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Game Thread #45: Bulls at NOOCH

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I'm excited to see the Hornets, they've played better than expected before the season, lead by likely rookie-of-the-year Chris Paul. But its not only Paul who has been the reason for the Hornets' success, it's been the improvement of David West. West was a first-round pick, but had been inconsistent and injured before this season, and he is carrying a heavy load for their frontcourt considering that beyond him and PJ Brown there isn't much up front.

But help is on the way, with the Hornets trading for Aaron Williams and Stephen Hunter on consecutive days (I'm guessing only Williams would be available tonight). Using their rare status of being under the cap, the Hornets only had to give up 4 second rounders (one of those coming from the Dickau trade over the summer) for the 2 players. I really think Hunter could be a nice grab for them, he has a long-term contract but it is at a bargain compared to what players with his skillset command on the open market. With an unexpected shot at the playoffs, these types of additions were probably coming anyway, but the process has been accelerated due to Chris Andersen's 2-year suspension.

Blogging with the Enemy: Hornets247.com (one of my favs)

It's not only the opposing team that I'm anxious to see, it's the environment that Bulls will have to deal with. Oklahoma City has provided a college-type atmosphere to their crowds, and the city's been rewarded with the league announcing recently that the Hornets will remain there for (most of) the 06-07 season as well. I've yet to see it, but from what I've read the place sure seems like a better option in the future than New Orleans. Not to be callous, but New Orleans was a questionable NBA city anyway, and I'd have to think it'll be a long while before the economic base will be there to support an NBA team. If Stern does force them back eventually it'd be a charity case. Hey, the NFL is doing it so who knows.

For the Bulls, they did play last night and may be a little spent after mounting that second half comeback.  But there should be no excuses to be up for tonight since this counts as one of the 'winnables' on this road trip, but with the Hornets being tough at home it's no gimmee.