Sunday, November 22, 2009

Take Note: The Hornets just beat the NBA's best team

Posted By on Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 4:19 AM

It's still early, but considering how the Hornets started the season, it's hard not to feel good about this team right now. The Hornets made 12-of-17 three-point attemps and snapped the Hawks' seven-game win streak in their 96–88 win tonight at the Hive.

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"It gives you an opportunity to experience success while you learn and grow," Jeff Bower said of his team's recent three-game win streak. "It's the easiest time for me to be more demanding."

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It's the old sports axiom: winning solves everything. Had the Hornets lost one or two of their last three games at home, there may have been more turmoil in the locker room, definitely more second-guessing in the media and a whole lot of conflict surrounding this entire team. But instead, the Hornets beat the best team in the West (Phoenix) and the best team in the NBA (Atlanta) and Bower can continue to harp on the importance of hustle and energy on both sides of the floor.

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Tonight, the Hornets had it all once again. Four players scored in double figures with the two rookies, Marcus Thornton and Darren Collision, leading the way with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Peja Stojakovic ignited the scoring early with four three-pointers in the first quarter alone (he finished five-of-twelve from the floor with 17 points) while Emeka Okafor and David West imposed their will in the low post, combining for 20 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

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"Our confidence is rising every game," Thornton said. "The players believe in each other, and when we have that chemistry with each other, everything is good."

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Chemistry is more than just good ball movement and floor energy. Chemistry is also Stojakovic cat-calling a towel-clad Thorton in the locker room while the rookie was waiting to do a post-game interview. Chemistry is all smiles on the bench from the opening tip-off to the final horn. Chemistry is the rookies sporting Tinkerbell and Little Mermaid suitcases after every game (more on that later, I promise). Yes, it may be early, but that doesn't mean this team isn't on the verge of something very good.

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