24, 2008

Forecast: The Hornets week ahead

Ralph Malbrough from takes a look at the Hornets upcoming games, reviews the Bonzi Wells trade, the importance of Tyson Chandler, and reveals he hates the fucking Utah Jazz...

Last Week

Record: 1-2

The Hornets throttled the Mavericks and their new point guard Jason Kidd.

Chris Paul was spectacular and even Bobby Jackson had a nice farewell performance.

The Dallas game showed what’s been pretty obvious about the Hornets all year long: If you can’t stop Chris Paul from getting where he wants to go then you can’t beat the Hornets.

Jason Kidd is too old hence our favorite Bugs roll.

The Rockets and Spurs got much more physical with Paul and the Hornets struggled mightily.
If not for a spirited fourth quarter run against San Antonio the Hornets would have been blown out back-to-back nights.

Of course all the experts will say the past two games show the Hornets lack the toughness and experience to win the playoffs, which may be the case.

More concerning than just that the Hornets got pushed around by San Antonio was the way Tyson Chandler and David West seemed to come unhinged and complain about almost every call.

I had to watch the Spurs broadcast of the game and when the announcers for the whiniest team in the league say the Hornets whine to the officials too much that means the Hornets whine the officials too much.

Not really a good sign come playoff time.

The Trade

Some fans seem a little confused by the trade of Bobby Jackson to the Rocket for Bonzi Wells and Mike James.

Jackson was the very definition of inconsistent and while watching the Hornets play the Mavericks it dawned on me just how bad the Hornets bench was.

Byron Scott trotted out this lineup during multiple stretches of the game: Jannero Pargo, Bobby Jackson, Melvin Ely, Hilton Armstrong, and Ryan Bowen with an occasional appearance by Rasual Butler.

My friends that lineup during the playoffs will get annihilated.

The Hornets had to do something.

Enter Bonzi Wells.

Yes, he is a crazy person but two years ago he was electric in the playoffs for Sacramento against

the Spurs.

Wells is only signed through this year anyway so if he acts up the Hornets could kick him to the curb.

So at least Byron Scott has a guy that could potentially give the Hornets instant offense off the bench and he’s definitely better than Morris Peterson and will be stealing his minutes shortly.

(That was one awful signing and Peterson still has three more years at about 5 million per…oh boy)

Mike James is shoot first point guard and the long term affects of his bad contract for the Hornets aren’t a good thing but when it comes to the Hornets who cares about 2010? I don’t. The Hornets need to win now to even have a 2010 in New Orleans.

Good move.

Center of attention

Tyson Chandler got absolutely dominated by Yao Ming and Tim Duncan.

And remember in the Western Conference the Lakers have Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and the Suns have Shaq.

It means Chandler will need to stay out of foul trouble and man the boards if the Hornets want to keep a top four seed in the West.

Did you know when both Chandler and Chris Paul have a double-double the Hornets are 19-1?
Yeah…he’s that important. Who knew?

This week’s games

Monday: Hornets host the Washington Wizards, and then go to Washington on Sunday

This will be an interesting test to see how severe the city’s case of Hornets fever is.
How many fans will head to New Orleans Arena to watch a crappy Wizards team that doesn’t even have Gilbert Arenas? But remember to check out his blog because you never know what crazy thoughts lurk in the mind of Agent Zero.
If the Hornets hit the magic number of 14,700 consider it a very good crowd.

Wednesday: Hornets host the Phoenix Suns

The Diesel comes to town which of course probably means the season’s fourth sellout crowd.
If this game is half as good as the three overtime thriller these two teams played last week then the New Orleans Arena might have its best atmosphere of the year.

(By the way Cox Cable feel free to make a deal with Direct TV anytime so us Hornet fans around the country can stop being subjected to having to listen to the cheerleading announcers from the opposing team every game. We want our own excuse making, biased, cheerleading announcers. I want my Gill McGregor and I want him now!)

Friday: Hornets host the Utah Jazz

Is it just me or shouldn’t the Hornets have a running feud with the Jazz? Why can’t the Hornets have ‘Worst Team’ nickname night every time Utah comes to town? Or at least run a video of the worst ideas in history set to music on the Jumbotron. They could run video of new coke, Caddy Shack II the movie, the Saints drafting Alex Molden, and then end it with a Utah Jazz jersey.

Come on people nothing brings fans together like good pure hatred.

Ralph Malbrough is Saints and Hornets fan living in Houston. He can be reached at

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