by Clay A. Smith
Photograph by Jonathan Bachman
Tyson Chandler and the New Orleans Hornets have been on fire since his trade to Oklahoma City was rescinded. New Orleans has managed to extend its longest winning streak of the season to seven games after beating the Thunder in a 108-90 drubbing. Since the streak began, Chandler has averaged a double-double with eleven points and just over ten rebounds a game.
-But Chandler hasn't done it alone. Hornets' guard Chris Paul has been the model of consistency with 21 points and 11 assists a game. Guard Rasual Butler has settled into his starting role nicely, scoring double digits in the past ten games. During the stretch Butler has averaged 17.1 points, however its been power forward David West who's shouldered the bulk of the scoring load. In the past five games West has averaged 28.8 points a game including double-doubles in his last six.
-Even small forward Julian Wright has stepped up his play in the place of the injured forward Peja Stojacovic. Wright went from role player to standout performer scoring a career high 20 points as the Hornets tripped up the Thunder. Now, a surging New Orleans team is embarking on a four-game Eastern Conference swing that starts tonight against the Atlanta Hawks - where they'll hope to extend their winning streak to eight.
-New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees says he'd love a reunion with San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Brees and Tomlinson were teammates in San Diego from 2001-2005. Despite being injured for much of last season Tomlinson (1110 yards) managed more rushing yards than Saints' running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas combined (Saints ranked 28th in the league in rushing). As for the Chargers they have offered L.T. restructured deal for an undisclosed amount.
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