New Orleans Hornets 2011-12 Power Rankings, V.4

The fourth edition of the 2011-12 season’s New Orleans Hornets individual player power rankings.

In this week’s power rankings, there is again a bit of movement, but nothing Earth-shattering. Among those changes is the fall of Chris Kaman, as well as the introduction of Xavier Henry. As usual, check the ranks and let us know what you would have done differently in the comments section.

1. Jarrett Jack, PG: 37.2 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 44.8 FG%, 7.3 APG, 4.2 RPG, 19.3 PER

Jarrett Jack is a mere week 1 Michael Beasley guest appearance from claiming the top spot in these rankings for each of the first four weeks. He just put together another very solid week, improving on his points and assists per game averages, as well as field goal percentage and PER. On top of that, his turnover rate currently sits at just 13.78%, well below the league average for point guards of 18.35%. Jake will be coming out with a column analyzing Jack’s season so far in greater detail, but suffice it for now to say that he is currently playing at a level that he has never reached before. 

2. Carl Landry, PF: 25.1 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 46.1 FG%, 4.8 RPG, 18.7 PER

Apparently, Landry didn’t like being ranked behind Okafor and decided to do something about it. Carl had a great week, averaging 16.67 points over those three games on just under 10 shots per game, good for an insane 1.72 points per field goal attempt. The primary cause for his incredible scoring efficiency was his success at both getting to and converting from the free throw line, making 20 of his 21 attempts. The Hornets have desperately needed a solid second scoring option behind Jack with Gordon out, and Landry did a great job of filling that void; hopefully, we see his success continue.

3. Emeka Okafor, C: 28.3 MPG, 9.0 PPG, 53.7 FG%, 8.5 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 16.1 PER

Okafor’s week almost identically matched his per-game numbers, averaging 9 points and 7.3 rebounds. Unfortunately, free throws are huring Oak even more than usual this season, as he made just 1 of his 6 FT attempts throughout the week (all against Orlando) and is shooting just 45.5% from the line for the season. It’s somewhat strange that despite Emeka’s noticeable improvement in his short-range jump shooting, his free throw shooting has declined. Regardless, he has been steady on both ends of the court for the Hornets, and the front-court combination of he and Landry has looked pretty solid over the past week or so.

4. Gustavo Ayon, C: 9.8 MPG, 4.0 PPG, 67.7 FG%, 2.4 RPG, 24.7 PER

Early on in the season, it appears that the magic number for Ayon is 10. When Ayon plays 10 minutes or more, he is averaging 70.3% shooting and 1.56 points per field goal attempt. He received a DNP on Monday, then came back on Wednesday to score 16 points in just 17 minutes on 8-10 shooting. Ayon just never seems to have a bad game for the Hornets. He picks his spots on offense, seemingly never taking a bad shot, and his rebound rate is 3rd on the team, trailing only Okafor and Kaman. With Kaman now out of the mix, expect to continue to see more playing time for Gustavo, and more solid play to go along with it.

5: Jason Smith, PF: 19.8 MPG, 8.4 PPG, 47.3 FG%, 3.9 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 16.4 PER

Another solid week on offense for Smith, shooting 65% on his 20 shots over the past three games. He still isn’t getting to the free throw line, which is primarily a function of nearly all of his shots coming from 15-20 feet out. What may be his most impressive stat, however, is his 8.11% turnover rate, lowest on the entire team. Overall, Smith still tends to struggle on defense, but it seems like every game he is recording a huge block on the opponent’s best player, so he is contributing on that end to some extent. As long as Jason keeps knocking down his jumpers and avoids being a liability on defense, he helps the Hornets when he’s on the court.

6. Trevor Ariza, SF: 33.9 MPG, 10.4 PPG, 39.1 FG%, 5.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, 13.0 PER

After a solid 18-point outing on Monday against the Spurs, Ariza delivered two weak follow-up performances to round out the week, making 3 of his 17 shots for a grand total of 7 points. That being said, Trevor continues to work hard on the boards, averaging 7 per game throughout the week. Unless his defense declines, he should find himself around the middle of these rankings week in and week out. He will have his fair share of struggles on offense, but he’s going to keep getting chances to score due to the team’s lack of reliable alternatives.

7. Greivis Vasquez, PG: 18.9 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 36.3 FG%, 3.2 APG, 12.3 PER

Another below-average week for Vasquez, going 8-19 from the field overall and 1-6 from beyond the arc. He is maintaining an assist to turnover rate of 2.14 which isn’t terrible; the league average for point guards is 2.18. If he would stop shooting 3-pointers, his value to the team would instantly rise, as he is making just 25.7% of his 3-point attempts this season.

8. Chris Kaman, C: 22.7 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 43.8 FG%, 6.6 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 14.0 PER

As we’ve heard from Hornets’ GM Dell Demps, Kaman has likely played his last game in a Hornets uniform. He made 3 of his 8 attempts against the Spurs on Monday in 14 minutes of action, and hasn’t played since. In general, he has struggled this season, so the decision to basically give his minutes to Ayon is a good one, both for the present and for Ayon’s development and adjustment to the NBA.

9. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF: 19.4 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 37.5 FG%, 4.5 RPG, 10.3 PER

From a scoring perspective, Aminu just had the best week of his season. He took (and missed) just one shot on Monday in 12 minutes against San Antonio, but followed it up with  an eleven point game in Oklahoma City on Wednesday and a nine point game against Orlando on Friday, making 9 of his 14 shots overall. Hopefully this is a sign of better things to come for Aminu, as he has failed to give Hornets fans many reasons for hope so far this year.

10. DaJuan Summers, F: 15.0 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 41.9 FG%, 1.4 RPG, 8.9 PER

Summers played a total of just 12 minutes over the past three games, and is understandably looking like the odd man out with the return of both Ariza and Henry. He’ll likely only get minutes from here on out if someone is in foul trouble, in mop-up time, or if the team is REALLY struggling on offense.

11: Marco Belinelli, SG: 31.4 MPG, 9.7 PPG, 38.5 FG%, 32.9 3P%, 3.1 RPG, 8.6 PER

For at least a week, it appears as if Belinelli remembers how to shoot 3-pointers. He made 6 of his 12 attempts from long range over the past three games, going 12-26 overall. The problem with Beli is that he brings nothing else to the table besides his jumper – he had as many turnovers (5) as he did rebounds and assists COMBINED in those three games. I often wonder why Marco even sees the floor at all… and then I realize that there is literally no other option for the Hornets right now. If Henry improves, don’t be surprised to see him quickly take up some of Belinelli’s minutes.

12. Squeaky Johnson, PG: 7.1 MPG, 1.7 PPG, 30.0 FG%, 0.8 APG, 5.3 PER

Nothing new to report on Squeaky, as he didn’t play at all this week.

13. Xavier Henry, SG: 11.0 MPG, 2.5 PPG, 33.3 FG%, 0.5 APG, -3.7 PER

It won’t take much to jump ahead of Squeaky, but when your PER is a negative number, you’re stuck at the bottom at least until you get back above water. In 22 total minutes against OKC and Orlando, he made 2 of his 6 attempts, and contributed almost nothing else besides an assist and 2 turnovers. He will undoubtedly improve upon what we have seen so far once he gets back into the flow, but the degree to which he improves is still to be determined.

Incomplete: Eric Gordon, SG: 39.0 MPG, 21.0 PPG, 42.5 FG%, 5.0 RPG, 18.1 PER

It doesn’t make much sense to include Gordon in the rankings anymore, considering he has only played 2 games and won’t be back for at least another 3 weeks. He’ll stay here until he returns to the lineup.

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

3 responses to “New Orleans Hornets 2011-12 Power Rankings, V.4”

  1. Trade kaman to the rockets for haseem thabeet, courtney lee, and terrance williams.. and waive belinelli
    Then get those picks we want so bad that PF/C and SF or PG if terrance doesn’t pan out…

    Pg jjack, gv, (or waive johnson instead of belli)
    Sg eric gordan, courtney lee, xavier
    Sf trevor ariza, aminu, terrance, xavier
    Pf landry, smith, ayon
    C meka, thabeet

    Young and experimenting lineup

    • doubt they’re likely to give up on lee, they like him and were cool with giving up k martin in the first chris trade to give him more minutes

      j hill and j flynn are much more likely targets

      I am putting my money on the kaman trade ending up being with hou for some combo of flynn, hill and thabeet or a pick

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