Hornets remain in 11th slot in lottery

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

The Hornets have not fielded a truly non-competitive team since 2004-05, when they languished through an 18-64 campaign, which tied them for the second-worst record in the NBA that season. Since then, New Orleans has never dropped very far below .500, winning 38, 39, 56, 49 and 37 games. That’s great in terms of keeping fan interest throughout the regular season by consistently remaining in the race for a playoff berth, but as it relates to the draft lottery, it means the Hornets never have much of a chance to claim a high pick.

For the third time since 2006, the Hornets entered the draft lottery with slim hopes of gaining a top-three overall pick and did not overcome those odds. When the envelopes were drawn in Secaucus, N.J. minutes ago, New Orleans remained in its pre-lottery position at the 11th slot.

Due to their status as a playoff contender since Chris Paul arrived in June 2005, the Hornets entered the 2006 draft lottery as the No. 12 team and were No. 13 in 2007. In both cases, they remained in those respective slots (those picks resulted in the selection of Hilton Armstrong and Julian Wright). In fact, New Orleans actually dropped two spots during the 2005 draft lottery, but that dip wound up being part of why the Hornets were able to land Paul, after more highly-touted players including Andrew Bogut, Marvin Williams and Deron Williams were chosen.
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Season in review: Morris Peterson

Hornets.com’s ongoing look back at the 2009-10 season continues today with a review of Morris Peterson, the ninth of 12 players in the series.

It was essentially a tale of two seasons for Peterson, who played in only 10 of New Orleans’ first 46 games, but then appeared in each of the final 36. He also started all of the team’s final 33 games, beginning Feb. 5.

After an injury-riddled 2008-09 season in which his role was often very limited, Peterson got back into the mix after focusing on conditioning during the summer months of 2009.

“It was tough for me last year,” the former Michigan State standout remembered of 2008-09. “Sometimes you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do to get better?’

“In this league you don’t get a lot of opportunities. Not many guys get second chances. I’m trying to take advantage of my opportunity. I worked really hard in the summer with my trainer. I think everything is starting to come back. A lot of times it’s easy to point fingers, but sometimes you have to look at what you’ve been doing wrong. I think I’ve grown a lot as a player over these last two years. I am feeling a lot better. My body is better. It feels good to get back in the rotation.”