Game On: Rockets @ Hornets (Live Chat!)

Published: February 27, 2011

The Hornets come into the game on a two-game winning streak, all alone in 5th place out West, just 2.5 behind OKC for home-court advantage in the first round. They set off on a season long five game road trip following this game, so taking advantage of a home game against a sub .500 team and getting a win would be huge. Houston, meanwhile, is also undefeated since the All-Star break, having gone 3-0 while averaging 118.3 PPG.

With Aaron Brooks out of the picture, Kyle Lowry has solidified his spot in the backcourt alongside Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger has taken over for Shane Battier at small forward, increasing the firepower that the Rockets have in the starting lineup. Add Scola to the mix, and Houston trots out four starters who are capable of scoring 20-30 points on any given night. And that is exactly what Houston tries to do; outscore people. They don’t have one player on their team, bench included, that is considered an above average defender for their position, and it might be a stretch to say they even have one average defender.

The Hornets have had problems with this kind of team in the past, as unconventional offenses that don’t allow the Hornets to set up have been able to score on New Orleans, and the Hornets just don’t have the firepower to keep up. The Hornets are 2-0 against Houston so far this season, but those Houston teams were different and the last time these two met the game could have easily gone the Rockets way. Houston led by as many as 16 before a ferocious comeback that led to a Hornets overtime victory.

That game saw Kyle Lowry simply own CP3, but in a surprise twist Jarrett Jack had his best game as a Hornet, scoring 23 points and being +20 in 37 minutes. That means that in the 16 minutes he was not on the floor, the Hornets were outscored by 15 points. Wow. West and Okafor were also able to take advantage of the undersized Rockets in that game, going off for 29 and 17 respectively. Okafor went 7-8 in that game, hit all of his free throws, and also produced a game high 15 boards in the victory.

The X factor tonight for the Hornets might be newly acquired forward Carl Landry, who started off his career with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets front line has no size (unless you want to count D-League star Hasheem Thabeet), and Carl Landry should be able to rack up minutes at both the 4 and the 5. He is capable of covering any player on Houston’s front line and has a matchup advantage on the offensive end against any of their bigs. In the past, Houston got to rest when David West needed a breather, but Landry should have similar success against this suspect front line.

On Houston’s side, the X factor is almost certainly going to be 2nd year small forward Chase Budinger. Over the last two games, Budinger has responded to his new role as a starter by putting up 30 against Cleveland and 27 last night against New Jersey. Coach Adelman has given him the green light from three and he has responded by taking 12 of them in those two games, drilling 7. But he is not just a distance shooter that camps out on the line, as is evidenced by the fact that he has gone 8 of 9 from the free throw line in both games as well. Budinger has the complete package on the offensive end and the Hornets can’t allow him to get hot if they want to escape with a victory.

Other News and Notes:

– CP3 averaging 18, 9, and 6 since he got the All-Star break and the days of rest that came with it. The brace has also come off and CP3 has commented recently that he feels like he has his legs back underneath him. A game like tonight’s will be a good test to see exactly where CP3 is, in regards to his overall game and ability to push the tempo.

– Hornets have won last 5 games against Houston and covered in all 5 of those games. that is good to know, considering that the line for tonight’s game is Hornets -6. I think the Hornets cover yet again. Hornets 107 Houston 96.

– Big News coming soon from Hornets247- and we just want to make sure you guys are checking back often to see what it is. Joe tells me that Mardi Gras has just started up in the Big Easy and he is concerned that fans will be too drunk to log on over the next few weeks, but I have more faith than that. So, stay just sober enough to stay away from Grenades and to check back with

– Thanks, as always to Dariusz for the banner. Aren’t those All-Star jerseys sweet?

– And because I have been so pleased as of late with the hilarious comments, it is time once again to Cap……. That…….. Pic!!!!!!


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