Season Previews: New Orleans Hornets

SEASON PREVIEW

After FINALLY answering the CP3 question, a lot better than Orlando did, the Hornets got Eric Gordon to build around, and some quality players, but Gordon goes down with injury, the Hornets get 2 top 10 picks and a new owner, shedding the WORST OWNER in sports (don’t get me started)
I’m sorry New Orleans. Boogie Benson is good at one thing, threatening to leave. If the Hornets don’t fill that 17K arena, and soon, they will be gone. The only reason the Saints aren’t gone is Katrina. Benson is cheap, but he doesn’t meddle, and generally does what he’s told by the NFL, and Stern makes Tags look like Goddell when it comes to clamping down.

But let’s get to the court.

Free Agent Acquisitions:
Good:
Robin Lopez I love this guy! I put out on twitter (@ncshvdavid) Diaw and No1 for Robin Lopez- who says no? Lopez isn’t close to his brother in scoring, but the guy is almost a taller Popeye Jones. If he doesn’t get 9 boards a game, I’ll be stunned.

Ryan Anderson: 6’10 three point shooter who can move inside if he has to (and you have a lead) can give you some fouls without hurting you too badly.

Bad
None

Neither:
Hakeem Warrick: decent scorer, but bench guy all the way.

Free Agent Losses
Good

Trevor Ariza
Still miss LA? Reminds me of when the Raiders used to buy the Super Bowl MVPs every year. Good Money finally gone. Not saying I didn’t like the guy, but helped waste CP3 in Nawlins.

Bad
Chris Kaman: If you were trying to win, this is awful, rebuilding? Good, so I’m putting it here. Kaman is a rebounder who really is going to get in the way here as Davis learns what an offense is in the pros.

Draft / Trades
Traded G Jerome Dyson, C Brad Miller and two undisclosed second-round draft picks to Minnesota for cash. Minnesota will send F Wesley Johnson to Phoenix, who will send C Robin Lopez and F Hakim Warrick to New Orleans

Anthony Davis– Number 1 overall pick, and smart, both on and off the court. I really like this kid, despite him being a KU one and doner. I’m going to give you his ceiling.

Are those Shoulders big enough to keep the Hornets in New Orleans?

Tim Duncan.
High post PF who is going to end up playing the center on both ends on the floor, and always on one-half. I’m old enough to remember Duncan at Wake Forest, and take away his seriousness (and his jump shot) and you have Davis. Had Davis had a better coach who made him work on his jumper- you have Duncan 2.0 I don’t think there is a chance he fails, and I think he plays for a decade, even if his worst case senario is a skinny Amare Stoudamire.
Austin Rivers– Him? Not so much. Duke bias aside, I just don’t see him that much of a NBA starter. I think he plays well, maybe even makes the All-Rookie team, but next year, the coaches have figured out his game.

Prediction
This is going to be a fun year, there are a ton of new parts, but Eric and the ‘Brow can start on 25 of the teams in the NBA. Not many teams can say that after the year after trading a guy that can start for 30 teams. I look for a solid season that is going to say a lot about Monty Williams. I’ll go low 30s in wins.

 

Depth Chart

C     Anthony Davis     Robin Lopez
PF     Ryan Anderson     Jason Smith     Hakim Warrick
SF     Al-Farouq Aminu     Darius Miller     Lance Thomas
SG     Eric Gordon     Xavier Henry     Roger Mason
PG     Austin Rivers     Greivis Vasquez

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10 Comments

  1. Ariza/Okafor were traded.
    I was hoping they’d re-sign Caveman/Kaman to work alongside Davis during his rookie season.

    The Davis pick was a Godsend. I love his game, but you’re wrong about his jumper. He’s got it.
    Many say he needs to work on a post game, but he’s gonna be more effective with the jumper. 220 lbs + post game does not = success.

    They are EXTREMELY weak at the 3, with questions surrounding if Aminu will develop any resemblence of an offensive game and also around what Darius Miller will bring to the table.

    The point is also questionable with young Vasquez. He has great size and a pass first mentality, but is still very young with a need for development. On any other team, he’s a good backup.

    Coach Monty is experimenting with Austin Rivers at PG. He does have some Westbrook-like penetration skills(not to that level of course). I see him working his way up to start at the 2 when Eric Gordon’s paper knee gives out again this season (should have executed a sign-and-trade for Iggy).

    I love Lopez’s attitude and blue collar method. The first preseason game he bricked every shot, only to come back in game two to amass wonderful all around stats.

    While I miss Chris Paul, (we can get him back next summer, assuming he’s not a Knick) I like the current core of Davis, Anderson (anything to NOT LIKE about this guy), and Gordon (healthy).

    Davis is a scary guy. Give him time and he’ll be a scary MAN.

    In a few seasons, I think they can go deep into the playoffs.

  2. Also, they’ve been bringing Ryan Anderson & Rivers off the bench. I’m curious to see how the back court will end up.

  3. Good review. I liken Anthony Davis to Marcus Camby but there is no doubt that he can have a Tim Duncan ceiling. He just needs a scoring move. The kid can handle the ball well, since he was a 6’3″ point guard in high school before his dramatic growth spurt, but even when he was a small PG he didn’t have much of a jumper (according to recruitniks). He really has to work on that.

  4. I like the Marcus Camby callback, but I don’t think that Unibrow has the same game on defense, and Nate, if you think the Brow has a 14-18 foot jumper, I must have missed that season at KU

  5. Coach didn’t like him shooting jumpers @ KU. He can hit them though. He operates under the basket better than anything on the offensive side. That AND the pick and roll.

  6. Anthony Davis is going to be great. If Eric Gordon’s knee doesn’t remain a problem, he’ll be one of the best second options in the league. Ryan Anderson is a great scorer and shooter, and Lopez and Vasquez are two great bit players. This team is going to win around 30 games based on Monty Williams’ defensive schemes and the strength of both Davis and Gordon’s skill level, but obviously the Bugs have nowhere to go but up. http://thegreatmambino.blogspot.com/2012/09/david-stern-was-right-new-orleans.html

  7. It’s not that it’s not dependable. His job was to play off the ball on offense, catch lobs and get garbage points.

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