The preseason preview from Lindy’s uses a mathematical formula to project the finishes of each NBA division. As unlikely as this sounds - and it’s even more far-fetched that it would actually happen - Lindy’s predicts a four-way tie in the Southwest Division between Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and San Antonio. Here is more from the magazine on the 2008-09 Hornets:
On the Hornets’ overall outlook:
“The New Orleans Hornets were accused of sneaking up on everybody, but what they did last season wasn’t a surprise to them. They knew if they were healthy, they wouldn’t just make the playoffs, they would bust through the door. Now making the playoffs is no longer enough for the Hornets. Never mind the p-word, the c-word is now part of the Hornets’ venacular - as in championship.
“ ‘It’s not something we run away from,’ said general manager Jeff Bower, who has done a masterful job in building one of the most exciting and talented teams in the league. ‘I think that’s the next step for us as players and an organization.'
“Last season, the Hornets were a smash hit throughout the NBA, but especially back home in New Orleans. The fans embraced the Hornets and their style of play, which was easy to do.
“The Hornets tasted victory and bitter defeat all in one magical season. Getting the bitter taste out of their mouths should push this young group. Having James Posey around to show them what it takes to win in the postseason should be invaluable.”
On Byron Scott:
“Scott finally won the Coach of the Year award that escaped him when he guided the Nets to a franchise-best 52 wins during the 2001-02 season. Scott obviously is doing something right to have led two teams to their best records ever. Everything fell into place for Scott last year. His team was healthy and it played his style of exciting offensive basketball while also being one of the best defensive teams in the league.”
On David West:
“David West proved last season he should be considered among the game’s best power forwards. He earned the first of what should be many All-Star berths. For the fifth straight year, West increased his scoring and rebounding numbers. He averaged 20.6 points and 8.9 rebounds. If he can average 20 and 10, West truly will be an elite power forward. No one doubts he can or is willing to work to put up those numbers and be in that class.”
On James Posey:
“The Hornets learned a valuable lesson at home (in Game 7) against the (Spurs). Then two months later, the Hornets signed someone who could help them if they’re in that situation again and could teach them something about winning big games, having won so many. (Posey) could be the missing piece to the puzzle for this young group, many of whom enjoyed success for the first time as pros last season.
“Posey is a good three-point shooter, but his strength is defending multiple positions and being able to make big plays.
“ ‘We hit a home run (by signing) Mr. Posey,” Byron Scott said. “It obviously puts us a step closer to our ultimate goal, which is winning a championship, and that is what he wants to do. He’s done it with two different organizations, and hopefully we can get the trifecta.”