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Game 7: Hornets vs. Clippers

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2010-11 NBA Regular Season

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6-0 vs
1-6
November 9th, 2010
New Orleans Arena
7:00 PM CST
TV: NBALP
Probable starters:
Chris Paul > Eric Bledsoe
Marco Belinelli
> Rasual Butler
Trevor Ariza > Ryan Gomes
David West
= Blake Griffin
Emeka Okafor > Chris Kaman

Your Pregame Moment of Zen

"I don't know, I've never been to the Kaman Islands."

The Clipper Outlook

The Clippers are the Clippers. Obviously the Blazers are also the Blazers, the Thunder the Thunder, the Hornets the Hornets and so forth, but I mean this in the most damning sort of way. For decades, the Clippers have been the pace car of the NBA, if the pace car drove behind everyone else, routinely crashed into walls, and was driven by a racist imbecile. 

That came out vitriolic.

But I mean to contrast the Clippers of always with the Clippers of tomorrow. This team has a seriously solid core. Chris Kaman's done developing at this point, but he's a steady center that excels on the defensive glass and has great touch around the hoop. Eric Gordon isn't the most efficient scorer, but he has room to grow. Eric Bledsoe and Al Farouq-Aminu are two young guys the team is high on. DeAndre Jordan's defensive potential is off the charts, and he's no slouch on offense either. And Blake Griffin, I firmly believe, could be talked about as an MVP candidate as early as next year. He's amazing. Many questions still must be answered, but L.A. appears to have a plan.

For now, however, the Clippers are still the Clippers. Baron Davis still collects huge paychecks (from the bench apparently) for negligible services, Brian Cook is... on the team, and Vinny del Negro is the coach. New Orleans has won 13 consecutive match-ups with the Clips. This is a game the Hornets need to put away.

The Opposition

Make sure to check out Clips Nation for the LAC side of the story. It's one of the best sites on SBNation, with a large community of readers. And their ringleader, Steve Perrin, can spin a word or two with the best of 'em.

Subplots

  • Razwall returns. 
  • (Random thing I just noticed: why do Hornets' SGs always get their names mispronounced? There was Rasual. Now there's Ballinari. (And who can forget the days of announcers referring to Earl Smith the Fourth???) Shameful).
  • The Clips' strength will lie in its front court of Kaman/Griffin/Jordan tonight. The backcourt of Bledsoe/Gomes/Butler won't scare anyone, but Mbenga and Co. will have their hands full. 
  • New Orleans has three days off after tonight.
  • Chris Paul Win Shares per 48 minutes: 0.346. Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo COMBINED Win Shares per 48 minutes: 0.369. Small sample size, etc, etc, but Chris Paul is simply playing a different sport right now.