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New Orleans Hornets Team Overview

2010-11 record: 46-36

Third place, Southwest Division

Lost in first round to L.A. Lakers

DRAFT PICKS:

Round: 2

Areas of strength:
As long as Chris Paul is healthy and on the court, the Hornets will be able to break any defense down and get easy baskets at the rim, as the Lakers learned in the first game of the playoffs. If David West can make a full recovery from knee surgery, they'll keep their 1-2 punch, at least for one more season.

Needs work:
First year coach Monty Williams did an excellent job of getting his team to take pride and responsibility for its play at the defensive end and it paid off with a statistical jump into the top 10. It will likely be said throughout his career, but Emeka Okafor still needs to find a way to produce consistently on offense, especially with West on the mend.

Two stats that matter:
18.9
-- Points per game missing from the offense in the playoffs after David West was lost to knee injury.

45.7 -- Drastically improved opponents' FG% defense after the Hornets ranked 29th a year ago.

The way to go:
In a season that can conclude with Paul and West both becoming free agents and the threat of relocation always hanging over the franchise, promising rookies aren't the need. They have to be strong next season. That could mean pursuing free-agent centers Marc Gasol or Tyson Chandler or going after the likes of Jason Richardson to boost the backcourt.

2010-11 team stats:
Offensive: 103.8 (19th)
Defensive: 102.5 (9th)

Players under contract:
G: Jarrett Jack
G: Chris Paul
F: Trevor Ariza
F: Quincy Pondexter
C: David Andersen
C: Emeka Okafor

Free agents:
G: Marcus Banks
G: Willie Green
G: Marco Belinelli (Restricted)
F: Carl Landry
F: David West (Early termination)
F/C: Jason Smith (Restricted)
C: Aaron Gray (Player option)
C: D.J. Mbenga

-- Fran Blinebury

Recent Draft History
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
11. Cole Aldrich 21. Darren Collison 27. Darrell Arthur 13. Julian Wright 12. Hilton Armstrong
43. Adam Haluska 15. Cedric Simmons
43. Marcus Vinicius

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