Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Hornets - Game Preview

2010/2011 NBA Regular Season
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vs.
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21-36

33-25
New Orleans Arena
November 22nd, 2010, 6:30 PM
FSN Prime Ticket, ESPN, KFWB 980 AM
Probable starters:
Baron Davis
PG Chris Paul
 Randy Foye
SG Willie Green
Ryan Gomes
SF Trevor Ariza
Blake Griffin
PF David West
DeAndre Jordan
C Jason Smith

 

The Back Story:

The Big Picture:

The Clippers' first two wins of the season came at home against Oklahoma City and New Orleans - and it took 15 games to get those wins. As it happens, they are meeting those teams for the first time since those November games, and there's little doubt that the Hornets are looking to avenge that loss the way the Thunder did last night. Given that the Clippers are 5-22 on the road, it would seem likely that the Hornets will have their revenge. Blake Griffin needs some help carrying the team, and that help may not be arriving until next week, when Eric Gordon is due to return to the line up. Baron Davis had been providing plenty of support to Blake through the first 7 games of the trip, but whether it's his knees flaring up or some other reason, Baron has had two consecutive really bad games. Whether it's Baron or Randy Foye or Ryan Gomes or Chris Kaman (and it wouldn't be bad if all of them played well), Griffin is going to need help.

The Antagonist:

The Hornets have been struggling about as bad as the Clippers. This is their first game post All Star Break, but prior to the break, they had lost 9 of their last 11. The big problem is that they have been missing Emeka Okafor, who provides solid post defense and rebounding for the Hornets. Without Okafor, they really don't have a defensive presence in the middle. Okafor was scheduled to be back after the break, but he is listed as out for this game, so that's a break for the Clippers. Of course, Okafor is secondary on this team - the team is essentially Chris Paul, David West and some other guys. Paul is having another terrific season, and is probably the best pure point guard in the game today. West may have something extra to prove against Blake Griffin tonight, given that Griffin made the All Star Team, while former All Star West did not.

The Subplots

  • Happy Birthday to Max. ClipperMax turned 15 Tuesday, and the family celebrated with dinner out. Unfortunately, that pushed everything back, and I didn't get to start watching the Thunder game until 9:30, after which I had to write the recap. That's a long-winded way of saying, it's late, I'm tired, and this is not going to be a very good preview.
  • Speaking of Mailing it in.... Did anyone catch Chris Paul's performance in the Skills Challenge Saturday night? You know, if you're not going to try, then give another player a spot in the competition. I mean, how could he possibly miss the layup at the beginning, and there's really no excuse for not hustling throughout the course.
  • Streaky Hornets. New Orleans has got to be the streakiest team in the NBA this season. They opened the season 11-1. Then beginning with the loss to the Clippers, they lost 9 out of 12. Then they got hot again, and they won 10 in a row in January. But after the 10 game streak, they started this latest 9 losses in 12 games stretch.
  • Carl Landry. They Hornets appear to be ready to acquire Carl Landry from the Sacramento Kings. This is a very nice pickup for the Hornets, who could use some help inside, backing up David West. The Hornets are giving up seldom used Marcus Thornton to acquire Landry. Fortunately for the Clippers, this deal won't get done in time for tonight's game, so no Landry, and the Clippers should enjoy a big advantage down low.
  • ESPN game. I thought we were more or less done with Clippers games on national TV, but this one is indeed on ESPN. So if you're not from around here, you're in luck because this one is national.
  • Losing streak. The Clippers snapped their 14 game losing streak against the Hornets back in November, but they still have a 7 game losing streak in New Orleans.
  • Back to back. The Clippers are on the second game of a back to back, while the Hornets are about as well rested as a team can be, having not playing since before the break.
  • Superstar for one game: Jason Smith. Just a hunch. 
  • Famous Quotation: 

    A red-hot needle
    hangs out of him, he steers by it
    as if it were a rudder....

    Anne Sexton, Hornet
  • Get the Hornets perspective at the Hive.
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