It’s a strange thing when your team gets beat by 18 and you sort of feel good about it. Because you know it could have been much, much worse.
Though a 108-90 loss isn’t good by any means, we all know it could have been much, much worse. The game was 76-72 with the Hornets leading at the end of the third and we were all thinking the same thing: How in the heck are these guys hanging in this? Damien Wilkins is like 2-41 from the field, Nenad Krstic isn’t scoring and oh yeah, no KD, Uncle Jeff or Thabo. How is it just four heading into the fourth?
And I think Byron Scott was probably asking his team that same thing after the third. Why are these guys only down four to us right now? Anybody? A lot of it was because Chris Paul had to sit for most of the third because he picked up his fourth foul, so that definitely helped OKC stay that close. But once he came back in to start the fourth, the Hornets ratcheted things up and went on a 15-3 run to start the fourth, eventually stretching out to a 20-point lead. Maybe the New Orleans was just pacing themselves, saving their energy to turn it on in the fourth. Or maybe they expected to be up 20 going into the fourth and they collectively though, “Oh crap, we better get going or we’re going to lose to this rag-tag bunch.” Whatever it was, by the end of it, the score looked about like it was supposed to. But OKC made it interesting there for a while.
But like I said, I still feel a little encouraged about this game. It was just a total scrappy effort with guys diving all over the floor, hustling to take charges and doing their absolute darndest to put the ball in the basket. They tried hard. I definitely want to give it up to them for that. They were in the game until the fourth quarter when they all either ran out of gas (hit just 3 of 18 from the floor in the fourth) or the Hornets woke up, but that’s all we could really hope for going into it. I know I didn’t expect to keep it any closer than 20. I figured NOLA would roar out to at least a 15-point halftime lead and maybe the Thunder would close to seven or eight, but then the Hornets would win by 25. I didn’t think there’d be any way that I’d be actively watching and rooting after 36 minutes. But there they were, right in the thing. And that’s saying something when at times, your main offensive weapons are Damien Wilkins and Malik Rose. To be within four going into the fourth is pretty dang good. Keep Reading…