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2010-11 Season in Review: David West
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
May 19, 2011

Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2010-11 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:

WHAT HAPPENED:

Unfortunately for West and the Hornets, a March 24 season-ending torn ACL injury generated the biggest headlines of his 2010-11 campaign. In the five months that preceded the injury, however, the eight-year veteran compiled one of the most valuable seasons of his pro career. For the fourth time in the past six years, the 6-foot-9 power forward led the Hornets in scoring average (Chris Paul topped the team in 2007-08 and 2008-09). A two-time All-Star selected by Western Conference coaches in 2008 and 2009 West had a down season by his high standards in 2009-10, but bounced back in 2010-11 to regain his prior status as New Orleans primary offensive threat.

West was once again a model of consistency in the frontcourt, tallying double-figure points in 65 of his 70 appearances. He was the Hornets second-leading rebounder for the fifth consecutive season (he led the club in boards during his breakout 2005-06 year).

BEST GAME:

In a somewhat counterintuitive statistic, the Hornets went just 1-4 when West scored 30 points or more. He had numerous games in which he was in the 30-point, 10-rebound neighborhood, but by process of elimination, his biggest impact in a victory may have been Nov. 19 vs. Cleveland. West finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds against the Cavaliers, on extremely efficient 14-for-20 shooting from the field. That accuracy from the floor typified Wests 50.8 field-goal percentage this season, the second-best rate of his career and his top accuracy since 2005-06.

WHAT'S NEXT:

Wests contract includes a player option for 2011-12. If he declines that option, he would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. For months, it was assumed by virtually everyone that West would opt out of his deal in order to test the open market as a free agent, but that was before he sustained his ACL injury, which often requires a lengthy rehabilitation period.

At the Hornets season-ending media availability with local reporters, general manager Dell Demps said the team was awaiting word from West and his agent on their decision. They have until June 30 to decide whether West will become a free agent, or whether he will pick up the player option, guaranteeing his return to the Hornets in 2011-12.

I think (the injury) changes things a little bit, because (his status for 2011-12 is) based on him opting in (or out), Demps said. I think its a decision hell make soon. I never want to speak for anybody. I dont want to speculate on what his decision will be.

As part of the early portion of his rehabilitation, West did not attend the Hornets playoff games in New Orleans or on the road, in order to focus on his recovery. In general, athletes who undergo ACL surgery are not able to return to sports-related activity for a period of at least six months. In football, for example, many were stunned when New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker was able to play in a regular-season game just eight months after an ACL injury.

David was rehabbing and to have an injury like that that swells, there is no need for a guy to come out there and have his leg down, Monty Williams explained. He needs to have it elevated. Its prudent for him to be in the best situation possible for him. Based on what the trainers and doctors told me, its just good for him to be on his back and get his leg right.

As the calendar approached July 1, Demps reiterated that regardless of Wests decision on his player option, the Hornets want him to not only be on the roster in 2011-12, but also for the foreseeable future.

The goal is still for him to have his jersey retired in the rafters, Demps said. He represents everything that we want this franchise to represent. Hes a good person, he works hard and is a blue-collar guy. Hes very talented. I know hes working very hard rehabbing right now. If anyone can come back from an injury, its David West. We really believe that hell able to come back, and hell be in the Hive next year, shooting jump shots and making that growl he always makes.

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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