The Hornets biggest issue heading into the next NBA Season (if there is one) is a lack of depth beyond the starting five. The benches play has improved in comparison to previous seasons with Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry boasting strong scoring roles. Beyond that though the inconsistencies remain. It’s not that people expect bench players to bring it every night, because let’s face it whatever time they get will be small so their window for making an impression is squashed even further.
The hopes are that others like Quincy Pondexter will step up in the future. Well, that future is now.
Pondexter is entering his second season and the expectations for him remain tempered. The man from Washington has a renowned defensive ability as well as a scoring touch that’s underrated. This package of defense and offense is combined with his work ethic and sense for the game.
Last season Q received little playing time. I remember the 2008 season when then youngster Julian Wright was brought on for 5 minute spurts and gave the team hustle, defense and fast-break potential. Quincy brings things a little differently. No doubt is there defense, hustle and determination, but Pondexter is still trying to get a feel for the NBA game and you saw that a lot last year.
With another season under his belt the Hornets need him to become more of an impact player.
Spreading the floor will be the biggest difference he can make. If he can become an above-average, long-range shooter he will receive much more playing time. The reason is that it will open things up for Chris Paul and David West (if he returns). It also will allow head-coach Monty Williams to be more flexible in his rotations.
If we take a look back into prior drafts we can see that Q is in the presence of good players at the 26th position.
- Taj Gibson
- George Hill
- Aaron Brooks
- Jordan Farmar
- Jason Maxiell
- Kevin Martin
All these players are huge impacts for their respective ballclubs, some are even starters. My point is that Pondexter’s draft position (low in the first round) is not a determinant to the career he can have in New Orleans.
Guys like Kevin Martin, Jason Maxiell, Aaron Brooks all averaged 5 or less points in their rookie season. In addition none shot above 35 percent from three and only Taj Gibson started in a double-digit amount of games. I’m not saying that Quincy will become Kevin Martin, I’m saying that he should and will become more of an impact player in the next coming seasons.
My message to Quincy would be to get more aggressive, try and get your shots in the spots you like, continue to work your defensive craft and become more of an impact overall. This Hornets team needs its roster to be stacked from 1 to 10 and Pondexter can be an example of the Spurs-like system that’s trying to be installed in New Orleans.