Welcome the New Hornets, same as the Old Hornets...
PG - Despite overwhelming success in two straight wins, rest assured one Kings star is still sucking: Mike Bibby, 8 for 30 with 8 assists in 70 minutes in those two games.
SG - For comparison's sake: Kevin Martin, 19 for 26 in those two contests in 73 minutes. A little piece of my brain dies every time Bibby finishes a game with more FGAs than Martin.
SF - Ron Artest has been on a tear, as noted around the league. January: .504 FG%, .423 3P%, 6 rebs, 3 asts, 2 stls. Nice start to February, too: 21 pts on 18 FGAs, 11 rebs, 5 asts, 4 fricking stls. And at least one long nightmare for likely All-NBA second teamer Carmelo Anthony.
PF - Worse at layups: Kenny Thomas 2007 or Peja Stojakovic 2006? Worth looking into...
C - Brad Miller has been passing beautifully since about MLK Day, and he's dunked more in the past week than in the past two seasons combined. His defense is not getting any more encouraging, though. He made Nene look like a juggernaut. Yikes.
PG - Chris Paul is back, sort-of: 9 pts on 11 FGAs on Wednesday, then 24 on 9 of 13 shooting Friday, then 12 pts on 4 of 12 shooting Saturday. Which means he's due to explode again tonight. Great. (Also, 8 and 9 assists those last two games, both Hornets wins.)
SG - Devin Brown is still plugging away in the New Orleans starting lineup... I still wouldn't know who this guy is if Kelly Dwyer hadn't made him an "honorable mention" in his SI.com player power rankings a month ago.
SF - Desmond Mason torched and tortured Ron-Ron last week. Can it happen again? (I'll continue to remind everyone: Kenny Thomas for Desmond Mason almost happened 18 months ago.)
PF - David West didn't play well last time, and he seems to have hit a general rough patch. Can KT keep him in check?
C - Tyson Chandler is the anti-Brad Miller. Can't shoot, can't pass, can't drive, can rebound, can block shots, can scare people.
The Kings are -5. I think that's a good bet at home against an iffy squad... but the Hornets seems to have Sacramento's number. I'd stay away from this one.
INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT NOTE:
Under no circumstances will Scotty Brooks do anything to show up Eric Musselman. As DaveL noted in another thread, he's too classy/sane. A Bob Hill, in this position, would start Vitaly Potapenko and Jason Hart just to stir some sh*t. Not Classy Scotty Brooks. So don't expect to see any/much Justin Williams, Ronnie Price, or big minutes for Francisco Garcia.
No Paul? They still won.
'CP3-oh!' has returned;
but has Dez Mason?
Let's go Kings! I feel the palpable excitement pulsing from the Capitol City. (Wait, would that make it 'pulsing excitement palpatating from the Capitol City?' And is it 'Capital City' because Sacramento is the 'state capital' or the 'Capitol City' because the State Capitol is a building in Sacramento? I'm so confused. My pulsing is no longer palpatating. I need an Excedrin.)