Monday, February 07, 2005

New Orleans New and Old

Saturday Night the Utah Jazz hosted the New Orleans Hornets in the Delta Center. There is always something strange in the air when the Jazz, originally from New Orleans, play the latest NBA team calling New Orleans home.

The Hornets are either building, rebuilding, or still in the demolition stage, although its very difficult to guess which it is. They have injuries galore and came in having played the night before. Therefore, they had more than enough excuses stockpiled to cover them in this one. Well, the Hornets probably used every one after losing to the Jazz 108-92. Speaking of excuses, if you don't use them, are they really there?

In fairness, you cannot overlook the excuse that the Hornets played without their modern day stars Baron Davis and Jamaal Magloire. They also played without their star of recent years in Jamal Mashburn, who contrary to popular opinion, doesn't appear to have retired, despite his endless string of injuries and permanent resident status on the injured list. Forget stars here, the Hornets even played without serviceable fill-in Lee Nailon with an injured groin.

New Orleans simply does not have the needed bodies to defend, score or rebound in the low post. Their starting front line of journeymen (PJ Brown, George Lynch, and Rodney Rodgers) only combined for 14 points and 9 rebounds, while also posting 12 fouls, 6 turnovers, and no blocked shots.

The Jazz took advantage with many easy shots. They shot 80% for the first quarter and finished the game at 53%. Seven players scored in double figures, five players had five or more rebounds, and five different guys blocked a shot.

I'll give this to the Hornets, they got off the bus and competed. They have a couple of terrific shooters in Casey Jacobson and Bostjan Nachbar. I also like Dan Dickau, that big haired, but small framed point guard who really seems to understand this game even if he looks to be a high school gym rat. I cannot resist commenting however on their road uniforms. They are a sort of a aqua-blueish, tv out-of-contrast, all of the good colors were taken type of color. Maybe they are a Miami Vice inspired mardi gras parade uniform that doubles as a road team jersey. Ugh.

(Jazz rookie, Kirk Synder avoids PJ Brown and his electric blue uniform)

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