Power Rankings: where do/will we stand?

Published: November 1, 2010

At the end of the pre-season the first power rankings were released of this 10-11 season and based on those rankings the future looked dim to say the least.  The Hornets went 1-7 in a pre-season with no significance and we payed in the rankings.  We, however, knew that are Hornets were not the 21st best team in the league (or should i say 9th worst?).  Unlike the “specialists” who made the rankings we did not look at the wins but instead the effort and skills displayed. We realized that Williams (the genius he is) played his starters minimal minutes to allow the role players to blend together and get a feel for each other.  This not only allowed Monty to pick out the best possible bench rotation, but it is probably responsible for how well our bench is playing together.  The pre-season rankings were simply guesses for how good teams were, and oh were they wrong about the Hornets.  

Without a doubt the Hornets were the biggest surprise in the first week of season going on to win against 3 playoff teams with a good bit of ease.  Our bench was solid and our starters fantastic earning us a place at number 10 in the rankings, 11 up form last week.  So far this year it has been a mesh of solid offense and defense that has allowed us to win against such strong teams.  We are ranked 10th in defense at 97.7 points per 100 possessions and 12th in offense at 103.6 points per 100 possessions.  This bodes well for the Hornets because when our offense is failing we can rely on our defense and vise-versa, while other teams ahead of us simply have either good defense or offense. According to these stats we are playing better offense than Dallas and better defense than the Lakers, both prime contenders in the Western Conference. Because the Hornets are such a newly formed team with only a few core players with large minutes in the rotation, these ratings will only increase.  I can see the hornets surprising everybody with a showing in second place in the West and pushing the Lakers to the brink in the conference championship.  

The only thing left to do now is predict where we will be on the rankings as of next Monday.  We only have three games between now and then against three more potential playoff teams.  The first is at Houston on Wednesday which I am predicting as a win, seeing as how Houston is slipping.  Fridays game will be much tougher, but winnable none the less.  We play the LeBron and company at the Hive which could be an exhilarating game. unfortunately for this game I see a lose.  The third game of the week will take place in Milwaukee against the young bucks who we beat in our opener.  They will be after redemption so it could be a tough game.  If everyone is still healthy on our team and we play as we have been, I predict a win.  If my predictions are correct that would put us at 5-1 by next weekends rankings.  With this ranking i think we could easily push into the 7th or 8th spot.  Worst case scenario would be a 4-2 record which would keep us at around 10 and best case scenario is a sweet sweet win against the Heat giving us a 6-0 record and probably a spot in the top 5.  The latter of the two seems unlikely however.  Either way I believe the Hornets will surprise this year just as they have in the early power rankings.  


Also to predict better how the Hornets match up to other teams I will list the top 15 teams and whether or not I believe we will beat them in the season series. This will help in predicting where we will be near the end of the season. 

1) LA Lakers – lose series, 1-3

2) Boston – lose series, win none

3) Miami – Lose series, win 1

4) Portland – split series, 2-2

5) Dallas – win series, 3-1

6) Orlando – lose series, win none

7) Atlanta – split series

8 ) Nuggets – split series, 2-2

9) OKC – split series, probably lose

10) Hornets

11) Spurs – win series, 3-1

12) Memphis – win series, 3-1

13) Jazz – split series

14) Bulls – lose series

15) Suns – wins series, sweep

^^^ not sure how many times we play each team, based on it we were to play each team 4 times.  If theres a split against a team matched only 3 times then it could go either way. 


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