Clippers-Hornets: Mediocrity Might Just

Joe GerrityCorrespondent INovember 17, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 13:  Marcus Thornton #5 of the New Orleans Hornets shoots a jumper against Rudy Fernandez #5 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the game at New Orleans Arena on November 13, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Hornets host the Clippers in what can only be described as a battle of mediocrity. Both teams have dealt with injuries to star players, and neither seems likely to live up to its preseason expectations.

For the Hornets, things have only gotten worse since day one. Even when Chris Paul was healthy and playing like a god, they were still losing games. The losses weren't even close and Byron Scott paid the price .

The Clippers, on the other hand, headed into this year with a lot of potential. Their offense featured promising number one pick Blake Griffin, former Hornet Baron Davis, and young gun Eric Gordon, who looks like a future all-star at the two guard.

Center Chris Kaman was the unexpected Western Conference Player of the Week and is averaging a career high in points, minutes and field goal percentage.

With a tough stretch of games coming up without their star point guard, the Hornets need to win this game to keep alive the hopes of a playoff berth; one that seemed all but a certainty when the season began.

Hornets rookies Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison will lead them to a semi-unexpected victory through pure energy, hustle and will.

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Difference maker: Marcus Thornton, who will come off the bench to lead the Hornets in both points and three-pointers. A few days ago, someone said the Hornets could never build like the Spurs because they didn't have a "Manu." I think Thornton can be a guy who comes out of nowhere to be one of the best players to come out of the '09 draft.

Hornets 87- Clippers 81