|2011-12 Team Rating|
|25th Overall||21st Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
With David West gone, there is no consistent offensive punch up front among Emeka Okafor, Carl Landry, Jason Smith and Al-Farouq Aminu. Trevor Ariza needs to be in a running game, which Hornets don't play.
It was going to be impossible to replace Chris Paul, then Eric Gordon got hurt after two games and bad turned to worse, losing main offensive gun. Now Marco Belinelli is having worst shooting season of his career.
It's a point of emphasis from coach Monty Williams and they step onto the floor. But with no consistency in the lineup and no stoppers at any individual positions, their best hope is usually just trying to slow the pace.
It's hard to develop a cohesive reserve unit when you haven't managed to settle on a regular starting lineup. It would have helped if Chris Kaman had arrived from L.A. and been a more willing sub.
Losing his top two players put Williams behind the 8-ball from the start. He's had to deal with injuries, lineup changes and problems not of his making. After two solid seasons, it's not fair to hang this one on him.
This was never going to be pretty. It was never going to be anything except a hoped-for place-holder of a season until a new local owner can be found and the heavy-handed influence of the NBA league office can be swept out the door.
Say what you will about a rebuilding process based on youth and future draft picks, but a roster that included veterans Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom and Goran Dragic wouldn't be consistently uncompetitive and already have a lock on the worst record in the Western Conference.
With guard Eric Gordon spending all but the first two games of the schedule injured and on the bench and center Chris Kaman in a long snit about his role off the bench, the season went over the edge quickly and has never gained traction.
To make matters worse, the coveted first-round draft pick of Minnesota, which was obtained in the trade of Paul to the Clippers, is plummeting in value as the Timberwolves become competitive and the team was unable to come to terms with Gordon on a contract extension. You'd like to say things will definitely get better next season if only because they couldn't get much worse.
-- Fran Blinebury
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|