MMPG: Team of the Week
New Orleans Hornets
It's not a coincidence that the sudden resurgence of the New Orleans Hornets coincides with the return Tyson Chandler, the 7-foot-1 center who came back last week from an injured ankle and a rescinded trade. With their spark plug back in the lineup, the Hornets have gone on to match their season high with four consecutive wins against Sacramento, Detroit, Milwaukee and New Jersey.
Chandler provided his energy and hustle on the offensive and defensive glass and served as a much-needed complement to the two-man game of Chris Paul and David West. Chandler returned to have 15 points and 10 rebounds in a 112-105 against the Kings in his re-debut on Monday, then had 10 points and 17 rebounds in a 95-94 win against Milwaukee -- including the game-winning tip-in 3.3 seconds remaining -- on Friday night. Chandler also had a critical offensive rebound in the final seconds of the Hornets' 99-96 win against the Nets.
While Chandler's presence has made a difference the past four games, the Hornets have also received some stellar performances from West and Paul over that stretch. West scored at least 30 points twice, had three double-doubles and averaged 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. Paul has averaged 17.5 points and 13.8 assists, including a season-high 20 assists against the Bucks. After sputtering through most of this season, the Hornets (36-22) are in sixth place in the Western Conference, but they are also just one game behind Houston for fourth.
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