Hornets.com postgame: Bulls 90, Hornets 67

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Bulls (22-6), Hornets (4-22)

It was over when… the Bulls held the Hornets to just eight points over the initial 10 minutes of the third quarter, building a 66-39 lead. New Orleans called multiple timeouts to try to quell the run, but to no avail. It was the Hornets’ seventh consecutive loss. New Orleans nearly set a franchise record for fewest points scored in a game (the record is 65, last set in March 2003), but Marco Belinelli’s three-pointer with less than a second remaining prevented that from happening.

Hornets MVP: On a forgettable night for the Hornets, Chris Kaman appeared to play extremely hard during the 31 minutes he was on the floor, finishing with team-bests of 17 points and nine rebounds. The starting five played so poorly in the early portions of the first and third quarters that Kaman was summoned into the game to try to deliver some offensive punch. He had 10 of New Orleans’ 14 points in the first quarter, despite only playing the final six-plus minutes of the period.

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Other than Kaman’s play, there weren’t a whole lot of positive moments from the subs. Greivis Vasquez returned to a reserve role due to Jarrett Jack’s return from injury and had five points, three rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes.

The buzz on… the newest Hornet, point guard Donald Sloan. Three days after the re-introduction of Lance Thomas to the team, New Orleans signed the rookie Sloan, who appeared in five regular season games earlier this season with the Atlanta Hawks. The Texas A&M product was at home in Dallas when he was informed by his agent that the Hornets were interested in signing him to a 10-day contract. He did not get into Wednesday’s loss vs. the Bulls, but if Jack had not returned, Sloan likely would’ve been the backup point guard to Vasquez in this game. “I’ll do whatever Coach needs,” Sloan said. “Be physical, pressure the ball. I’m able to penetrate to the rim and play above the rim, as well as get guys going (with passes for open shots). Those are my strong points. If they didn’t think I could do it, I wouldn’t be here.”

Shootaround: Feb. 8 vs. Bulls

Updates from this morning’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena:

• On the injury front, Jason Smith (concussion), Carl Landry (knee) and Eric Gordon (knee) are all out. Jarrett Jack is listed as questionable. “We’re not sure yet,” Monty Williams said of whether Jack will play vs. Eastern Conference-leading Chicago. “We’ll wait and see how he feels tonight.”

• If Jack plays, the Hornets will have 11 healthy bodies available against the Bulls. If not, that number will be 10, including Donald Sloan, who was signed to a 10-day contract this morning. Williams on Sloan: “He’s a (player) guys have had their eye on for a while. He’s a kid who busted his tail in the D-League.” Sloan had some impressive stats in the D-League, at 24.8 points and 8.4 assists per game.

• Williams addressed Tuesday’s release of DaJuan Summers and Squeaky Johnson, saying “It’s one of those situations where we needed the flexibility to maybe bring somebody else in if that arises. We’re not in a position to just stand pat. We haven’t won a lot of games. We’re just going to try to figure out ways to help the roster and get a different look at some guys.”

• Williams on one reason why the team’s lineups have fluctuated: “We’re still trying to find out if some of our young guys can play. Over the course of the next few games, you may see their minutes increase so we can figure it out. We have a few guys on our team who just have not established themselves as NBA players. We’re trying to figure that out and win (games). I have an obligation to try to figure out what these guys can and can’t do.”