Scouting the NBA: Week Fourteen — Lakers Struggling, Nuggets Dangerous

Published: January 29, 2013

The Hornets have been surging and aren’t getting any respect. But who really cares anyway? It’s unlikely they make the playoffs but if we can be a thorn in the side of some teams looking to make them then I say have at it!

Over the next week every team New Orleans plays will be one hoping to make the playoffs. The Lakers have unrealistic expecatations of capturing an 8th seed. The Jazz look to continue their up and down play. The Nuggets are trying to find who they are for May and June and the Timberwolves are trying to make do without Kevin Love.

Yes we can spoil a few teams so let’s stick it to the Lakers!

Game 45: Tuesday January 29th @ Los Angeles Lakers — Fox Sports New Orleans, NBA TV, 9.30pm CST

  • Tweet for the Game: Kobe Bryant

Ah yes, Kobe Bryant. We know you are really a Hornet at heart, but Pelicans is pretty bad ass. Just because we aren’t the New Orleans “Black Mamba’s” doesn’t mean we can’t be cool in LA. Not only are we cool, but this basketball team has won twice as many games as yours this month.

  • Who can be trusted? — Ryan Anderson

What he did to the Grizzlies was unbelievable. They now have a restraining order against Ryan. I wonder if he’ll ever be allowed to set foot in Memphis again?

I think it’s fair to say that most of us trust a Ryan Anderson three-ball more than we trust many of our political representatives. This is why I think heading into today’s game we can be proud to say, “I voted Ryan Anderson.” Yes. He. Can.

Prediction: Hornets by 5

Game 46: Wednesday 30th @ Utah Jazz — Fox Sports New Orleans, 8pm CST

  • Tweet for the Game: David Locke

For those that don’t know David Locke is the voice of radio for the Jazz. Utah just suffered a humiliating defeat to the Houston Rockets. The real threat from the Jazz is their front-court and their weakness is their backcourt. Imagine if they had a dangerous guard or two? Some would say they’d be a top 4 team in the West.

  • Who can be trusted? — Eric Gordon

It’s been a bit of a struggle of late for Gordon, he’s having a tough time breaking down his opponents with his dribble and his assists are down from his regular career average. But this season is probably one to make sure he’s healthy and a sustainable NBA player. I think in this game he will shine.

Prediction: Jazz by 3

Game 47: Friday February 1st @ Denver Nuggets — Fox Sports New Orleans, 8pm CST

  • Tweet for the Game: John Karalis

Oh yes, both you and I know it, the Denver Nuggets are deep with talent. Whether they’d be willing to trade any of it remains to be seen, but over the past 4 years they’ve been one of the more active teams at the trade deadline. Now remember what Dell Demps and Monty Williams have said in the past — they want one more “piece” to their puzzle. Could it be in Denver?

  • Who can be trusted? — A Javale McGee Self Retweet

You know it’s coming, just like you want to see him hit a three-pointer as well. There’s something magical about this guy. He does get a lot of criticism from people in the media, but he is actually a pretty good basketball player. If he’s healthy for this one I expect him to be a bit of a hassle. What won’t be a hassle is a self-retweet.

Prediction: Nuggets by 1

Game 48: Saturday February 2nd @ Minnesota Timberwolves — Fox Sports New Orleans, 7pm CST

  • Tweet for the Game: ESPN Stats & Info

The Timberwolves are a less impressive team without Kevin Love. They’ve also had to deal with Head Coach Rick Adelman being away from the team as he’s been by the side of his ailing wife for the past three weeks. The Wolves have lost 9 of 11 without him. It’s been tough in Minnesota and after last seasons devastation it’s hard to imagine how the locker room is staying together.

Adversity like this isn’t easy to overcome. Derrick Williams is having a slightly improved second season. Alexey Shved is adapting rather well to the NBA game and Chase Budinger has also proven to be a very valuable pick up for them (even though he’s now out for 3-4 months).

It’s not unrealistic to think the 17-24 Timberwolves can make it back to .500 but the question is whether they can do it in time for a run at the 8th seed?

  • Who can be trusted? — Greivis Vasquez

Because the ‘Wolves PG position is rather “malnutritioned” in a true sporting sense of the word, I would expect Vasquez to have a good game. Yes of late he’s been struggling and as McNamara has pointed out, at this point of the season Vasquez is nearly surpassed his entire minute total from last season.

Though I wouldn’t expect Vasquez to decline, though it would be rather convenient for him, what with the trade deadline nearing.

Prediction: Hornets by 12


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