Before this weekend's All-Star break out in Phoenix, the C's have headed south for a two-game swing against a pair of Western Conference clubs. To kick off the mini road trip, the men in green will be hosted by the 30-19 New Orleans Hornets.
This isn't quite the same Hornets team we saw a year ago, however. Even with the addition of former Celtic James Posey, Byron Scott's squad has failed to match the fire and intensity that they brought to the court last season.
In addition to that, they've been undermanned as of late. Four of their starters have been out of the lineup for various reasons over the past couple of weeks. Center Tyson Chandler has missed 11 games and counting with a sprained ankle, swingman Morris Peterson has been out for the past seven games with a sprained ligaments in his left foot, All-Star forward David West was out for Monday's game in Memphis due to a one-game league suspension, and most of all, ignition key and Western Conference starting guard Chris Paul has been out four games and counting with a strained right groin. As a result of these unfortunate absences, New Orleans has won just four of their last 10 games.
All-Star weekend couldn't come at a more perfect time for New Orleans.
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Paul Pierce (19.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (9.0)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.3)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (2.0)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.8)
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Chris Paul (21.5)
RPG: Tyson Chandler (8.3)
APG: Chris Paul (10.9)
SPG: Chris Paul (2.8)
BPG: Tyson Chandler (1.4)
|2008 - Kevin Garnett||16.5||9.0||2.7|
|2008 - David West||19.6||7.5||2.0|
Tony Allen (torn ligaments in left thumb)
Brian Scalabrine (concussion - out)
Chris Paul (sprained right groin - out)
Tyson Chandler (sprained left ankle - out)
Morris Peterson (sprained ligament in left foot - out)
Keys to Victory
- Control the Paint
- Bench Play
- Take Care of the Ball