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.


  1. Crazyb1125

    May 1, 2011 at 3:20 am

    WOW!!! Thats Dead On Point i agree with every bit of details accept the whole Batman and Robin thing. I don’t agree with that! show D.West a lil more Respect then that. If CP3 is Batman, that West is Superman or someone who equals with Batman. the main thing the Hornets need is a third Scorer, A great Center and a back up SF( or if we had a 3rd Scorer as a SF) maybe Ariza can be the back-up who knows. We Already have some of the pieces to make a Championship team. we Have the 6th Man= Carl Landry but that is if he stays, the Role Player=Jarrett Jack, the Prospect/2nd Role Player=Bellini, and Green is another, what we need to do with green is to do a Sign and Trade deal. Trade Green for someone who is taller but can put up the same or better amount of points then Green (A SF) and also have that D-Fense mantality like Monty wants! We have CP3 and D.West as our top 2 Scorers, but we need another, someone who can put up 16.0-20.0 ppg. (FYI) I still think we should’ve traded Green w/some cash for Landry instead of Thornton w/some cash or Bellini w/cash, anything to keep Thornton as the third main scorer!!! Well its been fun while it lasted with Thornton God Bless You MT5 or should I say MT23 may you have a great Career, I hope we see you back on our team someday!!!!! Do You agree with what I say or not??? tell Me what you think!!!

    • Oc

      May 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

      You think sacraraheimwouldve taken any1 but mt? Doubt it, they wanted to get a potential star to play wit reke, not a role player

      • Patrick Clay

        May 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

        My thoughts exactly. Given the choice of the 3 shooting guards we had on our roster, who would you pick if u were Sac-town? I know I’d pick Thornton in a heartbeat. Gotta give something good to get something good, and ultimately, I think it was worth the price.

        As it stands, the trade has been glorified because of Landry having to step in as a starter for DW (can u imagine JSmith having to start against the lakers? can you say 0-4 sweep?), which is probably necessary since so many people over-glorified MT23. But I think, if he re-signs, Landry will prove to be a more effective player in Monty’s system than Thornton would have. And I can think of a lot more back-up shooting guards that average 10 ppg than back-up power forwards, so the fact that the Hornets got one is insane. Gotta keep Carl around to see the full effects though.

  2. nikkoewan

    May 1, 2011 at 5:26 am

    hmm, read all the points and agree in almost all of them. i just have to say, that the Marcus Thornton situation was really bad. I believe many wanted Marcus to solidify the SG situation. Fact of the matter is, I wanted him too. Problem is, he just doesn’t fit with this system that works so well not only in the playoffs, but also for Cp3 and DWest. That said, Landry is awesome.

  3. Hordan

    May 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Trade I would wet MY pants in. West signs extension. Trade West, Oak, first rounder (2013), for Greg Monroe and Ben Gordon. We get a bad contract and an up and coming…. All-Star? Then we sign Tyson. Imagine how awesome this lineup would be:
    Paul-Gordon-Ariza-Monroe (6’11)-Chandler

  4. lancebrou68

    May 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    no inside scoring on that trade

  5. Hordan

    May 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Actaully in April Monroe averaged 12.5 ppg on 57% shooting, 9.8 Rebs, 2.8 assists , 1.6 steals per game in April and he’s only bound to get better. As for Chandler, he can be just as effective as Mek on offense with CP, and Gordon can take on the scoring numbers we lose with west. Plus we cut payroll which allows us to grab even better FAs.

  6. David

    May 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Breakdown of the Roster iMO:

    CP3 – not much to say here. He’ll continue to get healthier and better a year removed from knee surgery.

    Bellenelli – Dude has a 3 million+ price tag for a tender next season. I honestly don’t know if he’s worth it. He’s is so damn inconsistent. He may come back as a solid rotation player, but if the Hornets think they can make a deal to upgrade the position there’s no doubt in my mind they will renounce his rights to free up cap space.

    Ariza – He is inconsistent offensively, but he is the catalyst for our defense. The ability to limit scoring wings in this league should not be overlooked or under appreciated. He is solid as a starting wing, but putting a truer scorer along side him in the starting lineup would take some of the scoring pressure off of him and allow him to flourish as a more efficient player.

    David West – I don’t think he will opt out of his contract. In fact, if the offer for the extension is still on the table, I think he may jump on it in order to 1.) guarantee his contract after the injury and 2.) Sign a contract under the old CBA instead of wandering into the uncertainty that is the next CBA. He may not be ready by the regular season, but it is amazing how quickly knee injuries heal at this day in age. He is also a player that relies on skill rather than pure athleticism.

    Emeka Okafor – The big question mark here. Mek played great interior defense all season long. He is a starting quality big man in the League. IMO, however, in order for him to be truly effective in the playoffs he needs to be paired with one of two types of players: 1.) A tall, long athletic PF who can score (see Amare Stoudemire, Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Al Horford, etc.) where he can play C along side or 2.) A big, dominant 7 ft. center who can score in the low post (Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Yao MIng, Bogut, etc.) where he can slide over to the PF position. Where he struggles, like it is with us, where he is playing next to an undersized scorer of a PF (West, Landry) – because defensively and on the boards they get overwhelmed with size – or next to a defensive center who can’t score as well (Chandler, Lopez, Noah) because they get very little scoring from that frontcourt. It’ll be interesting to see, because apparently Demps is set on re-upping West and Landry, and Mek is too expensive to be a backup center (although a frontcourt rotation of West, Landry, Mek, and Chandler would be dirty). Untradeable last season, his strong season may have given him some value. Keep an eye on that situation.

    Carl Landry – Demps wants to re-sign him. He seems to want to come back. He would be an excellent 6th man coming off of the bench, and can play next to West when they go small ball. I’d like to see he and Jack coming off the bench after an off-season and training camp together.

    Jarrett Jack – Slow start w/ the team, as it took him time to adjust to the system. He is under contract, and will be back, and solidifies the backup PG spot. In a perfect world, we will acquire a 2G in the offseason who can score and have a 3 man rotation in the backcourt.

    Willie Green – A pleasant suprise, Green will be welcomed back – but at the right price. He played tough defense, was a valued yet inconsistent scorer, and if he’d stop shooting so many 20 ft. 2 pt. jump shots I’d like him a lot more. He will have to come MUCH cheaper than his 4 million dollar price tag of this season (think 1.5-2, max). If not, he will be shown the door.

    Aaron Gray – The playoff superstar, he has a niche with this team with a valued skill set – Pure Size. He should be re-signed as the 3rd center coming off the bench, and will be a match-up play against the Bynum’s and Howard’s of the world.

    Jason Smith – High energy big man with another 3+ million tender, he is much in the same boat as Bellenelli. If another big man is brought in, I think the Hornets will and should let him walk at that price tag. If he is willing to take less, and play as the 5th big man off the bench w/ Gray (depending on matchups), he will also be welcomed back.

    DJ Mbenga – provides valuable size, but w/ one of the priorities include adding another big he will probably be the odd man out.

    Quincy Pondexter – rookie showed some flashes, should improve and become the first “wing” guy off the bench next season. Plays solid defense, has experience, has an NBA type body, and showed some scoring potential as well.

    Patrick Ewing, Jr. – will be given a chance to be the 15th man in training camp.

    David Andersen, Marcus Banks – contract will expire and not be asked back.

    Best case scenario – re-sign West and Landry, sign a big like Chandler or Yao or Nene to compete with Mek at C, sign or trade for a scoring 2G to fit in, bring back Smith, Bellenelli, Green, and Gray at modest contracts, Let the rest of the FA walk

    C – Mek: Chandler: Gray
    PF – West: Landry: Smith
    SF – Ariza: Q-Pon: Bellenelli
    SG – ????: Jack: Bellenelli
    PG – Paul: Jack: Green

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