Rough season for the Hornets
Life is rough in the NBA’s Western Conference, and your old friends the Hornets can attest. New Orleans goes into Wednesday, the final day of the season, in danger of falling to the dreaded eighth-seed in the West, which would put the Hornets in a first-round series with the mighty Lakers.
Tonight, the Jazz plays at the Lakers, and Dallas hosts Houston and the Hornets play in San Antonio on Wednesday night. If the Jazz and Dallas win, and New Orleans loses, the Hornets fall to No. 8.
The Jazz don’t seem a likely candidate to win in Los Angeles — the Lakers are 35-5 at home, Utah is 15-25 on the road. But the Lakers could be on cruise control, since the game is meaningless from LA’s standpoint. It’s a chance for Phil Jackson to rest his primary players.
Meanwhile, Houston and San Antonio are slugging it out for the Southwest Division title, so both will be playing for big stakes. The division winner gets homecourt advantage in the first round; the runnerup likely will not get homecourt advantage, in a first-round series with Portland.
This has been a disappointing season for New Orleans. Chris Paul has been sensational, but financial trouble brews for owner George Shinn, who tried to trade center Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City in February to alleviate payroll cap concerns. The trade was rescinded by OKC doctors, who were concerned by Chandler’s chronic toe problems. Since the trade, Chander has returned to the injured list. He hasn’t played in weeks, though it is believed he will return for the playoffs.
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