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New Orleans Hornets 2011-12 Power Rankings, V.15

Published: April 22, 2012

As the season winds down, we bring you the second to last set of Hornets player power rankings of the season after a 3-1 finish to the week.

If the Hornets had let Joe suit up, maybe they'd be able to tank a little better!

1. Jarrett Jack, PG: 45 GP, 34.0 MPG, 15.6 PPG, 45.6 FG%, 6.3 APG, 3.9 RPG, 18.0 PER

Out for the season, but I can guarantee you that he won’t be moving from this top spot.

2. Chris Kaman, C: 47 GP, 29.2 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 44.6 FG%, 7.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 15.4 PER

After a quiet game in the team’s home win against Memphis last Sunday night, the Hornets have decided to shut Kaman down for the rest of the season with a bruised left tibia (or as I like to call it, a bruised left tankia). Very solid season overall for Kaman; though he wasn’t exactly the most efficient scorer at times, he did a lot to help carry the Hornets’ offense when they lacked scoring punch.

3. Trevor Ariza, SF: 41  GP, 32.9 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 41.7 FG%, 5.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, 14.3 PER

It looks like Monty has decided to shelve Ariza for the rest of the season in order to keep giving guys like Aminu and Henry extended minutes. Trevor is likely okay with it since he still has two years remaining on his current contract, and isn’t really playing for a new deal at this point.

4: Jason Smith, PF: 38 GP, 24.0 MPG, 10.0 PPG, 51.6 FG%, 4.8 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 16.3 PER

Smith cooled off a bit this past week, though he did make over 50% of his shots (20-39) scoring basically right at his season average of 10 points per game. Still a decent 4-game stretch for Smith, continuing to do the things that he has done right all season that have allowed him to improve so much this year.

5. Carl Landry, PF: 38 GP, 24.9 MPG, 12.7 PPG, 50.1 FG%, 5.4 RPG, 18.3 PER

Landry was undoubtedly the Hornets’ most consistent performer over the past week, scoring with incredible efficiency and pulling down double digit rebounds in three out of the team’s four games. As he normally does so well, Landry got to the line over 5 times per game during this stretch, making all but one of his 21 attempts. As the season comes to an end, it is clear that Landry has stepped up his game with his free agent market value on his mind.

6. Gustavo Ayon, C: 52 GP, 20.0 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 54.1 FG%, 4.9 RPG, 16.6 PER

Ayon had another quiet week up until the Hornets’ home finale on Thursday night. In that game, he made 4 of his 5 shots to go along with 10 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and a steal before fouling out late in the game. He clearly appears fatigued from the wear and tear of his first NBA season, but it was nice to see him come step up his game the other night.

7. Greivis Vasquez, PG: 63 GP. 25.6 MPG, 8.9 PPG, 43.4 FG%, 5.4 APG, 14.6 PER

Somewhat of a sub-par week for Vasquez, even before taking the turnover column into account. Vasquez only scored more points than he had field goal attempts once, and even that game saw him score 20 on 18 shots. He averaged over 8 assists per game, but his 4.5 turnovers per game throughout that stretch is a really bad stat, and something he’ll need to focus on while working on his game this offseason. If he learns to take care of the ball better, he can be an above average backup PG in this league for a long time.

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

No change here; Okafor won’t be coming back for the final three games of the season.

9: Marco Belinelli, SG: 63 GP, 30.1 MPG, 11.8 PPG, 41.5 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 11.7 PER

A tough shooting week for Marco means a tough week overall, given his limited ability in most other aspects of the game of basketball. 7-24 from beyond the arc (29.2%) and 17-50 overall (34%) is certainly not pretty… unless he is driving the tank, of course!

10: Eric Gordon, SG: 8 GP, 34.0 MPG, 21.0 PPG, 45.0 FG%, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG, 21.4 PER

Gordon played in two of the Hornets’ four games this past week, and likely won’t play in any of the team’s final three in order for Monty to “keep giving the young pups extended PT.” He made 14 of his 27 shots in both games combined, but that total becomes much more impressive when you factor in the 18 free throw attempts that he earned, making 16 of them. Whether or not you were rooting for Hornets losses, you can’t help but enjoy watching this kid succeed.

11. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF: 63 GP, 21.7 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 41.1 FG%, 4.4 RPG, 10.6 PER

Aminu had a typical Aminu week through the first three games, then broke out for a great performance in Thursday night’s game against the Rockets. Aminu scored a season-high 17 points on 14 shots to go along with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals, not to mention having his first no-turnover game since March 24th. Games like that from Al-Farouq are what Monty and Dell are looking for in regards to his development and potential.

12. Xavier Henry, SG: 43 GP, 17.1 MPG, 5.3 PPG, 39.5 FG%, 2.4 RPG, 9.3 PER

Rough week for Henry; 20% shooting on 15 shots and 3-6 from the free throw line, not to mention 7 turnovers in his past two games. Hopefully, he can bounce back with a strong showing in the Hornets’ final three games.

13. Lance Thomas, PF: 39 GP, 13.5 MPG, 3.6 PPG, 45.9 FG%, 2.8 RPG, 9.8 PER

Nothing special from Thomas this week, but he knows his role and never tries to do too much, which is partially evidenced by his zero turnovers in 43 minutes of action over the past week. His talent is limited, but he’s a smart player, and a good guy to have at the end of the bench on a healthy team.

14. Jerome Dyson, PG: 6 GP, 16.0 MPG, 6.7 PPG, 37.0 FG%, 1.8 APG, 12.7 PER

Dyson burst onto the scene for the Hornets in the loss in Memphis on Wednesday night, scoring a remarkable 24 points on just seven field goal attempts, thanks to going 14-16 from the charity stripe. While it’s exceeding unlikely that we see a game like that from him again in the team’s final three games, that one performance may have single-handedly given him an early leg up in the battle to become the team’s third string point guard next season.

Incomplete: Darryl Watkins, C

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


  1. Jo D

    April 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Hornets record with Jack 10-37.
    Hornets without Jack 10-8.

    Other things like players returning and being injured play some part in this but facts are facts…
    And this rightfully justifies my strong dislike for Jack as our starting point guard.

    • Jordan

      April 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      The only reason Jack played the way he did this year is because there weren’t a lot of other options on the offensive end, and he said that on CST when he was brought to commentator’s table. He talked about how he adjusted to being the leader of the team and understanding the responsibilities he had on the offensive end. Now, is he the best player to have with responsibilities? No, absolutely not. But without Gordon, who else?

    • Mason Ginsberg

      April 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      I have multiple problems with this, but let’s keep it simple.

      In the Hornets’ 10 wins without Jack:

      – Eric Gordon played in six of them (they only played together once all season long)
      – Two of the remaining four were home against the equally weak Kings and on the road against the historically terrible Bobcats
      – The two remaining came in back to back games in mid-February: at home against the Jazz, and on the road against the Bucks.

      Given the above factors, using the team’s W/L record with and without Jack is a pretty flawed way of analyzing his value to the team.

      • Jo D

        April 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm

        Every NBA season has circumstance.
        Flawed, maybe slightly..
        Team record, Factual.
        Heres another one.
        Vasquez as starter, 11-13.

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        Vasquez’s starts are, for the most part, directly correlated to the team playing without Jack, which we have already discussed, so what does mentioning Vasquez’s record as a starter add to this conversation?

      • Jo D

        April 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm

        That another player has led this team to more victories.

        Despite circumstance(which is the only thing you have brought up), the point of the game is to win.

      • Jay

        April 23, 2012 at 12:15 am

        And let’s not forget, in addition to Gordon playing, many of the recent Jack-less wins have been against teams in full blown tank mode.

      • Pluto D

        April 23, 2012 at 12:52 am


        that last factor you have about the winning back-to-back games without Jack actually strengthens the argument that we are better without him. Both were against solid teams, and its definitely harder to win both games in a back-to-back than win games with rest in between. This works in favor of the Hornets playing well and grinding it out to win. Right?

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

        I wasn’t trying to strengthen or weaken my argument with that last point; I was merely accounting for the remaining two wins with Jack out of the lineup so not to leave any info out. I probably should have been more clear about that, my mistake.

      • Pluto D

        April 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm


      • Jo D

        April 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm

        Another.fact for ya. The Equally Week Kings…
        We lost the season the season series 1-3.
        The lone win?
        Without Jack.

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        Another.fact for ya. The equally weak Kings…
        We lost the season the season series 1-3.
        The lone win?
        With Eric Gordon.

        Try bringing something new to the table, please. The Miami Heat are 14-1 when Dwyane Wade doesn’t play; by your logic, that must mean he hurts the Heat when he is on the court. Good luck with that argument.

      • Jo D

        April 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

        Actually, the Heat have proven to play better with only one leader on the floor.
        Theoretically speaking, Having James and Wade on the floor gives you infinitely more ways to attack. This may be true. But then you are limiting their individual impact on the team.
        this may not be a popular thought, but there is atleast a lil truth to it.

        Something many people forget about basketball is team chemistry and leadership roles.
        In my opinion, Jack isn’t a great leader and may hurt team chemistry with his playing style.

  2. Jo D

    April 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    My issue is mainly with people glorifying Jack for making himself the primary option on a struggling team. Especially when he fails to get the team involved until late in the shot clock and tries(and fails) to be the hero he isn’t in crunch time.

  3. Jo D

    April 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    My opinion of Jack is just that, my opinion.
    Just like these rankings are your opinion.
    I’m simply giving facts to support my opinion.

    • Mason Ginsberg

      April 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      That’s fair, and I am merely pointing out that the facts that you present would be much more credible if the other variables surrounding your evidence were constant. Due to the inconvenient timing of Gordon’s injury as well as quality of opponents, that ends up not being the case.

      • Jo D

        April 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        Remaining variables of circumstance, it’s like saying Tim Duncan would erin MVP if he wasn’t two steps away from needing a walker.
        The reality is Tim Duncan isn’t what he once was.
        And the reality for the hornets is that they have preformed remarkably better as a team when Jack is a Spectator.

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

        By arguing that the Hornets are better with Jack off the court, you are completely disregarding Eric Gordon’s impact on the team. He is significantly more talented than anyone else on the current Hornets roster, and played a huge role in leading the Hornets to victory with Jack sidelined.

        If you want to use W/L record of a team with a player on vs. off the court to help promote your argument, that’s fine by me. What’s not fine, however, is using ONLY that one statistic, and ignoring other variables which clearly play a major role in deciding those games as well (health of the team’s best player, quality of opponents, etc.)

      • Jo D

        April 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

        I believe I mentioned the Remaining Variables in my very first comment. So lets just throw out that statement and say you have short term memory loss…

        And I believe(with experience as a ball player, coach, and a fan of the game), that a change at the PG position (which is the most important position on the floor) can be just as if not more effective than getting a leading scorer back.

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

        You mention one variable – the impact of injuries – but I don’t think you truly account for its impact. There is no other player currently on the Hornets roster who is anywhere near as capable of creating his own shot as Gordon. The team playing with or without Gordon means tons more to the team’s ability than any other individual player, and that is why using the team’s W/L record with & without Jack without accounting for the health of Gordon to evaluate him is a poor method.

        Want a better way? Find the games when neither Jack NOR Gordon was in the lineup. In that situation, the Hornets were 4-7, with two of those four wins coming against the Kings and Bobcats. That data is much more reliable, as it makes the absence of the Hornets’ best player a constant. There is simply nowhere near enough evidence to support the notion that the Hornets are a better team with Greivis running point as opposed to Jarrett.

      • Jo D

        April 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        Oddly enough I did that already…
        Teams winning pct…
        With Jack… .222
        With Jack and Gordon.. .000
        With Gordon… .667
        Without Jack or Gordon… .363

        The one constant… Without Jack our record improves…

      • Jo D

        April 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

        So lets put the facts on the table.
        We have 11 games without Gordon or Jack.
        18 games without just Jack.
        And 9 games with Gordon.
        And out of all of these the only “reliable data” in your mind is the smallest sample size!?

        I think you are discounting the effect that a change at pg can have on a team.
        From my seat, we play more as a team with GV at point.

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm

        The reality of the situation is that every one of those sample sizes is too small, largely due to variances in quality of opponents.

        31 of Jack’s 44 games played this season without Gordon (70%) came against teams currently over .500.

        4 out of the 11 games that Greivis played without Jack or Gordon (36%) came against teams currently over .500.

        Given that extreme disparity in percentage of quality opponents played, how can you justify using W/L record to evaluate each?

  4. Pluto D

    April 23, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Eric Gordon needs to be top 3, most likely #1. It is my impression that these power rankings are supposed to be week-by-week, not cumulative season-long performances. At the top it says “after a 3-1 finish to the week.”

    So is Jack #1 for his outstanding cheerleading from the bench?

    Aminu needs to be higher using this same formula. He’s played so well since Gordon came back that he deserves to be above Marco and Gustavo without a doubt. Gus at 6? After 1 good game in the last several weeks? I think someone’s playing favorites here.

    • Mason Ginsberg

      April 23, 2012 at 9:11 am

      The rankings are a season-to-date evaluation, or else they would obviously look completely different.

    • Jo D

      April 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      He is playing favorites, but he has a right to his opinion.
      We just have to keep in perspective that these are his opinion when looking at it. thats why there are comments to agree or disagree.

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm

        Playing favorites? What part of “season to date” rankings was difficult to understand? Please go look back at every prior set of rankings; they clearly are ranked with the entire season in mind, with the comments beneath each player analyzing the most recent week.

        You are encouraged to share any other opinions or disagreements that you may have apart from your apparent distaste for Jarrett Jack. I’d love to hear your views, as long as they are presented with meaningful data.

      • Jo D

        April 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

        Lol, While data can be a useful tool, some things that happen in sports don’t have data…
        Like the laker game.
        We are leading with less than a minute to go… Hold the ball, right? Not Jack. He forces a terrible attempt of a shot (which he missed) leaving 16 seconds on the shot clock…
        What happens? Lakers comeback and tie forcing overtime. Eventually beat us.
        Would the game have turned out differently if he didn’t TRY to be a hero… WHO KNOWS. But the point is that he made a remarkably stupid decision in crunch time.
        Is there a stat for how many times Jack comes down the floor and doesn’t even look to pass before shooting?
        How about a stat for how many times Belli, Smith and Ariza had to force jumpshots because Jack held on to the ball until there was only a couple of seconds left on the shot clock before he passed it?
        No, none that I know of.
        And from Sec 105 Row 18, I have seen it from him far too many times.

        If sports were all data, gambling would be easy. Try thinking about that word you use so much. Variables. How many variables affect the game night in and night out that can’t be accounted for on a spreadsheet?

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

        You mean the Hornets vs. Lakers game when Jarrett Jack scored 30 points on 13-21 shooting with 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers? I know exactly the play that you are referring to, and you are wildly incorrect. Here’s why:

        Jack drove the lane with under 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock, and a TRIPLE team collapsed on him with 6 seconds (not 16, as you claimed) remaining on the shot clock, leading to the block by Gasol. Do you remember why the Lakers were able to triple-team him? It’s because Ariza and Kaman did not move a muscle throughout that entire possession. Ariza camped out in the left corner, and Kaman was a statue just outside the right block. Belinelli hung out on the right wing until making a half-assed cut to the basket, which actually drew an EXTRA defender into the paint to help with stopping Jack from scoring. The only guy moving was Ayon, running to set a screen for Jack, and then just even he just stood around. No one else was drawing ANY attention from the Lakers’ defense, so Jack had no choice but to try to do it on his own. Part of the problem there is poor play-calling from Monty, but the bigger issue is consistent with the recurring theme for the Hornets this season – a simple lack of talent.

        If you’re going to pick an example to show that Jack had a negative effect on the Hornets, you’re going to have to do better than that.

      • Jo D

        April 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

        I’ll have to see video of that because I recall him attempting a shot much quicker than 6 seconds left…
        Admittedly that was an emotional game…

        But you still only answered one question… But left the others alone…

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

        “Is there a stat for how many times Jack comes down the floor and doesn’t even look to pass before shooting?
        How about a stat for how many times Belli, Smith and Ariza had to force jumpshots because Jack held on to the ball until there was only a couple of seconds left on the shot clock before he passed it?” – Plenty of people would say the same about Vasquez.

        Greivis’ assist rate is admittedly higher than Jack’s, but that fact is easily negated by his substantially higher turnover rate than Jack’s. The league average turnover rate for NBA PGs is about 17.5%; Vasquez’s is about 20%, while Jack’s is down around 14%. Jarrett’s true shooting % is higher (shooting efficiency adjusted for FTs & 3-pointers), as his his rebound rate, despite being 3 inches shorter than Vasquez. Just some more relevant numbers for your reference.

      • Jo D

        April 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        You are getting off topic.
        You are turning this into GV vs. Jack. Statline wise.
        But if you want to go there. You would have to bring up Jacks stats from his second year as a pro.(which I’m not even going to bother doing because we are clearly on two different pages.)
        So I’m gonna stick to right now…Per 48 I would be willing to bet GV averages Double double… I don’t believe Jack could say the same. They both Sport Assist/turnover ratios around the leave average for pg. jacks is slightly higher. Part of the reason Jacks rebound rate is higher is because he is miles more physical than Vasquez. Another thing to look at, What are jacks individual stats like in our wins and losses… I’d bet his individual stats are better in our losses. Also with Jack getting most of the starts an argument can be made that the stat comparison is unfair due to jack having more time on the floor with the better talent… Unless you are of the opinion that all players are equally capable, but I don’t think you are being that you bring up such things like leading scorers and opponents win pct… So you would atleast have to consider this thought in all fairness.

        But again thats off topic. My argument is that our team performs with Vasquez on the court, not that Vasquez is a better player than Jack.

      • Jo D

        April 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        Most people realize that Vasquez is a much better facilitator and distributor.
        The big knock on him is turnovers. But he makes up for that by getting more teammates involved.

  5. David

    April 23, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Jo D, W/L is a terrible way to judge any one player. thats crap.

    • Jo D

      April 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Well you are entitled to your opinion. But a players affect on his teams Record might be the biggest indicator of his actual value to the team.
      Mike James averaged 20 ppg on a terrible Toronto team.
      Bobby simmons.. 17ppg on so terrible clipper team.
      When a players production spikes and the correlation is a terrible team record it looks bad on him.

      • Mason Ginsberg

        April 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

        Name the teammates that both of those players had.


        I’m not saying that either of them were particularly great players, but on bad teams, someone has to step up, or else those teams would be lucky to score 80 points per game.

  6. Jo D

    April 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Simple facts.
    You say I discount other variables. I don’t believe I do as I account for them all from my very first statement.

    I obviously believe a team pgs style of play and demeanor has more of an effect on the team than you do.

    I think you discount how a team can play with better ball movement, better team chemistry, and a better facilitator at point. I also believe you rely too heavily on stats. (even tho stats don’t account for many things in sports)

    You also believe Jarret Jack is this teams MVP.
    I respectfully disagree. I’ve said it all season, this team performs better without Jack.

    And neither of us will ever be right because there will be no repeat season with this team minus Jack. Which is the only way to prove either point.

  7. Mason Ginsberg

    May 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Not trying to harp on this, but in preparation of our season recap Vokle chat tonight, I did a quick analysis comparing Jack vs. Vasquez in three different game outcomes – double digit losses, single digit losses, and wins. I’ll probably talk about it a bit tonight.

  8. Joe Jackson

    May 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Mason why do you hate vasquez? i read an article tha shows that when we play with vasquez we are better:
    -2.82 EFF with Jack running the point
    4.34 with vasquez running the point

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