Bowen Injury To Keep Him Out Minimum Three Weeks

Monday, November 26, 2007
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

Hornets forward Ryan Bowen will be out a minimum of three weeks with a sprained left knee. Bowen, who has averaged 1.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 12 games for the Hornets this season, originally suffered the injury in the team’s 99-71 loss at Utah on Nov. 23.

New Orleans hosts Minnesota at 7 p.m. tonight. We'll be back with observations from the Hornets-Timberwolves game later this evening., Audio Podcasts

I'd like to thank my colleagues with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks for inviting me to be a guest on their respective official websites this morning. Mike Trudell of and I discussed tonight's Hornets-Wolves game and several other topics revolving around the Hornets. Mike also appeared on our site today for our Timberwolves edition of the Rival Report, a feature we're putting together prior to every Hornets home game this season.

Micah Hart of had me on Atlanta's site to talk about the Hornets and break down a couple of the Hawks' opponents this week. New Orleans visits Atlanta at the Philips Center this Friday. FYI: We had a few technical difficulties during the chat; there is nothing wrong with your computer or media player. I assure you that during the parts of the interview that were cut off, Micah and I both made several astute observations...

Five Observations: Timberwolves 103, Hornets 94

Good luck trying to explain this one. New Orleans entered Monday’s game tied for the fifth-best record in the rugged Western Conference and was coming off a solid road victory Saturday at the Clippers. The Hornets’ opponent, Minnesota, entered Monday at 1-10 and had not won a road game yet in 2007-08.

So what happened? The Timberwolves dominated play for most of the evening, building a lead of as many as 23 points en route to picking up its second win. It was a head-scratching performance by the Hornets (10-6), who struggled mightily on the offensive end until a late push in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter.

Here are five thoughts from Monday’s nine-point home defeat:

1) Squandering the home-court advantage.

In an interview Monday morning, writer Mike Trudell asked me about the Hornets’ so-so 3-3 home record. I downplayed the stat, saying that a big factor in the .500 record was that two of the team’s home losses were to Orlando and San Antonio, both among the NBA’s best clubs (I did concede that the Indiana defeat was a relatively bad loss).

After falling to the Timberwolves, however – the Hornets’ third straight home defeat in the span of eight days – this is beginning to become a concern. The Hornets are off to a tremendous start on the road at 7-2, but if they don't take care of business on their home floor, those positive vibes will go away quickly. Few playoff-caliber NBA teams lose often at home against sub-.500 opponents.

2) Hornets outhustled by hungrier opponent.

Minnesota appeared to gradually gain confidence throughout the first half, perhaps after realizing that its chances of recording win No. 2 were very realistic. Frankly, the Timberwolves won this game in the opening half, holding a 58-37 edge.

“(Minnesota) played harder than we did,” Byron Scott said. “We got what we deserved, which was a good whipping by a team that was 1-10.”

Peja Stojakovic: “Maybe at the beginning we thought it was going to be an easy game. But this is the NBA, and every team can play basketball. You’ve got to approach every game with focus and intensity for 48 minutes.”

“You give a young team like that confidence,” Tyson Chandler said of the Timberwolves, “and later in the game (when) you try to come back, they’ve (already) got it going.”

The Hornets looked flat in the first half, something Scott described as showing a “lack of urgency.” Unfortunately for the Hornets, their biggest “high-energy” guy right now, Ryan Bowen, will now miss at least the next three weeks with a knee injury.

3) Lineup changes in store?

Scott was asked by Times-Picayune writer John Reid if Scott would consider potential changes to his lineup to try to prevent some of the club’s recent up-and-down play from game to game. “It’s not something I’ve thought about it, but it might be something I have to start thinking about,” Scott said.

It’s difficult to predict what – if any – alterations Scott would make to the rotation. A larger chunk of playing time than usual Monday was doled out to the starting five, with Paul and West each remaining on the floor for over 40 minutes. Other than Bobby Jackson, each of the subs played fewer than 15 minutes.

4) Seeking a "10-pointer."

While Minnesota built a big lead in the first half, New Orleans was its own worst enemy at the offensive end of the floor. It seemed like the bigger the Hornets’ deficit became in the second quarter, the more Hornets players tried to do things on their own. The ball movement nearly came to a complete halt, resulting in too many possessions where only one player touched the ball and he ended up firing up a 20-footer that clanged off the rim.

“We think for whatever reason that the three-point shot is a 10-point shot,” Scott assessed. “We think we’re going to come down and get those 10 points (that the Hornets are trailing by) in one shot.”

New Orleans finished 7-for-22 from the three-point arc, making one fewer trey than Minnesota (8-for-18).

5) Schedule brings rare early-season breather.

The Hornets now have three full days off before they play their next game Friday, the first time this season that they’ve had more than ONE day off between games. New Orleans played its 16th game Monday, tied with Orlando for the most games played in the NBA. Following a back-to-back at Atlanta and vs. Dallas, New Orleans will get another stretch of three off days prior to the Dec. 5 home game vs. Detroit.

The players may not be thrilled about it, but the upcoming schedule will allow the coaching staff to squeeze in multiple practices for the first time since training camp. The Hornets also will get to stay in New Orleans for an extended period for the first time in a while, from Dec. 1-10, during a four-game homestand.