Lakers – Hornets Pregame

It’s a different New Orleans Hornets team that L.A. beat 104-88 on Nov. 8, and not for the better.

Chris Paul has been out for seven straight games with a sprained ankle, and Peja Stojakovic is expected to miss his second straight contest for personal reasons.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the starting lineup after both big men missed the first matchup with N.O., as the Lakers relied instead on 26 first half points from Kobe Bryant to put that game out of reach.

Jim Cleamons joined us to talk about the impact of those player additions and subtractions, to explain how the Hornets are different with head coach (and general manager) Jeff Bower and how L.A. can continue its recent stretch of outstanding basketball.

Phil Jackson Pregame
Jackson talked about how New Orleans plays differently under Jeff Bower (and assistant Tim Floyd) than it did under Byron Scott, which he said isn’t easy to do after training camp. While some of the offensive sets they run are different, Jackson said the primary noticeable change is in the Hornets’ defense.

He added a few other thoughts:
- Chris Paul’s injury offers the N.O. staff a good chance to see what Darren Collison – who bypassed Bobby Brown on the depth chart – can do.
- Kobe Bryant will be featured on the post, where he had great success on Devin Brown last time these teams met.
- Derek Fisher’s improved shooting coincides directly with Pau Gasol’s return.

And finally, Jackson used a Karl Marx quote I used for two college papers to describe how people root for their football teams, particularly the New Orleans Saints (subject of a question): “”Religion is the opiate of the masses.” Essentially, replace “religion” with “sports.”