The New Orleans Hornets are coming off of tough loss against a veteran Spurs team. They must now travel west to face an L.A. Clippers team that's tied for 4th in the Western Conference and are coming off of a solid victory against Memphis.

This matchup is set to tip-off at 10:30 pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This game can also be seen on NBA TV. 

Sportsbooks have released their NBA odds with the Clippers as a 9.5 point favorite and the total for the game is 181.5. Early action has left the numbers unchanged at most NBA betting shops.

The Hornets were without center Chris Kaman in their last outing, and his status for tonight is listed as questionable. Trevor Ariza's status is also unknown. The status of these two players are key to the Hornets having any success in Los Angeles.

Second game back

Hornets vs. ClippersAlthough the Hornets are in limbo with the status of Kaman, power forward Carl Landry has finally come back from an injury and played well against the Spurs. Even though the Spurs killed the Hornets in the paint, Landry made his presence felt with 15 points and 5 rebounds on 5 of 8 shooting in 29 minutes. He had been out since February 4th, and the Hornets can't seem to get a full healthy lineup in at one time. 

On a positive note, Kaman has an illness which means he could be back in action any day now, and quite possibly even tonight.

 

Point guard Jarrett Jack is one of those players that I consider to fly under the radar and not get the recognition that he deserves as a good basketball player. Jack came up huge for the shorthanded Hornets in their last game when he led them with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Jack will be matched up against Chris Paul and that will be a major test, defensively especially. 

For the month of March, Jack is averaging 17.5 points, 6 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. This is a reliable ball handler and shooter during crucial moments of the game. Look for Jack to come up big against LA.

Average team, young stars 

You might say that the Clippers are underachieving slightly at 27-21 when they have names like Griffin, Paul, Jordan, Butler, Foye, and Williams on their squad. They've been without veteran point guard Chauncey Billups and have also dealt with their share of injuries along the way. Mo Williams is listed as questionable for this game.  

The addition of Nick Young has been a major plus for this ball club, as he gives them some extra offense. Young won't do much but score, but he's averaging a solid 16 points per game on the season. That's a definite asset to an average Clippers offense. Young has been struggling as of late, but finally got back on track with a 16 point and 3 rebound performance in a victory against Memphis.

The Franchise

At just 23 years old, forward Blake Griffin has it all. He can do pretty much everything on the court at 6 foot 10, 251 pounds. You would even think that with the addition of Chris Paul, that Blake would become a better player. While the team has improved as a whole, Griffin has tailed off slightly this season. Maybe it's the lockout or maybe it's difficult to play at the excessively high level that he was at last year. 

You wouldn't notice the dropoff by Griffin's numbers, as he's averaging 20.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game this season. He's been slightly inconsistent in his last 5 games, averaging 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds a game while shooting 47.1% from the field.  

The inconsistency has been his one flaw (aside from free throw shooting) but I wouldn't be worried to much if I was a Clippers fan or bettor. This guy is the total package and has a great future ahead of him. The status of Chris Kaman could definitely affect Griffin in this game.

Outcome in LA

Not knowing the status of Kaman and Ariza makes this a difficult matchup for sports bettors. Definitely look for injury updates and tweets up until game time. This is a late game and there will be a little more clarity on the situation. 

I'm going to assume that Kaman plays off of an illness from 2 days ago. If indeed he does, look for the Hornets to be competitive in this game, as both Kaman and Ariza have been playing very well as of late. Kaman has size at 7 foot, 265 pounds, and in his last 5 games, he's averaging 18.3 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.5 block, and 1 steals per game. He's also shot a red hot 59.3% from the field.

Nobody on the Clippers can stop this guy as he's playing some of the best basketball of his career. 9.5 points is a lot to give. Take the Hornets and the points, so I am adding a Hornets cover to my NBA picks tonight. 

NBA Pick -  New Orleans +9.5