Buzz Kill: How Injuries Could Temporarily Derail The New Orleans Hornets Season

February 5th, 2011 by Taylor Williams Leave a reply »
OK, so we’re probably not talking about anything drastic like missing the playoffs or putting together a Cleveland Cavaliers-type losing streak. But the injury bug has bitten the surging New Orleans Hornets, and bitten them hard.

Losing two starters is never easy, especially when they happen to be the two best defenders on the league’s best defensive club. No disrespect to Chris Paul and the steals he gets, but center Emeka Okafor has been a premiere low-post shot-blocker this year, small forward Trevor Ariza has become the new Ron Artest of one-on-one defense, and New Orleans is now without both.

Okafor went down with a strained right oblique msucle in last Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, and Ariza fell prey to a medial right ankle sprain against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. The Hornets (32-19) lost both games, derailing momentum garnered from a ten-game winning streak.

Although each starter’s timetable for recovery is only two or three weeks, that’s an eternity for this streaky New Orleans team. Here’s why.

The Hornets have been undersized all year, and only through Okafor&rsquo ...

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