Hornets' point guard nursing a variety of injuries

BETHANY, Okla. -- Hornets point guard Chris Paul is expected
to miss Friday's game against the New York Knicks with a variety of
The rookie bruised his ribs Wednesday night when he drove the
lane and collided with Seattle's Nick Collison. He sat out practice
Thursday with a wrap around his left shoulder and upper torso and
an ice bag on his neck.
"I don't think Chris will play tomorrow," New Orleans coach
Byron Scott said. "I would love to just let him relax for the next
two games and see how he feels for Monday.
"Right now, I think he's still pretty banged up. I know how bad
he wants to play, but I don't think it would be in his best
interests to play the next two games at least."
The Hornets host the Knicks on Friday, then play at Minnesota on
Saturday. They are off Sunday before playing Washington on Monday
Paul had already bruised his tailbone Monday at New Jersey and
is still wearing a sleeve that protects a torn ligament in his
right thumb.
Paul leads all rookies in points (16.2), assists (7.7), steals
(2.2) and minutes (35.7). The Hornets lost 101-93 to Atlanta in the
only game Paul has missed this season. Speedy Claxton, who left
Wednesday night's game with a mild concussion, is expected to start
in Paul's place against New York.
Behind Paul and Claxton, the Hornets have no experience at point
guard. Guards Kirk Snyder and J.R. Smith have struggled when asked
to run the offense, and Scott turned to forwards David West and
Desmond Mason to initiate the offense when both point guards were
"Without him, it makes us a little bit more of a half-court
basketball team," West said. "We're going to have to be able to
execute in the half court."