Best 1st Round Matchup

Published: February 26, 2011

As of today, the Hornets sit at the 5th spot in the Western Conference, but they’re only 2.5 games ahead of the 9th spot as well. The Mavs will be impossible to catch for 2nd in the Southwest Division, so our obvious ceiling as far as playoff seeding goes is the 5th spot. Assuming the current top 4 teams stay up there, what would be the best matchup for the Hornets?

Possible Matchups:

LAL Lakers

SA Spurs

OKC Thunder

DAL Mavericks



I would hate to see us face the Lakers. They couldn’t have enough “internal” problems to give us a chance of beating them in a 7 game series. Size can’t be taught, and the Lakers certainly have a height advantage over us. Surprisingly, Lamar Odom has been the Hornet killer for a while now. Odom basically renders David West ineffective, while scoring at will on the other side of the court. I just foresee the same problems continuing if we end up facing the Lakers (most likely at a 3/6 seed first round matchup).


Yes, I believe we still are the only NBA team with 2 wins against the Spurs, but that doesn’t in any way give us a chance of beating them in the first round. I don’t expect us to fall to the 8th seed without any significant injuries happening to us, but the Spurs would kill us if we had to see them in the 1st round. They have already completely destroyed us this season. Just like the Miami Heat beat up on crappy teams on sheer talent, the Spurs would end up doing the same thing to us. We could win a game or two in the series, but don’t expect us to have a real chance. Let’s also not forget how Ginobili has destroyed us this season too.


If you asked me a week ago, I would have told you that I would love to see a Hornets-Thunder 1st round match up. Unfortunately, the days of David West abusing Jeff Green in the post are over. With the acquisitions of Mohammed and Perkins to the front line, the Thunder have fixed their biggest weakness where the Hornets used to have an advantage. Look at it this way: The 4th big off the bench for the Hornets is Aaron Gray, while the 4th big for the Thunder is Nick Collison. Yeah, you know Nick Collison. The guy we all thought would make a great 3rd big of our bench not too long ago. Scary. Russell Westbrook is also one hell of an athletic point guard (I still don’t like him though) who just draws too many free throws alongside Durant. With Paul’s loss of quickness, I don’t like the PG matchup either. I’m not saying that Chris Paul won’t outplay Westbrook, but I don’t want Paul to get beat on pure athleticism either.


Finally, this leaves us with the Mavericks. They have also become scary good, but this is the one top 4 team I can see us beating in the first round. David West has had his way with Dallas over the years (thanks Dirk), and Chris Paul gets to eat Jason Kidd’s lunch in this matchup. Dallas just doesn’t present us with that one lopsided matchup like the other teams do.

I don’t like the the Thunder’s bigs against us. The Spurs are simply the best team in the league, and the Odom/West matchup is frightening. Dallas doesn’t have that.

Kidd vs Paul? I LOVE that.

Nowitzki vs West? It’s always a great show that ends in West slapping & Nowitzki flopping.

Chandler vs Okafor? Another exciting matchup to two great centers.

The Mavs will have an advantage at the wing positions on offense, but nothing we can’t overcome.

I want to see the Mavs in the first round.

Bring it!


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