This morning, excellent basketball writer Rob Mahoney published a thought-provoking piece on the New York Times’ NBA blog, Off the Dribble, exploring a potential plan for the Hornets. The strategy that he presents for the team to consider is geared towards, not so surprisingly, convincing Chris Paul to remain in New Orleans beyond next season, when he is able to opt out of the final year of his contract. His idea, in a nutshell, is to basically wipe the entire roster clean and subsequently give Paul the keys to reconstruct the roster exactly as he chooses. Obviously, there is a ton of risk involved, and a new owner would be a necessity before this idea could begin to take shape, but I believe that it may be the best option for the Hornets. After the jump, I explain how it would be possible, and why it could be in the team’s best interest to pursue this course of action.
In a game that never really seemed in doubt, Drew Brees and rest of the Saints’ offense repeatedly victimized the hapless Giants defense en route to seven touchdowns and a lopsided 25 point victory. The Saints held New York without a touchdown for the first 34 1/2 minutes of regulation, and never saw their lead fall below double digits once Jummy Graham scored with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, making the score 14-3. New Orleans was clearly dominant in this game, as the Saints made their case to be labeled as the NFL’s best team outside of Green Bay. Now sitting just one game back of San Francisco (though the 49ers will have the tie-breaker with one of their losses coming against an AFC opponent), New Orleans can begin to set their sights on both a division title as well as a possible first round playoff bye. Notes on a very enjoyable game to watch after the jump.
All of the details are not yet available, but all major news sources are now reporting that the NBA players and owners have come to an agreement to end the NBA lockout. This is obviously fantastic news for both the Hornets and NBA fans everywhere, and we will be sure to update you with information as soon as it becomes available. The deal ultimately be put to a vote, and while it can be expected that some players will vote against this new proposed deal, there shouldn’t be enough of those votes to account for anywhere near a majority. So, barring completely unforeseen circumstances - the NBA is back!
This morning, news broke that NBA All-Stars Chris Paul, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony will highlight a four game exhibition tour for charity which will consist of stops in Akron, OH, New Orleans, LA, Chicago, IL, and East Rutherford, NJ.
Just as many people expected, the most recent episode in the Saints/Falcons series was a battle right down to the very last play. With 7:13 remaining in the 4th quarter, John Kasay converted a 44 yard field goal to put New Orleans up by 2 scores with a 23-13 lead, giving them what seemed to be a comfortable two score lead. However, Ryan brought Atlanta back after a touchdown strike to Tony Gonzalez 3 minutes later, and then set up kicker Matt Bryant with the game-tying field goal as time expired. The Falcons would receive the ball first in overtime (as the Saints fell to 0 for 11 in coin tosses this season, a particularly unbelievable stat), but both teams would end up punting before the Falcons faced a critical 4th and inches from its own 29 1/2 yard line. Falcons head coach Mike Smith initially sent his punt team out, but after calling a timeout, he decided to put his offense back out on the field and go for it. The Saints’ run defense stepped up in a huge spot, stuffing Michael Turner and therefore getting the ball in immediate field goal range. Four plays later, Kasay delivered the game-winning 26 yard field goal, moving the Saints to 7-3 and into a comfortable 1 1/2 game lead in the NFC South entering their bye week. Here are my other thoughts from New Orleans’ crucial road victory in Atlanta.
In a solid all-around performance, the New Orleans Saints capped off a very successful weekend of football for the state with a 27-16 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Louisiana Superdome. Though the game was far from a blowout, it was never really in doubt, as the Saints led by more than one score from midway through the second quarter all the way until about 5 minutes to go in the 4th. Even when the Bucs were able to cut their deficit to 8, Brees promptly marched the team back down the field and allowed kicker John Kasay to convert an easy 34 yard field goal with 1:17 remaining, effectively icing the game. Let’s take a look at this game by the numbers and see in which areas the Saints were able to have the most success.
Turn on any TV this week and tune in to ESPN or any other sports show and chances are the topic of discussion is something pertaining to this weekend’s matchup of #1 ranked LSU versus #2 ranked Alabama. This game has been hyped up for the past 3 weeks, and talk has seemingly now moved into the realm of obsession.
The New Orleans Hornets’ 2011 season kicks off Wednesday night in the New Orleans Arena as the team takes on last year’s #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls. The CP3-led Hornets will try to rebound this season after suffering a first round playoff defeat by the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. The Bulls, on the other hand, are coming off an Eastern Conference Championship defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat, and are poised to make another run at a championship behind last season’s regular season MVP, Derrick Rose.
…What’s that? There’s a lockout, you say? Well, that’s one hell of a buzzkill. I already wrote a game preview and everything! I may as well share it with you guys, right? Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the keys to tomorrow night’s fictitious season opener.