Hornets-Bulls Preview

New Orleans Hornets Status Check:
Record: 4-21
Division: 0-7
Conference: 2-17
Home Record: 2-12
Last 10 Games: 1-9
Streak: Lost 6
Last game: 100-92 loss to Sacramento
PPG: 88.0 (27th)
Opponents PPG: 93.4 (11th)
Offensive Rating: 99.3 (25th)
Defensive Rating: 105.5 (23rd)
Pace: 88.2 (29th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .466 (23rd)
Turnover Percentage: .148 (20th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .758 (3rd)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .278 (12th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .193 (22nd)
Opp. eFG%: .492 (22nd)
Opp. TO%:  .136 (19th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .240 (27th)
Leading scorer: Jarrett Jack (15.8)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Hornets Injury Report:
Jarrett Jack: questionable
Carl Landry: out
Jason Smith: doubtful

As Chicago’s injury woes continue, they keep reeling off wins against lesser teams. Their most recent dominating performance came at New Jersey. Tonight they take on another very sub-500 team, New Orleans.

And in what will become a new game show, “Who is out for tonight’s game?” Our first contestant…Rip Hamilton. Rip is questionable for tonight’s game, but he’s missed seven straight already so he’s old news. The Bulls might also be without Derrick Rose. Rose played just eleven minutes against the Nets, at first his bench warming was due to foul trouble, but he soon left the game for good with back spasms.

Rose continues to say that he will be ready to go, but it doesn’t really seem worth it. The Bulls play the Hornets tonight and then go to Charlotte to take on the Bobcats. Neither team is strong and the Bulls should be able to win without him. There is no reason to rush him back from injury (this sentence was meant for Tom Thibodeau…I hope he’s a reader).

Chicago is six games through their nine game road trip, which ends this Sunday in Boston. The Bulls are 4-2, with their only losses coming to top teams in the East, Miami and Philadelphia.

Chicago now looks to New Orleans. And the Hornets aren’t very pretty. They are 4-21 overall and just 2-12 at home. Their slow pace (29th in the league) means they are only giving up 92.5 points per game at home. But the Hornets are only averaging 87.7 points in the New Orleans Arena. Opponents are shooting 45.3 percent in New Orleans.

The Hornets are coming off a loss to Sacramento in which they blew an 18 point lead. Greivis Vasquez scored 20 points to go with nine assists, Marco Belinelli had 18 points, and Emeka Okafor scored 19 and grabbed seven rebounds.

The Hornets had more rebounds and assists than the Kings, but were undone by a huge performance by DeMarcus Cousins, who went off for 28 points and 19 rebounds.

New Orleans hasn’t won a game since January 27. They beat Orlando 93-67 that night. Their last win before that? January 9, against Denver (The Hornets did start the season 2-0, so there is a bright spot in everything).

To be fair to New Orleans, they have been without their biggest prize in the Chris Paul deal for nearly the entire year. Eric Gordon has only played two games this year. He hasn’t seen the floor since January 4.

The Hornets could be without more than just Gordon tonight. Carl Landry will definitely be out, while Jarrett Jack may miss the game as well. Jack has missed the last three games, but Vasquez has filled in nicely in his spot. Neither guy would stand much of a chance against Rose. That doesn’t mean he should play if he isn’t fully healthy though.

Again, New Orleans and Charlotte are winnable games with Derrick in the lineup. Some rest would probably do Rose well. But as I type this, I am pretty sure the reigning MVP will be in the starting line-up tonight.

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