Season in review: Chris Paul

Friday, April 16, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Now that the 2009-10 New Orleans Hornets season is in the books, it’s time to take my annual look back at what transpired, as well as examine what to look for in the coming months. We’re beginning this year’s extensive player-by-player package with the team’s 2010 All-Star representative, point guard Chris Paul. Over the next several weeks, all 12 Hornets players who suited up and finished the 2009-10 season on the roster will be featured.

There will also be periodic blogs within Big Easy Buzz that address and detail specific team categories (defense, rebounding, perimeter shooting, etc.) in which the Hornets may or may not need to show improvement next season in order to reclaim playoff status in 2011.

As I mentioned though, we start the player portion with the three-time All-Star Paul. As the five-year veteran was holding one of his season-ending discussions with the NOLA media recently, it dawned on me that we reporter types spent so time seeking information about his injury status, that Paul rarely addressed how he thought he played during his 45 appearances. That’s probably to be expected, because his health dominated talk around the team from his Nov. 13 ankle sprain through his being ruled out for the season on April 7.

This was my fifth season covering the team for Hornets.com and one thing I’ve come to realize is that you can never quite fit all of the quotes and information you receive from players within these tidy season wrap-up articles, so I’ve decided to add a “lagniappe” element to Big Easy Buzz that will appear concurrently when each Hornet’s season-review article appears on Hornets.com.

Here are a few additional recent thoughts from CP3:

On the state of the Hornets and what needs to happen next season:

“First off, we need health. We’ve got to get better as a team. It can’t get any worse than this year (in terms of injuries). We were very capable of being in the playoffs this year. We started off the year kind of shaky, but we got better. I’m very optimistic that we still control our own destiny.”

On the Hornets’ decline since 2007-08, when they went 56-26 and won the Southwest Division:

“Two years ago we were at the pinnacle. It’s tough. But you always have to get better individually and as a team. Obviously, we’ve regressed a little bit. Everyone has to get better this offseason. Everyone, including myself, the players, the coaches and the organization. We’ve got to get that drive and that hunger back.”

On what to expect this summer:

“Obviously there are going to be some changes, because we didn’t do as well as we expected to do. It doesn’t matter who’s coaching if I am sitting over there on the sideline.”