Portland at New Orleans 11-13-09

November 13, 2009

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Coming off Chirs Paul’s best season and consecutive playoff appearances, the New Orleans Hornets had high expectations entering 2009-10. Coach Byron Scott was the first casualty of those expectations. After a slow start, the Hornets have fired Scott and replaced him with general manager Jeff Bower, who will make his head coaching debut Friday when New Orleans hosts the Portland Trailblazers. On Thursday, the Hornets announced that Bower, who has been part of the organization for more than 14 years, would replace Scott as coach. Bower was an assistant coach for New Orleans in 2003-04 under Tim Floyd, who has now been re-hired as Bower’s assistant. The Hornets (3-6) are hoping Bower’s knowledge of the team he built will help it snap out of a disappointing start.

Bower’s first game will be a tough one. Portland (6-3) has won four in a row, including wins at Memphis and Minnesota on back-to-back nights to begin its five-game road trip. The Blazers beat the Timberwolves 107-84 on Wednesday.

Rudy Fernandez scored 12 of his 15 points on 3-pointers, while Greg Oden led the team with a season-high 18 points and 11 rebounds. Portland shot 55.3 percent and outrebounded Minnesota 41-29. Oden’s double-double was the second of the season for the former top overall draft pick. He had 16 in 2008-09.

Portland and New Orleans split four meetings last season, with each team winning once on the road.  New Orleans is a mess right now. Portland is a very good team this year and they will win easily on the road.

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Free Pick Portland -2

By Lawrence Tate Associate Freepick1.com Editor


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