2010-2011 Hornets Season Review Part One

Now that the Hornets season is finally over, we can take a step back and really look at what a roller coaster ride it has been. Over the last 10 months or so everything has shifted; from the roster to the coaches. From the front office personnel to the owner. But perhaps even more important than any of that, the culture of this organization has changed, and that in turn has changed the expectations of the fan base moving forward.

The Hornets 2010-11 season kicked off with the decision to look for a new Head Coach to replace interim coach Jeff Bower. Several candidates were interviewed, but two emerged- Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau and Portland assistant Monty Williams. After playing hardball with Thibodeau, the Hornets got the guy that many (including CP3) preferred all along, Monty Williams. From there, the writing was on the wall that Jeff Bower was on his way out as GM, but before he left he pulled off a masterstroke in the draft as he rid the Hornets of Mo Pete (and the luxury tax burden that came with his contract), while also acquiring 2 first-rounders in exchange for the 11th pick.

After the draft, the Hornets let Bower go and set their sights on Dell Demps. They convinced him to choose the Hornets over Phoenix, and as a reward Dell Demps got to spend the first day on the job recruiting Chris Paul. He told Chris that he would be aggressive, and he wasn’t lying. He quickly got the nickname of “Dealer Dell” around the league, as he completely overhauled the Hornets roster. Gone were James Posey, Craig Brackins, Darius Songalia, Peja Stojakovic, Julian Wright, Darren Collison, and Marcus Thornton. In came Willie Green, Jason Smith, Trevor Ariza, Carl Landry, Jarrett Jack, David Anderson, and Marco Belinelli. And mind you, Demps did all of this in the midst of an ownership change, as the NBA took control of the team by purchasing it from long-time owner George Shinn.

On the court, the Hornets ran as hot and cold as any team in the league. They were the last team to lose a game, going 8-0 out of the gate. After an 11-1 start, however, they proceeded to lose 11 of their next 16 before evening out. Then they went out and tied a franchise record by winning ten in a row, only to follow that up by going 2-9 in their next 11 games. Then, just as they got healthy and started to show signs of clicking again, their leading scorer David West was lost for the season with an ACL tear.

The Hornets hobbled down the stretch, but showed enough fortitude to win some key games that helped them secure a first round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. Though undersized and out manned, the Hornets pushed the two-time defending Champs to six games and gave their fans hope for the future. In part two of this piece, we will take what we learned from this season and project forward, but before we do, let’s take one more look back with the writers of Hornets247.

1. The Hornets won 48 games this season (including the playoffs). What was your favorite win of the season?

Ryan Schwan: The best win of the season was easily Game 1 of the opening round of the Lakers-Hornets series. There was just so much there to thoroughly enjoy:

• Being reminded that Paul is still the best point guard in the league after a season’s worth of struggles.

• Watching a thoroughly undersized team simply outwork a more talented and physical team.

• Chris Paul, M—-r F—-r

• Beating LA

Did I mention Chris F’ing Paul?

Joe Gerrity: As tempting as it is to pick Game 1 in LA, a contest in which the Hornet weren’t supposed to have any business winning, I have to go with Game 4. The crowd, the atmosphere, and just the general awesomeness of Chris Paul in the win makes it number one in my book.

Michael McNamara: The playoff wins were great, but to me it was the Heat game that really got people excited about this season. That win gave the team national credibility and notoriety and gave us all hope that we could be in for a special season.

2. 40 losses as well. Any one in particular stand out to you?

Joe: Game 3 against the Lakers, because it was such a turning point in the series. If they win that, they have a chance to go up 3-1 the next night at home, but alas they blew their first home game of the postseason, and in the end that’s why they couldn’t pull off the upset.

Ryan: The Memphis game at the end of the season.  Despite it just being one of those regular season games McNamara denigrates so much, it was the difference between the Lakers and Mavericks in the playoffs. That stuff matters. Oh, and there was a complete lack of Chris F’ing Paul in that game. Zero points. Wow.

Michael: You’re right, I do think the regular season is just a dress rehearsal, but my least favorite loss came in the regular season as well. On December 12th, an 88-70 loss against the (7-15) Philadelphia 76ers showed just how bad this team could be when they think that they could just show up and win. No effort, no intensity, no heart. It was embarrassing.

3. Awards Time! We know our Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year by default. Who you got for MVP and Most Improved?

Ryan: The MVP, by a hair, is David West.  Paul was so sporadically good all season long, but David West did his workhorse thing and carried the team for a lot of the year.The Most Improved Player is Emeka Okafor. He learned how to work next to West, made a huge impact defensively, and generally did everything we’d hoped for the year before.

Joe: It’s impossible for me not to say Chris Paul, despite really wanting to go with someone like Emeka Okafor. Unfortunately, he’s really just a role player. It just so happened that his required role was huge this year. But I will say Emeka is unquestionably the Most Improved Player on this Hornets squad. Last season Emeka Okafor was considered one of the most overpaid players in the league, with Bill Simmons actually dubbing him the second LVP overall. This year he deserved every penny he made, especially on defense, where he anchored one of the best units in the entire league.

Michael: For me, Emeka Okafor was the Most Valuable Player on this team because he was the most irreplaceable. I saw the Hornets win games without Chris Paul and David West, as they both had suitable replacements, but when Mek went down with an injury, this team was horrible. Most improved player for me was David West, as I think he played at a whole new level on both ends of the court.

4. As documented earlier in this Preview, Dell Demps made a lot of moves this year. Which one was his best?

Ryan: I’m torn between two. Thornton for Landry no doubt helped the team, but part of that is because the team didn’t give Thornton the chance he deserved, so that question is fraught with disappointment for me. So I’ll go instead with the Julian Wright for Marco Belinelli trade. Getting a starter, albeit the worst starter on your team, is still no small feat when you give up a non-entity like Wright has turned out to be.

Joe: The Thornton trade for Landry was huge considering what happened to David West. Insert Marcus Thornton instead of Carl Landry and I have a hard time seeing the series getting to even five games. Sure Thornton can light it up, but Jason Smith/Aaron Gray/DJ Mbenga would have been seeing 50+ minutes combined had Landry not been available. Think about that for a second.

Michael: I am going to go unconventional here and say the trade of a first round pick for Jerryd Bayless was his best move. This draft might end up being the worst draft of all time, and without Bayless, the Hornets would not have been able to land Jarrett Jack. There is no way the 19th pick in a horrible draft will be able to get 1/10th the production that Jack will get for the Hornets over the long haul.

5. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate Monty William’s first year as a Head Coach in this league?

Michael: If I am grading him against every other coach in the league, I would say a 7, as I think he got out-coached at times by veteran coaches. But, if I look at him as a rookie who is going to learn from his mistakes and continue to grow, I give him a 9 because he exceeded all of my expectations. He has installed a culture here and that is much harder to do than drawing up X’s and O’s. Once he learns how to better manage rotations and make in-game adjustments, I think we will be looking at an elite coach in this league.

Joe: 8.5- It was a great year, but I just never understood the Marcus Thornton situation. I heard both coach and player talk about it extensively, and still I just have no clue why they couldn’t/didn’t make it work out.

Ryan: I am actually a huge fan of what Monty did this year, but I can’t give him better than an 8 for one and only one reason. The Hornets had three shooting guards, and one shooting guard was about 20% better than the other two overall, but that shooting guard got the least number of chances in game to earn a role on the team. I feel that was a blunder.

(Part Two will look forward to the Hornets off-season and will be posted later this week. For now, chime in with your answers to any of these questions and/or your general thoughts or memories from a fantastic year)

38 responses to “2010-2011 Hornets Season Review Part One”

  1. Love the article, the season was lovely indeed, it will be a interesting offseason for Dell and co. and I think it will be key of what the we’re going to do next season, I think we will be a title contender next season if we add size, hi Tyson Chandler and resign David Fluffy West, can we do both?

    MONTY: 8, he will be a elite coach, hearing him talk to the team is beautiful he’s lovely…

  2. Look…I like Okafor as much as you guys do…as a person and for his effort.
    But get over him as a playoff quality center.
    It ain’t gonna happen. The only center I see him possibly playing well against is another similar to him, Noah of the Bulls.
    But just forget about it for NBA playoffs
    As much as I hate the way the game has been changed…it HAS been changed.
    Perhaps bach when Oneal was given the opportunity to push defensive playes off their spots…or perhaps earlier.
    But somehwhere it was allowed.
    That’s when a fleetfooted, leaping center becamenor only not enough, but maybe a detrement.
    Now you needed one that could move a mountain back without looking like he was fouling.
    The lower body strength is utmost.

    Sure there might be some freaks that have the size as well as an outside shot and are fast…but don’t count on it. And if you find one..you win.
    You build around him….and you win.

    So keep Gray as your back up and try to get a large, fast shooting center.
    That…and a hot deadly three point shooter that makes the inside safe again.

    • I agree with you. In fact, in the last podcast I stated point blank that you can’t win a title with Emeka as your center. But this piece reflected on the season we just had, and in the REGULAR SEASON, Emeka was the reason that this defense was elite.

      I part two of the Season Review, we will look at some of the things you brought up in your comment, including whether or not the Hornets should move Okafor.

      • If we can bring back Tyson Chandler and have Mek as a backup center that would be just amazing…

        Btw.. what are the possibilities that we can bring MT back? he made his merits in SAC to start at SG…

      • Hi, McNamara! I’m new to this website.
        Since I saw CP3 in Wake Forest, I’ve become a deadly Hornets fan or just a CP3 fan because if he was about to leave NOLA i would follow him, but I really like this Hornets organization even his uniforms! Not to say I previously was a Mavs fan. Think of the Nash, Finley, Jamison, Bradley, Nowitzki, Van Exel era.
        I dreamed about Okafor pairing with CP3 a few seasons ago. Now it’s reality so I would like to see them together for the long term.
        Okafor is playing out of position I guess. I see him as a defensive PF but he can slide to C because it just fits to him. He rebounds, blocks, plays defense and makes good defensive rotations. And he’s solid defensively. He just need to work on his repertoire of shots, FT line and be AGRESSIVE! No way I would trade him by now.
        Yhis team needs more time to develop together ans make few changes but not blowing again this roster… or CP3 will leave.
        We need stability and credentials.
        Thanks to Williams and Dells we now have that credentials!

      • Exactly what I’ve been saying too Mike.

        I know it’s hard for fans to accept these things when they see a player gave them their all, and worked his way into their hearts like the way MT5 did. But realistically, those guys aren’t going to win it for you.

        Honestly, if we were to nap either Tyson Chandler, or Nene, and KEEP Okafor as a back up… NOW you’re talking title contender.

  3. favorite wins this season: okc buzzer beater in january, game 4, beating the heat, smashing the spurs especially when cp made tony parker fall down, and both mavericks games notably the 2nd one coming back in the last minute to win..ugly loss was minnesota game in february..monty probably gets a 7 or 8 in coaching.. yet overall, the coaching staff as a whole paid good attention to detail.i think it’ll be huge if his top assistant (mike malone) sticks around b/c he’s a very good assistant coach and a hot commodity around the NBA

  4. To fight against a team like LA, I thought the Hornets needed to go big early and have Gray actually in the starting lineup with Landry at the 3, Ariza at the 2 and Emeka at the 4. Mek is very much a finesse low-post player that can execute defensively but shows very little range as an offensive player down in the pain. As good as his defense was in the regular season and learning the new system that Monty Williams put in, he needed more of an offensive showing throughout the season but he was not the total downfall of this team.

    In alot of parts, while the Hornets tried to attack the paint and only settling for jumpers. I think the Hornets should go into the offseason and obviously resign West and Landry but seriously look into an actual starting 2 who can knock down the mid-range and 3 point wings consistently. As good as our defense is, I’d gladly trade some of that in to get some dominant offensive scoring touch to take the pressure off of West & Paul.

    As for the awards from this past season, to me, the MVP in the REGULAR season had to be David West. One of the more consistent players on this team to contribute on the offensive side with his mid-range jumpers and with David playing so well and so hard, he is the key to this franchise as much as Paul’s play at the point brings credibility to this franchise.

    Most Improved really is Emeka. Getting a full year to learn the culture of the team and the chemistry of where everybody is on the court takes alot longer than most would expect. The dynamics of that Paul/Emeka pick and roll might not have been the greatest but when it worked, Emeka rolling to the basket and getting his touches (when stonehands caught it), it was a thing of beauty. His defense along with Ariza’s was a big improvement from last year’s mess of a season.

    Monty as a coach I’d probably put him at an 8.5. For him to do what he did with the franchise he was given, and the turnaround that took place with this team was incredible. Sure, you could nitpick the rotations he’d roll with but the confidence he’d have with his moves will only work more into his favor with more seasoning. Trust me, I’ve seen alot of bad coaches with this Hornets franchise… (Tim Floyd; also not a fan of Cowans) but what Monty has been able to do with this club at this much scrutiny is nothing short of awesome. Part of me wishes the Hornets could go after a guy like Keith Smart and make him a bench coach or somehow get Paul Silas away from that Charlotte Jordan Retirement home and make him a special consultant or bench coach to Monty.

    If this team stays healthy, (which is a big if) and can go after a considerably decent 2 guard in the off-season like a CJ Miles from Utah or a Nick Young in Washington while resigning Landry, West, Gray, and going after a guy like Turiaf on the Knicks, there’s no reason why this team can’t win 50 games next season (On a full 82 game schedule if there is one).

    Let’s Geaux Hornets!

    Feedback on this would be appreciated.

    • This is what I like to see! Thanks for your $.02- keep it coming.

      I dont want to give away our ideas moving forward until we put our second part of this piece out later in the week, but I think you made a good case for each of your points. As for your comments on this season: I think DWest was the regular season MVP in a lot of ways, it just depends on what your personal definition of MVP is. Is it the best player? The most irreplaceable? The most consistent? Totally subjective.

      As for Monty, I think you hit the nail on the head. Remember, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year and Monty walked into a very unstable situation and stabalized the locker room. All of these things swirling around the team and Monty got them to focus solely on basketball. Hell of a job.

      Would love for you to write some journals over the summer, Nick, with your ideas moving forward. Really well thought out comment.

    • Landry isn’t a 3 man. And doing that would only force him to guard a guy like Artest on the perimeter. yet still clog the lane on offense. It doesn’t give you an advantage. We already have poor 3 point shooting. Why add to it?

  5. I agree with all about Monty.
    He did walk into a very tough spot.
    But that is what he gets paid for. Well, sort of. He doesn’t get the money of his workers…so good luck with that, coach.

    And again, considering all he had to deal with, his first year did end with a really new and important team philosophy in place. THAT is more than most new coaches do, let alone rookies.

    He did drive me nuts with his subs, but then I think he should have had the top people around him whispering into his ear all game(s) long! A rookie should surround himself with the best, even better than himself, at basketball specifics…then LISTEN.

    Did he?
    Was he even allowed to pick HIS advisors?

    But I do know I enjoyed the season as it developed after the New Year. At least, if it was his doing, admitted other players such as Gray deserved the time.
    It was, however, a wasted first half due to his misjudgments…if they were his.
    He does have to take the hit for the early sub because all leaders do.

    Nobody is a greater fan of Grays. I followed him to NO and that’s how I found y all. After watching him with the Bulls from day one, I know this kid.

    IF I were the coach, I would make him my main bench center.
    I would hire a BIG man coach and teach the kid 2 things…
    1) the jump shot from just outside the circle.
    2) teach him at least 3 options with his name on it inside. The points he made this year were spontaneous and not planned.
    Just like Okafor suffered last year without any offense planned with him, Gray did as well this year.
    This second would also open up the outside for his shooters as well.

  6. Interesting and incisive article–I can’t disagree with the main points made in it. I’m disappointed that Chris Paul was hot and cold during the regular season, he just didn’t seem to have the competitive fire he displayed in previous seasons and playoffs. I wonder–and hope–the reason is his knee injury and subsequent surgery. Fortunately, CP3 seemed to come alive during the brief playoffs, watching him single-handedly hold off the Lakers in games 1 and 4 was a joy. I hope he displays the competitive fire consistently next season and–hopefully–playoffs. I know writing this is almost taboo, but the reality is, for all of Dell Demps horse-trading, the Hornets are still weak–aside from CP3. David West, and, to a lesser extent, Emeka Okafor, they are a collection of B-list and lesser players. I can easily imagine CP3 and West looking for other teams more likely to win titles with while still in their prime. In another discussion elsewhere, I commented the Lakers should try to woo CP3 after next season to succeed the creaky Derek Fisher; even though Kobe Bryant will be near the end of his career by then, a backcourt of CP3 and Kobe would be quite exciting. CP3 has given plenty to New Orleans and should not be criticized for jumping ship for a better chance at a title, provided the Hornets have not improved substantially by the time CP3 is eligible to opt out of his contract.

      • CP3 might opt out if he wants to, but I woul be devastated…
        I love loyal players who play for only one team and doesn’t get marketing like LeBron and Bosh. Great players build great foundation by themselves not hugging on the court!

  7. Nick Young, Wizards’ SG, will become a free agent this summer. I think he would be a great boost for the Hornets. What do you think?

    • He’s going for money. Can’t imagine we could afford him.

      But to reiterate an anecdote, before the 07 draft I remembered Young’s name because analysts said we needed 2 and Nick Young would fall around our spot. Instead we picked Julian Wright.

      • Julian Wright – pick number 13 (New Orleans Hornets)

        Nick Young – pick number 16 (Washington Wizards)

        Anyone give a shot in Jeff Bower and Byron Scott, please …

  8. I think Dell Demps needs to find decent SG and Center and a backup SF…

    I recommend for SG:
    * J.R Smith
    * Aaron Afflalo
    * C.J Miles
    * Leandro Barbosa

    For SF:
    * Andrei Kirilenko
    * Jamario Moon
    * Mickael Pietrus
    * Josh Howard

    For Bigs:
    * Joe Pryzbilla
    * Others…

    Keep: CP3,DWest,Landry,Okafor,Ariza,Jack,Green,Gray,Smith,Pondexter…

    • We have five players under contract for next year: CP3, Okafor, Ariza, Jack, and Pondexter. If we keep Smith at $1M below his qualifying offer, Belinelli at his qualifying offer, Gray at the $2M more than his qualifying offer, and DWest signs his early termination option ($7.5M), we are at $58M cap figure. [Smith plays for $2M, and Belinelli and Gray for $3M in 2011-12.] This is $10M below the Hornets 2010-11 cap figure. So we could sign Landry for $5-6M in 2011-12, Green for say $2.5M, and restricted free agent Marcus for $1.5-2M. That is 12 players without counting bringing Mbenga back at a little below $1M.

      My point is assuming a hard cap equal to last year’s tax line, how can you suggest bringing in more talent for cheaper on the free agent market?

      Also, we need to sign Smith, Belinelli, and Green because they are relatively cheap and value priced for what you get. If the Hornets had kept and developed draft choices instead of trading them away, they would have more cheap talent. But they didn’t, and no team will trade cheaper, more value priced, talent to the Hornets. So we have to start developing it with guys like Smith, Belinelli, and Gray.

      You want another big like Tyson? [I do!] But how do you get the $6-7.5M of cap space to sign him? You want a better shooting guard? Kill off Green or Belinelli’s $2.5-3M and then where does the rest come from? Oh, and how do you fill out the rest of your roster?

      You can assume a 2011-12 hard cap of higher than the 2010-11 tax line, but how much higher? Surely not enough ($15M) higher to bring in both a quality center and a quality shooting guard in free agency, and fill out the rest of your roster with slightly below $1M players!

      My point is the Hornets have to build slowly. They have to develop the players they have and bring in new pieces through the draft, trades, or free agency as the cap allows. Imaging having Landry all summer and, eventually bring him off of your bench in 2011-12 That is already a big upgrade from the start of the 2011-12 season. The same is true of Belinelli, Smith, and Green who didn’t even go to camp with the Hornets. Gray, a mid-season acquisition during the 2009-10 season is still developing and improving, too.

      Remember the Hornets were a one win team in 2010-11 preseason that no one expected to even make the play-offs, let alone push defending champ LA to 6 games in the playoffs. They have made big stride already and the mountain they are climbing gets steeper the higher you go.

      • Not sure which Marcus are you talking about… Banks or Thornton?
        If you are talking about MT23, there is no chance he would take 2 million just to come home, even he does he’s restricted. Which NBA player now that average 20+ and only takes 2 mil?

      • Thornton was who I was talking about as he is the restricted free agent. If you are right and the Hornets can’t get him for even $2M, then you are helping make my point about how few options the Hornets have to add pieces. What do you think his value is?

      • This post was very well researched and it makes alot of good points. However, we don’t need Green and Belinelli, we need Beli or Green, for CHEAP. Monty has not shown the ability to shelve one of them and set a regular rotation. Please no more revolving doors at SG. A lot can be said out of consistent rotations. There’s a reason that teams that have played together for a long period of time can play better than their talent level might show. I’d offer Green 1.5m and let Beli walk, saving you 4m dollars in your scenario and leaving about 5.5-6m, plenty to sign a JR Smith or the like.

        You do bring up a good point. I think signing Landry is their signing Tyson Chandler. You have to choose between 1 or the other. Landry or an athletic big. If you choose the athletic big, you can potentially trade Gray or let him walk, unless we can keep him at 1-2m.

        Let’s subtract Beli, Landry, Gray and 1m from Green in your scenario. That leaves you around 15m to play with. 8ish to the big, 5-6ish to the SG. If you can keep Gray for the 2m Smith is getting, interchange Smith with Gray and keep 1-2 million for wiggle room for signing vet mins.

      • Jason Smith was a good long range shoter! Why the hell has he only attempted a single 3-pointer?
        We should use our player strenghts.

      • Build up slowly? Await the development of players like Belinelli, Smith and Green (who already has 30 years of age)? Is that what you suggest?

        Ok, so answer me: with this scenario, you really believe that CP3 and David West will stay in NOLA? Chris Paul does not want to slow construction. He wants to win, he wants a competitive team, which did not go to the playoffs as underdogs. And I believe that D-West does the same thing.

        Anyway, if you suggest building slowly, do not count on the presence of our two stars. Because with this current team, we will not go beyond the first round of the playoffs. So, Hornets need to strengthen this team. Otherwise, our two best players will leave, I understand me? No time to slow construction.

      • When I list four players who need time to develop in the Hornets system (three of the four had never even been to training camp with the Hornets), I think it is a poorly reasoned argument to pick the one player who is 29 (Green) to attack the idea. The other three are just turned 25 (Belinelli and Smith) or 26 (Gray), and only one of them (Gray) got a chance to work with the staff in camp. None worked with the staff over the summer because the staff wasn’t in place last summer.

        As for the building slowly part, what other choice do the Hornets have with $41M in 2011-12 salary locked up in four returning players (one of whom doesn’t start).

        But I don’t buy your ‘building slowly = not going beyond 1st round of playoffs = Paul and West leaving’ argument. This group of Hornets, when healthy, has just as much chance to win the Western Conference in 2011-12 as any other team in the west. Plus I still say there is wiggle room to add an inexpensive piece in free agency like Thornton.

        If you want to attack my argument, bring more facts and less negativity about the Hornets. Your are so negative you leave no room for anyone to suggest a way for Paul to stay.

  9. I just wanted to give some mad props to the hornets247 crew. Y’all are my MVPs. Unfortunately, I don’t get to live in NOLA (and yes, I know what it means to miss New Orleans). This season wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun for me without Hornets247. I didn’t always have time to comment, but I checked in with the site before and after every game. I know how much work it must be to run this site – the writing, commentary, and analysis are outstanding. You guys provide a place for all of us displaced fans to share the highs and the lows. Thanks for being a big part of a great season!

  10. Hey, I know I’m a short-timer on 247 and missed a lot of stuff. But what is the REAL reality that we will find a local owner and the Hornets will stay in N.O.? I hear nothing, see nothing, feel nothing that give me much hope. Please tell me I’m missing something!

    • Here is the TRUTH- short and simple.

      The NBA owns a piece of property (the Hornets). When the new CBA is settled and the owners (specifically the small market ones) come out winners, the value of the franchise will increase. So, the NBA has no interest in selling the team now, when it will increase 50-100 million dollars in value in 3-6 months.

      Once the CBA is done, the NBA will look for an owner and local owners will get first dibs. If they put together a competative offer and have a long term plan in place to grow the business, then the Hornets will be here for decades. If nobody steps up with that locally, then the Hornets go to the highest bidder and that likely means a move to Seattle or Anaheim.

      I say 90% chance of staying long term. 10% door #2.

      • Thanks for the “short and simple.” Feel a lot better seeing someone say there’s a 90% chance we’ll have the NBA in town for the long term. I understand the “door #2” option could happen, but I’ve lived with that fear and the Saints for most of my life. Well, the TRUTH is much better than I thought. Now I can have some fun watching the rest of the playoffs.

      • Btw.

        “Hard Cap”. Not happening. I guarantee it.

        Franchise Tag. Yes. Hard Cap. no.

        The NBA Player’s Union is taking the same route that the NFL Player’s Union took.

        This will go to court. The judge will demand that the owners open their books to show revenue flow and why their “needs to be a hard cap to limit funds of the players vs what owners make”, and the owners will decline to open their books, and the judge will throw their case out.

  11. In my opinion, the only consistent starters should have been Paul and Ariza.
    Monty should have established a Shane Battier mentality of “It’s not who starts the Game, it’s who finishes and who gives us the best chance to win.”

    Shane Battier
    Kirk Hinrich
    Lamar Odom

    All those guys would rather come off the bench and be in there in crunch time then start and not play during crunch time.

    Vinny Del Negro did this with Tyrus Thomas. Even though Thomas would start, Thomas didn’t finish games in favor of Taj Gibson for quite a while during the 09-10 season due to Thomas’ work ethic and attitude.

    Adapt to what the other team does even when choosing your other three to start along with Ariza and Paul.

  12. MVP: CP. Look at games where Chris scored less than 10pts. He usually dished about 10-15 assists in those games. Resulting in still leading the team., And yeah, he did have many off nights, what happened when these nights came about? The didnt rarely won. He is easily the most essential to the team. MVP for sure.

    MIP: Emeka. And the best part about this is he has much more to work at. I could see MIP next year too. He has a great future.

    Monty: 9. Underrated as a coach in the league. Everyone heard Phil Jackson and how much respect he had for Monty. Everyone has respect for him, its just tough be a hall-of-fame coach and admitt that such a young kid out coached you.

    This team has a very very bright future. Hopefully we can get Chris to stay. With Oakafor still getting better and West becoming healthier and everyone under Monty Williams’ eye we’ll be just fine.

    • Monty did not outcoach Jackson. Chris Paul outplayed the Lakers.

      The mismatch was so bad I don’t think the coaches came into play too much. Landry, Paul, Ariza, Gray just kept it competitive.

      • As a series Monty did not outcoach him. But with being undersized like New Orleans was, to get 2 wins was a straight coaching mastery.

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