New Orleans Sports Scuttlebutt 1-26-09

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The hobbled New Orleans Hornets await Elton Brand and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Hornets are hoping to get healthier on the court and in the standings. Center Hilton Armstrong practiced and could play against Philadelphia. Although Armstrong says that he's ready to play coach Byron Scott will decide if in fact he can.

Still, the Hornets really need forward David West and leading rebounder Tyson Chandler to hurry back. Unfortunately for New Orleans Chandler could be out until after the All-Star break in mid February.

The impact of the trio's absence was obvious after the Wolves out-muscled the Hornets in last Friday's 108-116 loss. Minnesota torched the Hornets in the fourth quarter, out-scoring New Orleans by ten points and had sixteen more rebounds overall-twice as many offensively.

In the midst of what appeared to be a fortuitous four game stretch, the foundation of the Hornets' front court is showing signs of weathering including perhaps their only post option and second leading scorer David West(20 pts. per game). Now even more responsibility has been shifted onto the already heavily burdened but highly capable shoulders of Chris Paul. But the Hornets can only hope that despite  such immense pressure  Paul and the Hornets reserves can find a way to hold it together before their entire season comes crashing down around them.

To say its been an active off-season for the New Orleans Saints would be a huge understatement. Aside from the numerous coaching changes that included highly coveted defensive coordinator Greg Williams the Saints have been eyeing veteran safety Darren Sharper and Linebacker Dan Morgan says that he's coming back from retirement to join the team.

But the biggest deal for the Saints this off-season won't involve a player or a coach. A deal is close to being done that will keep the Saints at the Super Dome through 2010-which is great Because the San Antonio Saints doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

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