Season in review: Peja Stojakovic

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

In pure mathematical terms, the player whose injury absences impacted the Hornets most negatively this season was not Chris Paul. It was Peja Stojakovic. New Orleans was slightly above .500 when Stojakovic played (32-30), but a meager 5-15 when he did not, the latter a winning percentage of .250.

Certainly, there were other factors that contributed to the Hornets’ limp to the finish, but Stojakovic’s removal from the lineup left New Orleans without its most feared perimeter shooter. The Hornets ranked a very respectable eighth in the NBA in three-point percentage at 36.3, but Stojakovic accounted for nearly one-fourth of the team’s makes from beyond the arc – even though he missed 20 games.

Stojakovic’s season-review article is the sixth among 12 that are being posted on during this early portion of this offseason. The 12-year veteran had a few additional thoughts about the team’s fortunes since their Southwest Division championship year two seasons ago.

Stojakovic on what has happened to the Hornets since 2007-08:
“Especially after that season, we knew that we were going to be a team that would be targeted by other teams. We knew we weren’t going to be able to surprise anybody. We were going to have to match their energy and approach against us. Obviously we did not do that. We didn’t have the continuity at the highest level possible to reach that level, and obviously we had a couple injuries that really hurt us. We were in the eighth spot (this season) when Chris got hurt and had won a couple big games on the road. But that’s something (injuries) that doesn’t only happen to us. It happens to all professional teams. It was a tough year.”