NBA preseason: Clippers 91, Hornets 88

Friday, October 23, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

New Orleans wrapped up its preseason slate with a 2-6 record, playing a more tightly-contested game this time before falling at the Staples Center. Let’s take a look at a few things worth noting from tonight’s game:

• Hopefully the concerns about injuries sustained during Wednesday’s practice by David West and Julian Wright will quickly be forgotten. Both starting forwards missed Thursday’s game at Golden State, but returned to action against the Clips. West played 35 minutes, while Wright logged 24.

• Chris Paul (flu-like symptoms) did not play for the second straight night.

• If Emeka Okafor is not ready to make his debut Wednesday at San Antonio, Hilton Armstrong is expected to start at center. Armstrong turned in two straight solid outings on the California road trip, posting 12 points and seven rebounds in L.A.

• Peja Stojakovic shot better in two of the final three games of preseason, including tonight. Overall, his preseason shooting stats came up a bit, finishing at 34 percent overall and 38 from three-point range.

• Speaking of subpar shooting, New Orleans should be happy it gets to wipe the slate clean Wednesday in San Antonio. The Hornets barely cleared 40 percent shooting as a team in preseason, with multiple players performing well below their norms in that department.

New Orleans Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott

RE: Things to work on for team
“Defensive rotation and communication are two of the biggest
areas we need to get better at. We gave up a couple dunks and
layups because the guards didn’t fill back. We’ve got to do a better job of talking.”

RE: Play of the young players
“I think the rookies had their moments. I thought Marcus had played well during preseason games. I thought Darren had played well. I thought Bobby Brown really played well all preseason.”

New Orleans Hornets Forward Peja Stojakovic
RE: Team chemistry
“We still have to get some guys back and see where we are when we’re healthy. We need to get Emeka back in the lineup.”

New Orleans Hornets Center Hilton Armstrong
RE: Injuries in the preseason
“A lot of people got injured before the preseason started. Once we get our full team healthy we’re going to be all right.”