Hornets.com postgame: Clippers 99, Hornets 95

Monday, November 22, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Hornets (11-2), Clippers (2-13)

It was over when… Eric Gordon rolled in two free throws, giving the Clippers a two-possession edge with less than five seconds remaining. Trevor Ariza fired off a desperation three-pointer just before the buzzer, but with no timeouts remaining, the Hornets ran out of clock even if Ariza’s trey had connected.

Hornets MVP: It was vintage David West for a majority of the night, with the two-time All-Star power forward connecting on seven mid-range or deeper jumpers. Along with a handful of close-range power buckets, West finished with 30 points on 12-for-23 shooting. He also collected 10 rebounds and five assists. West poured in a dozen points during the Hornets’ 37-point first quarter.

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Jarrett Jack’s final stat line was solid, with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists in just 16 minutes. Even more impressively, in his first game as a Hornet, he made two significant plays in the final minute, as the visitors tried to pull off a late comeback. Jack made a pair of free throws after a Chris Paul steal to pull NOLA within 96-95, and later produced a hustle play by chasing a rebound into the corner off a West miss. Unfortunately, the sequence ended with a Paul’s bounce pass that went off West’s shin and out of bounds.

The buzz on… how well the Hornets’ offseason additions have fit in with their new team. At one point early in the Clippers’ local broadcast, TV analyst Michael Smith said of New Orleans backup big Jason Smith (no relation), “his career has been reborn with New Orleans. He’s been given a chance to excel and flourish.” The exact same quote could be uttered for several of his teammates, including Marco Belinelli, Willie Green and Emeka Okafor, who’ve all either vastly exceeded expectations, or improved significantly from the way they performed last season. In a similar vein, Ariza has been placed in what appears to be a much better situation than what he experienced in 2009-10 with Houston, where he took on a larger offensive role than in his other years as a pro. Jack was doing just fine as a starter in Toronto, but as Paul’s backup, he has a chance in NOLA to again be regarded as one of the NBA’s best second-unit point guards.

Blog question of the night: Considering he still has not practiced yet with the team due to the timing of Saturday’s trade, it was reasonable to expect Jack might need a game or two to be completely accustomed to running the New Orleans offense. At times it seemed like the second unit wasn’t quite in rhythm offensively, but Jack still managed to play well. Much to his credit, he was also on the floor in crunch time (keep in mind, he’s a career 85 percent foul shooter). What was your opinion of Jack’s debut and what he might be able to bring to the Hornets in 2010-11?