Game On: Hornets @ Lakers – but really talking David West (Live Chat)

Published: March 27, 2011

I haven’t said anything yet on the site about David West. I’m sad, but there is an odd sense of relief as well.  His injury has actually relaxed a little knot of anxiety that tightened my belly every time I thought about the Playoffs. You see, I felt like we needed a good showing there. That we needed a second round appearance that showed some fight. I had convinced myself that putting that sort of run together could have meant the world to retaining a solid foundation to build on.

Now, with West out? I don’t feel anxiety about the playoffs. West’s absence is an excuse. I’m not sure why that makes me feel less worried about the post-season because logically it’s a poor excuse. Is being able to say “But West wasn’t playing” really going to impact on the teams ability to retain CP3?  I doubt it.

In the end, the injury also means it’s possible we’ve seen the last games in a Hornets uniform by David West.  He could go elsewhere this summer even with his injury, if a team desperate for a power forward and loaded with cash comes calling. So I will give him a bit of an epitaph for this season, before moving on and concentrating on the rest of the team.

Appreciating West

For two seasons, Fluffy was my favorite player on the team. There’s just something about the combination of a muscular big man who shows the ball-handling and shooting ability of a guard that just makes me smile. Size and Skill. Toughness. There can also be few things as fun to watch as a legitimately angry David West.

Then, of course, there were the two years after 2007-2008. You could tell he didn’t consider the team a contender and it showed in his effort. Little frustrated me more than last year’s defensive effort from David West.

But this season he’s been a delight to watch again. You will not find a big man in the game who has more ways to generate shots than David West. Even guys like Dirk Nowitzki have advantages on the court against almost everyone they just go to in order to score. West is not like that, though. He’s a little undersized, a little slow, a little unathletic, not strong enough. So he unleashes a dizzying array of offensive moves to score. Crossovers, step backs, spins, hooks, up and unders, and all complimented by a deadly fadeaway that is fluffy out to 20 feet.

That’s gone for this season – and probably part of next. I’m sad for the Hornets. I’m sad for David West and his family, because this injury probably cost him millions. I hope to see him next year so he can own most of the major records in the Hornets franchise books for points scored and rebounds. Work hard on the rehab, Fluffy, and come back to us with a vengeance.

On to the game.

Matchup: Hornets(42-31) @ Lakers(52-20)

Off Efficiency: Hornets 103.9(19th), Lakers 108.6(4th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 101.5(6th), Lakers 101.6(7th)

I’m keeping this short and sweet. The Lakers are playing extremely well right now. The team is healthy, and the Bynum-Gasol-Odom-Artest front line is clicking. Artest, in particular, is playing better than he has all season. This team, despite it’s gaping hole at the point with Fisher and Blake doing very little, is a monster. Bryant-Artest-Brown-Barnes is a mean group of wings.

To win, the Hornets are going to need to stroke their perimeter shots and have Landry get his post scoring going at a high level. Considering the Hornets shooting ineptitude, I don’t expect a miracle.

At least we should see Chris Paul tear it up. He’s playing at a high level, and Blake and Fisher are going to get torched. At least until the forth when Fisher’s savvy inevitably draws at least one vitally important charge for the lakers.

Freakin’ Derek Fisher.

Let’s hope Belinelli and Ariza are stroking it!  Enjoy the game!


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