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Hornets Defense Suffering Without Ariza

While Trevor Ariza recovers from a severe ankle sprain, the Hornets continue to slip in the standings. Medial ankle sprains take longer to heal than more common lateral ankle sprains, leaving Ariza helplessly on the bench. Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune has more.

These sprains are unusual because the fibula bone usually prevents the ankle from moving far enough to sprain or stretch the ligament, and the medial ligaments are stronger than lateral ligaments.Customary treatment includes the RICE method: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Medication such as ibuprofen also is recommended.

Ariza said he had never an ankle injury.

“It’s sore, it’s very sore,” Ariza said, “but I’m doing my best. This is very frustrating. It’s going to nag. It’s one of those nagging injuries. I have to find a way to tape it up and try to play through it. That’s what I’m going to try to do. It hurts. It’s not a good feeling.”

Trevor is an elite defender, but let’s not forget about starting Center Emeka Okafor who is also out with an oblique strain. The absence of Ariza and Okafor has transformed the Hornets defense for the worst.

New Orleans is 21-1 when their opponent scores less than 90 points. Before the Arzia and Okafor injuries, the Hornets owned the best scoring defense in the league, giving up a little less than 92 points a game. Stalwart defense had become the identity of the Hornets. Without Ariza and Okafor, New Orleans has lost five of six. In all five losses, they gave up 101 points or more.

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