Game Thread #45: New Orleans Hornets @ Golden State Warriors: The return of Marco Belle-EE-NELLI

Ex-Warriors love them some Oracle!

New Orleans Hornets (30-16) at Golden State Warriors (19-25)
TV: CSN Bay Area | Radio: KNBR 680
Blog BuddyAt The Hive
Tipoff: 7:30pm

Poor Rohan over at SB Nation blog buddy At The Hive. He's in a bloggers' spat about whether or not Chris Paul flops too much. Oh, the horror. So at first, I wanted to have the headline, "CP3: the point guard version of Michael Jordan?" But then, it occurred to me that there is a far, far more important issue to discuss: How do you really pronounce Marco Belinelli's last name?

Yes folks, it is actually something I've been quite stumped by. You see, when a certain other NBA team's TV color commentator (okay, you caught me again, I admit it, I was watching a Miami Heat game and the announcer's name is Tony Fiorentino) repeatedly -- and I mean repeatedly -- pronounced Belinelli as BELLY-NELLY, and that announcer is of Italian descent, you start to wonder. 

So I looked up our beloved Marco on the most "authoritar" [Cartman voice] site on this and according to NBA.com, the "official" pronunciation of Belinelli is...

belle-EE-NELLI

[Cartman pause] WTF?!!!

Anyways, Fiorentino was blasted by the NBA blogger community, but I'm not so sure he deserved it, although hearing "Belly-Nelly" all night was pretty funny.

You see, the "belle" in small letters suggests you say that part softly as compared to EE-NELLI. Then again, I ask you this. How does one pronounce "NELLI"? Why spell it ending with an "i" and not a "y"? Does that mean the last two syllables are not to be spoken as "NELLY"? Someone help me out here.

May I suggest that the "belle-EE" part sound similar to the inflection of how you pronounce "bulimic"?

And how do you have the entire last three syllables of his name all in caps?

My guess is that it's really this: "belle-EE-neh-LEE". I could very well be wrong.

But I definitely no longer think it's "BELL-i-NELL-ee" as everyone calls him. I'm pretty sure Fiorentino did a little bit of homework, even if I don't think he got it 100% right.

On to more trivial topics:

  • Curse of Thunder. I'll betcha Thunder (yeah, our departed Warriors mascot) was roaming around in the annals of Oracle at the Clippers game, when Ike Diogu went off on us. Or maybe it was the little stitched logo of Thunder on the Cohan-era Andris Biedrins jersey that season-ticket-holder Jerry always wears. We need to burn that thing -- kill two curses with one stone ;-). You heard it here first. Marco Belinelli stat line tomorrow night: 20 pts, 4/5 treys. And the Biedrins drought continues.
  • Boos when Belinelli is introduced. Per Diogu, I don't agree it with it, but I definitely think it will happen.
  • CP3 = pg MJ? I think the only thing that has come out of Fitz's mouth that I agree with is two years ago when Chris Paul murdered the Warriors and Fitz called him "the point guard version of Michael Jordan". I really like watching CP3 go to work. He's just so methodical and can almost do whatever he wants. I think he's been somewhat injured this year, so it's been an up-and-down season for him. But when the knees are feeling good, look out. Here's what Welcome To Loud City had to say, after the Hornets vanquished Oklahoma City:

    Chris Paul plays the point position like a pit bull. It is maddening to watch him go against the team you cheer for, because Paul is out on the court trying to exploit any advantage or edge that presents itself. He punches, he pushes, he flops, he complains, he talks trash, and he does it all some more. He also doesn't care what you think. He'll keep doing all those things because he is convinced it gives his team an edge to win games. And yet, I can't help but like him, because I wish Westbrook (and actually all point guards in the league) played more that way. In fact, Westbrook does play that way whenever he goes up against Paul, because Paul brings it out of people. You could say that Paul raises the collective level of BOTH teams.

    Paul's play, and Paul's team, reminds me so much of the Detroit Pistons back in the late 1980's. I'm not asserting that they play dirty like those Pistons teams did, but they have the same kind of attitude. It is the attitude of knowing that they cannot match up with most teams on a talent level (the Pistons' leading scorer only averaged 18.2 per game during their 1st championship run), so instead they sought to exploit any other edge that they could. Nothing was too small to use to their advantage. 

    Of course Paul has often been compared to the Pistons' leader of that team, Isiah Thomas. However, it is not just in terms of their comparable talent, but in their fierce attitude in leading their teams. Thomas hid his nasty streak behind an angelic smile; Paul has no misgivings about scowling most of the game. In both cases, the point guards' take no prisoners attitude infused their entire team with an aggressive mean streak that allowed the teams to compete at a high level on any given night.

I know there's a bunch of other stuff that I glossed over, such as Stephen Curry's status for the game (another ankle sprain, this time in practice Tuesday morning), or another All-Star-audition performance for Monta Ellis, or the nice matchup between Dorell Wright and Trevor Ariza, or how many points the "new Big Dawg" David West will tally (vs David Lee?), or if Beans can handle Emeka Okafor.

But, quite frankly, I'm in the throes of preparing for our awesome "The Oracle Experience" event tomorrow before the game, where eight teams from Dream League get to play on the Oracle hardwood! I need to make sure our 100 or so attendees get to the right place at the right time. I need to make sure they have their uniforms ready and get all our scoresheets primed, and pack any backup uniforms as well.

So, I'm afraid I have to cut the Hornets discussion a little short. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Catch me on Twitter at @poormanscommish for the pre-game competition on the Oracle floor. I don't know how I'm gonna make it up and down that NBA court, but I'll try!

We get to use the locker rooms and attend Warriors shootaround, too. I might even try to ask a Hornets guy how to pronounce Marco's name correctly. Then I'll be live-tweeting the game too.

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