My review of the season and moving forward

Published: April 30, 2011

Here is my take on the season and the Hornets awards. While everyone would agree that Chris Paul is our best player, David West was our MVP this year. Time after time, he was the go to guy on offense during crunch time and more often than not it ended up positively for us Hornets fans. Having to carry the offensive load at end of games can only help us in the future when Chris Paul transforms into CP3 and we have a reliable sidekick to our superstar. Every batman needs a robin, and Lebron learned that in Cleveland. I think David West is a good enough robin provided we have a defensive foundation.

I think not having a robin hurt us in the Lakers series. We all know Landry’s defensive rebounding issues and him becoming a defensive liability at times. But what goes unnoticed sometimes is that he relies on other people setting him up. Of course, when he is set up under the basket, he finishes with authority. But nonetheless, he lacks the ability to create for himself the way David West does to a certain extent and we sorely missed that. Too often in this series, we were relying on Chris Paul scoring and if not scoring then setting people up ON EVERY SINGLE POSSESSION. By the time, we reached to the 6th game, he got worn down to go along with the fact that it is certainly easier to create a game plan on stopping Chris Paul when you know he is the only one that can create for himself or his teammates in an efficient manner that scares opposing teams.

Our most improved from last season was Emeka Okafor. He was a very soft big man a year ago who didn’t get MAN rebounds. The rebounding stats were very misleading since someone had to get some rebounds on the team. Getting 10 rebounds for a team that was 28th in rebounding differential is not equivalent to getting 10 rebounds on a team that was above average in rebounding differential this season. And remember, we also played at a much slower pace this season which makes the numbers appear worse than they should.

Our most improved player DURING the season was jarrett jack. I remember I used to say that jarrett jack only has 1 good game out of every 5 or 6 early in the season. By season’s end, it was more like 5 good games out of every 6 for captain jack.

Our team completely transformed. We currently still don’t have an owner but I’m willing to bet that Gary Chouest stands up soon after the new CBA agreement. But getting new local ownership, and the whole CBA agreement is vital to the long-term staying power for the Hornets in New Orleans and their ability to attract free-agents. If you were an employee, wouldn’t you at least feel more comfortable knowing who your boss is. That has to change and has to be the first domino to fall for these Hornets.

One has to be happy with Dell and Monty. Dell has proved himself unafriad to pull the trigger on trades and seems to very eager to make this team better and not settle for good but strive for greatness. You gotta like his guts. You can’t be scared if you want to achieve success in his position. Good job Dell!! I liked pretty much all of his trades. Some Hornets fans might complain about willie green and jason smith but they are certainly better than craig brackins and darius songalia. Belinelli might not be good enough to be a starting 2 guard in this league but he is god enough to be a rotation player, something that Juju is not. Dumping Posey while losing Collison in the process and adding Ariza is a net gain in my opinion. That Posey contract was a killer!! And Ariza’s length and defensive abilities are too important moving forward in the western conference considering the top teams seem to be the Lakers(kobe) and OKC(durant). And i think we all can agree that trading thornton for landry was a bad trade since thornton is better than bball legend michael jordan at this age. Wait a second, he isn’t?? You would think Thornton was at least as good as MJ from listening to some Hornets fans. Overall, Landry is a better fit for this system if not only for the reason that he bought into it right away. Never trade a quality big for a small unless that small is marcus thornton of course!

Monty has created a new culture that believes that hard work pays off and no excuses allowed. He has to do a little better job on in-game adjustments and calling plays(or just give the ball to cp3 and get out of his way). Too often, the Hornets have had trouble in-bounding the ball late in games and getting the ball in to their best foul shooters. Remember when Aaron Gray was taking crunch time foul shots in Utah? Or when Willie Green cost us the game by missing key foul shots in the game in Detroit?? Sorry Willie, I know you dont want to remember that game or what happened after the game. But I certainly believe that this falls on the head coach.

Moving forward, we need to get bigger and that is what we learned from the Lakers series even though we already knew that going in. While Okafor had a good regular season, he was as soft as tissue paper(yup i said it paul silas) in the playoffs. And you cant win that way in the big picture. Obviously, we could use an upgrade at sg as well.

I think Jason Smith, Willie Green, David Andersen, and Marcus Banks should all be let go. Mbenga can be signed back for a similar 1 yr for the vet min sort of deal. Gray can be signed for the right price(2 mill per year is as high as i would go). Otherwise, he should be let go. Belli can be brought back as he would be a good backup guard even though I have a feeling he will still be our starting 2 guard when we open play next winter. I think West ultimately doesnt opt out and Landry should only be signed for the right price. No need to overpay for him if some team offers him a big contract.

A trade that I would absolutely wet my pants over is if we were able to snag Bogut from the Bucks in a deal that involved Okafor. Obviously, there would be more to the trade. Maybe a sign-and trade involving Landry(his hometown is milwaukee) while also absorbing a bad contract(salmons, maggette, or gooden). I dont care what it takes. I WANT BOGUT AS A HORNET.


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