Originally created 04/16/04

Mashburn left off Hornets' playoff roster



WESTWEGO, La. -- Jamal Mashburn was left off the Hornets' playoff roster after missing all but 19 games this season because of a bruised right knee.

The former All-Star was the Hornets' leading scorer in 2002-03 and this year averaged 20.8 points. But the Hornets' struggle to be consistent did not improve with Mashburn in the lineup - New Orleans went 8-11.

Mashburn has not played since sitting out the fourth quarter of a loss in Toronto on March 7.

"Mash is still a little ways in being able to be back with us," said Hornets coach Tim Floyd, whose team begins the playoffs at Miami on Sunday night. "It doesn't really change anything."

Floyd said the Hornets also wanted to keep a sixth guard - late-season free-agent acquisition Maurice Carter - because guards Baron Davis, Darrell Armstrong and David Wesley have had recent injuries.

Davis, the Hornets' leading scorer (22.9 points), returned only two games ago from a left ankle sprain that caused him to miss nine games.

Wesley has been back for several weeks but still has pain in his left big toe, which he sprained in midseason. Armstrong sprained his right ankle last week and missed the final three regular-season games.

The Hornets did not practice Thursday and Mashburn was not available at the practice facility in suburban New Orleans.

"We'll be fine," said center Jamaal Magloire, a first time All-Star this season. "We have a bunch of veterans that know how to play, especially in a playoff setting."

Also left off the playoff roster was Courtney Alexander, who tore his right Achilles' tendon in training camp. Alexander returned to New Orleans several weeks ago to finish his rehabilitation and hoped to return this season. But the team encouraged him to not play until fully healed.