New Orleans Hornets 2011-12 Power Rankings, V.10

Published: March 18, 2012

Though the Hornets had arguably their easiest week of the season thanks to playing three sub-15 win teams, they were still only able to finish 1-3, finally salvaging a win last night in New Jersey. 

After losing to the Bobcats and Wizards at home in the same week, I feel like it wouldn’t be totally inappropriate to just rank every Hornets player 12th and be done with it. However, I’ll be a good sport and update them the same way that I always do. Comment below with any support or criticism for anyone’s ranking.

Trevor Ariza continues to be the Hornets' most well-rounded player.

1. Jarrett Jack, PG: 38 GP, 34.2 MPG, 15.2 PPG, 45.3 FG%, 6.0 APG, 3.7 RPG, 17.3 PER

After a solid week for Jack and more DNPs for Okafor, Jarrett jumps back into the top spot. Jack dominated Fisher in their match-up on Wednesday night to such a degree that the Lakers traded him to Houston (that’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it). In both that game as well as the loss to the Bobcats two days before, he was the main reason that those contests came down to the wire and weren’t more one-sided.

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

I’ve been a big fan of Okafor’s game this season, and have said so more than a few times on here… when he plays, that is. He has simply missed too many games to hold down the top spot anymore. With two years and $28 remaining on his contract, the team has no reason to rush him back, either.

3. Gustavo Ayon, C: 37 GP, 21.1 MPG, 6.5 PPG, 56.0 FG%, 4.7 RPG, 17.3 PER

Nice to see that Gustavo remembers how to rebound! Ayon grabbed 9 boards in each of his past 2 games, a good sign after his overall lackluster numbers on the glass since around the all-star break. There are some games where he may not do much to benefit the team, but is a smart player who very rarely hurts them with common NBA flaws such as bad shot selection or lazy help defense.

4. Trevor Ariza, SF: 35 GP, 34.5 MPG, 11.6 PPG, 41.1 FG%, 5.7 RPG, 3.5 APG, 15.0 PER

Rough week in the scoring column for Trevor, making just 14 out of 41 attempts, but at least he was able to get to the line a bit, making 13 of his 14 free throws. His importance to the Hornets goes far beyond his scoring ability, however, as evidenced by his averages of 6.5 rebounds, 3.75 assists, and 2.25 steals per game over that same time period. Throw in his routinely excellent defense, and he’s right on Ayon’s heels for top-3 honors.

5. Greivis Vasquez, PG: 45 GP. 23.6 MPG, 8.2 PPG, 42.1 FG%, 4.9 APG, 14.8 PER

Fairly strong week for Greivis, shooting 56% while averaging over 6 assists and just under 4 rebounds. Additionally, he has raised his assist/turnover ratio to nearly 2.5. During crunch time situations at the end of the Lakers game on Wednesday, I wondered why Monty was playing Jack with Beli so much instead of Jack and Vasquez, which basically shows which back court duo I believe to be most effective.

6. Chris Kaman, C: 37 GP, 28.9 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 43.0 FG%, 8.1 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 14.9 PER

Looks like we’ll get to see Kaman chuck up 20 shots per game for a little while longer! With no deal coming to fruition for the Hornets at the trade deadline, Kaman figures to continue his role as starting center. Given Okafor’s current knee troubles, it wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t play another game this season, especially with Kaman remaining in New Orleans.

7. Carl Landry, PF: 24 GP, 23.9 MPG, 11.5 PPG, 46.7 FG%, 4.4 RPG, 16.6 PER

Still no Landry back for the Hornets, and he therefore falls a spot. It sounds the team is expecting him to return this week, so hopefully we’ll see him on the court again before next week’s rankings come out.

8: Jason Smith, PF: 22 GP, 21.5 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 46.6 FG%, 3.9 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 13.0 PER

Jason finally returned to action in Saturday night’s victory in New Jersey. He understandably looked a bit rusty, but even so, replacing Jeff Foote’s minutes will put the Hornets at least one step ahead of where they were before. (See what I did there? …okay, I’ll shut up now.)

9: Marco Belinelli, SG: 45 GP, 30.2 MPG, 11.4 PPG, 41.3 FG%, 36.3 3P%, 2.7 RPG, 11.0 PER

Beli somewhat salvaged a rough shooting week with a solid 20-point performance in New Jersey on Saturday night. After playing only 13 minutes in Thursday night’s home loss to Washington, he responded by hitting 8 of his 13 shots, half of them from beyond the arc. As usual, however, inconsistency was the theme of the week for Marco, as he routinely seems to have 2 or 3 poor games for every decent one.

10. Lance Thomas, PF: 23 GP, 13 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 48.5 FG%, 2.9 RPG, 12.0 PER

Thomas continues to improve on knowing his offensive role and only taking smart shots, and it shows with his impressive FG% of 56.8% in March. His minutes will likely diminish a bit with the recent return of Smith and likely Landry soon as well, but it looks like he has earned the trust of Coach Williams.

11. Xavier Henry, SG: 25 GP, 14.3 MPG, 5.0 PPG, 39.5 FG%, 1.9 RPG, 10.1 PER

I continue to enjoy watching Xavier play, but the guy is still very raw. Smart move by team management to send him to play in a D-League game early this week and get him some extra minutes. I’m still confident that Henry can be a productive NBA player based on his aggressiveness and ability to get to the line, but he has a considerable amount of work to do in order to become more consistent.

12. Al-Farouq Aminu, SF: 45 GP, 19.4 MPG, 4.9 PPG, 38.4 FG%, 4.2 RPG, 9.3 PER

I think it was Ryan Schwan who said something similar to “if you look at Aminu as a potential NBA role player instead of a former lottery pick, he seems like an decent bench guy” in a recent game recap. I’m not sold on this approach quite yet, but it does help to make me feel a little better. Still, he continues to disappoint, as most people hoped for more from him.

Incomplete: Eric Gordon, SG; Jeff Foote, C

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


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