Hornets-Bulls Preview

New Orleans Hornets Status Check:
Record: 37-28
Division: 7-4
Conference: 19-19
Road Record: 16-19
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Streak: Won 2
Last game: 96-81 win over Cavaliers
PPG: 94.6 (27th)
Opponents PPG: 92.6 (3rd)
Offensive Rating: 105.6 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: 103.4 (6th)
Pace: 88.9 (28th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .493 (18th)
Turnover Percentage: .131 (12th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .765 (2nd)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .248 (22nd)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .228 (15th)
Opp. eFG%: .491 (12th)
Opp. TO%: .146 (6th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .218 (7th)
Leading scorer: David West (18.8)

Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.

New Orleans Injury Report:
Chris Paul: concussion (out for Monday’s game)
Trevor Ariza: strained groin (missed Sunday’s game)
David West: sprained left ankle (played Sunday’s game)

New Orleans and Chicago are both playing on the second night of back-to-back games in which they won the first game. But a W is about the only similarity between the Bulls’ and Hornets’ last games. The Bulls beat one of the best teams in the East and, thankfully, had no injuries. New Orleans finished off a game against the Cavs without their superstar point guard; outscoring Cleveland by 16 points following that traumatic 3rd quarter event. Chris Paul’s scary injury happened when his head hit Ramon Sessions’ shoulder. Although he had to be taken off on a stretcher; he was able to travel with the team to Chicago after being diagnosed with a concussion. Also, in Paul’s 26 minutes of play he was still able to record a double-double (13 points and 11 assists) and record 5 more assists than opposing PG Baron Davis.

So, sadly, it will not be round two of the marquee point guard match up we all had hoped for, but Jarett Jack is a solid backup. He averages 8.3 points, 2.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game (13.54 PER). Jack scored 10 points in 13 minutes of play in the Bulls-Hornets game in February. And Bulls fans probably remember that Rose got the best of Paul, and the win, in their first matchup. Rose had 23 points to go with six assists and four rebounds, while Paul had 15 points, six assists and three steals.

The Hornets might struggle to score with their facilitator missing, at the very least, this game. Add to that the fact that, according to Stats LLC, Chicago allowed opponents to score only 80.4 points-per game on their 5 game road trip, and it looks like the Hornets may be in for a long night offensively.

The Hornets are second in the league in defensive rebound percentage, but the Bulls go at the boards harder than most. The Magic are number one in that category, and the Bulls Windex-ed that glass. Chicago out-rebounded the Magic 50-30 overall and had 17 offensive rebounds to Orlando’s 25 defensive boards.

The Hornets also allow opponent’s the fewest offensive rebounds per game at 9.4. The Bulls only had 6 O-boards in the first game between the two teams; 4 of them by Omer Asik…but Noah was out. Chicago only allowed New Orleans to grab 2 offensive boards, but the Hornet’s starting center, Emeka Okafor, was out too. In game 1, Chicago won the rebounding battle by a wide margin, 47-26, and Kurt Thomas and Asik pulled down 11 each.
Chicago averages 11.8 offensive rebounds per game, eighth best in the league.

Without Okafor the Hornets struggled. New Orleans is just 6-10 since the start of February. Okafor was out for 10 of those games. But the Hornets are still in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race. They were really helped by their 11-1 start to the season, but since that start they are playing under .500 ball (26-27).

The Bulls have won 8 in a row at home; their last loss coming to the Bobcats in January. And, according to Stats LLC, the Bulls have won six straight against the Hornets.

Back-up centers…the old versus the new:
Aaron Gray played 61 games in his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls. Right now Omer Asik has played 61 games in his rookie season. Gray averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10 minutes per game. Asik has averaged 2.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12 minutes per game. Most fans would probably take Asik because he has the ability to move laterally. And Omer looks like Linguine from Ratatouille, which is awesome.

About the Author:
Braedan Ritter was born and raised in Pennsylvania but was swayed by gifts from his aunt to follow the Chicago sports teams. It didn’t hurt that the Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan playing for them, and the Sixers had…Derrick Coleman. Braedan has stuck with Chicago through thick and thin, and really thin (see: Chicago Cubs). And speaking of Coleman, Braedan is currently a student at Syracuse University.

10 Responses to Hornets-Bulls Preview

  1. jake_vick@hotmail.com'
    Jake in Minnie March 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Sucks that CP3 isn’t playing.

    Also, I view this as a trap game…potentially, I would be more worried if it was in N.O.

    Just saying, coming off a huge win in Miami and a successful road trip..but, this is the 2nd game of a back to back, and the Bulls might relax being that it is a home and CP3 isn’t playing.

    (why am I being a bit paranoid?…See the Toronto game)

  2. Inception March 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    not sure what to expect tonight….it can be a hornet’s win or a CHI blowout….to be honest with you, it’s a BLAH game, considering what transpired over the weekend.

  3. gorditadog@aol.com'
    Gorditadogg March 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    Jake- I think we will be fine, no let down tonight. Boozer and Rose both had sub-par games yesterday and will have something to prove.

    I hope Butler is activated, I would like to see him get some minutes.

  4. choyle@bpu.com'
    Chuck March 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    I’m with Admiral Akbar on this one in that it looks like a trap. All the ingredients are here for a letdown game. The Bulls just won two road games against some of the elite East teams. The Hornets are missing their best player. It would be real tempting to ease off the gas for this one. That is exactly how an inferior team can rise up and bite you.

  5. jake_vick@hotmail.com'
    Jake in Minnie March 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    ITS A TRAP!!!

  6. joe.sez@gmail.com'
    joe March 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    Both teams are back-to-back. Atlanta loss still smarts. Coach has this team taking each game seriously – no big games, no small games.

    Bulls win.

  7. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath March 8, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    By the way, is it notable that Rose had something like 3 fouls in the last few games combined?

    It’s not like he hasn’t been playing defense. Is he just getting that much better?

  8. Anonymous March 8, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    They almost choked this one away, but gutted it out in the end.

  9. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life March 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    this was no trap game this was a game in the NBA that the Bulls went out and won.they did what they had to do which was get the W and that is all that matters when all is said and done. Time has come for the rest of the league to stop making excuses why the bulls keep on winning and how Derrick rose is not an MVp . Our team is an elite team our team is a winner no a bunch of cry babies, our team has won against all the best teams in the league not just some.
    When the whistle blows and the ball is thrown up at tip of the bulls are all professional about what they do and what they get done on the court.
    This team has more than just heart it has the character of a champion not sure if you caught the comments but its a game that has up and downs. The bulls have been dissed since the start of the year like they were just a throw in or something I am putting the NBA and its readers and fans on notice this year our baby Bulls have grown up, no longer are they a team in the building year nor are they a team that cannot compete with the best teams in the league.They have proven this ye t i still feel like the league does not give them much if any respect. My point is this get yr popcorn ready this is gonna great year for our Bulls . Peace

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