Tag:Jason Smith
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:01 am
Edited on: February 7, 2012 1:05 am
 

Monday, bloody Monday strikes the NBA

Chauncey Billups was one of several players to go down with injuries Monday. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

If there was a tipping point for when the compacted schedule would really start to take a significant toll on the league through injury, you have to wonder if it was Monday night. Here's a rundown of the M*A*S*H* unit the league turned into Monday night in a torrent of injuries. 

  • The Hornets announced Jason Smith is out one week with a concussion he sustained Saturday against the  Pistons. 
  • Elton Brand was held out of the Sixers' game against the Lakers with a thumb injury. 

 That's one night of action and we haven't even gotten the random trickle-down injuries from the late games yet. Usually we'd be about a week away from the All-Star Game but since we haven't actually gotten through that many games due to the late start following the lockout, there's another three weeks before the All-Star break provides some relief. Vince Carter said last week that this year was about survival and you can tell how much that has an impact on teams' approaches. It's just a rough year for all teams in terms of managing wear and tear with this schedule, and Monday night was one in which a lot of teams lost that battle.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 9:22 pm
 

What happens to the Hornets without David West?

Posted by Royce Young



Hopefully I'm jumping the gun here. Hopefully, David West didn't suffer a major, serious injury Thursday night against the Jazz. But according to all initial reports and just the way it looked, West will likely be out the rest of the season and probably the entire duration of the postseason.

Right now, it's been classified as a "left knee trauma." That last word makes this thing sound pretty scary. He'll have an MRI later today to determine the severity.  (UPDATE: Reports are that West tore his ACL and is done for the remainder of the season and postseason.)

Two questions immediately popped up after West was wheeled to the locker room in a wheelchair: 1) With an early termination option, what's this do to West's desire to opt out and test free agency and 2) are the Hornets totally screwed now?

The first question is still a little premature to really delve into because we don't exactly know the extent of the injury and how West's career could be affected. But what we do have a pretty handle on is that West likely won't be appearing in a Hornet uniform this season and that means New Orleans' postseason aspirations have drastically been altered.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. Let's not pretend that this was a championship New Orleans team that was destined for an appearance in the Western Finals. It's a good team that pending a favorable matchup could maybe get to the second round and of course with Chris Paul and West, be able to push an opponent to six or seven games there. That was the Hornets' immediate future.

Without West though, everything changes. First, CP3 just lost his top target. Gone is his pick-and-pop buddy, the guy the Hornets liked to isolate at the end of games, the guy they liked taking their last second shots. Gone is their second best rebounder and second best interior defender. And gone is their second best player. Take the second best player from any playoff team and that group is in trouble. Take Pau Gasol away from Kobe. Take Jason Terry away from Dirk. Take Russell Westbrook away from Kevin Durant. Things change big time.

And in the Hornets case, things change fundamentally too. Like I said, West was a dynamic option for Paul because the two loved to run a mid-range pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop game. West's backup Carl Landry has no ability to do that. He's a terrible jumpshooter. West's range extended nearly to the 3-point line while Landry isn't making anything consistently past the free throw line.

Really, the Hornets might be better served using Jason Smith almost equally with Landry. Smith is a decent mid-range shooter (shoots 42 percent from 16-23 feet on 2.8 attempts per game) and in spot time for Emeka Okafor, performed pretty well highlighted by a 20-point effort against Washington. Still though, there's no replacing West in the offense. Already the Hornets struggle on that end (20th in offensive efficiency) and without West, all the load goes on Paul to score. Trading Marcus Thornton for Landry at the deadline was a good move to provide frontcourt depth, but the Hornets are going to really miss his ability to score these last three weeks.

I'm talking playoff ramifications here, but maybe I'm asking the wrong question. Are the Hornets even going to get there without West? Right now, NOLA sits at seventh in the West at 41-31 which is three games ahead of the streaking Rockets. Three games though is a lot to make up in just 10 games. Unfortunately for the Hornets, the schedule isn't easy to finish. Six of the 10 are at home which is nice, but they have games against Phoenix (twice), the Lakers, Portland, Memphis (twice), Indiana, Houston, Utah and Dallas. If you'll notice, all 10 of those games are against current playoff teams or .500 clubs (well, Utah is 36-37). Yikes.

I think the Hornets will survive and squeeze into the postseason though, which is something I'm sure the organization desperately is hoping for from a financial standpoint. The Rockets will need to finish with seven out of 10 or so to catch the Hornets and with game against the Heat, 76ers, Spurs, Hawks, Mavericks and suddenly a big one against the Hornets April 6, that'll be tough.

But it'll likely end there for the Hornets. Getting to the postseason will be a task and while advancing was already somewhat of a long-shot, it's most definitely not happening without West. As it stands now, the Hornets would play the Lakers in the opening round and without West, the size of Andrew Bynum, Gasol and Lamar Odom will entirely overwhelm New Orleans. Really, their best hope for winning a game or two in the playoffs is to slip to eighth and catch the Spurs who they match up with a bit better.

The season may have changed in a big way for the Hornets Thursday night which is a real shame. The team has been an inconsistent mess for a lot of the season, but was finally finding some consistency lately. All of that probably flies out the window with a serious injury to David West.

I'm hoping all this analysis is totally worthless by later this afternoon as West's MRI shows it's not serious. But that's looking unlikely. Which is unfortunate for everyone.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 11:10 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2010 1:47 am
 

At the Buzzer: CP3 bests the Miami 3 in Big Easy

Hornets topple Heat as CP3 shines alongside Okafor. Posted by Matt Moore

Chris Paul overcame a furious comeback from the Miami Heat, dishing to a wide-open Trevor Ariza for the game-clinching three-pointer while David West nailed the key free throws to hold on for a 96-93 win in New Orleans to push the Hornets to 6-0.

Notes and miscellanea:

  • First off, the Heat, for reasons beyond comprehension, continue to work with their stars to create wide-open shots for teammates who are not capable of hitting them to the volume they are being asked to. Worse, they continue to force the issue even when said teammates are obviously colder than a polar bear's toenails. James Jones and Eddie House were a combined 2 of 13 from 3-point land, and yet House the shooter they went to, down 3 with seven seconds remaining. Not Wade, Not James. 0-fer Eddie House. 
  • But if the Heat want to really examine why they lost their second game in the first two weeks of the season, they have to examine the two areas everyone pointed to coming in. The Hornets abused them both at the point guard and center positions. Carlos Arroyo tried for about a half to guard Chris Paul before Erik Spoelstra was forced to turn to Wade to defend CP3, who did a much better job. Well, I mean, held him to only 19 assists and 13 points.
  • Meanwhile, Okafor was dominant, with 26 points on 12 of 13 shooting and 13 boards. Best of all, for the first time that I've seen, Okafor really looked to understand the kind of movement he needed to have with CP3. He even had some of those alley-oops Tyson Chandler used to catch back in the Hornets run of 2008. He had the mid-range going, the baby hook, the swing-up fadeaway, the whole repertoire. And by whole repertoire, I mean a lot of shots he's never shown reliably before this year. Devastating inside-out attack.
  • For Ariza to nail the corner three to finish the game was a shock because he didn't look good for much of the game, opting for pull-up threes in transition and other Ariza-shots. But he hit the one he needed to.
  • The Hornets broke out in transition ridiculously fast. With Paul getting 5 steals, they managed to burst out and all the Hornets would rush out. The Heat on the other hand seemed to be trying to glide down court, with little to no intensity. 
  • Jason Smith was huge for the Hornets, as he continuously burned the Heat who let him have the 18 foot jumper.
  • Wade had 28, 10, and 7, but also had 7 turnovers. His matchup with CP3 late was pretty epic.
  • The Heat eventuall switched to a shallow perimeter trap on Paul, which is the best way to go. A high trap he'll split and in space he's killer. Unfortunately, the Hornets switched to a double-screen which freed him to do damage down the stretch.
  • The game nearly came down to a technical foul called on Paul after throwing his fist following an offensive foul. Paul even tried to contain himself afterwards to not get busted, to no avail. The officials are still not kidding about the tech rules. 
  • Chris Bosh had a rebound tonight. A single board. And was useless in the post. He was great from mid-range and on tip-ins, but Bosh is simply not the kind of low-post big you'd want him to be.
  • The Heat defense, which had been so good, gave up a 107.9 efficiency rating, and 49% field goal percentage. That's not going to get it done.
  • Conversely, it may be time to start accepting that the Hornets are for real. The trifecta of firepower they brought in (Paul-West-Okafor) is firing on all cylinders, their shooters are hitting from the outside, and true to Monty Williams' word, they're out and running in transition. It's still early, but the Hornets very much look for real.

Finally, these images from our GameTracker pretty much put it in perspective.








Note the numbers, for Okafor. That big square down in the paint? That stands for 9 shots, 8 makes. Manly.

Posted on: September 23, 2010 11:09 am
Edited on: September 23, 2010 1:50 pm
 

Hornets and 76ers complete four-player swap

Posted by Royce Young

Craig Brackins' NBA career is off to a roaring start. Before he's even played a game, he's been traded twice.

Multiple outlets are reporting the 76ers are dealing Willie Green and Jason Smith to the Hornets for Darius Songaila and Brackins. So it's not exactly Carmelo Anthony getting traded, but it's something , alright?

This is one of those trades that really doesn't require a ton of breaking down, but it's a bit curious from the New Orleans end. The Hornets are trying to move salary, even if it's just a low-level rookie scale contract. They get back a third shooting guard in Willie Green who expires next summer and a seven-foot power forward in Smith who can be expiring next summer. It's not like the Hornets can't use a little reliable shooting guard depth, but as of right now, they traded a first-round pick for a third string shooting guard. Get excited NOLA!

The 76ers get a little young talent in Brackins, a player taken originally by the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to New Orleans as part of the Cole Aldrich draft day deal. He's a power forward/small forward combo that has range out to the 3-point line. He might be able to find a little playing time behind Andre Iguodala, but he'll have to beat out Andres Nocioni. And Songaila is nothing more than someone to plug inside behind Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young.

It's pretty clear Dell Demps is set on reworking the entire Hornet roster by putting his stamp on it. He wants to clear a little money off the table and start developing some of that flexibility GMs crave. Wojnarowski also said Demps has discussed trading Peja Stojakovic with several teams, but nothing so far on that.

This trade isn't really important in really any sense, but it definitely is an indicator that Demps isn't going to sit on his hands. He made a commitment to transform the Hornets' roster and little by little, he's working on it.

Still, Green and Smith for Brackins and Songaila. It's the anti-blockbuster. It's the complete opposite of the looming Carmelo Anthony trade. It's definitely something and somewhere inside of it there's probably something important to take from it, but it's definitely hard to see from the surface. Especially on the Hornets' end.
 
 
 
 
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