The New Orleans Hornets gutted out a 121-117 overtime victory over Utah here Thursday night, but in the process may have lost power forward David West for an extended period of time with a left knee injury.
West sustained what is being termed as “left knee trauma” on a driving slam dunk with 22.5 to go in regulation. West landed awkwardly on his left leg and his knee buckled under him. Team medical staff came out and he was eventually taken off the floor in a wheelchair.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who would’ve thought Thursday’s clash between the New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz would have everything?
There were buzzer-beaters, graceful flip-shots from ungraceful power forwards, and injuries.
Unfortunately, Emeka Okafor’s game-tying prayer off the glass and Paul Millsap’s underhand scoop were overshadowed by David West’s season ending knee injury.
West, who was 9-for-16 with 20 points, went down hard after missing a dunk attempt late in the fourth quarter. Today, reports indicate he has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season and playoffs.
Fortunately, the Hornets acquired Carl Landry at the trade deadline. In the short term, the undersized Landry should replace West’s points and rebounds, and keep the club in the playoff race.
(The Hornets currently sit at seventh in the Western Conference. They have a three game edge over the ninth place Houston Rockets, with the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz hot on their trail.)
An interesting thought: has West played his last game for the Hornets?
He was expected to opt-out of his contract and hit free agency July 1st. Perhaps the uncertainty surrounding the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and an injury changes West’s plans.
The Hornets have had an ‘interesting’ year: there was Chris Paul’s off-season trade demand; the team got off to a blazing start under rookie coach Monty Williams; then there were the mid-season speed bumps; the NBA, of course, stepped in and bought the team, prompting rumors about their future in The Big Easy.
Now West, their second leading scorer, is done. What else can happen?
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