2010-11 Season in Review: Carl Landry
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
June 6, 2011
Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2010-11 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:
Landrys final two months of the 2010-11 season were as eventful as it gets for an NBA player. In essence, the 6-foot-9 power forward went from being a backup for a lottery-bound team, to a No. 1 scoring option for a playoff qualifier.
After appearing in 53 games for Sacramento (with 16 starts), Landry was dealt by the Kings to the Hornets a day before the February trading deadline. His track record as a proven quality frontcourt reserve figured to immediately yield dividends for New Orleans, which has struggled in that area in recent years. Over his first 13 games as a Hornets bench contributor, the Purdue product delivered exactly what was expected, producing numerous double-digit scoring outputs, highlighted by a 20-point performance vs. his previous club, Sacramento.
Then, on March 24 at Utah, starter and two-time All-Star David West sustained a season-ending torn ACL. Landry was elevated to a first-string role the next night at Phoenix, the first of his 10 starts to close the regular season. He adjusted quickly to the expanded duty, averaging a team-leading 14.9 points during that span. In the playoffs against the Lakers, Landry personified the underdog Hornets valiant attempt to upset the two-time defending champions. Despite giving up several inches to the enormous Los Angeles frontcourt, Landry averaged 15.8 points (second on NOLA behind Chris Paul) and repeatedly earned trips to the foul line, where was 33-for-36 (91.7 percent).
Hes a guy who can flat-out score, described Hornets forward Trevor Ariza, who also played with Landry in Houston. He can fill it up anytime he gets the ball. Hes also a great guy to be around, a fun teammate.
Landry produced several similar games statistically, but the performance that left the most lasting impression was his very first Hornets start, March 25 at Phoenix. Pressed into a starting role after Wests injury less than 24 hours earlier, Landry tallied 19 points and six rebounds in a key victory over the Suns. The win helped give New Orleans a larger cushion in its bid to return to the NBA playoffs, while also easing concerns that there might be an immense drop-off in production at power forward for the Hornets.
Landry will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and likely a very coveted one, after again demonstrating his competence in an expanded role (as he did in Houston and Sacramento). The Milwaukee native has now played for three teams in four years, including being traded midseason for two consecutive years. From Day 1 in Louisiana, Landry emphasized that his welcome to the Hornets went even better than he couldve imagined, both on and off the court.
The transition was a little bit smoother than what I thought it was going to be, he said. Coming into the situation, you hear people (warning) that the grass isnt always greener on the other side. But in this case, it was. The transition was really easy. This team is so close-knit that they welcomed me with open arms as soon as I got here. When David went down, it was an opportunity for me to showcase my talent on a really high level in the playoffs.
Based partly on his aggressive mentality on the court, Landry quickly became a popular player among fans, another reason why hed prefer to remain with the Hornets.
The city definitely showed its love, Landry said. Thats something that makes a player who is going all out every game feel very good. They were really behind the team 100 percent. Its really an uplifting city and a family type of environment. So hopefully this city will be the future of the Hornets.
Unlike some players, Landry is not preoccupied with his role, saying hes just as happy in reserve duty as being called on to start.
At the end of the day, I just want to play, he said. It doesnt matter what Im doing, whether Im a starter or coming off the bench. Its all about winning games. Thats the type of player and person I am that I try to bring to a team. Ill do whatever it takes to win games. If thats as a starter or coming off the bench, thats what it is.
|ADDITIONAL 2010-11 SEASON IN REVIEWS|
|DAVID WEST||AARON GRAY||EMEKA OKAFOR|
|QUINCY PONDEXTER||CARL LANDRY||CHRIS PAUL|
|JARRETT JACK||JASON SMITH||TREVOR ARIZA|
|MARCO BELINELLI||WILLIE GREEN|
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