Two teams that had high expectations heading into this season meet up at the ACC. The Hornets many people will forget finished in first in the western conference last year. The made a bid off-season signing bringing in James Posey from the champion Celtics. But things have not exactly started on the right path for the Hornets and M.V.P candidate Chris Paul. A 12-7 record and just 5-4 on the road is not exactly the stuff of a top tier team. They are third in the Southwest Division they won last year. Injuries to key players like Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic, even ex-Raptor Morris Peterson who had a long iron man streak in his time in Toronto has been injured.
However the Raptors would gladly would take a 12-7 record for their team. But after a 5 game slide they have climbed back to win two straight. We are starting to see the signs of change with Jay Triano as the coach of the Raptors. Anthony Parker and Kris Humphries have remained out of the line-up with injuries. Leaving the roster to basically 10 players for the last few games. The Raptors have been just .500 at home with a 5-5 mark. To get above .500 prior to Christmas may be a tough task. The Hornets today, Nets tomorrow and Dallas on Wednesday. So the Raptor would need to take 2 of 3 to have that above .500 record at home.
The two main attractions of this game for fans of the NBA and not the two teams is Chris Paul and Chris Bosh. Paul comes off a season that some feel he should have been the M.V.P last year. However this year he has struggled a bit to return to that extreme high level. Some folks suggest his relationship with his head coach Byron Scott is not as good as it could be. But all that being said the guy is still on his way to being one of the best point guards in the history of this league. Tell me a team that wouldn't gladly take these numbers from their point guard:
Paul 20.3 points, 12.1 assists, 5.5 rebounds
Some talk about the loss of Pargo his back-up to Europe as a key to the Hornets not being as good. That sounds familiar to the concerns that the Raptors face with no real back-up for Jose Calderon. However Chris Bosh has not been a concern at all he is having a career year despite his team not living up to pre-season expectations. His numbers heading into today are worthy of being compared to last year's M.V.P runner up.
Bosh 24.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Two all star level players looking to get their teams on the right path as they head towards Christmas. It should make for an interesting game at the A.C.C today. The Hornets come in off a loss to the Celtics and will look to get back on track against the Raptors. While the Raptors will look to keep on a roll and get a much needed statement win on their resume. Win or Lose Raptor Rewind will have the story of how it went down.
Injury Updates 11:50
Tyson Chandler (NO) - Out
Anthony Parker (TOR)- Will Play Today
Kris Humphries ( TOR ) - Will Play Today