The New Orleans Hornets will be a bit shorthanded when they face the Denver Nuggets on Monday night; starting small forward Trevor Ariza is likely to miss his fourth straight game with a groin injury. And starting point guard Eric Gordon will be sidelined for several weeks due to swelling in one of his knees. Reserve forward Jason Smith took a leave of absence following the death of his grandmother on Friday.
That's a lot of missing offensive production, especially in Gordon's case: the point guard averaged 22.3 points and 4.4 assists per game last season. Ariza averaged 11 points and 5.4 rebounds for New Orleans last year. The Hornets have lost six games in a row heading into their game against the Nuggets.