Game On: Kobe-less Lakers @ Hornets

Published: April 9, 2012

The Lake show take on the Hornets tonight at The Hive, but they’ll be without Kobe Bryant (shin).

With 10 games left in a disappointing year for the Hornets, and Jarrett Jack out for the rest of it with a stress fracture, the Lake show will be looking to take advantage. While it’s easy for Hornets fans to overlook the playoff implications that a game like this could have on the Lakers, they exist nonetheless. It’s always nice to beat LA, but the game means a lot more to them than it does to us this time.

LA is the third seed out West, but suffering their 23rd loss of the season would drop them below the Clippers in the loss category and tie them with Memphis (who currently has three less wins). Yes, the Lakers haven’t yet wrapped up much of anything, which makes this game much more important to them than it is to the Hornets.

With Kobe out, it may appear that this one got a lot easier, but Bynum and Gasol are matchup nightmares for the Hornets, and with LA’s gunner out it’s likely that the bigs will get a ton of touches. At least that’s what should happen. Then again, that’s always what should happen when you have Pau and Bynum…

I tend to think Eric Gordon will play, but’s he’s listed as questionable. His unexpected absence would leave the Hornets with a total of two guards capable of handling point (if you consider Marco Belinelli capable of handling point) and two guards total.

Either way, when Vasquez is on the court with Belinelli, Mike Brown would be smart to press them as much as possible. Even if Ariza is out there as SF instead of Farouq, it’s still going to be relatively tough for the Hornets to advance the ball effectively without Jack or Gordon.

Note that I’m not predicting a win here.

1. Mike did an interview over at Land of Lakers. Check that out.

Land O’ Lakers: How much different does the team look without Jarret Jack running the point (if he’s out)? Are sets or the style of play different?

MM: The Hornets run the same offense, but it is Gordon with the ball at the top instead of Jack during crunch time moments. The difference is that Jack was limited to that mid-range jumper coming off the pick and roll, while Gordon has more weapons in his arsenal. He can get off a quick three, hit the mid-range, or take the ball all the way to the hoop, depending on what the defense gives him.

2. If you still don’t know, Jack is out for the year with a stress fracture.

3. Andrew got some good video of Monty and Smith talking about the hit on Landry. Check that out. I’m pretty sure that if that had been Griffin getting hit, there would be a suspension that followed. This is another one of those times when having an owner to speak out would be nice.

4. Take the new poll in the sidebar. It asks which player you’d take at number two if that’s where the draft pick winds up being.

5. Thomas Robinson appears NBA-bound.

6. Lamar Odom and the Mavs have called it quits.

7. Ben Folds (from Ben Folds 5) tweeted today that he might get into basketball to root for the Bobcats, saying #BuyLowSellHigh

8. Patrick Kennedy (@poke215dx) made this one on twitter–

9. Ryan and Michael didn’t do a podcast yesterday (the bums!), but you can still get your Hornets audio fix by listening to the podcast version of The Swarm.

10. I’ll be on ESPN’s DDL chat throughout the game. Join in!


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