I thought featuring a highlight video of some of CP3′s greatest hits would help hammer the message home about keeping your stars happy. Just watching him perform feat after feat of on-court wizardry shows how valuable to a potentially floundering franchise he really is. With that in mind, when the New Orleans’ front office decides to do a little bit of basketball housecleaning, perhaps asking the thoughts of their franchise player is a prudent move, especially when you are trying to convince potential fans to come watch your games.
Paul is unhappy with the way the Byron Scott firing went down, and as a franchise player, he thinks he should be at least consulted before the powers that be make drastic decisions that directly affect the on-court product, and he let his feelings be known:
“I felt like, maybe somebody would have at least consulted with me and asked how I felt before it happened,” Paul told the New Orleans Times-Picayune after Scott’s firing was formally announced. “It’s not to get my approval, but we feel we should know about the decision before it takes place.”
Does this mean Paul wanted the Hornets to keep Scott around? Not necessarily. What Paul is saying — rightfully so, I might add — is that when you are going to shuffle the team’s deck in such a drastic manner, perhaps their best, most marketable player should be consulted, or at least informed before the team makes the news public.
Considering job one for general manager, and now interim head coach, Jeff Bower is convincing Paul to stay in New Orleans when his contract is up, he might want to think about keeping his star happy, or at least make him feel like he’s a part of the franchise outside of his stellar ability and on-the-court play.
I was drawn to this video via the Star Wars-style crawl and stuck around to see what was being said. Um, no, the Hornets were not robbed, unless you consider getting completely outplayed being robbed. The contention is the referees would call a foul on New Orleans every time they made a run, which, in turn, took the wind out of the Comeback Kids’ sails.
I’m sorry, but you are going to have to find another culprit when your opponent beats you by a total of 79 points in the final two games of the series. Perhaps something like, “Denver was completely the better team and the Hornets just got caught in their wake of awesomeness.” Anything would be more appropriate than blaming the officials.
At least in the this case.
Chicago Bulls fans? Sure, they can argue double-standards (Rondo’s non-suspension as opposed to Howard’s one-game banishment) until they turn blue in the face, and they’d have a point. It wouldn’t help much, but their point would remain and have validity to it. Hornets fans, on the other hand, need to take Denver’s cumulative ass-whippings like adults and just hope the front office finds some help for Chris Paul during the offseason.
Blaming the officials — especially in a series as lopsided as Denver/New Orleans — is awfully weak. I do, however, admire the subterfuge being attempted by the video’s creator. No one will know the face of the man behind the “Officials Robbed the Hornets” meme, nor should they, apparently.
And in other news, the NBA’s official site now has embeddable videos; however, we’re still waiting for the MLB and NFL to catch up with this whole online video thing. Speaking of, the lead video is of Kenyon Martin and his dunk that essentially opened the game, not to mention the absolute can of, well, whoop-ass the Nuggets poured all over the Hornets. 58 point whippings? Was this game played on a Playstation — you know, where the young kids beat the hell out of adults who have no business playing video games against “we play all the time” competition?
The last time anyone saw such an NBA Playoff beatdown was in 1956; and until last night’s 121-63 bust, that was the only time such a lopsided win was recorded.
Granted, they haven’t played a game in New Orleans yet, but after their first two series wins against Chris Paul and the gang, the Denver Nuggets legitimately look like the second best team in the Western Conference. Furthermore, if they keep playing like this — especially on offense — they could very well challenge the mighty Lake Show in Los Angeles; perhaps even taking them to a Game 7.
But that’s a story for another time.
Last night, it was all Denver, led again by Chauncey “I Enjoy Schooling Chris Paul” Billups and his 31 points and zero turnovers, which equals the amount of turnovers Billups has committed in the series so far. Billups was not alone; however. Carmelo chipped in with 22 points and 9 assists, and from where I was watching, the Hornets do not have an answer for either Billups or Anthony.
David West was too busy trying to handle Kenyon Martin’s defense, James Posey didn’t have much success, and Peja Stojakovic has no business trying to defend a player of Carmelo Anthony’s ability. As for Chris Paul, well, he simply can’t guard Billups — hence the Rasual Butler assignment. Of course, that didn’t work too well either as Billups continues to play with his “Finals MVP” swagger. Maybe some of this will change when the Hornets play in their home arena, but I’m not sure how a group of rowdy fans is going to make you defend better.
Perhaps the home crowd will make the Hornets play with more effort on defense, but they just don’t match up that well with the Nuggets. No amount of crowd noise is going to change that.
36 points, 8 assists, 8-9 from behind the 3-point line: All in a day’s work for the Denver Nuggets point guard, who, during last night’s beatdown of Denver, took everybody’s favorite point guard — Chris Paul — to NBA Playoff school. Billups dominated in a way most basketball experts expect Paul to. Not that Paul didn’t give great effort. He did. However, the Nuggets were just too much for a team featuring Chris Paul, David West, and, well, not much else.
And when Billups is hitting like he was, it’ll be lights out for most teams unfortunate to play the Nuggets. As for the Hornets, Game 2 is Wednesday night. Even though it was only one game, the series already looks like a Denver win if Paul can’t single-handedly will the Hornets over the Nuggets.
Considering the lack of comparable talent, Denver might just sweep.
In order for New Orleans to get their sixth win in a row last night, the Hornets had to go through the Dallas Mavericks. Apparently, Chris Paul took that advice to heart, so he demonstrated what he learned as he went around Jason Terry in the open court, courtesy of a filthy between-the-legs dribble. Not his own, however. He dribbled through Jason Terry’s.
Just another day on the job for Paul, who finished with 27 points, 15 assists (accounting for at least 57 of New Orleans’ 104 points). As for the Hornets, after last night’s win, they are now two games back of the overall second seed for the Western Conference playoffs, trailing only Denver and San Antonio. Of course, the Lakers have the overall lead by almost nine games. Don’t see any of those three teams catching Kobe and the Gang.
However, the idea of a New Orleans/Los Angeles conference final does sound incredibly appetizing (no offense to the Nuggets or the Spurs).
This happened during halftime of the Pistons/Hornets game last night, making the Rasheed Wallace Throws A Towel evening even more entertaining. It looks like the guy is OK, making the laughs and “Oh damn” reactions easier to live with. There’s even a moment of Rasheed throwing his towel in for the evening at the end of the video, meaning it has all of the important storylines covered. How about those Pistons? Last night was their eight loss in a row and it put them below the .500 mark for the first time — this late in the season, anyway — in a long, long time.
Are there any wins for the Pistons in sight? Which is worse, dunking your face on the rim or free-falling like the Pistons?