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Hard Times in the Big Easy

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 3/28/2011 12:34:09 PM

The party is always in full throttle action in New Orleans, otherwise known as the Big Easy, but the noise will be subdued for Hornets fans as they have just lost their starting forward David West for the remainder of the season.

How this will impact their hopes of getting to the playoffs and how bettors should deal with New Orleans the rest of the way is something that needs to be discussed.

West suffered a torn ACL on March 24 against the Jazz and has no chance of being back for the post season if the Hornets can get there.

When he went down, his team was clinging to the 7th seed n the West leading the surging Memphis Grizzlies by a lone game with Houston not out of it as they are only three back.

Teams just don’t replaced guys like West. He was averaging 19 points and nearly 8 rebounds but maybe more importantly was the tough guy in the paint for his squad.

Carl Landry will likely take over as a starter at this point. He is a banger but not as offensive minded as West and he doesn’t have the range to make teams cover on the outside.

He did have a solid game in his first as a starter as the Hornets beat the Suns in Phoenix by 6. Landry was 8 for 16 from the floor; he pulled down 6 rebounds and had 3 steals. His effectiveness was evident, but the Suns can’t guard a stop sign and a loss of a pivotal player just throws a damper into the rotation, something that is critical at this time of the year.

As far as covering goes, the Hornets have pretty much been a wash this season. After 73 games they were 35-36-2 against the spread with a better cover record on the road by just one game.

Trevor Ariza will have to be more aggressive offensively but that is not really his game as he is the only real stopper the Hornets have.

As far as the rest of the season goes, starting Monday they will only have 8 games left in the season to right the ship.

Six of those 8 are home but they will have two pivotal games against Memphis, a tough one against Portland and they have to end the season in Dallas on April 13. They also will have to face Utah in the second half of a back to back.

The concept is that the Hornets will be pressing and if they lose that first contest against Memphis, panic might set in.

Bettors have to be very careful to wager on the Hornets the rest of the way.

As for West financially, he very well could have played his last game for New Orleans.

He has until the end of June to opt out of his contract and become a free again but he has the double whammy looking at him in the face. He has the injury to worry about and there is the uncertainty of a new collective bargaining agreement that could lower the salary cap.

This may not only hurt him in the knee but in the wallet too.



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