The NBA Season is ready to start on Christmas Day, the last couple of preseason games are being played as I write this up, and it's time for me to cater to every serious NBA fans love of season previews! The 2011 Geektastic Preview is going to be way too large for one article, so I'm dividing it up into divisions (and even so, it's going to be long, so get a cup of coffee!). In this article I'm going to preview the New Orleans Hornets, who are going to be bad, but I guess that is the way David Stern wants it to be.
2010 - 2011 PER-48 stats
Lost: The best point guard in the game, Aaron Gray, David West, David Andersen, Quincy Poindexter
Added: DaJuan Summers, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon, Marko Jaric, Sam Cassell, Minnesota's #1 pick
Outlook: Definitely last in the Division. In fact, if Stern has his way, they'll be close to last in the league and maximize their chances at that #1 overall pick.
And the new players:
As we can see, the Hornets don't have a lot going for them; Okafor is their only above average player. There's some good news, though: Kaman has a long history of playing terribly just after an injury (like last year), only to bounce back to being above far average the year after. And Gordon was a sophomore last year, and is young; he's likely to improve again this year (although I doubt he realizes the level of effectiveness to be worth the contract that he is likely to receive). But the Hornets just don't have enough in the tank to win even half of their games; and as many have pointed out, this is precisely the way David Stern appears to want it -- he thinks cap flexibility, youth, and a "blank slate" are what a potential buyer wants. As I've said about four hundred times, he's wrong. What a potential buyer wants is to be able to move the team away from New Orleans, and until the NBA signals that this would be allowed, they won't find a buyer any time soon.
There's not really a lot more to say about this team; expect Gordon to score a boatload of points and the Hornets to lose a boatload of games. Okafor will continue to be solid and underappreciated, and Landry will continue to shoot too much (he's gone away from the things that used to make him a very good player, in favor of chasing points per game).