My intention is to do one post for each month of this year’s season … but I’ll update each “monthly” post as new home games and pics, and/or maybe titillating new data and/or rumors and rumors of rumors become available during each particular month. I’m not a season ticket holder but I’m hoping to attend most of the 35 regular season and 2 preseason games in Oklahoma City … plus, if the basketball gods do not turn sour on my city, some cool playoff games, as well!
Don’t look for anything “intellectual” in these monthly posts … if and when anything having such a smell appears to pop up here (as it probably will … I’m probably unable to resist contemporary roller coaster “news” events about the Hornets which will doubtless occur), remember that I’m an Okie “homer” having become “hooked” on the Hornets (as well as the NBA) last season. Even though NBA Commissioner David Stern and also (but with serious qualifications which occur sometimes daily, weekly, or monthly) Hornets owner George Shinn have reiterated that the Hornets will be returning to New Orleans after this season, I’m very fond of this team and it will be a sad day for me when they play their last game in Oklahoma City.
A breakdown of the 3-part-whole of a human being’s personality provided by “transactional analysis” vernacular sums up Doug Dawgz’ point of view: (1) my “Adult” side (intellectual, cognitive level) understands that this is most likely Okc’s last season with the Hornets; (2) my “Child” side (repository of fun, hopes, and dreams) wants it to be otherwise; (3) and my “Parent” side (repository of moral values) gives the issue a “pass” since New Orleans did not give the Hornets a big bear-hug in any of the 3 seasons (the 1st 2 being “playoff years”) in New Orleans before Katrina when that city had every reason and more than ample opportunity to do so … and so my “Parent” side will have no loss of sleep if some miracle occurs and the Stern/Shinn prediction does not occur and the Hornets remain in Oklahoma City, though that will not likely happen. If you want statistical data about how New Orleans cared for this team, go here. The numbers do not lie. But, such numbers are no match for “The Lease” which obligates the Hornets to return to and remain in NOLA though 2012. Because of The Lease, I’ve pretty much put aside my child side’s hoping, wishing, and dreaming past me … pretty much … sometimes … well, kinda.
The above is just said to make plain my bias, and, that said, lets get on with October!
Tuesday, October 10 v. Mavericks
The Hornets opened their preseason schedule last night against the indomitable Dallas Mavericks (for most, if not for Miami). Dallas is the closest NBA city to Oklahoma City just 2 ½ hours south (if you drive fast) on I-35. Sure, Dallas was playing without Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse and Devin Harris, but the Hornets were playing without Peja Stojakovic and Marcus Jackson, as well.
My fondest surprise of the night was the play of #2 Jannero Pargo who had slipped by my radar – sometimes having a very hot hand, always aggressive and being a very cool sparkplug! David West led the scoring, Tyson Chandler had a couple of GREAT shot blocks and had a good 2nd half (even he didn’t in the 1st), Desmond Mason has rid himself of the “jerk” when shooting and had 2 crowd-wowing alley-oop baskets, Chris Paul was solid, as were Brandon Bass and Linton Johnson III. For ESPN’s take on the game, go here.
So, on this night, the Hornets win 84-81. A win is a win, all excuses aside, and even if it doesn’t count.
Here are a few game pics (click a pic for an 800 x 600 view):
Friday, October 13 v. Orlando
The win over the Mavericks was followed by a 100-85 loss to the Magic before 14,475. The Hornets seemed to have control at the end of the 1st quarter scoring 30 points but, then, only scored 15, 20 and 19 in the 2nd, 3rd & 4th respectively. The Hornets took a 62-60 lead in the 3rd but the Magic then scored seven points during a 21-4 run and the game was out of reach. West and Chandler got mild ankle sprains in the 3rd. West was the leading scorer with 17, Mason added 16, and, off the bench, Pargo (I’m really liking this guy) and Bobby Jackson got 7 and Hilton Armstrong got 10. There were no thrilling shot blocks in this game and no alley-opps by Mason (but he was 6-6 at the line). Despite the loss, it was good to see Marcus Vinicius from Brazil play for the 1st time (2 points), and Pargo’s energy was good to see for the 2nd night in a row (7 points, 4 assists).
Here are a few pics – click on a pic for an 800 x 600 view.
This endeth October lesson in Okc’s share of the preseason. Next Okc game: November 7, 2006, v. Golden State. Before then, the Hornets have preseason games in Miami, Golden State, 2 v. Sacramento. Regular season then begins with road trips to Boston, Indiana, Houston (at Nola … yeah, it’s technically a “home” game, but …).
Hornets In Okc Intro What’s It Gonna Be, Boy?
NBA in OKC – Yes or No? Hornets Team
Schedule & Results