No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you – the Hornets actually have actually gone 3-0 since last week’s rankings, beating three playoff teams in the Celtics, Grizzlies, and Nuggets.
1) Ryan Anderson, PF – 70 GP, 31.0 MPG, 56.2 TS%, 16.3% DRR, 7.0% TOR, .140 WS/48, 19.0 PER; Last Week: 1
After a rough shooting week last week, Ryan found his stroke from long range, making 45% of his 3-point attempts (9-20). Five of the nine came against Denver on Monday night, helping to halt the Nuggets’ 15 game winning streak. If Anderson can get hot from long range against Miami on Friday night, who knows what can happen!
2) Anthony Davis, PF – 56 GP, 28.2 MPG, 55.7 TS%, 23.2% DRR, 10.5% ORR, 10.1% TOR, 0.152 WS/48, 21.6 PER; Last Week: 2
Another great week for Davis, shooting 58.6% from the field and coming just one rebound shy of averaging a double double over that stretch. He also added 5 rebounds and 5 blocks while committing 5 turnovers. Davis is having the best second half of the season for any rookie by a very wide margin, and continues to make his best late push for rookie of the year consideration over Damian Lillard.
3) Greivis Vasquez, PG – 70 GP, 34.6 MPG, 50.0 TS%, 13.7% DRR, 34.9% AR, 12.1% TOR, .073 WS/48, 16.7 PER; Last Week: 3
Despite his best efforts to convince Monty Williams to let him play, Vasquez missed his first game of the season on Monday night due to a sore ankle. In the two games prior, his numbers weren’t particularly good, but he was still able to lead the team to victory. He averaged 12.5 points on 11.5 shots along with 7.5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2.5 turnovers.
4) Robin Lopez, C – 71 GP, 25.8 MPG, 57.6 TS%, 12.0% ORR, 10.7% TOR, .131 WS/48, 19.2 PER; Last Week: 4
Lopez’s play on Friday night was one of the biggest reasons for the Hornets’ upset victory over Memphis. Robin notched a double-double, scoring 23 points on 9-12 shooting and pulling down 10 rebounds. He also blocked 4 shots, adding to his impressive game against one of the best front courts in the NBA of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Apart from that game, Lopez’s week was only mediocre, but his play in that Memphis game is what the Hornets wish they could get from him on a consistent basis.
5) Eric Gordon, SG – 31 GP, 29.6 MPG, 51.9 TS%, 14.1% AR, 12.5% TOR, .027 WS/48, 14.6 PER; Last Week: 5
Gordon was a late scratch on Monday night due to a sore ankle, but he wasn’t terribly helpful in the two games before that one. He scored 29 points over those two contests, but it him 28 shots to do it, and he recorded more turnovers (7) than assists (5). With just about three weeks left in the regular season, Gordon continues to provide more questions than answers.
6) Al-Farouq Aminu, SF – 65 GP, 27.2 MPG, 51.5 TS%, 25.8% DRR, 13.3% AR, 15.5% TOR, .074 WS/48, 13.6 PER; Last Week: 6
I really like what I have seen from Aminu recently in terms of shot selection. In his 47 games played before the all-star break, Aminu was attempting 6.36 shots per game, with 54.2% of them coming from inside of 5 feet. In his 18 games played since the all-star break, Aminu has lowered his field goal attempts per game to 5.67 and 64.7% of them are coming from inside of 5 feet. All season long, he has attempted about 3.5 shots per game from less than 5 feet away from the rim, but he is taking about one less outside shot per game than he was before. Aminu may finally be learning his limitations in the NBA; let’s hope the trend continues.
7) Jason Smith, PF – 51 GP, 17.2 MPG, 54.4 TS%, 16.6% DRR, 11.6% TOR, .096 WS/48, 16.8 PER; Last Week: 7
*Out for the rest of the season after surgery on his torn labrum*
8) Brian Roberts, PG – 67 GP, 15.1 MPG, 50.4 TS%, 26.2 % AR, 8.2% TOR, .082 WS/48, 15.3 PER; Last Week: 8
Roberts just played the best week of his NBA career, finished off with easily the best game of his career. He was already trending upward before Monday night, scoring 20 points on 13 shots in 41 minutes with 6 assists and only one turnover. With Vasquez out against Denver, though, Roberts stepped up in a big way, becoming the 20th rookie in NBA history to record 18 assists in a single game. He scored 13 points on 5-10 shooting and only turned the ball over 3 times. Hopefully, Monty makes it a priority to give Roberts some more minutes at point guard with the starting lineup in the team’s final 11 games.
9) Roger Mason Jr., SG – 63 GP, 18.4 MPG, 58.1 TS%, 12.3 % DRR, 15.8% AR, 11.3% TOR, .064 WS/48, 10.5 PER; Last Week: 9
Mason did not play in the first two games of this week, but as usual for him this season, he stepped up when asked. Roger made 4 out of 5 three point attempts on Monday night, and also recorded 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes of action. At the moment, Mason currently has the highest true shooting percentage of his career, narrowly edging out his 57.3 TS% in the 2007-08 season.
10) Lance Thomas, SF – 57 GP, 11.1 MPG, 55.9 TS%, 8.2% ORR, 8.9% TOR, .086 WS/48, 10.0 PER; Last Week: 10
With both Aminu and Miller playing well along with the signing of Amundson, there is simply not enough available playing time left for Thomas, who played just four minutes last week.
11) Austin Rivers, SG – 61 GP, 23.2 MPG, 43.1 TS%, 19.9% AR, 11.6% TOR, -0.037 WS/48, 6.0 PER; Last Week: 11
*Out for the rest of the season after surgery on his broken hand*
12) Darius Miller, SF – 41 GP, 13.7 MPG, 54.3 TS%, 25.8% AR, 13.2% TOR, .046 WS/48, 7.3 PER; Last Week: 13
Miller played two relatively uninspiring games earlier on this week in which he played some decent defense but didn’t contribute much offensively. Monday night, he drew the start in place of an injured Eric Gordon, and he made his minutes count. Darius cracked double digit points for the first time in his career, finishing with 16 on 6-7 shooting (4-5 from 3-point range). It will be interesting to see if this game helps to build his confidence and encourage him to become more aggressive as the season comes to an end.
13) Xavier Henry, SG – 41 GP, 11.6 MPG, 48.3 TS%, 12.9% DRR, 11.6% TOR, .010 WS/48, 8.0 PER; Last Week: 12
With both Vasquez and Gordon sitting out on Monday night, Henry saw his first action in about three weeks. He started off strong with an impressive drive to the rim, laying the ball in over McGee, but then proceeded to miss his other three shots.
14) Lou Amundson, PF – 7 GP, 11.7 MPG, 35.2 TS%, 19.1% DRR, .039 WS/48, 11.0 PER; Last Week: NR
When the Hornets signed Lou Amundson, I expected a hard-nosed defensive rebounder with little to bring to the table offensively. This expectation has been correct so far, but he has also added an element I was unaware of until I watched him play – his defensive rotations. While limited athletically, Amundson always seems to know where to be and when to be there, and gives a needed boost to the Hornets’ second unit with Jason Smith out for the season. Though a limited sample size, the numbers back that up – the team’s defensive rating with Lou on the court is 99.3, and that number jumps to 110.4 without him.
15) Terrel Harris, SG – 6 GP, 13.2 MPG, 14.3 TS%, 23.1% AR, 18.8% DRR, 23.1% TOR, -.173 WS/48, 0.3 PER; Last Week: NR
Harris has clearly struggled on offense, but he has held his own defensively and also helped the team from a rebounding perspective. He got that second 10-day contract due to his non-stop motor and defensive intensity.
All season long, these player power rankings will be presented alongside various “advanced stats” in order to more accurately evaluate each Hornets player’s impact (click here for a glossary of the statistic abbreviations). In addition, we also have created a chart with the goal of standardizing advanced stat categories to distinguish the good numbers from the bad ones. Hopefully, these tools give each of you the means to comprehend the advanced statistical metrics used in these rankings as well as other columns throughout Hornets247.com.
For historical power rankings, click here.
All stats were obtained from ESPN.com except for WS/48 stats, which are a product of Basketball-Reference.com.