The New Orleans Times-Picayune (John DeShazier) reports (via blog) on the current state of the Hornets: Getting steamrolled by the better teams isn’t earning the team any brownie points on the national scene. It’s not doing much for their image locally, either, because the folks in New Orleans are the ones who bought the season tickets with the expectation that their team would be among the elite and would challenge the Lakers for Western Conference supremacy. Their record says they are. Only the Lakers, at 25-5, have fewer losses in the West and for that, the Hornets are to be commended. The schedule is about to get particularly difficult, with consecutive road games against Portland, Denver, the Lakers and Utah following Tuesday’s game against Washington in New Orleans Arena. Those four games will be two back to backs, with the Portland-Denver and Lakers-Utah games separated by a two-day break. But the Hornets, with a 2-2 split on the trip, still could walk out of that blender in relatively decent shape.