Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets Preview and Pick

L.A. Lakers -1 (6-0) at New Orleans Hornets +1 (4-2) O/U 194 8:00 PM
ET, Wednesday November 12, 2008

By Jason Green at Predictem.com

Tonight the Lakers take their perfect record to the Big Easy to play the New Orleans Hornets. The Lakers are only one of two teams, Hawks, which are still undefeated. The Lakers are 3-0 on the road while the Hornets are 2-1 at home.

Basketball bookies are listing the Lakers as 1-point favorites with a total around 194. The Lakers are posted at -125 as road favorites and the Hornets are posted at +105 as home dogs.

The Lakers come into this Western Conference match up after beating the Dallas Mavericks last night 106-99. The high scorer for the Lakers in that game was, here is a shock, Kobe Bryant going for 27 points on 10/20 shooting. Pau Gasol had a good game going for 22 points and 11 boards. For the game the Lakers shot 42/95 for a FG% of 44.2%. On defense the Lakers held the Mavericks to 36/86 shooting for a FG% of 41.9. The Lakers forced the Mavericks into 21 turnovers.

The Hornets come into this big home game after beating the Miami Heat back on Saturday night 100-89. The high scorers for the Hornets in the game were Chris Paul and David West, as they both went for 21 points. Tyson Chandler had a good game going for 13 points and grabbing 10 boards. For the game the Hornets shot 34/76 for a FG% of 44.7%. On defense the Hornets allowed the Heat to shoot 31/72 for a FG% of 43.1%.


The Lakers have the best offense in the NBA, as they are leading in scoring at 106.8 ppg while the Hornets rank 14th at 98 ppg. Both teams are shooting over 45% from the field and both teams are shooting lights out from beyond the arc, as the Lakers are shooting the long ball at a 47% clip and the Hornets are at 43%. Both teams are around 75% from the charity stripe, but the Lakers are averaging 8 more free throws per game.

On defense the Lakers rank 2nd in points allowed (86.8 ppg), so there is little shock that they are undefeated. The Hornets rank 6th in points allowed (93 ppg). Man, are the Lakers stoked that C Andrew Bynum is back, as the Lakers are killing on the glass leading the NBA in rebound differential (12.6 rpg) while the Hornets have a rebound differential of 0.7 rpg.

This season the Lakers are 4-1 against the spread and the Hornets are 2-3-1. In terms of Over/Under games the Lakers are 2-3 and the Hornets are 3-3.

On the injury front The Lakers report no significant injuries while the Hornets are banged up, as SG Morris Peterson, C Melvin Ely, and PF Sean Marks are all listed as day-to-day.

What a game, what a game, as the Lakers can really assert their domination of the Western Conference with a win tonight in New Orleans.

You know Kobe and Paul are going to get their buckets, but the game will come down to the supporting cast of each team. Lakers C Andrew Bynum creates a major match up problem, as he can muscle Hornets C Tyson Chandler around. If he does that the Hornets will have drop in the paint on D and help him out, which will open up the long ball. The Lakers are dropping 3’s like no tomorrow and the Hornets need to defend that tonight.

Chandler has to have a good game down low and give Paul and Peja Stojakovic some open looks from downtown. Paul will also have to deal with Bynum when he penetrates, as the C from La La land is averaging 2.8 blocks per game.

The Hornets will have to go for most of the game with their starters, as they have some players banged up and do not have the deepest bench. The Lakers, on the other hand, have the deepest bench in the league led by super 6th man Lamar Odom and emerging star Jordan Farmer.

If D-Fish plays solid D on Paul and hounds him all game it could be a long night in the Big Easy for the hometown Hornets. Also, if the Hornets do not hit the glass hard and allow the Lakers to have many 2nd chances they will lose.

The Hornets will have to play a perfect game to beat the Lakers, as the Lakers are legit inside and out and Kobe does not have to do it all since they are so deep.

The season is young, but this may be a preview of the Western Conference finals.

Jason’s Pick: I like the Hornets to win on their home court tonight.