By: Clark Wilson, Hornets.com
June 18, 2012
Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2011-12 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:
The lockout-shortened 2011-12 NBA season had many twists and turns for Trevor Ariza, as he played in 41 games and missed 25. However, in every game that Ariza played in, he started, as he was the only Hornet to do so.
Ariza had to overcome multiple injuries. Out of the 25 games he missed, 15 of them were due to injury. However, when Ariza did play he was affective, leading the team in scoring six times, rebounds four times and assists three times. He recorded 20-plus points five times and recorded double-digit point games 20 times.
Although the Hornets 21-45 record wasnt what Ariza and the team had foreseen as the outcome before starting the season, Ariza still kept his head up and played hard no matter the circumstance.
No matter what we do or who were playing against, were going to play the same way, Ariza said. Coach (Monty Williams) has done a great job of teaching this young group how to consistently play on the defensive end, and working toward playing hard at both ends every night, just developing in this system.
Ariza saved one of his best efforts for the Broadway stage against the New York Knicks on Feb. 17. Amongst all of the Linsanity hysteria, he delivered one of his best games of the season, scoring 25 points to go along with eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks, becoming just the second Hornet in franchise history to record those totals in the same game.
His veteran leadership and ability to help the team in different ways gained respect from his teammates and coaches throughout the year.
Hes a guy we ask a lot of, Williams said midway through the season. Sometimes its defense, sometimes its scoring. Hes starting to become a guy we feel like we can trust night in and night out. His role has been enlarged this year because of the situation.
Toward the end of the season, most of the younger players were receiving the bulk of the playing time. Ariza saw limited action and at times didnt play any minutes at all, but still kept a positive attitude with what was best for the younger players and the team.
This has to do with trying to get some young guys more playing time, Ariza said of his diminished appearances later in the campaign. Im fine with that. Theyve been doing a great job out there.
Ariza scored a season-high 26 points on Feb. 4 at Detroit, shooting 9-for-12 from the field, 2-for-3 from three-point range and making all six of his free throws. Ariza also authored seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Ariza has two years remaining on his contract with the Hornets, including a player option in the season 2013-14.
|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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