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

Published: April 1, 2012

Despite having an active roster in single digits for most of the week, the Hornets fought tough; the 1-3 record might not look great, but the mere -1.5 scoring margin shows how well the team played, especially considering how undermanned it was.

Despite a rough season overall, Marco had a fantastic 2-game stretch this week.

1. Jarrett Jack, PG: 44 GP, 34.1 MPG, 15.6 PPG, 45.5 FG%, 6.4 APG, 3.9 RPG, 18.1 PER

Chris Paul wreaked havoc on both Hornets PGs on Monday night, but apart from that, Jack had a pretty decent week, especially in the assists column. With a combined zero games played from last week’s 2nd and 3rd ranked players and the only player on the team with a PER above 18, Jack is looking like the only possible candidate to finish the season atop the Hornets player power rankings.

2. Gustavo Ayon, C: 41 GP, 21.3 MPG, 6.5 PPG, 55.1 FG%, 4.9 RPG, 17.0 PER

Ayon had an average game against the Clippers to start this past week’s slate of games with an 8 point, 8 rebound effort, but missed the rest due to the expected birth of his child. Still, his consistent production, not exactly spectacular yet rarely detrimental to the team, is enough to keep him in the #2 slot.

3. Trevor Ariza, SF: 38 GP, 33.6 MPG, 11.0 PPG, 41.0 FG%, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 14.2 PER

Ariza has been a bit gimpy all week with a bum ankle that he aggravated in the Clippers’ game and hasn’t played since. That game wasn’t a pretty one for him, but it wasn’t pretty for any member of the Hornets, either. His overall numbers may not turn any heads, but it’s clear that Ariza is playing much smarter basketball this season compared to last, mainly in the shot selection category. Most of his poor looks have come out of necessity, not choice.

4. Chris Kaman, C: 39 GP, 29.3 MPG, 13.3 PPG, 43.5 FG%, 8.1 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 15.0 PER

With what, according to Coach Monty Williams, appeared to be some form of bronchitis, Kaman missed every game this week. I would expect him to be back for Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets, but at this point in the season, who knows?

5. Emeka Okafor, C: 27 GP, 28.9 MPG, 9.9 PPG, 53.7 FG%, 7.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 15.6 PER

I’m starting to really believe that Oak might be done for the season. Good news for the tank, bad news for fans of his, such as myself.

6. Carl Landry, PF: 28 GP, 24.9 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 49.0 FG%, 4.9 RPG, 17.3 PER

After two games in which the Hornets leaned on him to score similarly to the way they have relied on Kaman, Landry missed Saturday afternoon’s match-up against the Lakers with a sprained ankle that he tweaked on Thursday night. Carl had an incredibly efficient offensive week, scoring 58 points on just 37 shots in 3 games to go along with over 8 rebounds per game as well. Take notes, Kobe!

7: Jason Smith, PF: 27 GP, 23 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 48.9 FG%, 4.7 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 15.4 PER

Jason continued his excellent play as of late, bumping his PER up by an very impressive 1.3 points over the past week. The increase likely doesn’t have much to do with his offense, either; while 42 points on 33 shots is pretty good, I would point to the 25 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 steals, and just 1 turnover over the past three games as the real reason. Joe and I discussed it on The Swarm on Saturday afternoon, but it’s funny how skeptical many of us (both of us included) were in regards to the three year, $7.5 million deal that Smith received before the season; his improved play this year is making that contract seem incredibly reasonable.

8. Greivis Vasquez, PG: 52 GP. 23.9 MPG, 8.3 PPG, 43.2 FG%, 4.9 APG, 14.3 PER

Vasquez’s decision-making as of late has been quite disappointing. Getting terrorized by Chris Paul is understandable (6 turnovers in 22 minutes), but 4 turnovers against Portland when your primary match-up is the grossly out of shape Raymond Felton is an entirely different story. His scoring numbers have still been solid, as he made just over 50% of his shots last week, but only getting to the free throw line 5 times (making just 2) and a 2-1 assist-turnover ratio mars the good shooting from the field.

9: Marco Belinelli, SG: 52 GP, 30.6 MPG, 11.7 PPG, 42.0 FG%, 37.8 3P%, 2.6 RPG, 11.3 PER

Despite what has otherwise been a pretty brutal season for Beli, he played what may have been the best back-to-back games of his career this past week. On Wednesday and Thursday at Golden State and Portland, Marco totaled 49 points on 31 shots, including a sizzling 11-16 from beyond the arc. In those two games alone, he raised his 3 point percentage for the season a full 2.5%, from 35.6% to 38.1%. Nice to see Belinelli achieve a bright spot in a down year for him.

10. Lance Thomas, PF: 30 GP, 14.6 MPG, 4.4 PPG, 47.4 FG%, 3.1 RPG, 10.8 PER

Game in and game out, you pretty much know what you’re going to get from Lance – he rebounds well, will score a few points, make his free throws (he went to Duke, after all), and fight hard on defense despite his thin frame. Despite his limited talent, I always love the hustle and intensity he brings when he is on the court. He never takes a play off; kind of reminds me of a better rebounding, more athletic Ryan Bowen.

11. Xavier Henry, SG: 32 GP, 16.2 MPG, 5.5 PPG, 39.5 FG%, 2.1 RPG, 10.1 PER

Nothing spectacular from Henry this week, but nothing terrible either. His shooting percentage wasn’t great, but he earned 12 free throws on 26 field goal attempts; unfortunately, he only made 6 of those 12. Disappointing overall scoring numbers, but the continued ability to get to the charity stripe combined with just one turnover all week long keeps me optimistic that he’ll figure things out.

12. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF: 52 GP, 20.1 MPG, 5.3 PPG, 40.3 FG%, 4.2 RPG, 10.4 PER

Though he still had his moments on offense that leave you shaking your head and wondering “what was he thinking?”, Aminu had a pretty decent week otherwise. He was the lone bright spot in the Hornets’ turnover fest against the Clippers, making 7 of 8 attempts from the field and only turning the ball over once himself. Al-Farouq also seems to be putting it together more and more on defense, as evidenced by the 8 steals he recorded over the past four games. Maybe there is hope for Aminu yet!

Incomplete: Eric Gordon, SG; Chris Johnson, C

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


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