Maybe West's injury can get Monty to play Okafor and Gray together, and bring Landry off the bench. So that our PF and C depth is this. (Note: I didn't include West.) I know Monty won't do this, but this might work. PF: Okafor Landry Smith C: Gray Andersen Mbenga Okafor/Gray works to our advantage (tell me how we when @ Utah without that combo) with Dallas showing Dirk/Tyson and LAL's duo of Gasol/Bynum. Landry can provide off the bench scoring, and Andersen is good for 2-4 points and 2-3 rebounds. Monty also inserts Smith and Mbenga and Ewing Jr. at the end of the 1st 3 quarters to prevent our important bigs from picking up fouls and giving them some rest. Our Bench: come playoff time is shortened to Jack, Pondexter, and Landry/Gray, with Andersen, Green, Smith, Mbenga, coming in for the final couple of minutes of the 1st 3 quarters to give our 8-man rotation a break and prevent them from picking up fouls. I watched the Bulls-Celtics' series, and the Bulls' 7 man rotation left them exhausted by Game 7. Del Negro didn't insert Hunter, Tim Thomas or Aaron Gray to give his rotation rest or prevent some fouls very often.
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Hornets Must Use Adversity To Their Advantage
It’s been arguably the most tumultuous season in Hornets in franchise history. So much has gone on in 2010/11, but it’s only when you list them all together that you realize just how insane this season really has been.
Chris Paul trade rumors – are we losing our star player?
New Rookie GM & Coach
Risk of losing team to another city, required to meet attendance benchmark
NBA taking over ownership
Chris Paul knee injury + widespread worry that he’ll never truly return ala B.Roy
Traded away fan favorite Marcus Thornton
And now David West’s Season ending ACL tear
This is obviously an excessive amount of disruption and adversity for one team to deal with in a single season. Despite all that however, the resilient Hornets have a 42-31 record, are sitting in the 7th spot in the west and look likely to figure in playoff action.
The Hornet must use this adversity as motivation. They need to have the mentality of: “Yes, all this s**t has happened, but we are still standing”. Instead of letting their trails and tribulations hurt them, they must embrace them. Instead of scuttling off the floor in the playoffs with their tails between their legs due to adversity overload, they must use it to fuel their fire.
At the start of the season in Cleveland, the Cavs got off to a 7-9 start which was much better than what anyone expected of them. Despite having one of the least talented teams in the league they were competing above most peoples expectations. Ofcourse, eventually that “us against the world” mentality wore off and the depression of the post-Lebron era took it place. While in a different situation, the Hornets face the same principle, needing to using adversity to ones advantage. The Hornets, however, aren’t lacking in talent like Cleveland and with the playoffs fast approaching, there should be no lack of motivation to keep the “us against the world” mentality.
Despite not having West in uniform, the Hornets still have what it takes to make post season noise. When the Hornets are firing on all cylinders, there’s something scary about them, and I mean scary good. When Paul is driving and dishing, Okafor is clogging the lane, Landry is hustling, Ariza is shutting down his man, Belinelli is knocking down treys, this isn’t an easy team to beat, West or no West. Yes, no West makes the task a much tougher one, but if the Hornets come to play and show enough heart they are still capable of achieving something special.
Not to mention if the Hornets can achieve success in the post season, it will be even sweeter after all the front office, players and fans have gone through this season.
The Hornets have surprised before. They surprised in 07/08. They surprised this regular season. It’s time to surprise once again this post season.
This post was submitted by Aussie Hornet.
I love the enthusiasm and I hope they do take this route. There really is nothing to lose once the Hornets get into the playoffs, as they would be huge underdogs to any of those top 4 teams. What they need to do is have that mentality you talked about and continue to acclimate some of these guys that are relatively new so that they can hit the ground running with D West next year.