Can you feel it? Opening Night is right around the corner.
As we sit on the eve of the 2008/2009 season, in our hands we hold hope and optimism. Anything can happen. We are a completely different team than we were one year ago today. And while there has been much debate about whther we're worse off or better, now is the time for the theories to end.
Now is the time for facts. Who is going to step up at the point? How will Maggette fare? What type of light beer will Nellie favor this season? What's going to happen when we take that Arena floor tomorrow?
Well, thanks to our friends at the excellent Hornets blog www.atthehive.com, we've been able to get a little bit of insight into our extremely challenging opponents for our Season Opener tomorrow. Hit the jump for their overall take on the Hornets of 08/09 to get a better idea or the beast we're facing tomorrow night!
Q: Undefeated in the preseason? At GSoM we have a constant running joke that the preseason is meaningless, but that's hard to ignore. What do you think? Sign of things to come or who cares?
A: Hah, I think the preseason is pretty meaningless myself. BUT, there are certain things Hornets fans can take away from it. I think Mike James proved that he can be a capable backup point guard behind Chris Paul. A lot of Hornets fans only saw him in limited garbage time at the end of last season, so the preseason was a bit of reassurance that the dude can still play. James Posey proved that he can be very effective hanging around the corners and the wings and taking feeds from Chris Paul.
At the end of the day, 7-0 doesn't necessarily mean anything, but the commitment and drive the Hornets showed in supposedly "meaningless" games makes you feel good about how they'll fare in meaningful ones.
Q: According to this years' ESPN Power Rankings, the Hornets are sitting on high at Number 3 behind Boston and L.A. Too high? Too low? Just right? (They ranked the Warriors at 18 by the way so, "Those ranking are B.S." is an acceptable answer.)
A: That sounds about right. My initial thought is that Utah is a better team than New Orleans, especially if they can cure their inexplicable road issues. Detroit's physicality has given the Hornets problems in the past as well. And you never know how Houston will do with the addition of Ron Artest. But given what New Orleans accomplished last year, stretching the defending champion Spurs to 7 games, they at least deserve the pre-season #3 spot. For now, I have them behind both Boston and L.A. Things that could change that during the season: Hilton Armstrong improving his play behind Tyson Chandler, Devin Brown helping fix the Hornets' woeful backup SG production, and James Posey doing a reasonable job versus some of the more premier scorers.
Q: How many wins this year? Call it.
A: You're in luck, just finished simulating the season 1,000,000 times on my TASDF-101312CA00 supercomputer. 58 wins. Plus or minus 10.
Q: Where do you put CP3 at PPG this year? (Careful, we're going to remember to check on this answer at the end of the season!)
A: Hmm, interesting question, don't really get asked about CP's scoring much. But I just looked it up, and apparently Paul was actually second among point guards in scoring last year (B. Davis). I don't expect a significant difference in the scoring distribution from last year as the Hornets didn't add or lose any big time scorers. I'll go with a slight increase and 22 a game.
Once again, we want to thank our friends over at www.atthehive.com for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Make sure you make some time to head over there and check out our answers to their Q/A as well as some of their other quality postings!