With one week in the books after the midway point, Mason takes a look to see if any players have made siginificant enough of an impact (either positively or negatively) to alter last week’s rankings.
Sorry for the Sunday power rankings being published a little late; I did the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon yesterday (my first one), and I was in no shape afterwards to do my best writing. Not to worry though! I still have your up-to-date rankings below, along with explanations for any changes from last week. Let us know what you think; where did we (I) mess up?
Solomon Jones enters the rankings after an impressive week.
1. Emeka Okafor, C: 27 GP, 28.9 MPG, 9.9 PPG, 53.7 FG%, 7.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 15.6 PER
The Hornets’ best defensive big man, Okafor is hopefully not far from returning to action.
2. Jarrett Jack, PG: 30 GP, 34.4 MPG, 14.8 PPG, 43.0 FG%, 6.2 APG, 4.0 RPG, 16.8 PER
His play has regressed a bit, but he continues to deliver in the clutch.
3. Gustavo Ayon, C: 30 GP, 19.2 MPG, 6.3 PPG, 57.5 FG%, 4.8 RPG, 18.8 PER
His rebounding numbers have taken a hit recently, but I wonder if that has something to do with both how active he is on defense, as well as his matchups. Gustavo only had one board against Dallas, but it’s difficult to be in good position to rebound when having to guard Dirk so far away from the basket.
4. Trevor Ariza, SF: 27 GP, 35.0 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 41.9 FG%, 5.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, 15.0 PER
Ariza has picked up right where he left off before the break, continuing to play more smart basketball. Though he missed the Hornets’ most recent two games with an illness, he totaled 27 points (12-22 shooting), 15 rebounds, and 9 assists in his first two games after all-star weekend. This strong play bumped him up another spot in this week’s rankings after rising one spot last week.
5. Greivis Vasquez, PG: 37 GP. 23.8 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 40.4 FG%, 4.8 APG, 14.5 PER
Greivis’ numbers took a serious hit this week, especially in the scoring column. He made just 8 of his 28 shots over the past four games and attempted no free throws in three of the four. He missed all six 3-point attempts, dropping his 3P% to 30%; he has made just under 30% of those attempts in his career thus far, which may be evidence that he should severely limit the amount of shots that he takes from that distance.
6. Carl Landry, PF: 24 GP, 23.9 MPG, 11.5 PPG, 46.7 FG%, 4.4 RPG, 16.6 PER
Much like Okafor, there is hope that Landry will be able to play again within the next week.
7. Chris Kaman, C: 29 GP, 27.1 MPG, 12.2 PPG, 41.4 FG%, 7.9 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 14.2 PER
Sure, Kaman is averaging 16 points per game over the team’s past four contests, but he’s getting them on just over 16 shots per game. While he is providing needed scoring help for this injury-depleted Hornets squad, he is doing so fairly inefficiently.
8: Jason Smith, PF: 21 GP, 21.5 MPG, 8.2 PPG, 47.3 FG%, 3.9 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 13.9 PER
Smith is feeling better, but is still experiencing some post-concussion symptoms, and there is never a reason to rush a player back from a head injury, especially with the season that the Hornets are currently having.
9: Marco Belinelli, SG: 37 GP, 30.5 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 41.3 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 2.8 RPG, 10.9 PER
After finishing the first half of the season on a tear, Beli has come back down to earth over the past week, sinking just 5 of his 19 attempts from beyond the arc and 19-49 overall. On the bright side, he only committed 3 turnovers in 139 minutes this past week, and got to the free throw line 16 times.
10. Xavier Henry, SG: 17 GP, 14.1 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 42.0 FG%, 1.9 RPG, 12.0 PER
I’m a big fan of Xavier’s aggressiveness, hustle, and determination to get to the rim, but his outside shot selection worries me from time to time. If I’m Monty, I’m giving him plenty of minutes for the rest of this season, if for no other reason than to see just what role he can most effectively fill on an NBA roster.
11. Solomon Jones, C: 9 GP, 18.4 MPG, 6.6 PPG, 46.8 FG%, 4.1 RPG, 14.5 PER (all stats w/ NO)
Where did this kind of production come from? Based on his NBA history thus far, I simply did not expect Jones to have the kind of impact he’s had on the Hornets so far. Keep up the good work, Solomon, and you’ll earn yourself another 10-day deal for sure (if he hasn’t earned it already).
12. Lance Thomas, PF: 15 GP, 9.4 MPG, 2.7 PPG, 38.2 FG%, 2.4 RPG, 9.3 PER
Lance has seen his minutes decreased with the emergence of the team’s most recent 10-day signee, Solomon Jones. His rebounding is still solid when he’s in the game, but his FG% is quite low for a guy playing down low, which means he needs to be more selective with the few shots he does take. By making 4 of his 8 attempts over the past week (though one of those attempts, the only one outside of 9 feet, was a 36-foot halftime buzzerbeater miss against Dallas), he appears to be making the necessary changes to his game.
13. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF: 33 GP, 19.5 MPG, 4.7 PPG, 34.2 FG%, 4.2 RPG, 8.4 PER
Do yourself a favor and don’t even look at Aminu’s scoring production since the all-star break. Despite averaging a clean 20 minutes per game, he scored in just two of them, and converted a field goal in only one. In total, he made 3 of his 27 attempts from the field. I’m going to stop writing about him now, before I get even more angry.
Incomplete: Eric Gordon, SG
Player Power Rankings is a weekly piece that you can find every Sunday only on Hornets247.com. For past rankings, click here.