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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SDH's 2012/2013 NBA Worst to First Previews and Predictions: 26. New Orleans Hornets

Overall Win/Loss Record :  21-45 fifth place Southwest Division

Last Season’s Rank

28
Projected 2012/2013 Finish

26
Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank
  • Points Scored: 89.6 (29th)
  • Points Allowed: 93.4 (8th)
  • Team FG%: .451 (13th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .444 (13th)
  • Rebounds per game: 41.1 (24th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 40.0 (4th)


Returning Individual Statistical Leaders
  • Scoring: Eric Gordon (21.0)
  • Rebounds per game:  Jason Smith (4.9)
  • Minutes per game: Eric Gordon (34.4)
  • Assists per game: Greivis Vasquez (5.4)
  • Steals per game:  Eric Gordon (1.4)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Jason Smith (1.0)


Projected Starters Based on Last Season’s Performance, Veteran Seniority and Projected Impact


Key Reserves Based on Last Season’s Performances, Veteran Seniority and Potential Impact.
  1. Austin Rivers (G),
  2. Jason Smith (F/C),
  3. Hakim Warrick (F),
  4. Al-Farouq  Aminu (SF),
  5. Roger Mason (G)

2012/2013 Projection:  25-57, last in Southwest Division, fun to watch but will remain a bottom feeder of the West.

Analysis:

New Orleans basketball fans rejoice!  Thanks to the generosity and compassion of NBA Commissioner David Stern, your team has a new lease of life starting first with finding an owner who is determined to keeping the Hornets in the Big Easy.  Tom Benson, who also owns New Orleans’ NFL franchise, the Saints, will drop any ideas of those who love Hornets that this team will be going anywhere else other than the Big Easy.  In Benson, Stern found an owner who is devoted in developing a strong team for years to come and that team remains in New Orleans for years to come.  To assure that Benson’s transition runs smoothly, Stern added an additional prize to entice the Louisiana billionaire in keeping the Hornets local—the number one pick of the NBA draft.

After parting ways rather acrimonious with their former star player Chris Paul, the Hornets were miraculously blessed winning the number one pick in the NBA draft.  And with that pick, they selected possibly one of the most talented players to have possibly come out of college basketball—the University of Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.  At 6’ 11” Davis has the ability to dominate on both ends of the floor—not only in the post where many expect him to play the bulk in his career, but the perimeter as well.  Just a couple of years before he was a 6’ 3” point guard in high school before a monumental eight inch growth spurt turned him into a superhuman freak of nature.  In the span of one year, Anthony Davis dominated the college ranks leading the Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA Championship win as well as winning a gold medal in this Summer’s Olympics as well

Davis has the abilities that most players dream of and the talent, athleticism and competiveness that most coaches crave.  His natural physical gifts along with his superior basketball skills and high IQ give him the ability to play all five positions which is any opposing coach’s nightmare.  He’s literally the perfect player and with him in New Orleans, the Hornets will certainly become a playoff contender within the four or five years—the length of his rookie deal.  Along with Davis, New Orleans selected with their second first round pick a perfect complement to his skills and abilities in Duke’s Austin Rivers.  Like Davis, Rivers is a gifted athlete who is versatile enough to play both guard positions and whom can put the ball on the floor and shoot from the perimeter. 

Together, both Davis and Rivers have the potential of being a rather strong one-two punch for the New Orleans Hornets for years to come.  Add the additions of potential All Star shooting guard Eric Gordon, whom the Hornets locked down for the next five years, and last season’s Most Improved Player Ryan Anderson, New Orleans will certainly be a basketball team to tune into.  They will probably garner the city with even more attention this season than Chris Paul ever did to in his time as a Hornets and they will not have even made the playoffs.  The same way that Shaquille O’Neal put the spotlight on the Orlando, Lebron James shined on the city of Cleveland as well as David Robinson did with the city of San Antonio; all eyes will be on that small swampy city of Louisiana.  New Orleans will rise from the murky depths of being a watering hole for underage drinkers come Mardi Gras to become the new mecca of professional sports.  And it is all thanks to one man—David Stern.

If it was not for Stern, none of this would be happening and New Orleans would have ended up any distant memory of failed basketball cities.  People may deplore his over involvement in league affairs especially with blocking certain trades etc.; however, no one can deny that what he has done has brought positive results.  In a league that is dominated by big cities, and big money, this small unassuming man has singlehandedly ensured the competitive balance of power in the NBA by assuring that even the little guys have a chance to shine.  Love him or hate him, folks in the big Easy will forever owe their professional basketball survival and their future to David Stern.  Like David against Goliath, Stern stood tall amidst the criticism, did what was right and because of him basketball will not only survive, but all thrive in the Big Easy