Grading papers, marking roles, ticking boxes can seem like a tedious, boring and repetitive task, but not when your doing it for the Hornets schedule. Over the past two weeks the New Orleans Hornets have extended their win streak out to ten, tying the best ever streak in franchise history. Some games have been hard, while others have been surprisingly easy. Let’s not reflect to hestaintly on this though. Defense was the mantra at training camp and so too has it been up until this point. No matter what the experts say Monty Williams has done an outrageously amazing feat in turning what was one of the worst defensive teams into one of the best. Coach of the Year awards aside, he has completley turned around this program for the better and has put the team in a position to make a run. Such a statement before training camp commenced would have been laughed at. Now, it is a given fact.
The primary reason this team has a record of 31-16 isn’t because Chris Paul has elevated his play dramatically (in some instances he has…but never mind). It is due to the increased production of the role players. Trevor Ariza, Marcus Thornton, Jarrett Jack and most importantly Emeka Okafor have all stepped up and played outstanding, efficient basketball. Some have done it through their defense (Okafor) while others have done it through their offense (Thornton). The balance though makes it that much better as there is that give and take that was not present earlier on in the season.
So let’s break down things as to how players have faired over the past 5 games.
- David West is averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game, it’s no wonder his PER is at a career all time high (PER equates blcoks and steals as defensive measurements).
- Willie Green is 100% from three point range, can someone say, SHOOTER?!
- 2.5 blocks per game for Emeka Okafor, paint-man.
- Chris Paul has one block in his last 5 games, weak stuff isn’t permitted in his domain.
- Forget Peja Stojakovic bring in Trevor Ariza who’s been shooting 50% from three in the past five games (12 attempts). Okay we’ll wait for the law of averages to take over.
- D.J. Mbenga has clocked 50 minutes in his past 5 games.
- After averaging 7.4 points per game for the season, Thornton is averaging 12.4 in the last five.
To end I wish to apologise for not being able to give everyone timely updates over the past week or two, I’ve been working a lot as well as the fact my computer is broken. So as you can imagine it has been tough. But believe me there is a tonne of content coming your way as well as a special announcement too. Stay tuned.