NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
PACE #29 90.7
OFFENSE: #19 103.8
DEFENSE: #09 102.5
Talking about the Hornets’ last season is a mere exercise of futility because going for this season, the Hornets have lost their two best players not only from the last season, but of the whole franchise. Monty Williams did a terrific job with the Hornets in his first year as a coach! The Hornets improved dramatically on the defense and the rebounding department while offensively, any team that has Chris Paul has a chance to win a ball game down the stretch.
The league decided that the Hornets have to be “young” for the future and they received Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman’s expiring contract and the Timberwolves first round pick of the next season for Chris Paul.
In my opinion, the ceiling of this team is pretty low while the mindset of the organization (league owns the team) is to get two high draft picks in the next season and start their true rebuilding process.
The “new” Point Guard of this team is Jarrett Jack and even though I think that Jack is a solid player, he isn’t a “facilitator” PG like CP3 is. Jack’s best assists numbers of his career was 5.3 apg for Portland a couple of seasons ago and usually CP3 doubles Jack’s assists per game numbers…every single season!
Okafor is a solid defensive player, but he can’t create his own shot and his small hands have been an obstacle for him. Even with CP3, Okafor has struggled to be consistent on offensive end, what will happen without him playing along with the best Point Guard of the game?! Chris Kaman has been battling through injuries and we really don’t know if he can stay health for the long term, so the Hornets have a thin frontcourt for this season.
Trevor Ariza will potentially have the same problem as Okafor because Ariza couldn’t improve his offensive numbers playing with CP3 and for the second consecutive season he failed to hit 40% from the field for the season and we are talking a guy that shoots more than 10 FG’s per game!
On the backcourt, their premier player is now Eric Gordon and he has the potential to be a pretty good player although not a superstar in my opinion. He suffered some injuries last season, but on his best month (January), Gordon averaged 25.1 points per game while shooting almost 50% from the field! He is just 23-years old and the Hornets are counting on him to be part of their future. Other than him, the Hornets don’t have much more quality for the long term sake of the franchise.
I don’t expect the Hornets to be a playoff team and I would be surprised if they put some fight for the last spot because they don’t have depth and they stuck with a core of players that were used to play around one true superstar player – remember the Cavaliers last season?!