Game On: Lakers @ Hornets (Live Chat!)

Published: February 5, 2011

Matchup: Lakers(34-16) @ Hornets(32-19)

Off Efficiency: Lakers 109.2 (2nd), Hornets 103.3 (17th )
Def Efficiency: Lakers 102.0 (8th), Hornets 99.4 (3rd)

Pace: Lakers 94.5 (16th), Hornets 91.4 (29th)

Tonight  the Hornets will look to get their first win of the season against the Los Angeles Lakers. The game will take place in front of what I am told will be a sell-out crowd, on one of the colder days of the year in New Orleans. If they want to see a victory, fans are going to need to bring the heat inside the Arena. The last two times these teams played, the Hornets were healthy, and still things didn’t go so well (1,2).

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Being the Western Conferences top rated defense isn’t going to do much to help the Hornets stop a Laker team that even while going through a rough patch, is still undeniably one of the league’s best teams. Pop even thinks they are better than his Spurs.

“I think they are the best team in the West.” “I think the struggles are overblown by you guys and gals. They are who they are. They’ve been doing this a long time. They just won two [championships] in a row again and there’s no doubt perhaps there’s going to be some nights when it’s just not all there emotionally. We run into that now, we’ve got the best record and we run into that and we haven’t won a championship in a long time so we don’t have that excuse and it happens to us.”

If the Hornets are going to win this one they need outstanding contributions from both a big man and a backup guard. Quincy Pondexter is not going to give you much offensively from the three, and neither is whoever winds up playing center for most of the game. Someone needs to put the points on the board. David West can be that guy, but he’s going to have his hands fill with a pair of seven footer and a slightly smaller huge guy.

After losing Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to injuries, the Hornets will need a big man (I’m looking at you, Aaron Gray) to step forward and combat the Lakers front court trio of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom. The Hornets can run a small ball lineup against most teams, but the Lakers can eat them alive with size in the frontcourt if they so choose. Monty is going to have to be careful not to leave his guys overmatched on defense. I’m sure he has some tricks up his sleeve, but facing the size disadvantage that he is, tricks might not be sufficient.

And if that wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s this guy named Kobe something in the back court. Fortunately for Hornets fans, he was spotted on Bourbon Street last night at Rick’s Cabaret (who really should be sponsoring us by now). My source tells me he was there for over three hours. Does that mean he will be a bit off tonight? You be the judge of that.

Check out today’s Bee Bites

Pre-game Notes

  • Belinelli has been ice cold as of late, making only 2 of his last 16 three pointers, and 12 of his last 36 shots overall.


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