Notes: Tonight's Hornets/Lakers Matchup
The New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers are set to tip off here at the New Orleans Arena at 7 p.m.
Los Angeles is coming into tonight’s game fresh off a 122-105 loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City last night. The team flew in to New Orleans late last night, and arrived at the Arena at 5:14 p.m. this afternoon.
Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said arriving the night before won’t have an effect on his team.
“It shouldn’t affect it at all,” D’Antoni said. “We haven’t played a lot of games in the last two weeks. We got to sleep around 3:30 or 4 a.m. That’s 1:30 a.m. West Coast time.”
The Lakers, once a powerhouse, have been struggling this season and are fighting for a playoff berth with a 30-31 record. Some of their star players are currently struggling with injuries.
“Kobe [Bryant] is good. He is probably sore, but he is good,” D’Antoni said. “Dwight [Howard] is good. Metta [World Peace] is a lot better than I thought. He is taped up and I think that he is going to try it. We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. I want him to be okay. He’s negative in all the tests. Now it just depends on if he can play.”
The Hornets are 21-40, and are still smarting after their 105-102 loss to the Orlando Magic at home this past Monday. New Orleans’ record belies just how close some of their games have been: 18 of their 40 losses were by two possessions or less, and three of those losses were in overtime.
“You have to coach, whether it’s a heavy hand, or prod or pat on the back,” said Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams. “You have to coach. You have to tell them the truth; some ways different than others and some days are different than others. I’ve got to be honest with them about where they are so they pick up our system so we’re better for the future. Different situations call for different coaching styles and I can’t bend on the absolutes that we teach every day.”
Williams says he sees the Lakers differently than he did earlier in the season.
“It’s different. [Steve] Nash has the ball a little more now than he did. They’ve cut their rotation down, so you don’t see as many guys. We may see more tonight since they are coming off a back-to-back. They still go to Kobe about 40 times a game. Dwight still gets his touches. We have to do a better job of finding him in transition so he can’t get those early catches — he’ll pick you apart, then he’ll find a way to hit that timely three. Those are the things that we have to make sure we are aware of.”