Thursday, November 5, 2009

How Many People Are Going To Falsely Claim Witnessing This?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 6:33 AM

click to enlarge Pejaaaaaa

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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

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OK, before we get into the amazingness that was the Hornets' 114-107 overtime win over the Mavericks, I have to mention one thing: Where were all the Hornets' fans? Official attendance was 13,566, a paltry number that was whittled in half by the time Peja Stojakovic hit the game-tying shot with 6.7 seconds left. (Although, in all fairness, I don't think anyone thought the Mavericks were going to go 0-for-3 at the foul line to set up the Hornets' comeback).

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Hornets fans have some serious explaining to do.

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But enough of that. The Hornets pulled out a game they had no business winning and, even though this is just five games into the season, there were many post-game questions about whether this is a turning point.

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"It's still early," Chris Paul said, matter-of-factly. He's right, but for a team that coach Byron Scott said was playing like 15 individuals as opposed to one cohesive unit, this game was a step in the right direction. Paul, who scored a game-high 39 points, didn't have to carry the load by himself. Four other Hornets scored in double figures, including 18 and 10 points from reserves Bobby Brown and Darius Songaila, respectively. Most importantly, though, the Hornets actually looked like a team for the first time all season.

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"[The cohesion] was better," Scott said. "We still got a ways to go but it was better."

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For sure, the Hornets have a lot to improve upon. They gave up a dozen offensive rebounds to Dallas and committed 13 turnovers (which was only mitigated by Dallas' 17). But so long as Emeka Okafur keeps putting up double-doubles (he had 11 points and 13 rebounds tonight) and Bobby Brown can continue to effectively replace Paul, there's a good chance that this team will get better sooner rather than later. Then again, as Paul pointed out, the game would have gone completely different if Dallas had made their free throws down the stretch.

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"Just cause we win one game doesn't mean that everything's solved," he said. "If they make their free throws and we lose, what's the articles going to say tomorrow? 'The Hornets still can't find a way to win.'"

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That's a what if the Hornets are glad they don't have to contemplate.

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