New Orleans Hornets

Predicted Record
41-41 (Tom), 45-37 (Gil)

Last Year’s Record

Tom’s Commentary
I like the mix of talent here, which I think should play better than a combination of the individually skilled players, although the fact that it would probably be a legitimately kick-ass team if every one of the players other than Tyson Chandler, Julian Wright and Chris Paul were the 2002 version of themselves is probably not a good thing. I haven’t quite figured out Paul yet, and not because I’m blinded by his awesomeness as much as my retinas are tired by continually adjusting to flashes of awesomeness intermixed with periods of more naturally lit mediocrity.

Morris Peterson isn’t much of an addition, although it’s always fun to say “Mo Pete” out loud. This team is still two years away from being good enough that I’d take free tickets over a long dinner at a very good area restaurant.

Rejoinder From Gil
It looks like David West (who missed 30 games last year), managed to go all Juwan Howard, posting 30+ ppg for the last five games of the season. And it wasn’t even a contract year! I bet they’ll be good, but the last time I watched them, they had bright yellow uniforms on, and it made my eyes hurt.

Gratuitous Comics Connection
Cartoonist Josh Neufeld is currently serializing a graphic novel called AD: New Orleans After the Deluge, for SMITH Magazine.

Gratuitous Pharma Connection
Who CAN’T find drugs in New Orleans?

The Bottom Line
In the Hornets’ first year in New Orleans, I was in town for a conference. I decided to get tickets for the game, and discovered that $65 would get me about 12 feet from courtside, in a section populated by players’ wives. In New York, $65 would get me a seat in the fourth tier, about 9 miles from the court. Things are cheaper down there, and I can’t imagine how much cheaper they’re going to be now, since they’re desperate to rebuild (okay, build) the fan-base.

If they’re healthy, they’re a shoo-in for the playoffs. –GR

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