Thursday , Apr , 15 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

No Mashburn for Hornets in playoffs

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) – New Orleans Hornets forward Jamal Mashburn
was not among the players listed when the team finalized its playoff roster on
Thursday.

“It’s all about his health,” said Hornets coach Tim Floyd. “He’s a great
talent and we’d love to have him on the roster, but he just can’t go right
now.”

Mashburn, the club’s second-leading scorer behind Baron Davis, battled through
a knee injury the entire season. He missed the first 44 games before
coming back for the ensuing 19. After averaging 20.8 points in 18 starts and
one reserve appearance, Mashburn went back on the injured list with more knee
problems.

The Hornets, who finished the year at 41-41, will due battle with fourth-
seeded Miami when their playoff series commences on Saturday.

Floyd had his hand forced with injuries to his top three guards, leaving him
with virtually no choice but to leave Mashburn off the roster in favor of more
guard depth. Maurice Carter got the nod because of nicks to Davis, Darrell
Armstrong, and David Wesley.

“We had to make a decision, and based on the health of our three guards —
Baron’s ankle, Darrell’s ankle, David Wesley’s toe — we made the decision to
go with Mo (Carter).”

The 31-year-old Mashburn was the Hornets’ leading scorer during the 2002-03
campaign with a 21.6 points-per-game average. He played in all 82 games in
the 2002-03 season, including 81 starts, and also averaged of 6.1
rebounds and 5.6 assists.

Carter originally signed a 10-day contract with New Orleans on March 25 before
getting picked up for the remainder of the season. He averaged 3.3 points in
only six contests through the rest of the year from that point.

NO