By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
June 21, 2012
Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2011-12 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:
An excellent frontcourt reserve for much of his five-year NBA career, Carl Landry began 2011-12 as the Hornets starting power forward, but that only lasted for the first six regular season games. Landry wasnt moved to the second unit as a demotion he actually piled up 21 points and eight rebounds in start No. 6 on Jan. 4 but in an effort to boost the New Orleans bench.
Over the next month, Landrys minutes and production fluctuated greatly. For example, from Jan. 13-18, he amassed a total of just 10 points in a four-game span, all losses. Just a week later, however, from Jan. 21-27, Landry scored 19, 18, 15 and 17 points against high-caliber opponents Dallas, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Orlando, respectively.
Unfortunately for Landry and the team, not long after that four-game scoring outburst, he sustained a MCL sprain in his knee on Feb. 4 at Detroit. The injury sidelined him for the next 23 games, causing him to sit out until late March.
Upon his March 24 return to the court, Landry showed no evidence of rust, scoring 15, 14, 20 and 24 points in his first four games, against San Antonio, the Clippers, Golden State and Portland. After a brief setback due to an ankle injury forced him to miss two games, the Purdue product was a prominent part of the Hornets late-season success. During the clubs encouraging 8-5 close to the regular season, Landry averaged 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in just 23.2 minutes per game. He also shot a stellar 53.3 percent from the field.
Although the Hornets had been well out of postseason contention for several weeks, they played their best basketball of 2011-12 in April, continuing to receive praise as one of the NBAs hardest-working teams.
It says a lot, Landry commented on the Hornets finish. It says were still going out there and fighting every day. It says were paying a lot of attention to detail, focusing every practice and that we do want to be a good team.
There have been so many games where we lost by a possession or two, and we hadnt been healthy. We had 50 10-day contracts, the most ever in one season. No, Im just exaggerating, but you know what I mean. There have been so many injuries. For guys to come in and compete the way they do, that shows good things about this team. If we continue to stick together and play hard, the skys the limit.
On April 19, the Houston Rockets paid a visit to New Orleans, in what was virtually a must-win situation to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive. Facing one of his two former NBA teams, Landry gave the Rockets fits all evening, racking up 20 points (including 9-for-13 shooting from the field) and 10 rebounds. He also grabbed six offensive boards, as the Hornets posted a 105-99 overtime win that pushed the Rockets to the brink of elimination. NOLA trailed 51-43 at halftime but rallied after intermission.
It was nice to get a win against my old teammates, Landry said following New Orleans final home game of 2011-12. It was a dogfight tonight. We got it going, hung in there despite not having a good first half and got the win."
An unrestricted free agent last offseason, Landry signed only a one-year contract with the Hornets after the NBA work stoppage was settled last winter. As a result, hell again be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. When asked about his future in late April, Landry sounded uncertain about his possible destination for 2012-13 and beyond, but said hed prefer to stay in New Orleans.
Ive grown accustomed to my teammates, the organization, the coaches, the GM and the people who work for the team everybody, Landry said, describing his comfort level in the Crescent City. Right now, its home. Hopefully its home for a long time, but you just never know. You pick up the paper or look at the TV and hear that they want to go young, or the next day they might go old. I think Im somewhere in the middle.
So you dont know. Its out of my hands. We all know that this is a business. After the season, Ill give it some thought and my agent will take care of everything. Right now this is home. Landry added that recent developments, particularly the Hornets securing local ownership, give the franchise a clearer direction in the eyes of players.
Part of me signing a one-year deal (in December 2011) was because there really wasnt any stability here, Landry explained. But we definitely have that now. Were going to be here for a long time. Im definitely excited about the future of the Hornets.
|ADDITIONAL 2011-12 SEASON IN REVIEWS|
|JASON SMITH||JARRETT JACK||GUSTAVO AYON|
|MARCO BELINELLI||LANCE THOMAS||XAVIER HENRY|
|EMEKA OKAFOR||CHRIS KAMAN||ERIC GORDON|
|GREIVIS VASQUEZ||AL-FAROUQ AMINU||TREVOR ARIZA|
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