Friday, November 16, 2007

Western Conference Contender???

Think fast...who has the best record in the NBA Western Conference? San Antonio?

Ok, you guessed right. But only half right.

Somebody else is currently tied atop the Western Conference standings 10 games into the young NBA season with those Spurs. That team is none other than my beloved New Orleans Hornets (8-2). To many people this may come as somewhat of a surprise. To those that know the terrible luck New Orleans has had with injuries over the past couple of years, it shouldn't.

In previous years, the Hornets were always somewhat of a 'sleeper' team in the West, but could never amount to anything due to injuries and very streaky play. Now, with a healthy lineup (knock on wood), they're showing the NBA what they are capable of. The starting lineup the put on the floor is very impressive, and highly underrated. They have one of the best PGs in the game in Chris Paul starting in the back court with veteran Morris Peterson. For forwards, they have the old, but still effective 3-point assassin (as long as he's not hurt) Peja Stojakovic and the young and very effective (as long as he's not hurt) David West. On top of that, they have Tyson Chandler, a 7'1 monster at center. That combination along with a solid bench has been giving the opposition fits so far this year.

The Hornets' ability to spread the ball around has also been key. All 5 starters average between 10.2-18.6 ppg while Chris Paul leads the NBA with a sick 10.6 assists per game. With that balance, they've gone 5-1 on road so far (road games being a weakness in the past) with two of those road wins coming against solid teams in Los Angeles (v. Lakers) and Denver. If the Hornets can keep up the pace (and stay healthy!!), the sky is the limit for them. Having San Antonio and Dallas in same division is certainly no fun, but they have the talent to keep pace throughout the year.

Hopefully they'll still be in the thick of the Southwest Division race when I head down to New Orleans at the end of January to cheer them on.......I mean attend a conference.......

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