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I think this team can make the Eastern Conference finals at least next year here is my analysis:

Centre Position - Elden Campbell/Jamall Maglooire

We all know why Campbell was traded from the Lakers along with Eddie Jones to the Hornets for Glen Rice, because of his ability to just coast from game to game and spasmodic play at times.The knock on him is that he is soft, very soft. However when he is on, he will look to score vigorously and also shoot the 15 foot jumper, but when he is off, he just dissappears and hurts the teams offence at times. He has career averages of about 13 points and 6.5 boards a game. this is a disappointing output for a 7 foot Centre who is offensively orientated. When he wants to, he will block shots and rebound aggressivley, but this has become PJ Brown's job now. He has one year on his contract left and will be pushed all the way by Magloire, which is what Campbell needs to extract a digit or two. This will be his last year with the Hornets.The way to stop him is to go hard at him. Try to score on him and get him into foul trouble. let the guards penetrate and drive on him. The key is getting Campbell to be lazy and soft. When he plays well so to do the Hornets. Dunk on him and trash talk him and he will give in in my opinion!

Jamaal Magloire - A real tough nut. His output per the minutes that he plays is extremely favourable against other centres of the NBA. he plays hard all the time and is a great shotblocker, just look at his stats at the University of Kentucky. His averages has improved from year to year as his minutes have increased. the Hornets want Campbell to only play about 26 minutes a game, leaving Magloire to play about 22 - 25 minutes a game. His offense is limited from what I have seen, but the Hornets just need a clean up guy around the basket, as they really have enough scorers on this team. Look for a breakout season for this guy. he is a better prospect then Campbell, as he plays harder and will give his all at all times. he was a steal in the 2000 draft at about #21, will prove to be one of the best players of that draft. Look out for him at the world championships for Canada, he will start.Weakness, can be foul prone.
kingofkings Grade - B

Power Forward - PJ Brown/Robert Traylor/Kirk Haston

Look at the box score all you want with PJ Brown and you will only see about 8 points and 8 boards a game. It is the intangibles that this guy gives. Every team in the league would love to have this guy. A 6'11 tough nut, who can rebound with the best of them and also a decent shotblocker. He is another clean up guy around the basket, who can score when required. If the Lakers had this guy they would be even more dominant than they already are. The East is just suited to his game, rarely beaten , who always plays hard. Another guy who does not need the ball to be a good player, which is an unwritten law in the NBA. It allows Campbell to focus on his offence, with PJ Brown going hard to the offensive boards when required. You can see Pat Rileys reluctance to part with him in the past, guys like him do just not fall on trees.He is most comfortable defending the low post. Key is to bring him out to the perimeter and force him to come out and defend. A good matchup is the Bucks who could play Tim Thomas or Big Dog on him who can take him in or out forcing Brown out of the paint leaving Campbell the only main rebounding player there.

Tractor Traylor - Will always be remembered as the guy who was traded for Dirk Nowitzki, and drafted ahead of Paul Pierce, Bonzi Wells, Larry Hughes, etc. He is a bust. A decent inside scorer, but at only 6"7 he can not play the only position that he can play - power forward for set periods of time. Will only ever be a bench player for the rest iof his career, due to weight problems, run ins with coaches, etc. is a decent shotblocker at times, but his time to prove himself in the NBA is running out
Kirk Haston - Shocked everyone going so high in the draft last year. I believe the Hornets overvalued the impact that the NBA Zone defence was going to happen, by taking this guy. He is a 6'9 jump shooter, who got limited minutes last season, because he could not get his shot off against NBA caliber defences. Will not be a good NBA rebounder in the near future. Will only get spot minutes this year, with Campbell, Traylor, Maglloire,Brown,Nailon, all vying for playing time.
kingofkings Grade - B

Small Forward - Jamal Mashburn/Lee Nailon/George Lynch

The strength and the backbone of this team, their best position. Firstly Mashburn, a creator and an offensive dynamo. I believe that his game was all shackled up by Pat Riley, his offensive repertoir was not able to be showed in its entirety with the Heat. He bumped up his scoring by almost 4 points a game from 17 with the Heat to almost 21, last season, with the Hornets. He can go get his shot off on anyone at anytime. Also a great ballhandler who can handle the ball and play the point forward position when required. A triple double threat each game. Only concern is that he can be injury prone, as he was this season and also with the Heat in previous years. Has tried hard to shed his selfish image from his days at Dallas, with Kidd, Jackson, etc. Since he has been at the Hornets his assist level has been the highest it has ever been, almost 6 assists a game.He is also a great rebounder, the key to the Hornets success.He has showed more of his game and more of what he can do, since going from the Heat to the Hornets. The key to stopping him is to put an athletic 6"8 player on him and just crowd his space, and make him go on his left side, which is his weakness. the key is to just reduce his space to operate. When he posts up, immediatley double team him, as this is one of his weapons, the offset of this is that he is a crafty passer and will probably hit the unmarked man with a great pass.When he is hot, the Hornets usually always win.

Lee Nailon - A great complement to Monster Mash. A powerful 6"9
offensive orientated scorer, with complete post up capabilities. he really came on this year with Mashburn injured for most of the start of the season. The Hornets do not want to lose him to free agency. To score inside is this guys bread and butter and by spelling Mashburn for a rest, the team loses nothing offensively. Ball handling is a concern at this point in time, so is his defence. I remember that he was destroyed earlier this season, by Lamond Murray of the Cavs, who kept running off screens against him. This possibly indicates that Nailon, is a lazy defensive player, but he is new to the NBA and can only improve on this part of the game.
George Lynch - Great locker room guy and a defensive stopper when he checks into the game. One of the great rebounders at his position. His job is to reduce what you do best and to expose your weaknesses on offense. His offence has reduced since his days with the Grizzlies, etc but can score when required. As said before, with the other scorers on his team he can just focus on stopping the hot hand. Had some huge games this season, stopping T'Mac, Eddie Jones, etc.
kingofkings Grade - A

Shooting Guards - David Wesley/Courtney Alexander.

Wesleys career took of when he was transferred to the two guard spot, starting Baron Davis at the point. The reason that he was released from the Celtics, is that he was more of a combo guard an offense/shoot first point guard, so the Hornets did what the 76ers did with Iverson, move his position.The knock on this is that with Davis and Wesley in the backcourt, the opposition can go big. Consider the Magic, putting up, Hill, T-Mac and Miller against Wesley and Davis, they will get killed and posted up regularly. well the Hornets can match that and go even bigger with Davis, Lynch, Mashburn, PJ Brown and Campbell. they can play big or small, with Davis, Wesley, Mashburn, Lynch and Magloire. they will also throw the team around according to matchups at any time. Anyway getting back to David Wesley, he has improved his shooting and in important to the team.

Alexander - we all know what he did at college, he tore it up. Struggled at the Mavs, getting traded to the Wizards, where he came on stong towards the end of the 2001 year. Never got going sitiing behind Hamilton and Jordan this year. The introduction of Alexander gave the Hornets what they needed most. A bigger two guard. Someone who can take the bigger guard on defence and take some heat of Baron Davis in this regard. can he find his own shot in the NBA. the answer is yes, he will find some open looks, with defenders focussing on Davis and Mashburn , leaving Alexander to go one on one with his opponent. As I have said before, teams do not have three great defenders in the backcourt, the best defenders will take Davis and Mashburn, leaving Wesley or Alexander to work off their weaker defender.
kingofkings Grade - B

Point Guard - Baron Davis

The heart and soul of the team.Remember when he was drafted ahead of Odom, everyone was saying what a stupid draft for the Hornets it was, when they already had Wesley. It is funny but I do not hear any laughter now. An all-star consistently from now on, can do it all, steal pass and score. Has improved his shooting and his three point shooting every year and we can expect him to put up 20 points a game. He needs to work on his free throws more to bump up his points per game average and also to make sure the game is in the bag by hitting his free throws. A dynamo, one of the really great dunkers in the league amd the best at his position at dunking. Anyway dunking is irrelevant to me, a sweet assist is better than a dunk in my view. Will be backed up by Wesley, and Wesley can be backed up by Lynch, Mash, etc.
Grade - A
Weakness of the team, small backcourt with Davis/Wesley. the team can go big, but loses its ballhandling distribution when they go with Davis, Lynch, Mash, etc and also its offensive creativity. As said before I would put a huge backcourt on them with Hill,T-Mac and Miller for example and make them work on defence, post them up, make them get around screens etc, to wear the Hornets out, etc. But most teams cannot play a big backcourt anyway, so it is not really such a big concern.

You do not play on the Hornets unless you can defend and rebound. if all the players remain healthy and the team stays intact look out because kingofkings is expecting big things from them!!!

Written by kingofkings
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