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Injuries were as key as Paul's departure

The Sports Xchange

--Though the departure of Chris Paul knocked the Hornets down a couple of notches at least in the short term, the organization couldn't help but wonder how competitive it might have been with just an ordinary number of injuries. Had they had Jarrett Jack, Eric Gordon and Emeka Okafor for most of the season, they undoubtedly would have been a better team. They likely weren't going to be in the playoffs no matter what, but the cupboard might not be as bare as the record suggests.

--A lot of the Hornets' immediate hopes have to do with ping-pong balls. They have two lottery picks in this year's draft -- their own and that of the Timberwolves, which they acquired from the Clippers in the Paul trade, The kinder the ping-pong balls are to them, and the higher they wind up in the lottery, the better their chances of returning to respectability in the not-too-distant future.

"If you play hard and you do things the right way, along with trying to have a good attitude, you never know. We just play hard, and we defend. That's who we are. If we deviate from that, we don't have a chance." -- Hornets coach Monty Williams.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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