The Other Side: New Orleans Hornets

Tyson, I know it's fun sitting there, screaming, pumping your fists and all, but you've got to get up. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Washington Wizard Antonio Daniels faces his old team for the first time since he was dealt to New Orleans in that three-team trade on Dec. 10. The Wizards have gone 2-8 since making the trade, while the Hornets have gone 7-2 -- although that has more do with the talent on each team than Daniels's influence.

The New Orleans Hornets (18-9) have won two in a row after an embarrassing 20-point loss to Orlando on Christmas Day. After hosting the Wizards, they will go on a difficult four-game road trip against Portland, Denver, the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah.

The Hornets trail San Antonio by ½ game in the Southwest Division, but they are finally getting back to full strength after dealing with injuries to key pieces most of the season. After missing the previous five games with back spasms, Peja Stojakovic returned for the Hornets' 105-103 win against Indiana on Sunday.

Here's what else you need to know about the Hornets:

1. Don't Mess With Chris Paul
In case it wasn't clear last season, when he finished second in voting for the league's most valuable player award, Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA. He's averaging 20.1 points, an NBA best 11.4 assists and recently had his NBA record streak of 108 games with a steal snapped on Christmas Day. He's one of the nicest guys in the league off the floor, but he is also one of the fiercest competitors once the ball goes up. So why push him?

On Sunday, a fan in Indianapolis decided to heckle Paul when Paul was waiting at the scorer's table to enter the game late in the fourth quarter. Paul scored 11 of his 19 points in the final 3 minutes, 36 seconds, then found David West open for the game-winning jumper. Afterward, he ran to the scorer's table and told the fans, "That was all your fault." Take that as a lesson.

But can somebody help out Paul's marketing team with his commercials? I saw this Right Guard ad on Christmas Day and had to scratch my head several times. I couldn't laugh or cringe because I was so troubled. Sexy pits? Huh? Here it is:

2. Tyson Chandler Is Slumping
The Hornets had two all-stars in Chris Paul and David West, but there were times last season when Tyson Chandler made it seem like the home team should've had three representatives in New Orleans last February. He was the exciting, alley-ooping, rebounding, shot-altering presence who consistently provided a spark for the Hornets.

Chandler's production had improved in his first two seasons playing with Paul and for Byron Scott in New Orleans, averaging 10.7 points and 12.1 rebounds since he was traded from the Chicago Bulls. But he has been slowed by an ankle injury and some neck stiffness this season and he has been limited to just 8.7 points and 8.1 rebounds.

Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen recently mentioned Chandler in his list of five trades that needed to happen before the Feb. 19 trade deadline. Thomsen said Chandler should be moved to Detroit for Rasheed Wallace to help the Hornets get under the luxury tax threshold. Chandler said he doesn't pay attention to trade speculation.

Chandler will forever be the player the Wizards didn't choose with the No. 1 pick in 2001. He also has a blog on It may not be as entertaining as Gilbert Arenas's - really, whose is? - but he does let you in on his world. He recently had a son named Tyson II, whom he refuses to call "T.J."

3. Antonio Daniels Already Has as Many Wins as the Wizards

So this is what winning feels like. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Since making his debut with New Orleans on Dec. 14 in Toronto, Antonio Daniels has played six games and New Orleans has won all six. Think about that. In about three weeks, Daniels has as many wins as the Wizards have had all season.

He missed two games because of a sore right knee, and the Hornets lost both. Daniels is averaging 3.7 points and 2.2 assists for New Orleans, which nearly matches his production this season for Washington (5.1 points, 3.6 assists) even though he is playing almost half the minutes (11.8 compared to 22.2). The Hornets are excited about making the addition of a veteran, pass-first point guard with a championship ring. Daniels said he knew that he was going to get traded and wasn't upset when it happened.

By Michael Lee |  December 30, 2008; 2:59 PM ET
Previous: Up, Up and Away | Next: Wizards (6-23) at Hornets (18-9), Butler out again


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Mr. Paul, id like you to meet Mr. McGuire. He will your personal menace tonight and will provide complimentary facials at your request. If there is anything else we can do dont hesitate to ask our staff.

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | December 30, 2008 3:28 PM

That Right Guard commercial made absolutely no sense.

I have an idea to help get this economy moving again. How about firing 90% of the ad agencies out there coming up with these ridiculous commercials? That would save a boatload for companies.

Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates?!! ? baffling

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2008 3:46 PM

I'm sure every squad we play will immediately notice and hate dom because he makes the nba a tough place to play unlike many much more talented guys. The trade with new orleans was a win, win, daniels had very little value to our squad as is right now, when gil returns ad will be missed, we played our best when ad and gil shared the floor in fourth, but for now james has given us a small dose of what we needed and AD is in a perfect situation now in new orleans, it'll be interesting to see if he steals any time from peja in the playoffs to be a steadying hand and d up, if it were my squad he certainly would. Hornets truly upgraded while the wiz received a much needed plug in guy to help stop the bleeding.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 30, 2008 3:47 PM

Tapscott had the right idea throwing lots of different looks at Yao last night. It's going to be more difficult with Chandler, but the same thing ought to be tried. Perhaps a starting five with McGee, Blatche , Jamison, Butler and James will help clog up the middle against the the Hornets.

Last night there were a couple of times with three forwards, a center and James, it ought to be tried again.

And same thing with Paul, send different guys up to guard him, mix it up a bit. Don't let him get in a groove.

Create strengths, stop trying to match other teams too closely.

Posted by: rickgonz | December 30, 2008 4:10 PM

Man that commercial is AWESOME! I crack up every time I see it.

Its self deprecating marketing without being self deprecating. I think its genius!

Posted by: jones-y | December 30, 2008 4:11 PM

I agree that the big lineups need to happen again and they were the best coaching he's done thus far, but he nearly wrecked it all by going with deshawn for the entire fourth, nick or juan needed the time, I continue to harp, mcgee needs time, whats not to know? young players get better a) by watching 45 minutes of more often than not, losing basketball or b) to get minutes and play through the ups and downs? Ask Dom, nick, and blatche how they improved, you'll get your answer. Mcgee needs the experience and with that being said he is still an upgrade for our team right now, everyone will benefit defensively and he should be able to get enough dunks to minimize his offensive woes. Please tap play him, he's the future whether you believe him to be present or not.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 30, 2008 4:35 PM

the present*

Posted by: bford1kb | December 30, 2008 4:36 PM

We'd better not be game planning for Tyson Chandler. He's likely to foul out trying to deal with AB's mobility. That 15 footer that Ab shoots oughtta keep him honest, too. I like our chances as long as we hit the first guy who comes down the lane to send a message.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2008 4:47 PM

Blatche isn't nearly an aggressive enough offensive player, esp. down low, for the other team to worry about him getting their bigs in foul trouble. As nice as his recent numbers have been, his fundamental weakness remains the same: he's too soft and lacks consistent aggression. He can be a decent utility player without it, but until he overcomes those deficits, he's never going to get the most out of his talent.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2008 5:18 PM

Hopefully Gilbert will watch the Hornets game and is intelligent enough to learn from a real point guard. Gil has the talent, the real question does he have the desire and is he willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make this a better team when/if he comes back?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2008 5:30 PM


I hate to keep harping on it, but let's not forget that Stevenson's J was consistent last season, and his form hasn't changed. I think its his left knee, that's the plant leg for a right-handed shooter

Posted by: jones-y | December 30, 2008 11:53 AM

Ok jones-y. I have one question for you then. If his knee is messed up, why is he still allowed to play major minutes like he is Gilbert A.? When you have Juan Dixon there ready to give you offense and jumping lanes defense?

Granted I will give the Stevenson props for how he is conducting himself. Tapscott is the one putting him in playing major minutes, not Stevenson. What is Stevenson supposed to do when Tapscott tells him to go in, turn him down? He is playing a smart game out there knowing that he can not hit on the regular.

I was probably one of the minority last year who liked it when he started talking smack to LaTravel James. He got me fired up with all of the back and forth.

As for his plant leg being fine or not, Stevenson has been a streaky shooter his whole career (i.e. Utah, Magic and Wiz). What I was just trying to say was he has a chest push shot that he learned when he was little and he never corrected it.

His starting motion starts from his waist instead of somewhere around his shoulder. Thus that makes him "push, aim and sidespin" the ball when he releases it.

If he was starting his motion from shoulder level he would then eliminate pushing, aiming and sidespin. The perfect jump shooter to watch for technique is Roger Mason, Ben Gorden, and Ray Allen.

If you notice Stevenson and Shawn Marion have the same type of jumpshot technique. The thing with Shawn Marion is he can give you points also by driving and finishing. Stevenson can not do that so he is one dimensional.

Lastly, the best part to see how bad Stevenson's release technique on the ball is watching him shoot his free throws. Please tell me how somebody is able to shoot bricks shooting a free throw???

Reason being Stevenson does the same thing shooting free throws like he shoots jumpers. Push, aim, and sidespin. His plant leg has nothing to do with that....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 30, 2008 5:36 PM

"Chandler will forever be the player the Wizards didn't choose with the No. 1 pick in 2001."

No, that was Pau Gasol.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2008 5:37 PM

Whatever Stevenson's problem is, it isn't the form on his shot; he's shooting ti the same way now he was the last two season when he shot 38% and 40% from 3 pt range. Some of the best shooters in the history of the NBA had bad form on their shots.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2008 5:40 PM

Let's remember that Ab is still only 22 and could possible improve his game a lot. He's still evolving. Remember only last year he was primarily a shotblocker and now he's developed a decent jump shot and some nice moves. He's using up and unders, spins, fadeaways, etc. I think his offense is pretty impressive for a guy who hasn't gotten many starts.
The only think I'm not too crazy about are the finger rolls rather than dunks. It appears he's earning some finesses moves from AJ. But as long as they go in...

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2008 5:53 PM

This is AB's fourth year in the league, he should be making progress, but as i have said numerous times if he would dedicate himself like say(Dwight Howard) then you would see a huge upside, no i don't expect Howard like numbers but he could be close.Andray should be a fifteen plus-eight rebound machine night in, night out he has the tools,thats why EJ was so hard on him because he has big time potential and Lord knows the Wizards need to see that potential realized this kid could be an all star but he needs to grow up and i don't want to hear he's only 22 you're making millions so act like you want it and play like you want it.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 30, 2008 6:24 PM

Well, AB's gotta get playing time to produce. He's getting time now and he's producing. Let's hope it continues.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2008 6:40 PM

It's not just about production. it's about how and when he produces. Not all 20 pt games are created equally.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2008 6:47 PM

I'm actually as impressed with his quality of shots as well as the assists and other tangibles as I am with the points.
I agree that all 20 point scorers are not equal. It's the problem I've had with CB. CB does a lot of good things offensively with the passing and scoring. I'd just like to see more attacking and generating fouls rather than pull ups.
AB occasionally backs guys down and makes them play defense rather than pull up after yoyo-ing.
It's too early to sing the guy's praises but he's playing very well all things (especially pt) considered.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2008 6:57 PM

Butler, an under-sized SF gets to the line almost 6 times per game (25th overall in the NBA) and you criticize him for not generating fouls and shooting pull-up jumpers. Blatche, a long athletic 7 footer, gets to the just over twice per game, but you're "impressed" with the quality of his shots and the fact that he "occasionally" shoots something other than weak fadeaways?

That's a ridiculous double standard.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 1:54 AM

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