New Orleans Hornets Final 2011-12 Power Rankings

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Published: April 29, 2012
Number 2 in your programs, but number 1 in your power rankings - Jarrett Jack.

After finally reaching the end of what has been a very trying year, we present to you one final set of power rankings overlooking the entire season.

Number 2 in your programs, but number 1 in your power rankings - Jarrett Jack.

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

The team’s clear leader in a tough season, Jack finishes in the top spot; after all, who else could you really put here?

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

Without Jack and Kaman’s efforts on offense, the Hornets would have struggled to score 80 points per game. Both deserve recognition for their consistent play this season.

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

Ariza finishes the season in the #3 spot thanks you his strong defense and improved shot selection on offense.

4: Jason Smith, PF: 40 GP, 23.7 MPG, 9.9 PPG, 52.0 FG%, 4.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 16.6 PER

Before the season began, if you had asked me to predict who would finish the season in the top 5 of these power rankings, I probably would have gotten 4 of the 6, and then laughed at   the notion of Smith and Ayon making it. However, as we have come to realize all too well this season, injuries happen, and as a result, Smith stepped up. The result is the 4th spot in these rankings and a ton of respect for the work he has done to improve.

5. Carl Landry, PF: 41 GP, 24.4 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 50.3 FG%, 5.2 RPG, 18.3 PER

Landry finished the season on a very high note, which will certainly benefit him while negotiating his next contract. Because of the unexpectedly strong seasons of Smith and Ayon along with the wealth of talent in the upcoming draft at the power forward position, that new deal for Carl probably won’t be coming with the Hornets. Best of luck to Landry as he continues his NBA career, regardless of his next location.

6. Gustavo Ayon, C: 54 GP, 20.1 MPG, 5.9 PPG, 53.6 FG%, 4.9 RPG, 16.7 PER

Of all Hornets players expected back with the team next season, this offseason may be most important for Ayon. He clearly wore down as the season progressed, and conditioning should be a major point of emphasis over the next few months. If he puts in the work, then we could see the Gustavo who we saw around February all season long next year.

7. Greivis Vasquez, PG: 66 GP. 25.8 MPG, 8.9 PPG, 43.0 FG%, 5.4 APG, 14.3 PER

Averaging four turnovers per game over the team’s final seven contests shows you exactly what Greivis needs to improve on next season. Plenty of young point guards have trouble with turnovers early on and learn how to better take care of the ball as they gain more experience, so I am confident that Vasquez can make the necessary adjustments to his game to improve in this area. The extended amount of playing time that he was given this season could prove to be invaluable for his future in the NBA.

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

Unless the team decides to use its amnesty provision on him and eat the final two years & $28 million remaining on his contract, expect to see Okafor back on the court as the Hornets’ starting center next season. Hopefully, he picks up right where he left off before his injury.

9: Marco Belinelli, SG: 66 GP, 29.8 MPG, 11.8 PPG, 41.7 FG%, 37.7 3P%, 12.0 PER

If the Cavaliers win the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, I have decided to irrationally blame Belinelli as a result of his game-winning layup against the Warriors on Tuesday night. There is a good chance that Marco doesn’t return to New Orleans next season, but Monty Williams’ glowing review given to Sports Illustrated about him may indicate otherwise.

10. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF: 66 GP, 22.4 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 41.1 FG%, 4.4 RPG, 10.6 PER

A rough season overall for Aminu, but he gained tons of essential experience through the ample playing time that he received this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing what that experience combined with strong offseason work turns into next season.

11: Eric Gordon, SG: 9 GP, 34.0 MPG, 20.6 PPG, 45.0 FG%, 3.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 19.2 PER

Nine games was more than enough for me to see that the Hornets need to match whatever Gordon gets offered as a restricted free agent, and I think most people would agree with that sentiment.

12. Xavier Henry, SG: 45 GP, 16.9 MPG, 5.3 PPG, 39.5 FG%, 2.4 RPG, 9.2 PER

Given his aggressive, foul-drawing nature, Henry’s value hinges largely on his ability to convert from the line. As a 61% free throw shooter, Henry will struggle to get minutes on a good team; up that total by 15-20%, however, and that completely changes. Monty needs to lock Xavier in a gym this summer and make him shoot at least 100 free throws a day until he can consistently crack that 75% mark at the very least.

13. Lance Thomas, PF: 42 GP, 15.0 MPG, 4.0 PPG, 45.2 FG%, 3.0 RPG, 10.1 PER

Lance worked his butt off every day as a member of this Hornets team, but I’m just not sure how much higher his ceiling is than his current level of play. Monty gave him some minutes guarding opposing 3s, but that didn’t appear to go so well, so his best course of action now may be to hit the weight room hard this summer in an effort to improve his interior presence.

14. Jerome Dyson, PG: 9 GP, 20.0 MPG, 7.4 PPG, 39.6 FG%, 2.0 APG, 11.3 PER

Dyson did more than enough in his brief stint with the Hornets to warrant another invite to camp next season, and may have an early leg up on the 3rd point guard spot, depending on what the team does in the draft this summer.

Incomplete: Darryl Watkins, C

We hope you enjoyed our 2011-12 Hornets Player Power Rankings series. For past rankingsclick here.

7 comments
Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson

I think Vasquez is a decent player, in our list he should be at the top-5 spot. he has shown that he has a lot of talent, he needs to practice about the turnovers but he played the whole season. In fantasy he is one of the top-10 point guards because he can give you mid-rage jumpers, 3-pointers, a lot of asists ( if he is starter he would make like 8 asists per game).

Tom
Tom

I think Vasquez played well this year. He does play a bit out of control, but he was the only player on the team other than Marco B. to log meaningful minutes in all 66 games this year. He is improving in his turnovers, I will give him slack for the last few weeks of the season and attribute it to fatigue and lack of practice with an inconsistent roster during a shortened sprint marathon of a season. He got a double-double in quite a bit of games this year and was in the top 10 in the NBA in assists per 48 minutes and only averaged 2.2 turnovers a contest; less than John Wall, Tyreke Evans, Andre Miller, Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook, Ricky Rubio, and Deron Williams. He deserves to be much higher on the list. I would consider him more important to the team this year than Ariza, Landry, Ayon, and Smith, no question. Had he been the starter all year, getting starter minutes, we could be talking about Vasquez as a surprise player this year in the entire league. Then again, I was a classmate of his at UMD...FEAR THE TURTLE.

Nithenz
Nithenz

I like Landry, but not with a 9M price tag. 3 yrs for 18M and sign him now.

D$
D$

i hope landry comes back

James McPherson
James McPherson

Excellent list; one minor quibble would be the positions of Landry and Vasquez. Clearly Landry had a better statistical year, but there were precious few occasions where Landry's efforts "made" the team better. Vasquez gave a noticeable lift (to both 1st and 2nd units) to the team, even when out of control. An arguable point, to be sure, but I feel most of us would agree Vasquez' contributions to the season {hmm ... damned with faint praise?} outweighed Landry's.

504ever
504ever

Well done, Mason. The interesting thing is the 14 ranked players have a chance to return to the Hornets next year, three are UFAs and one FA. All of the UFAs won't be back. Also, there will be two new lottery choices and possible additions via FAs and trades. Who will stay and who will go?

Zombian
Zombian

Having only the internet to gauge this by, Landry seems under-appreciated. He fights hard. He doesn't seem like the best player under Monty and I totally agree with what Mason said (Smith and Ayon plus the likely PF we draft will be more than enough) but I really like him. I wish him the best and I'm glad he gave us some fun memories from last years playoffs.