Tag:Monty Williams
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 7, 2010 12:49 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 12:51 pm
 

Hornets aren't done pleasing CP3 yet

Posted by Royce Young

It's pretty obvious that the Hornets' offseason moves this summer were done for a pretty specific reason - to keep Chris Paul happy. The acquisition of swingman Trevor Ariza and then a deal to bring in shooting guard Marco Belinelli were both accomplished after reports of Paul's unhappiness surfaced.

And according to head coach Monty Williams, the Hornets might not be finished competing for CP3's heart.

“My gut feeling is that we are not done yet," Williams told the Times-Picayune. ”Dell and I share information on both sides. I talk to him about players and he talks to me about things we can do. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we work so well together."

Granted, a lot of people pull the "We're not done yet!" card. Everyone is looking to improve if the opportunity presents itself. But the Hornets will actually be called on it if they're bluffing.

Some have mentioned New Orleans being a destination for Carmelo Anthony, though it's unlikely. I'm teaming with Chris Paul is intriguing, but it's not the market he wants and the Hornets probably don't have the assets to complete a trade with the Nuggets.

And while Williams talks about more players, the reality is the current Hornets roster might just be good enough for a playoff birth if everyone starts playing to their capability. Already in place is the best point guard in the league, plus a rising scorer in Marcus Thornton, then the addition of a quality defender and scorer Trevor Ariza. Add in David West who is an all-star caliber power forward and then center Emeka Okafor who has underachieved and that's a nice starting five.

Obviously a higher caliber scorer would be on the wish list, but as it stands, there's not really a clear cut hole in the first five. Okafor has been a disappointment for the most part, but he's definitely a capable player. Plus, he didn't have the luxury of playing with Chris Paul for the entire season. Do the Hornets need to make a few more moves? Of course. They need a new backup for Paul, a reliable bench scorer and a couple secondary big men. They aren't good enough right now to be a real contender. But are they that far off? Surprisingly, probably not.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 6:37 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 7:25 pm
 

Who's in the market for CP3?

Posted by Matt Moore

With Ken Berger's report that Chris Paul is adamantly requesting a trade , we need to start exploring the possibilities. The odds are substantially low that Paul gets moved despite his feelings, simply based on the extreme difficulty in packaging the necessary assets to convince Hornets management to pull the trigger. But with a player of Paul's stature on the market (whether his team likes it or not), we need to examine the possibilities. So who's a realistic candidate to make a move for CP3?

Orlando Magic: This one's been out there for a while. The Magic have the right combination of talent, contracts, and assets to maneuver into position for Paul. They can send back a versatile shooting point guard to help with the transition of Darren Collison. They can send Vince Carter and his expiring contract, along with a significant player at shooting guard to pair with Marcus Thornton. They still have draft picks in the can, have expendable players with talent like Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass. It puts an elite player next to Dwight Howard and matches the upgrade the Heat have made, and potentially gives them an advantage over the Celtics in terms of talent. The question would be if Paul could function inside the unique spacing the Magic employ, which primarily functions on a series of swing passes. There's no question he'd be dominant in the pick and roll with Howard.

New York Knicks:
I know. I'm nuts. Hear me out. The deal could in no-way be cemented until December 15th, but the Knicks have Raymond Felton, Kelenna Azubuike, and a handful of prospects. They lack the ability to send draft picks thanks to the desperate firesale move they pulled with the Rockets, but the right combination of players might work. Wilson Chandler next to Marcus Thornton would give the Hornets flexibility on the wing, especially if the Knicks are willing to take on Peja Stojakovic's poison pill. That may be the Knicks' biggest asset: financial flexibility to take on the rest of the Hornets' ill-advised veteran figures. The pull for Paul? If the New York toast rumors were true, this would get him with the best player he's ever played alongside in Amar'e Stoudemire (with apologies to David West), in a major market, and would likely convince Carmelo Anthony to hold off on that contract extension. It's a pretty perfect scenario, which of course means it won't happen.

Portland Trail Blazers: If the Blazers want to get back into talk of being a title contender immediately, this could be their path to salvation. They have picks to move, a ton of flexible players at multiple positions, and Paul in Portland would be ridiculous. Paul, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge, with those centers down low? All of a sudden the Blazers would be within range of the title. The numbers, however, might be too much, especially with the massive amount of money they just tossed at Wesley Matthews. The Blazers would have to surrender most of the depth they've worked to acquire, along with at least one of their two top centers in order to facilitate a deal. But it would also mean a tremendous coup for the new regime.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Here's a stretch. Trying to convince Paul to go to the Ruins of NBA Pompei would be a tricky feat. But if you look at the roster, it might not be impossible. The Cavs do feature a team with depth, with Antawn Jamison and J.J. Hickson still on roster. They have some flexibility in the coming years. They need a hero, and they've shown they're willing to commit to spending. With Byron Scott on roster, who Paul has gone on record in support of multiple times, the Cavs could conceivably replace LeBron James with a new savior. They'd have to give up most of their most attractive assets and nearly everything they got from Miami. But somehow, if New Orleans was at all interested, I don't think they'd mind.

Los Angeles Lakers: Tremble, and be afraid, ye mortals of Earth. This is plausible, possible, and according to KB, one of the teams on Paul's list. The Lakers can send Andrew Bynum, a young stud center, and a handful of short-term contracts for Paul. Paul gets to play alongside the best team in the NBA in the most attractive market in the NBA. He takes the reins from Kobe and helps lead that team into what, three more titles? More? It's a terrifying possibility that would give the Lakers the one-up over the Miami-three. He and Gasol could work the two-man game, and in the triangle, well, okay, that's a downside. Chris Paul in the triangle is like binding a horse's legs. They're not meant to be constrained that way. Shooting corner threes is a waste of Paul's potential, and most of the ball handling isn't done by a point in the triangle. But somehow, playing next to Kobe and Gasol, Paul may not mind.

New Orleans Hornets: No, they won't be trading Paul to themselves. But you have to think this is still the most likely scenario (yes, we said that about LeBron James, too). Paul has been a major force in the community. That's going to tug at him. The Hornets just hired two representatives from the Spurs organization, who clearly have been part of winning environments. He can make the most money there, and has teammates he's gone to battle with. Mostly, though, it's hard to see new GM Dell Demps or head coach Monty Williams being willing to put themselves in a deep dark hole to start their run with the franchise. And trading Paul means a complete rebuild. Not the situation you want to embark on before you've even put your pictures up in your office.

But with the way Paul sounds according to KB, we may see the unlikely become reality once again this year.

So what is it that the Hronets need to get back? Royce Young tells us more on that one .



Posted on: July 21, 2010 1:23 am
Edited on: July 21, 2010 9:39 am
 

Hornets tag Demps for GM

Posted by Matt Moore

After our own Ken Berger reported this afternoon , the Hornets have been dancing with San Antonio Spurs VP and Austin Toros GM Dell Demps for the majority of the weekend to fill their GM position. Marc Stein reports tonight that the dancing is done, and Dell will be hired for the Hornets' management position .

Demps brings a different perspective, combining pro experience with a development background, and having gotten his MBA to compete in the business aspects. He'll join Monty Williams in N'Awlins, a fellow Popovich-tree disciple. Demps is a strong believer in development, and has been part of a tremendous drafting and development program in Texas. The Spurs have consistently drafted well, regardless of position, and their D-Legue team has not only performed well record-wise, but has consistently produced call-up worthy talent, including Alonzo Gee, who was signed last season and lit up summer league.

Demps will have his hands full with a discontent Chris Paul, a roster that needs uprades at multiple positions, and young players that need to be kept on track. That's before we bring up the touchy subject of Julian Wright. The Hornets looked like a wreck two months ago, but with solid hires at the key positions in the front office, Hornets fans have a lot to be hopeful about.

Assuming Demps and company can convince Paul to stay, that is.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com