Per the Times-Picayune's Jimmy Smith, “Hornets Coach Monty Williams has decided to start shooting guard Eric Gordon against the Dallas Mavericks, a source said.”
As Smith notes, rookie Austin Rivers will move to the bench, and Al-Farouq Aminu will also be on the court at tipoff. The Hornets will trot out the starting five they were hoping to have at the start of the season for the first time.
Gordon was sent to New Orleans at the start of last year in the blockbuster deal that landed Chris Paul with the Los Angeles Clippers. But the 24-year-old played in just nine games during his 2011-12 campaign due to a knee injury.
This will be his third game back on the court. He scored 24 points in his first outing of the season against the Charlotte Bobcats, then followed up that performance with 11 points against the Atlanta Hawks before resting during the team’s most recent game.
While the Hornets are just 7-25 this season and the Mavericks are not much better at 10-20, this matchup will have a surprising amount of intrigue. In addition to Gordon returning to the starting lineup, Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki will make his first start after spending six games coming off the bench, as ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon reports.
Both teams have the talent to sneak into the playoffs when their players are all healthy, and each will be trying to prove what it can do at full strength.