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New Orleans Oklahoma City Hornets Basketball Early Season Analysis

After starting out 2-30 last year, the Hornets were on pace to have the worst record in NBA history. As the season wore down, and Mashburn and Davis were dealt away, the youth of New Orleans started to play well. Now with David West and Chris Paul on the team, continuity is starting to return to the Hornets franchise. So much so, that they are actually competing this year.The team is rebuilding with a great array of flashy rookies.

Chris Paul has emerged as a Rookie of the Year candidate. He isn't afraid to shoot, which is also his weakness since he sometimes borders on being a ball hog. J.

R. Smith is in the mold of Jason Richardson but has to take control more often. Their leading scorer is the only one on any team to come off the bench: Speedy Claxton. Claxton showed barely any talent in Philadelphia and Golden State, yet he's coming into his own now. P.J.

Brown is the minimum veteran that any rebuilding needs and is playing great for them. Chris Anderson is a Bo Outlaw type hustle player, which we don't see enough of in basketball. And David West is productive outside shooter.The Hornets still have a lot to work on. Scoring for one has to be designated to one of the starters, preferably J.R.

Smith. The leading scorer shouldn't have to wait to come in. They're 24th in scoring since they don't have a wide scale of offense. No one shoots the 3 worst than N.

O/Oklahoma City. But that hasn't stopped Bostjan Nachbar, Chris Paul and J.R. Smith from jacking up any 3 that looks good.The most surprising portion so far for the Hornets has been the attendance.

To be honest, New Orleans didn't have much longer to hold the Hornets anyway. In Charlotte the Hornets had the worst attendance in the NBA, they moved to New Orleans, and had the 2nd to worst attendance in the NBA. Money just wasn't coming quick enough. But in Oklahoma City, they're 7th in attendance! What's even more amazing is the fans had months less time to order tickets, since the team officially moved to Oklahoma in September. It's amazing what attendance can do for a mediocre team; the Washington Nationals held 1st place for three months last year.

The Hornets are up there in rebounding and Points Allowed. Byron Scott has really turned around last year's 18-win squad into a formidable opponent. As to how well they can do this year, they at least can compete. For them, no game will be a freebie. And the switch to Baton Rouge at the end of the year could affect their internal clock.

The odds aren't likely they'll keep it up, but the least you can expect from a team like this is they'll play hard.

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By: David Pincus



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