2010-11 Season in Review: Quincy Pondexter
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
June 2, 2011
Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2010-11 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:
The 2010 first-round draft pick from the University of Washington earned a gradually increasing role, eventually becoming the Hornets regular backup small forward. After sitting out the first five games of the regular season due to coachs decision, he made his official NBA debut Nov. 6 at Milwaukee. Not counting games he missed due to an eye infection in February, Pondexter appeared in 42 of New Orleans final 46 regular season contests.
Along the way, the former high school and college standout was forced to make an adjustment to being a role player and receiving fluctuating playing time for the first time in his basketball career. Pondexter logged 20-plus minutes in a game only seven times all season. In the first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Lakers, he played a total of just nine minutes.
In college, I tried to strategically get in the flow of the game, a little bit slower, he said of the playing-time difference with the Huskies and Hornets. Right now, I dont have that much room for error. I have to come in and produce right away in my limited minutes. Hopefully some good things come out of it.
Although Pondexter didnt get to fill a prominent role as a rookie, his contributions increased during the seven games first-string small forward Trevor Ariza missed due to injury during the regular season. Pondexter started six of those contests, with New Orleans going 3-3. The Fresno, Calif., native helped spark New Orleans to a 41-point road victory at Atlanta, in his debut as a starter.
It was a typical rookie season, he described. A lot of guys have seasons like this. I learned so much, and I got a lot better, which a lot of people didnt get to see. Hopefully Ill have a lot of carryover next season and my career will take off from there.
I feel like I improved all-around. Im a lot better shooter than I was. I know the game better. And Im a lot better defender. There is so much Ive gotten better at, but because of the (reduced) minutes and things like that, maybe I didnt get a chance to showcase it as much. Going into this offseason, I have to work hard. I want to be a part of this team in the future and help us get back into the playoffs.
In his first pro start, Jan. 21 at Atlanta, Pondexter was a catalyst in the Hornets 100-59 demolition of the Hawks. Pondexter set the tone for the runaway victory by scoring five points in the games first 1:04. NOLA outscored Atlanta 81-42 in the final three quarters en route to its most one-sided triumph of 2010-11. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder totaled seven points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal while playing a then-career high of 28 minutes.
Often praised by Monty Williams for his work ethic and consistency in putting in extra hours at the Alario Center, Pondexter vowed to spend extensive time this summer on trying to improve. Im going to work harder than anyone else in the league this summer, he said. I want to be able to come in and contribute next season, so Im going to work my tail off, to get to a point where the coaches are confident in me, and Im able to showcase my abilities.
Pondexter wouldve been a prime candidate to appear on New Orleans entry at the 2011 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, but it was reported in April that the league is not expected to take place this July.
Its sad to hear that if it is the case (that summer league wont be held), but at the same time, it wont stop me from working and playing basketball every day during the offseason, Pondexter said. Im one of those guys where even if I were a 10-year veteran, Id still want to participate, because you get a chance to play with referees and a chance to play basketball the way it should be played.
|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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