Hornets Fall In L.A.
Pau Gasol and the size of the L.A. Lakers handled the Hornets at the Staples Center Sunday night, defeating New Orleans 102-84. Here is more from the AP and espn.com.
Carl Landry had a season-high 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul had 10 points and nine assists in the Hornets’ second game without West, their injured scoring leader.
Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Landry was a whirlwind of activity in his second straight start for the Hornets, who aren’t looking forward to life without West. The two-time All-Star is done for the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee during Thursday’s win at Utah.
“We’ve dealt with adversity all year,” rookie coach Monty Williams said. “Since I signed here, it’s been one thing after another. … Life isn’t fair. Where we live at, New Orleans, you think anybody is going to listen to us complain about basketball with the money you’re getting paid?”
Williams said he’s “racking my brain every night” to figure out effective lineups that don’t include West. New Orleans knocked off Phoenix on Friday night in the middle stop on a three-game road trip, but Williams realizes his team must make a profound readjustment just to stay in the postseason picture.
As much as the Hornets will miss David West, even his presence would not have changed the outcome of Sunday night’s game in Los Angeles. The Lakers are a terrible matchup for the Hornets. New Orleans has struggled with size all year, and L.A. has the most size in the league. Add in the fact that New Orleans plays predominantly a half-court style of offense, and the Hornets will always struggle to compete with the Lakers. Oh yeah, they also have Kobe Bryant.
“This league is all about matchups,” explained Chris Paul. “It’s funny, the Lakers have had problems with the Bobcats over the past year, so it’s all matchups, and this is not a team we match up with good this year.”
As the Hornets continue to grind toward a playoff berth, one of the potential first round matchups is L.A. For now, the Hornets only focus should be qualifying for the postseason. Following potential first round matchups on a day to day basis would be, for lack of better words, a matchup problem.