Desmond Mason refused to concede that the reason behind the Hornets early season struggles stem from them being a less scrappy bunch than they were last year.
So, too, did Rasual Butler. Hornets coach Byron Scott, on the other hand, always can be counted on to tell it like it is. After watching the Toronto Raptors become the second straight team to walk into the Ford Center and outplay the Hornets from start to finish, emphatically thumping the home team, 94-77, Scott had no choice but to point to his team's obvious lack of desire and toughness. "One thing we did last year was show our resiliency," Scott said. "We aren't showing that right now. We are submitting and hoping that a team gives us a win. Or we are feeling sorry for ourselves because we are missing two of our key players." Either way, the Hornets dropped their fourth-straight game and suffered their second consecutive defeat inside the Ford Center after starting the season 4-0 at home. Following a league-best 4-0 start, the Hornets finished the month at 8-7. Tuesday night's loss marked the fourth consecutive game in which they failed to score more than 83 points. The team's 41.6 percent shooting rate sadly marked its highest shooting rate in the past four games. "It's funny, because everybody says we're less scrappy now when we lose a couple of games," Mason said. "But when we were winning games, that's not the issue. The thing is we just have to get back to our basketball. It's got nothing to do with not being scrappy." Said Butler: "I can't agree with that. I think we're scrappy this year. We're a better defensive team. We're getting more stops consistently. Maybe tonight we didn't carry our intensity over for the entire 48 minutes of the game. But I wouldn't say that we're not as hungry as we were last year." You couldn't tell from Tuesday's performance.
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