Welcome to N’awlins! The 19-32 Raptors face off against the 28-18 New Orleans Hornets tonight in New Orleans. Both the Hornets and Raptors are on a four game losing streak, and both teams are dealing with injuries with their star players. Chris Paul left their game against the Blazers on Monday with a mild groin strain. The Raptors on the other hand, have their own injured “Chris” to deal with, as Chris Bosh is doubtful
for the game with a sprained right knee. The Hornets’ four game losing skid is a season high for the team.
Last meeting between the two teams was December 14 where NO handled the Raps 99-91.
This may be a game full of reserves stepping as Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, Tyson Chandler, Chris Paul and former Raptor, Morris Peterson will most likely sit this game out. It’s going to be a Devin Brown-Roko Ukic show!
I got a chance to ask Niall from Hornets247.com
a few questions about tonight’s game. Hornets247.com is a New Orleans Hornets focused blog that is part of ESPN’s True Hoop network
. Niall discussed CP3’s injury, James Posey and Tyson Chandler’s blogging ability.
HHN: What is Chris Paul’s status for Friday?
Niall (Hornets247.com): He’s listed as day-to-day after suffering a groin strain on Monday. Byron Scott has said that the best case scenario is to have CP back for Sunday vs. Minnesota. Chris has been injured a few times before in his career and usually seems to heal pretty quick, but I doubt he’ll be back for the Raptors. No sense rushing him.
HHN: The Hornets blew a 20-point lead against the Blazers on Monday, what caused the collapse?
Niall: We were up 17 with 1:30 left in the third quarter when Paul limped off the floor and into the locker room. Our remaining guys proceeded to look lost and the Blazers smelled blood, outscoring the Hornets 38-15 in the fourth. Jerryd Bayless lit us up after he and Sergio Rodriguez had been eaten alive by Paul through the first three quarters. Rebounding was a big issue, too, with the Blazers owning a 17-4 edge in the final stanza. Much of the blame for that goes to Byron Scott, who opted to have David West as our only rebounder on the floor with three shooters and a point guard for the final nine minutes.
HHN: How has former Boston Celtic and two-time NBA champ, James Posey worked out for the Hornets this year?
Niall: Lately he’s struggled mightily with his shot, but overall he’s given us about what was promised. He gets us stops on D, hustles relentlessly and provides an extra deep threat (usually). But he also is prone to one or two dumb fouls and an annoyingly carefree grin each game. I guess we won’t be able to measure his true value though until the playoffs. That’s when he’s really supposed to earn his money.
HHN: What can the Raptors do to take advantage of the Hornets on Friday?
Niall: Rebound hard, run the break, hassle Antonio Daniels, double David West and get hands in the faces of our shooters, especially the Serbian one. No team should have much trouble scoring on the Hornets without Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler, so if the Raps knuckle down on D they’ll be fine.
HHN: How would you rate Tyson Chandler as a blogger?
He’s pretty good. Melvin Ely, James Posey and Julian Wright have blogged some this season but none of them are as entertaining. Tyson seems like an honest, down-to-earth dude and that comes across in the blog. He’s just a goofy 7-foot guy getting into regular mishaps and adventures.
Thanks again to Niall for taking the time for the Q&A, check out his site: hornets247.com