The struggling Los Angeles Clippers should be able to get back on track with a victory on Monday night in what might feel just a tad bit like a must win game at home against the New Orleans Hornets.
The Hornets have been “hot” over the course of the last week or so, taking two out of four SU and three of the four from an ATS standpoint. The team is still atrocious though, and with Trevor Ariza, Chris Kaman, Jason Smith, Emeka Okafor, and Eric Gordon all out of the lineup in all likelihood in this one, matters really aren’t getting any better. If all these players are out of the fold, what’s left is a real mish-mosh of players, many of which should probably be the D-League at best. Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, and Marco Belinelli are the only double digit point scorers that are left on the team that are healthy, and aside from that, the rest is just flat out garbage. Greivis Vasquez, Gustavo Ayon, Solomon Jones, Xavier Henry, Al-Farouq Aminu, Lance Thomas… Who are these guys? This is why the Hornets are one of the laughing stocks of the league right now, and that isn’t going to change with this collection of professionals on the court.
Could this be the final night that Head Coach Vinny Del Negro is coaching the Clippers? Rumors are swirling in a big time way that Del Negro has lost his locker room, and if that’s the case, a loss in this one could be the end for him, especially playing here at the Staples Center. The team did beat the Memphis Grizzlies here at home on Saturday, but that came on the heels of a three-game road trip that included a loss by 13 to the Indiana Pacers, a loss by 23 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and a loss by seven against – you guessed it – this New Orleans team. Yikes. The cover against the Grizz was LA’s first in seven tries, and now, the team is 2.5 games back of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division and just 1.5 games up on safety for the Western Conference playoffs. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin anchoring the team, there really is no excuse whatsoever for the Clips to miss the playoffs, and if Del Negro hasn’t been canned by then, if he doesn’t get this team with this much talent into the postseason, there are definitely going to be repercussions.
The Final Word: We know that the Hornets are bad, and we know that the Clippers are coming off of a great win here at home, but should this squad really be laying double digits at this point? We just don’t think so. Even if this is a ragtag group that the Hornets have assembled, they’re still pros, and just as they proved a few days ago in the Crescent City, anything can happen.
New Orleans Hornets @ Los Angeles Clippers Pick: New Orleans Hornets +10
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.