The Hornets start off the new year with a matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. Tuesday’s game will also be the home debut of Eric Gordon. The guard had been stricken with an injured knee for most of last season and returned to action this last Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Gordon put up a strong effort in his first game back, he scored 24 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals, playing around 25 minutes.
Last summer Gordon publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the Hornets organization, and was ready to move to Arizona to play for the Phoenix Suns. However, New Orleans matched the Suns' offer, a four-year, $58 million contract.
There has been a wide range of fan reaction to the Hornets’ decision to retain Gordon. His return to the Hive is sure to be an affair of mixed reaction, but if he puts up a performance similar to last game it will be a great way to begin building a positive relationship with the fans.
This is the first time this season the two teams have met. The Hornets have beat the Hawks the last two out of three contests.
The Hawks (19-10) have been able to stay ahead due to good team chemistry fueled by energetic performances. Forward Josh Smith is their top scorer, averaging 16.6 points per game and shooting 44% from the field. Kyle Korver, who was picked up from the Bulls, is known for attacking from the outside. Korver shoots 44% from downtown, attempting nearly six three-pointers per game. Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, now in his fourth year, is better than ever. Teague typically puts up 13 points and dishes out 7 assists per game.