It's Hornets at the Dallas Mavericks tonight, 8 p.m. tip ... and a lot of news items brewing. Before we get to the Advance Scout ...
* Kidd's health: Coach Carlisle reports that Jason Kidd will sit out this game due to lower-back pain sustained in the Thursday loss at San Antonio. We'll assume Delonte will start at the 1, but his backcourt mate could be anybody from Vince to Jet to DoJo to Roddy B, with Carlisle giving no hints as of yet.
*NO also has injury problems, with starting shooting guard and leading scorer Eric Gordon (knee) out and with starting small forward Trevor Ariza (groin) also likely missing tonight. Marco Belinelli might start at the 2. Kaman or Landry could start at the 4.
* Yi officially signed: Signed, and sent to Frisco for D-League action. He's long been endorsed by Del Harris, the Legends coach.
*Sean Williams to Frisco: Yes, the Mavs' third center has eligibility there, too. Legends management members were among those who pushed the Mavs to bring him to town.
Probable starters for tonight (with lots up in the air due to the injuries):
|HORNETS 2-5||MAVS 3-5|
|F- Al-Farouq Aminu||F- Shawn Marion|
|F- Carl Landry||F- Dirk Nowitzki|
|C- Emeka Okafor||C- Brendan Haywood|
|G- Marco Belinelli||G- Vince Carter|
|G- Jarrett Jack||G- Delonte West|
• Jack is doing a lot of the damage in transition with drags off hi picks and getting in the paint. He is also good at the pick/roll and he makes the pull up jumper. He is creating shots for the other players. They let him dominate the ball and will set a ton of picks for him. ... and he's got handles ...
• Belinelli has struggled with his shot but is still a threat for transition threes.
• Pick/pops are a huge part of the offense and both Chris Kaman (who has been playing some 4) and Jason Smith are hitting shots. Smith is tough to get to on defensive rotations.
• They like to post up Kaman, Landry and Okafor early in possessions. Kaman is effective at facing up to shoot the jumper.
• Weak side players do a good job of cutting to the basket on post entries.
• If Gordon were playing, they would run tons of down and staggered screens for him. What he does there will be tough to replace.
• Very good offensive rebounding team with Okafor and Landry.
• They have a legitimate shot blocker in Okafor, but lack depth otherwise.
• Are not very good on-ball defenders, especially bench players.
• Give up a lot of drives and do not do a good job of helping.
• Hornets are 1st in the NBA in offensive rebounding at 15.4 per game.
• Hornets are 1st in the NBA in rebounding margin at +7.83 per game.
• Hornets are 27th in the NBA in scoring at 87.2 per game.
• Hornets are 4th in the NBA in opponents scoring at 91.0 per game.
• Hornets are 30th in the NBA in 3pt. FG% at .190.
How to Beat the Hornets:
• Keep them off the offensive glass.
• Put the ball on the floor and attack the basket, especially without Okafor on the floor. See what he can do, though, when he is on the floor:
• Work their bench. Another team that Mavs bench should be able to have edge. Especially with Gordon out and so many others gimpy.
Kyle Leath, a long-time Mavs staffer, former college head coach and now scout for the Denver Nuggets, provides you with an NBA-style scouting report before Mavs games.