New Orleans Hornets 2011-12 Power Rankings, V.5

Published: February 5, 2012

Jake takes over the fifth edition of 2011-12 season’s New Orleans Hornets individual player power rankings and does things a little differently.

With Mason taking a breather this week, I’m totally blowing up the power rankings. Some players will earn their spot based on their actual production, some will be ranked based off how much I like/dislike them, and some might be completely random. Let’s do this…

1. Eric Gordon, SG: 39.0 MPG, 21.0 PPG, 42.5 FG%, 5.0 RPG, 18.1 PER

I know he has only played two games and rejected the Hornets’ contract extension, but I just bought his jersey so he has to be number one. At the game Wednesday against the Suns, a guy yelled at me, “Who the hell is Gordon?” I tried to explain but he was just a jerk and screamed nonsense at me. Well you know what, random jerk? Eric Gordon is number one in the power rankings this week.

2. Squeaky Johnson, PG: 7.8 MPG, 1.9 PPG, 34.4 FG%, 1.4 APG, 10.2 PER

Squeaky actually had a decent game against the Spurs this week with 5 assists in 14 minutes. But let’s be honest, he’s not number two because of his play. This is about his hair, his story and the fact he is a New Orleans native. Squeaky is a 29 year old rookie playing for his hometown team. If you’re not rooting for him to succeed you probably have a piece of coal for your heart and ice water in your veins.

3. Gustavo Ayon, C: 12.2 MPG, 4.7 PPG, 61.4 PG%, 3.1 RPG, 22.6 PER

We finally get a ranking based off on the court results. Ayon has quickly established himself as a fan favorite with his play. He had solid games against the Heat and Suns points-wise but struggled with his rebounding. He fixed that by coming out and grabbing 8 boards against the Spurs. Once he starts putting everything together, expect to see him in the starting lineup.

4. Greivis Vasquez, PG: 21.2 MPG, 7.4 PPG, 41.5 PG%, 4.1 APG, 15.5 PER

I said in the Young Pups post on Wednesday that I really wanted Vasquez to become my favorite player, and this week he made great strides to achieve that. Vasquez went off against the Suns, scoring 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting, a perfect 3 of 3 from deep, and 12 assists. When Jarrett Jack went down with injury, Vasquez stepped in and scored 16 points against the Spurs, and went for 14 points and 9 assists against Detroit last night. With Vasquez showing off his immense offensive potential, it drives me crazy when he tries to get a little too flashy and makes a terrible pass for a turnover. Vasquez is still showing signs of improvement but lacks the athleticism to become an elite point guard.

5. Emeka Okafor, C: 28.2 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 54.4 FG%, 7.9 RPG, 16.1 PER

Because his running hook shot is really pretty and fun to watch.

6. Jarrett Jack, PG: 36 MPG, 15.8 PPG, 44.6 FG%, 6.8 APG, 18.5 PER

He is having his best statistical season and never gives up. With Chris Paul and David West gone, Jack has stepped up to become the heart of this Hornets team. He isn’t the long-term  answer to the point guard position, but, as the Hornets add even more youth over the next few seasons, Jack will be a strong veteran presence that helps guide the team.

7. Carl Landry, PF: 23.9 MPG, 11.5 PPG, 46.7 FG%, 4.4 RPG, 16.7 PER

I love Landry but I can’t justify putting him ahead of anyone else on this list. He has been very inconsistent this season (partially due to his erratic playing time) with games where he looks great and games where I forget he is on the team. However, I do want the Hornets to resign him to a longer deal at the end of the season.

8. Trevor Ariza, SF: 33.8 MPG, 11.1 PPG, 39.9 FG%, 5.3 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 13.4 PER

Can the Ariza from Saturday night against the Pistons please, please show up consistently? That would be really cool.

9. Jason Smith, PF: 21.5 MPG, 8.2 PPG, 47.3 FG%, 3.9 RPG, 14.1 PER

I love Smith’s hustle. There are times when he come out of nowhere and makes plays he has no business making. But he should not be starting so he’s stuck at 9.

10. Chris Kaman, PF: 22.7 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 43.8 PG%, 6.6 RPG, 13.7 PER

I love Kaman’s beard, the Chewbacca noise when he scores, and whatever the Hornets get back when they trade him. Even though he hasn’t played since January 23rd that’s enough to but him ahead of some other Hornets.

11. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF: 20.0 MPG, 5.0 PPG, 37.4 FG%, 4.3 RPG, 9.3 PER

Aminu is a player who just needs extended time on the court to figure things out. I just wish he could get that time in the D-League and not with the Hornets this year.

12. Xavier Henry, SG: 11.0 MPG, 3.0 PPG, 30.8 FG%, 0.5 APG, -0.7 PER

He has barely played this year and his PER is negative but his last name isn’t Belinelli, so he’s not at the bottom.

13. DaJuan Summers, F: 13.9 MPG, 4.5 PPG, 43.1 FG%, 1.5 RPG, 9.5 PER

That whole Summers starting experiment needs to end. He just doesn’t have the ability to be a solid rotation guy.

14. Marco Belinelli, SG: 29. MPG, 9.1 PPG, 38.7 FG%, 33.7 3p%, 2.8 RPG, 8.5 PER

Welcome to the bottom, Marco! Belinelli was finally taken out of the starting lineup in favor of Summers. Belinelli brings nothing else to the table aside from shooting. And when your hitting 1.3 3-pointers per game, it’s time for a reduction in minutes.

Let us know your power rankings in the comments below!

Player Power Rankings is a weekly piece that you can find every Sunday only on For past rankings, click here.


  1. JP

    February 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    squeaky needs more minutes and an ayon-anthony davis frontcourt looks nice in the future

  2. RockyMountain

    February 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Does an elite PG really need to be very athletic? Don’t they just need to be very high IQ/creative, and can shoot jumpers or 3pters? John Stockton did pretty well with so so athleticism. I don’t think CP3 was that much athletic himself.

    • Jake Madison

      February 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Stockton was a very underrated athlete. He was very quick and agile–more so than Vasquez. Same thing with Paul. They didn’t have the ups for crazy Blake Griffen-esque dunks, but they certainly were/are athletic. Vasquez seems a step behind other point guards which is really going to hurt him on defense. But his offense is starting to look really good.

  3. Tim

    February 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    1) Ayon
    2) Ayon
    3) Ayon
    4) Ayon…

  4. okithor

    February 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Man Jake,

    I think you got the order of the players mixed up. In correct order:

    1. Rocky IV
    2. A poster of Sylvester Stallone
    3. Marco Belinelli
    4. whatshisnameslasheveryoneesle

    Just imagine the sheer awesome a starting back court like that could do.


    February 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Enough with this crap! Vasquez is not a starting PG in the NBA! His footwork, vision, and balance lacks a starters skill set. He’s basically a backup 2 guard or a energy player of the bench.

    -He’s a backup player!-

    • NOH Domination

      February 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      He’s a backup but not 2 guard…


    February 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Vasquez can’t even successfully turn the corner on a pick&roll play! And that’s a standard requirement in the NBA play book!

    Picks, screens and Iso’s


    February 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    ….and don’t get me started on his defense!

    I love his effort/energy. He’s a keeper, just as a backup!

  8. DownUnder

    February 6, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Might get the chance to add Lance Thomas to this list for a week now

  9. Mr.C

    February 6, 2012 at 7:07 am

    I truly believe that the Hornets may just be the worst team in the league!!!


    February 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

    We are not the worst team but in order for us to get to where we need to get in the draft, we need to play bad in the closing mins!

  11. SKIELE

    February 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    that beli is a very bad player. trade him and we are probably the western conference champions.

  12. Pingback: New Orleans Hornets 2011-12 Power Rankings, V.6 | New Orleans Hornets |

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