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Live from Staples: Lakers vs. Hornets

December 1, 2009 |  7:13 pm

It's a different Hornets team without Chris Paul, no question. For one thing, GM/coach Jeff Bower is giving much more burn to a rookie backcourt of Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton than Byron Scott ever did. Neither makes up for CP3, but it's unquestionably a more vibrant combination than Browns Bobby and Devin. But as it was the first time these teams met, New Orleans will suffer up front, particularly now that the Lakers again have Pau Gasol at their disposal. Emeka Okafor is an undersized center, one that Andrew Bynum can handle, and the Lakers have the length to bother David West on both ends.

Even with Gasol in the lineup, Phil Jackson expects Kobe Bryant to do plenty of damage in the post tonight, just as he did a few weeks back. "He'll get there by hook or by crook," PJ said with a smile. Frankly, as long as the ball gets down there, I don't really care who takes the shots. The easiest way for the Lakers to keep this game competitive would be to allow the Hornets to get out and run, scoring in transition.

Shots near the hoop help keep that from happening.

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