Alright, so the season is almost here and we're gonna hit you up with some "pre-hibachis", previews in other words. Around this time everyone and their momma is doing them, so I always get tired of "NBA previews", so I thought we could try something new. For those of you who don't know, a hibachi is basically a hot grill, so I guess we can translate pre-hibachi as "before it gets hot", and this season will definitely be a hot one. (and I do mean for the whole league, not just Rockets' fans). Once we finish every team, we'll each post our predicted standings. So let's get started:
THE OLD: They finished 56-26 last season, reached the western semis before being shown the door by the Spurs. CP3 did it all for the last year and everyone else filled their roles nicely, but their depth was a major problem. Jannero Pargo split overseas and Bonzi Wells may also be out as he has not been re-signed yet.
THE NEW: They have some new unis, some new logos, and new faces. They drafted Darrell Arthur this offseason, but gave him away to Portland for some Benjamins...hey, its not like they needed DEPTH, right? They managed to score James Posey off of free agency, as well as Devin Brown. Rookie Jared Jordan is also on board for now and so is veteran Sean Marks.
THE TRUTH: All of last season I never really saw the Hornets as contenders. Sure they had the 2nd best record in the conference and played the top teams well, but something just wasn't right for me. It still is not. Depth was a problem for them last year and although Posey seems like a very solid pick up, they lost Pargo, who provided them with a nice and immediate scoring punch of the bench. Here's the guys who will get most of the PT:
Peterson - Butler - Brown
Peja - Posey
West- Wright - Bowen - Marks
Tyson - Ely- Amrstrong
That leaves one spot open, possibly for Bonzi, but the last thing they need is another 2/3 guy. This team isn't very different from last year's. Although Posey brings more than Pargo, but there won't be big minutes at the 2/3 spots for Posey, so he'll pretty much bring the same punch (but in a different manner) that Pargo brought. Don't get me wrong, their first 5 are very solid, but in order to get the last team standing you're gonna need some extra help somewhere along the way because its a long road. Beating the Hornets is done by simply stopping CP, which of course isn't easy, but is definitely easier to do than needing to stop 2 or 3 guys. Chandler compliments CP well, but he's got big issues offensively on his own, and still has trouble with guys like TD and Yao, and even Bynum should give him a fit. Wright should continue to improve, but there's still a lack of minutes at the 3/4 spots. James is still somewhat lost. So how is their a lack of depth when I keep saying there's not enough minutes to go around?? Because the first 5 HAVE to play huge minutes. Sure, you could give more minutes to guys that need opportunities to flourish like James and Wright, but you're not going to win in the playoffs if you play an inconsistent, shoot-first point and Wright over West. With defensive minded teams like the Spurs, Piston, Celtics, and Houston, who all also have offensive power to compliment their D, the Hornets won't have the complete and well rounded game to beat them all to the top, but they should still do well in the regular season, make the playoffs, but won't get deep unless they get very favorable matchups.