For tonight’s game against the Hornets, I looked to none other than Sarah of HornetsHype to preview the game. Here are her answers to my questions.
1. Can Darren Collison continue on the hot streak he’s been on recently? Do you expect him to hit the rookie wall anytime soon with the amount of minutes he’s been playing?
His and Marcus Thornton’s rookie walls are going to be different from the Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings of the NBA, who have tailed off recently, because they got so few minutes in the early part of the year. Collison is playing higher minutes than Chris Paul even plays, due to the fact that he has no backup. He hasn’t looked tired until this last week. I’m sure the recent string of losses is wearing on him. The fact that NO leads the league in close games hasn’t helped either– there’s no such thing as garbage time anymore, and really, since the Hornets traded away the end of their roster before the All Star Break to get under the luxury tax, there aren’t any garbage players left. But I’m more worried about him getting discouraged than tired.
2. Marcus Thornton has been playing off the bench, but against the Spurs, he seemed to be the only player actually doing anything off the bench. Who should Spurs fans expect to step up for tonight’s game?
The Hornets had a great fast bench going in January that was running over other teams’ benches with Collison and Thornton. But then injuries happened to ruin that chemistry. New Orleans is playing about 8 players these days. Darius Songaila has been a big bench guy this year, who was out for the Spurs & Hornets’ previous game. He’s usually good for about 10 points and some great pick and roll D, and his return should help with the problems the Hornets had the other night.
3. Key matchup: Parker-Collison or Duncan-West?
After the other night, more like Collison/Hill. Haha. Well, Collison and whoever. He needs to control the turnovers.
4. What do the Hornets have to do from here on out to give them a chance at making the playoffs?
Chris Paul needs to come back and they need to go on an absolute tear. The last two weeks have almost killed their chances– they’re about 7 games back from where they were unfortunately.
5. Your prediction for tonight’s game.
Spurs win again by about 4. I predict this so I don’t get upset if it happens. But the Hornets have put together a few surprise road wins– and even more really great games that were almost wins– against solid teams, so I also wouldn’t be shocked if they managed to pull this one out.