LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 22: Gustavo Ayon #15 of the New Orleans Hornets scores on a layup in front of Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers during a 107-98 Clipper win at Staples Center on April 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Tonight, the Hornets will not play the role of spoilers unless it is their own lottery chances that they're spoiling. Two of the worst teams in the Western Conference meet up tonight in Oakland as our beloved New Orleans Hornets visit the Golden State Warriors. The teams have fought two other times this season with both teams losing to the visitor. The Hornets, coming off of a frustrating loss to the Clippers, have spent the past couple of days complaining about that and you have to wonder if they'll either be distracted by that going forward or if they'll use that to play hard tonight. Time will tell.
The Warriors entered the season with a new Head Coach who promised a commitment to defense and a postseason birth. Well, Golden State is 23-41 and they rank 27th out of 30 teams in the NBA in Defensive Rating. They specifically traded Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks to tank their season so they could retain their top 7 protected draft pick that was given to the Utah Jazz. Bogut and Stephen Curry can provide a great tandem moving forward if they ever get healthy, but that's a big if. And neither is playing tonight.
For the Hornets, Carl Landry saw reduced playing time in the loss to the Clippers and Monty has specifically stated that he wanted to limit the minutes of Eric Gordon in these last two games as well. We also know that Trevor Ariza has been excused from the team on this final road trip. Who knows what that implies going forward, but it's safe to say that tonight will be a game that only fans of both teams should care about.
The official injury report for the Golden State Warriors lists Andrew Bogut (ankle), Stephen Curry (ankle) and David Lee (groin/hip) are out, Andris Biedrins (concussion) is doubtful, and Nate Robinson (hamstring) and Dorell Wright (ankle) are listed as questionable. For the New Orleans Hornets, Jarrett Jack (foot), Emeka Okafor (knee), Chris Kaman (tibia) and Trevor Ariza (being too old to play for a bad team) will definitely be out for New Orelans.