The Hornets are wearing these sweet threads for the final time tonight. (photo via At The Hive)
Jan. 21: @Hornets 106 Bucks 92
Feb. 13: Hornets 111 @Bucks 107
Bucks: Michael Redd is out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Andrew Bogut is out with a stress fracture in his lower back.
Hornets: Morris Peterson (foot) is out.
N.O. ESPN. Down in New Orleans, this was originally scheduled as a national ESPN telecast, but instead this game won't be on television at all because the network, well, they changed their minds. The best part is that this game was replaced by Pistons/Magic, because Detroit is just playing such pleasing basketball lately, right? Apparently ESPN doesn't care to promote the best point guard in basketball. Or an inspired Bucks club at once playing team basketball, entertaining basketball, and competitive basketball. Then again, ESPN has been inundating the national basketball audience with the Bucks for too long anyway, so it's not like this is a big deal to Bucks fans or anything. Jeremy at Bucksketball types the truth:
Orlando is a fun team to watch, with their peculiar blend of hard nosed defense and love for the three point shot, but Chris Paul against Ramon Sessions is like a battle between the best point guard in the league and the best point guard no one knows about.
It's OK, see? Blogger (and pro basketball player) Tyson Chandler received some great material when his recent trade to the Oklahoma City was rescinded. Chandler's take on the whole ordeal is pretty wonderful. Of course, what seven-footer would be upset about staying on Paul's team? Chandler's overall numbers are down from the last couple years, but perhaps almost being dealt has rejuvenated the center. In two games (both wins) since the non-trade, the center has averaged 12.5 points and 13.5 rebounds on 66.7 FG %. In any event, he'll face off against Francisco Elson, who is faring just fine in his last six for a backup-turned-starter: 6.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks on 68.0 FG %.
Livin' in a tough division. Life isn't easy in the Big Easy for the Hornets. The Southwest Division holds four very, very good clubs (San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Dallas). Here's the interesting part: the Bucks have already topped each of them this season -- except the Hornets. Those aforementioned four very well could finish the year playing .600 ball; Dallas is currently fourth at .596. Milwaukee has far better luck in this regard, as the Central Division has only one team even at .500. That is setting up the possibility for a second place finish, as Milwaukee trails Detroit by just a game.