Playoff Postmortem: New Orleans Hornets

(image by
The Hornets were out in 6, but you can expect that
they'll be back for more next season.
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Like the Orlando Magic, the New Orleans Hornets were booted out of the first round of the playoffs in 6 games.

But whereas despair reigns in Orlando, hope springs eternal in Louisiana.

David West could've made a big difference
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
These are the Hornets that still managed the 7th seed in the West despite ownership issues, a new coach and a slew of injuries plaguing their season. These are the Hornets that unexpectedly pushed the defending champs to 6 games – without David West.

The prospect of Chris Paul leaving and opting to form a super team elsewhere is still present, but, at least for now, it’s not prevalent. We don’t know what the 2012 offseason will do to the franchise, but right now who cares?

There is a lot to celebrate, and not just in terms of moral victories. There is a lot to celebrate in terms of potential.

Rookie coach Monty Williams still
has plenty to be upbeat about
(image by the AP)
Of course, there things that should get better. There has to be a consistent #3 option aside from Paul and West (read: Marco Belinelli). They need a legitimate slotman to patrol the paint (Emeka Okafor just won’t cut it at center).

But as a whole, things seem to be on the upward trend. Does that mean they’ll get a higher playoff seed in 2012? Not necessarily. The West is uber loaded after all, but they will be at least as competitive as they were this year. Just imagine what New Orleans could do with a completely healthy lineup for majority of the season. I’m sure the rest of the league won’t want to.

These Hornets will continue to surprise next season
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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