By: Clark Wilson, Hornets.com
May 21, 2012
Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2011-12 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:
The 2011-12 lockout-shortened season had its fair share of ups and downs for second-year guard/forward Xavier Henry. Henry, who was acquired by the Hornets on Jan. 4 from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a 2013 second-round pick, began the season missing the first 17 games, mostly due to a lingering injury suffered a season ago.
Henry made his Hornets debut coincidentally in his hometown, Oklahoma City, on Jan. 25. Throughout the 45 games that Henry played in he averaged 5.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 16.5 minutes of play, recording double-digit points on six different occasions.
The 45-game season was the most games Henry has seen in his short NBA career, as he only played in 38 games his first season with Memphis, missing 34 due to a right knee injury.
Due to the amount of injuries the Hornets faced this season, Henry was one of the few players who were able to see multiple minutes on the floor, night in and night out for most of the season. For Henry, playing at high level on a consistent basis was a learning experience, one that he never witnessed in college or high school.
Its a lot tougher (than college) because practices are different, youre structured differently with everything and just the way you prepare for games is different than how you used to play in high school, college and stuff like that, he said. So its definitely tougher and a lot more time is put into it.
Due to the condensed schedule, each week featured at least three or four games over a seven-day stretch. Preparing for games mentally and physically was taxing on the second-year guard out of Kansas, even more so than years past.
Its different, when your bodys hurting and stuff like that and you have to play every other night and youre traveling, it gets tiring on your body, Henry said. So it was a different experience than last year.
Henry improved in every major category from his first season with Memphis to his second in New Orleans, averaging 1.0 points and 1.4 rebounds more with the Hornets.
The former Jayhawk saved his best games for the biggest opponents, as four of his six double-digit scoring performances were against playoff opponents. He recorded his career-high against the defending NBA champions, Dallas Mavericks.
With improvement shown throughout the regular season, Henry will look to remain healthy and solidify his backup role during summer league games and leading into 2012 training camp.
Henry scored a career-high 19 points on March 2 vs. Dallas, while also tying a career-high in field goals made, shooting 8-12 from the field (.667). In 24 minutes of play, the Belgium native added four rebounds, along with two assists and a season-high two steals as the Hornets got their ninth win of the season.
As the Hornets push toward the future with two draft picks in the lottery portion of the draft, X has plans to remain with the young franchise, while continuing to improve his overall game and participate in NBA Summer League in Las Vegas coming up in July. I plan on working on everything, Henry said. Once I get back into it, I start working on everything that Ive noticed throughout the year that I can get better at and so it should be a good summer for me. Im going to take a little bit of time off right after the season, pretty much how everybody does because their bodys recovering after the season. I plan on playing summer league with the team, so it should be a fun summer for us.
|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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