Posey sidelined for three-game road trip

Monday, March 30, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Forward James Posey will miss the next three games with a sprained left elbow. The injury occurred during Friday night’s road game in New York. Posey will be re-evaluated on Saturday once the Hornets return home from the three-game road trip. He will travel with the team on the trip.

New Orleans' first game after the three-game trek is Sunday vs. Utah.

WESTERN CONFERENCE UPDATE
1, L.A. LAKERS 58-15 (clinched No. 1 seed)

2, SAN ANTONIO 48-25 (2.5 games ahead of New Orleans)
Season series vs. Hornets: Hornets lead 2-1. Fourth and final meeting is April 15 in San Antonio.
If the Spurs win the season finale vs. Hornets, the next tiebreaking step would be division record. By virtue of that April 15 win, Spurs would finish 10-6 in the division. Hornets are 8-4 right now vs. Southwest opponents.

3, HOUSTON 48-26 (2 games ahead of New Orleans)
Season series vs. Hornets: Rockets lead 2-1. Fourth and final meeting is April 13 in Houston.
If Hornets beat Rockets on April 13, tiebreaker would be division record, which would almost certainly go in favor of New Orleans. Right now Houston is 8-6 in Southwest Division games with only two more to play, while New Orleans is 8-4 and has four more division games.

4, DENVER 48-26 (2 games ahead of New Orleans)
Season series vs. Hornets: Tied 2-2.
Nuggets have one of the easiest remaining schedules of any team, with only three games left vs. teams with winning records.

5, PORTLAND 46-27 (0.5 games ahead of New Orleans)
Season series vs. Hornets: Tied 2-2, but New Orleans is guaranteed the tiebreaking advantage, based on conference record.
Four of the next five Blazers games are on the road, including visits to Houston and San Antonio.

6, UTAH 45-27 (tied with New Orleans)
Season series vs. Hornets: Jazz lead 2-0. Third and final meeting is April 5 in New Orleans.
After Tuesday’s home game vs. New York, five of the next six games are against plus-.500 opponents, with all five on the road.

7, NEW ORLEANS 45-27
Next three games on this week’s road trip are against losing clubs, but after that it’s all opponents with winning records.

8, DALLAS 43-30 (2.5 games behind New Orleans)
Season series vs. Hornets: Hornets lead 2-0. Third meeting is April 10 in Dallas, fourth and final meeting is April 12 in New Orleans.
Mavericks’ lead over Suns for eighth place has increased to 3.5 games. Dallas leads season series over Phoenix 2-1.

9, PHOENIX 40-34 (6 games behind New Orleans)
Season series vs. Hornets: Hornets lead 2-0. Third and final meeting is April 8 in New Orleans.
Since the best record the Suns can achieve is 48-34, New Orleans’ magic number to seal its second straight postseason berth is down to 3, because Hornets would own tiebreaker.

In action Tuesday:
New York at Utah (45-27), 8 p.m.