Battle of the power forwards Hornets coach Byron Scott said there is currently a battle between second-year forward Brandon Bass and rookie Cedric Simmons for the backup power forward position behind starter David West. Bass, the team’s second-round pick a year ago, averaged 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 29 games last year. The Hornets drafted Simmons out of North Carolina State with the 15th pick in June. “That’s a battle,” Scott said. “Both of them are playing well, so I don’t know yet. That’s going to come out of these preseason games. Somebody’s going to have to win the job, obviously.” • Jackson ailing: Reserve center Marc Jackson sat out Monday’s practice with a nagging hamstring injury. Scott, however, said Jackson would play in tonight’s preseason opener against the Dallas Mavericks. “His hamstring is something that’s going to be probably an issue for awhile,” Scott said. “He got through training camp with it. We tried to give him some time off as far as some of the drills because I didn’t want to push it.” Scott also said that Jackson is the clear-cut backup to starting center Tyson Chandler, making rookie Hilton Armstrong third in the rotation. “Marc has played well, and it’s no doubt that he’s going to be the backup to Tyson right now,” Scott said. • Vinicius still hurting: Hornets second-round pick Marcus Vinicius is still recovering from a nagging hamstring injury of his own. Vinicius spent much of Monday’s practice in the weight room and riding a stationary bike. Scott said he’s hopeful that Vinicius can return to practice in the next two or three days. “He’ll probably practice Wednesday,” Scott said. “We’re hoping Wednesday or Thursday he’ll get a chance to practice again. And then we’ll just kind of go from there with it.” • Point guard rotation to be determined: Scott said he doesn’t know just yet how he plans on using his talented trio of point guards. Chris Paul is obviously the starter, but Bobby Jackson and Jannero Pargo are both capable of playing either guard spot “I don’t have a clue,” Scott said of his planned rotation at point guard. “All of them are playing so (darn) good. “The one thing that we wanted to do this year that we didn’t do a great job of last year is pick up people full court. We wanted to pressure guys, and these guys...when they’re in the game they’re going to pressure the mess out of people.” Paul said he can’t help but give 100 percent in the preseason and not try to save himself for the regular season. “I can’t do that,” Paul said. “When I get on the court, there’s no way I can change the way I play,” Paul said. “I play hard and I play fast. There’s no way I can tone it down.” • Tickets remaining: Hornets officials estimated that 2,500 tickets remain for tonight’s preseason opener against the Mavericks. To purchase tickets, call 208-4667 or go on-line at www.Hornets.com.
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