December 30, 2010
The Hornets tied an NBA record with 6-straight victories to start a season, all by under double digits. The only other team to accomplish the feat was the 1948-49 Washington Capitols (coached by Red Auerbach). The streak ended on 11/9 when New Orleans throttled the LA Clippers 101-82.
#9 MEN OF STEEL
The Hornets have two of the top four NBA Ironmen. The franchise record is 294-straight games played, held by David Wesley:
|RANK||STREAK||NAME||TEAM||STREAK START DATE|
#8 MAN OF STEAL
Chris Paul, who led the NBA in steals two consecutive seasons before an injury curtailed last season, is once again leading the league with 79 steals through 28 games (2.82/gm). He already has eight games with at least 5 steals. No other player in the league has more than two!
#7 FROM ONE DW TO ANOTHER
Forward David West passed David Wesley for 2nd on the Hornets All-Time Scoring list with 20 points @ OKC on 11/29.
|HORNETS ALL-TIME SCORERS|
A primary reason for the teams early season success is the Hornets defense. They have been in the top 5 for fewest points allowed and top 10 in field goal defense during the first two months of the season. They held 22 of their first 28 opponents under 100 points (15-7 record), kept nine opponents below 90 points (8-1), and five times held the other team under 80 points (5-0).
#5 RECORD-BREAKING COMEBACK
After trailing Sacramento by 23 points in the second half the Hornets came all the way back to score a remarkable come-from-behind victory, 94-91, on December 15th. It was the biggest comeback ever for a Hornets team. Trailing 68-45 with 7:58 remaining in the 3rd quarter the Hornets outscored the Kings 49-23 in the final 19:58 to make franchise history. Reserve guard Marcus Thornton helped key the comeback by scoring 17 of his 19 points off the bench in the second half. Chris Paul had another remarkable performance, producing a team-leading 22 points and 11 assistswithout a single turnover!
#4 THE BIG 3TURNED OUT TO BE PAUL, WEST, AND OKAFOR
The first sellout of the season @ the Hive greeted the Miami Heats much-heralded Big 3 of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, but it was the Hornets trio who stole the show as New Orleans won its fifth straight game, 96-93. Emeka Okafor went 12-for-13 from the field and finished with a team-high 26 points and 13 rebounds, Chris Paul had 19 assists (the same total the Miami TEAM had), and he and David West combined to score 28 points in helping the Bees shock the visitors. While Miamis Big 3 combined for 63 points the rest of the Heat managed just 30 points.
#3 NBA PURCHASES HORNETS
The NBA purchased 100 percent of the New Orleans Hornets franchise in December. The move was made to assure stability and adequate funding for the team. It also brought an end to an era as team founder and majority owner George Shinn had run the team since its inception in 1988.
#2 DELL-MONTY ERA BEGINS
The Hornets started a near total revamping of their front office during the offseason with the hiring of head coach Monty Williams in May and General Manager Dell Demps in June. Both had ties to the successful San Antonio Spurs organization, which has won four NBA titles since 1999. Demps hit the ground running by pulling the trigger on a four-team deal on August 11th that brought in starting small forward Trevor Ariza. There would be three more trades in his first four months at the helm. Williams initiated his first training camp by emphasizing defense and a no excuses mantra to help change the culture of the team on the floor.
Okay, I stole the headline from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, but its worth copying. The Hornets broke a franchise mark by winning their first eight games to begin the season. Monty Williams became the first coach to make his pro head coaching debut in the NBA to win the first eight games of his career to start a season. Only two other rookie head coaches have ever won more than 8-straight at any time during their first season:
|HEAD COACH||WIN STREAK TO START CAREER|
New Orleans became one of just four teams in league history to win 8-straight games to begin a season, the year after finishing below .500 (37-45 in 2009-10).
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