Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ju Ju Brings the Thunder

Posted By on Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 5:21 AM

by Clay A. Smith


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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman


Coming into Saturday nights' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder there were many subplots: Two teams  putting their respective winning streaks on the line. The rescinded trade that sent a rejuvenated Tyson Chandler back to New Orleans. But who would’ve guessed that Julian Wright would’ve stolen the show in the place of the injured Peja Stojakovic.


Behind an eighty percent shooting performance the Hornets got a spark from a very unlikely place en route to their seventh consecutive win. Wrights' twenty points and seven rebounds ignited a 108-90 Hornets' victory.


"I just have to be locked in,"  he said. "I just try to make hustle plays to help my teammates." 


Wrights’ unorthodox playing style has at times gotten him into trouble this season with coach Byron Scott. But tonight the second year forward out of Kansas showcased what he could do if given the opportunity.


“We have been trying to put him in a position where he can be successful and not get himself into trouble“, said coach Scott. ”He did a real good job getting up and down the court.”


Wright was all over the place. If he wasn’t catching lobs at the basket from Chris Paul he was sparking transition offense with his hustle on the defensive end. Wright’s spectacular block on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook led to a James Posey three-pointer that cemented momentum in the Hornets‘ favor.


"All he has to do is bring energy for us," said Chandler who was on his way to a double-double before he got into early foul trouble.


With Stojakovic still day to day with back spasms it’s  possible that Wright could be back to coming off the bench at any time. And while Wright understands his role as a reserve the Hornets are excited about his potential.

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