Game On: Hornets @ Mavericks

Published: January 7, 2012

Hornets seek to get back on track against Dallas, despite missing several starters.

The Hornets travel to Dallas today after another offensive collapse in the fourth to the Denver Nuggets last night.  Dallas did not play last night, but so far this season the Defending Champions haven’t been lighting the world on fire at all.

It’s an odd situation.  For several years now pundits have said the window has closed in Dallas and that the roster is so old it’s bound to fall apart at some point.  Then they win a championship and no one wants to be the one to say those same, trite comments.

I’ll say them.

Dallas got their ring.  Their old players don’t have the fire.  Nothing is worse than an old player without fire.  They fall apart quick.  The result so far this year is an offensive efficiency of 96.3.  To give you an idea of how bad that is, the Hornets have a 96.2.  That’s right.  Dallas is scoring as poorly as the Hornets are.

As for their players, Jason Kidd, Brendan Hayward and Lamar Odom have been complete wrecks out there.  Vince Carter has been – well – Vince Carter.  That’s four of their top six players giving them nothing.

So the Hornets have a chance.  Strangely, I always say that about the Mavs.  Whether it’s Paul carving up Kidd and West playing Nowitzki to a near draw, or the rebuilding Hornets facing the calcifying former champions, I’m always coming down on the side of the Hornets.  I’m sure they feel like Rodney Dangerfield.

For the Hornets, I’m not a fan of starting Kaman over Landry.  Yes, Landry has his own problems, but Kaman’s an awful defender and Landry is the only efficient scorer on this team who is healthy.  You have to have someone to get some easy buckets.  Hopefully, Carl will be back in the starting line-up.  Also, I’m desperately hoping this team stops turning the ball over so damn much.  It’s murdering them more than anything else.  And yes, that includes their poor shooting.

Ariza and Gordon will not play.  Landry is bothered by a lower back bruise.  No idea when Gustavo Ayon or Xavier Henry will get into the game.  The perils of a compressed season – makes it hard to get practice time for new additions.

Prediction:  Hornets take the game, 91-90


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