Feb 8, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Hornets small forward Al-Farouq Aminu (0) grabs a rebound against the Atlanta Hawks during the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Toronto Raptors (18-32) vs. New Orleans Hornets (17-33)

Coming off a 100-98 thriller against the Indiana Pacers, which saw them win just their second overtime game in seven tries, the Toronto Raptors will look to continue their success Sunday versus the New Orleans Hornets.

Feb 8, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon (10) in action against the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The Hornets have won two straight to pull out of last place in the Western Conference, but their record probably does not do them justice.

Star guard Eric Gordon is back and playing in his 18th game of the season. In the 17 games he’s played, the Hornets are 10-7. The former 7th-overall draft pick is leading the Hornets with 17 points in 30 minutes per game, while shooting 41% from the field.

Other major contributors in the Hornets’ offense are Greivis Vasquez and Ryan Anderson. Vasquez, a third-year guard out of Maryland, is putting up elite numbers now that he has a secure starting job: 14 points and 9.4 assists in 34 minutes per game. He’s also grabbing 4.5 boards a game, which has Andrea Bargnani beat.

Anderson, meanwhile, is draining a career-high three 3-pointers a game this season, good for 2nd in the league behind Stephen Curry. He’s also shooting a very respectable 40% clip from beyond the arc. The Hornets also boast the 2012 first-overall draft pick Anthony Davis. Davis is averaging 12 points, 7 rebounds and one unibrow in his first season out of Kentucky.

For the Raptors, it appears Rudy Gay will continue to sink or save the offense. Gay has attempted 22 field goals per game in his first four games as a Raptor, en route to an average of 24 points. Andrea Bargnani has been very solid in his first two games back, shooting a combined 12-for-20.

The Raptors are 7.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.


Casey Sherman is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

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Tags: Andrea Bargnani New Orleans Hornets Rudy Gay Toronto Raptors

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