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Game 4: Hornets @ Kings

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2011-12 NBA Regular Season



2-1 vs
January 1, 2012
Powerbalance Pavilion
8:00 PM CST
Probable starters:
Jarrett Jack
< Tyreke Evans
Marco Belinelli
< Marcus Thornton
Trevor Ariza = John Salmons
Carl Landry
> Chuck Hayes
Emeka Okafor >

DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins is out (see comments)

Your Pregame Moment of Zen

(if the full table doesn't show up for you, click on it for a full version)


Eric Gordon Out Again

Looks like Eric Gordon will sit out his third consecutive game, per the Times-Pic.

I know it's real early, but that "Chris Paul has played more games over the last three seasons than Eric Gordon" stat will make us feel more and more queasy the longer this goes on. The injury was apparently caused by Gordon knocking knees with Grant Hill in the season opener last Monday.

A Word on the Pregame Moment of Zen

I should point out that I'm being at least a little facetious with the above table. While their raw offensive stats look reasonably similar at this point in their careers, Eric Gordon and Marcus Thornton are very different players. Thornton relies heavily on long pull up jumpers, and while he does indeed shoot a decent percentage on them, I'd much, much rather have Gordon's penetrative ability (almost two whole free throw attempts more per 36 minutes), especially given the fact that Gordon also has the exact same range as Thornton.

Gordon's defense is also a strong positive, and there's really no comparison with Thornton's defense in Monty Williams' system (where the effort was often there, but the fundamental defensive ability and end results were decidedly not). Top it all off with the fact that Gordon is more than a year and a half younger than Marcus. Thornton is close to his peak as an offensive player, and Gordon, potentially, has a ways to grow. Ultimately, there's a reason why there's legitimate talk of Gordon receiving a max extension and, similarly, legitimate discussion of whether Thornton is worth his new 4 year/$31M deal.

But all that said - yes, we did lose a damn fine player in Marcus Thornton. It's a move that will never stop stinging.


- DeMarcus Cousins, a player I dubbed the Human Traveling Violation last season, has somehow managed to up his usage rate from 27% to 30% in the young season. He's a beast on the boards and a load to handle offensively, but he's also been hilariously bad around the rim (36% this year). That should correct itself soon enough.

- Tyreke Evans looked headed towards superstardom as a rookie. After getting hurt last year, this is a relatively important season for him. Getting back to even his rookie levels of productivity will be quite an ask though.

- Sacramento's been great on the offensive glass early on, led by the aforementioned Cousins, but also by one of my favorite guys in the league, Chuck Hayes. It's great to see the Chuckwagon back with the Kings after he had his initial contract voided due to a health condition.

- This is the first of a road back-to-back, with the Hornets traveling to Utah tomorrow. Eric Gordon figures to sit that one out as well before maybe returning for the Hornets' home game on Wednesday against Philly.

- Dell Demps has been on an interesting travel schedule of late, catching the Oregon State-Washington game on Thursday, the California-UCLA game yesterday, and attending every Hornets game in between.

- Go Hornets.