Thursday December 22, 2005 3:17 pm
Coach Byron Scott Has The Hornets Surprisng
The season did not start well for the New Orleans Hornets, the hurricane floods had forced the team move their home games to Oklahoma, their neighbors to the Northwest. Byron Scott was introduced as the team’s new coach last year, after Tim Floyd’s one year stint. Scott inherited a team that included Baron Davis, Jamal Mashburn, and Jamaal Magloire. Things went south pretty quickly with injuries and they went from a playoff contender to a team heading straight to the lottery. Fans were perhaps wondering if they were actually worse off with Scott under the helm rather than Floyd, who has had an abysmal NBA coaching record.
in his own right.
The Hornets are 11-14 so far this year, much better than expected, considering last year they went 18-64. Many changes ensued. They traded away Baron Davis and got just two role players in return. Jamaal Magloire was traded for swingman Desmond Mason - which still isn’t a good move. Jamal Mashburn still hasn’t come back to the NBA from an injury two years ago, and he too was shipped out last year. Considering they were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league this year along with the Hawks and Raptors, how are they getting the job done?
Well for the last three years the Hornets have drafted well, and developed a nice young nucleus. Three years ago, they picked up David West with the #18 pick, in a very strong draft that produced, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Kirk Hinrich. Last year they picked up J.R. Smith straight from high school at #18, who is progressing nicely thanks to this year’s ROY candidate PG Chris Paul, taken at #4. The Hornets most likely have their backcourt set for the next 10 years. The Hornets lucked out this year when Paul was not selected #2 by the Hawks; instead they opted for UNC product Marvin Williams, who did not even start for the Tar Heels last year.
By the looks of it this year, maybe Coach Scott does know what he was doing. There were talks that his success in New Jersey was actually accredited to assistant coaches - Lawrence Frank and Eddie Jordan - now both with head coaching positions. Eddie Jordan was thought of to be the main person instilling the Princeton motion offense to the Nets, and dealing with the Xs and Os in their playbook. Hopefully this season will be some vindication for Byron Scott, a Larry Brown disciple, to show everyone he has the ability to lead a team.
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