Some stuff. That’s right, Stuff. I’m all about Inspiring Headlines.

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Published: January 2, 2008

Holidays for me mean a big backlog of work – so forgive me if I don't give my usual game preview today.  Here's some key stuff about the Hornets game at the Clippers tonight: 

Elton Brand(Ruptured Achilles), Shaun Livingston(Ruptured Knee), Sam Cassell(Various Geriatric disorders), and Tim Thomas(Soft Loser) are all out/or have been out this season.   As a result, the Clips are only 10-19, and only 5-9 at home.

Kaman is playing tough, producing 18 ppg, 14 rpg and 3 blocks from the center position, but the rest of the team is struggling.  The other primary scorers: Magette, Cassell, and Mobley, are all shooting terribly, combining for a mere 42% from the field.  In fact, they're so bad, I considered comparing them to the Hornets bench.  But I couldn't be that mean.

The Clippers bench, on the other hand, is terrible.  In fact, they may actually be worse offensively than the Hornets bench.  It's so bad, they are led by rookie Al Thornton's 7 ppg on 38% shooting.  That's right.  Led.  At least Julian and Hilton can top 40%.

We should win unless the Hornets come out complacent, but I doubt that will happen.  Byron's riding them hard right now.  Or at least, he's riding the bench hard.

Hornets win 101-94

With that said about tonights game, I wanted to comment on the Hornets current problem: The bench.  Our starting five is great.  The NBA did a study that named them the most productive starting five outside of Boston.  But it's no secret our bench can't shoot.  Over the last five games, EVERY team has pulled out a zone as soon as the 2nd quarter starts and dared our backups to shoot.  It's been very effective.  We rarely score during that stretch.

But all is not gloom.  The opposing team rarely scores during that stretch either, because our bench can defend very well.  Gutting it would be a very bad idea.  Julian Wright, Bobby Jackson and Rasual Butler are actually very good defenders.  Pargo and Hilton are serviceable.  We need to pick two, package em with picks, and ship them out for one player who is capable of scoring.  I think it's that little of a change required. 

My wishlist still contains any of the Seattle three: Delonte West, Earl Watson and/or Luke Ridnour.  I believe any of them could be obtainable.  But here's a strange idea I had, and it may work.  Go for Andre Miller of Philadelphia.  He's available, but there aren't that many teams out there making big offers for him.  Package Rasual, Bobby Jackson and a 1st round pick and see if he can be shaken loose.  The 76ers would end up with another pick to help build with, a little less total salary, Bobby coming off the cap the same time Miller would.  The drawback is Butler would tie up 3mil a year longer, but that's not a huge chunk of salary, and it can easily be included in another trade.  With Andre as the backup PG, we could play him for 25=30 reliable minutes every game, with Chris and without Chris.  When Paul's with him, he can play well as a penetrating SG.  Without Paul, he runs the show and helps get Hilton and Julian easy buckets.

We could have a rotation of:

C: Chandler 36 minutes, Armstrong/Melvin Ely split 12 minutes
PF: West 36 minutes, Julian Wright/Melvin Ely/Ryan Bowen split 12 minutes
SF: Peja 32 minutes, Julian Wright 16 minutes
SG: Peterson 30 minutes, Andre Miller 18 minutes
PG: Paul 36 minutes, Andre Miller 12 minutes.

That would give Armstrong a little time to develop, and Julian around 20 a game to improve.

Luke Ridnour and Delonte West would allow us a similar rotation.  It's nice to dream.

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