Two nights after facing off with Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo is set for a meeting with yet another of the NBA's most explosive young point guards — this time, it's Chris Paul, the Hornets' fifth-year starter and perennial MVP candidate at a ripe 24.
Rondo got the best of Rose, but Paul will be an even bigger challenge. If the Celtics are to earn their fourth win, they'll have to survive the Hornets' up-tempo brand of basketball on Sunday night.
Sunday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m. ET (CSNE
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Under the leadership of Chris Paul on the floor and Byron Scott on the sidelines, the Hornets have made the playoffs easily in each of the last two years. Paul and dynamic power forward David West make up a solid 1-2 punch, and the Hornets' trade this summer for center Emeka Okafor should solidify their defense inside. This is a solid Hornets team that could compete with the three Texan powerhouses in the Southwest Division this season.
Point guard: Chris Paul
Shooting guard: Morris Peterson
Small forward: Julian Wright
Power forward: David West
Center: Emeka Okafor
They lead the NBA so far this season with 32 three-pointers.
Paul Pierce has made 10 threes, most in the NBA.
Rasheed Wallace has attempted 20, second-most in the NBA.
Rajon Rondo leads the NBA with 37 assists.
Kendrick Perkins leads the NBA with eight blocks.
Kevin Garnett has averaged 19.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists in his career against the Hornets.
Ray Allen has averaged 22.3 points per game against them.
The Hornets were 19-11 against the East last year.
They have 76 total rebounds this season, third lowest in the NBA.
Chris Paul is fourth in the NBA with 28.5 points per game.
David West is third in the NBA with six steals.
Emeka Okafor is averaging a double-double (14.5 points and 11.5 assists) through two games as a Hornet.
Morris Peterson has made two of seven three-point attempts this season.
James Posey averages 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game against the Celtics, his former team.
Julian Wright has faced the C's four times, with a total of six points and four rebounds in just over 30 minutes of playing time.
Tony Allen, who is day-to-day with an ankle injury, has not yet played for the Celtics this season.
Brian Scalabrine has been dressing with the team, but has yet to play. He is day-to-day with a sprained ankle.
Emeka Okafor sprained his right toe on Oct. 2 and missed two weeks of the preseason, but he is now back in action.
The Hornets considered Julian Wright's regular-season status doubtful because of knee injuries in October, but Wright hasn't skipped a beat this season. He's played 57 minutes in the team's first two games.
Blowout wins are kind to Kevin Garnett.
Rasheed Wallace is a good fit in Boston.
The Hornets stung the Sacramento Kings.
The team is still a work in progress.
Marcus Thornton keeps the bench warm.
No one's buying Tim Donaghy.
Trevor Ariza is a good fit in Houston.
Tyreke Evans changes the culture in Sacramento.
This is a solid Hornets team with a burgeoning group of young, talented players, but they're no match for the experience and depth of these Celtics. New Orleans will try to run up and down the floor with their aggressive brand of basketball, but you can expect the calming presence of Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace and the rest of the Celtics' veterans to win out in the end. The Celtics are in good shape looking for their fourth win.
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