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Article:The Hornets are a team of destiny

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A few years ago, I sat in my room upset and on a new level of vex and pissed off I had not reached in a long time.  Why?  I had just read the unfortunate bottom scroll on the ESPNNEWS screen which read the following:

The New Jersey Nets have fired Byron Scott:  

The New Jersey Nets had just come off of a embarassing 35-point loss to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies and apparently Jason Kidd had had enough.  Jason Kidd and Byron Scott had it out in the locker room afterwards.  Kidd proceeded to take his barking right to Nets President Rod Thorn, who then proceeded to show Byron Scott the door and hoped it wouldn't hit him where the Good Lord split him.   With all due respect to Lawrence Frank, the Nets were never the same after he left. They certainly aren't the same now.  

Rod Thorn's mouth must be watering at the moment as he must be certainly watching Byron Scott's Hornets put on a clinic of basketball so unparalleled that it has even befuddled the model franchise in professional sports, the San Antonio Spurs.  Manu Ginoboli is hesitating to shoot and has lost his composure more than once in this series.  Tony Parker's attempts to get to the lane have been thwarted by an eager Julian Wright on help defense and his layup attempts thwarted by a game Tyson Chandler.  At no time did we see Parker and Ginoboli neutralized like this by the Phoenix Suns or Dallas Mavericks no matter how many times they tried. 

There's no need to ask Jason Kidd about how good this New Orleans Hornets team.  In a measure by karma, the Hornets showed the Mavericks the door in a 5-game slaughterfest.  CP3 made Jason Kidd look like he was 100 years old, like he was a version of Windows 3.1 with dial-up Internet service.  

This team has the ultimate chemistry.  Every player in their starting 5 complements each other perfectly.  They have the best point-guard in the NBA, {YES, I SAID IT}  Chris Paul is a true point guard with the court-vision of a Jason Kidd in his hey-dey, the shooting touch of a Steve Nash and the quickness of Bob Cousy in his hey-day. Kobe Bryant may have offically won the MVP award and it will go down in the history books as such, but Chris Paul is the real MVP. Without him, the Hornets are.......screwed. 

Morris Peterson complements Chris Paul at the 2 spot.  He may be the weak link in the lineup overall, but he is capable of stepping up like he did in Game 2 last night.  In the Hornets fast-paced system, he scores points in transistion, hit the open J on a kickout by Chris Paul. He hustles and is underrated on D. 

How many times have we seen this in these playoffs?  Chris Paul goes on the fast-break, drives to the hoop and has to kick out to the top of the key.  Guess who's there: A deadly three-point shooter by the name of Predrag Stoyjavokic.  This makes the opposing D stay honest and guard the perimeter more on the fast break, which opens things up for Chris Paul driving to the lane.

David West is a true power forward with a complete game. He can nail the 16 footer, take the entry pass from Chris Paul and go to town in the low post.  Plus he's a fierce rebounder and is active on D.  Paul can feed it to West when the perimeter game is a bit off so that an inside game can be developed.  This opens things up ONCE AGAIN for Chris Paul as interior defenders would be weary fof West.   Notice that while Paul struggled in the first half of Game 1, West had a splendid first half and carried it over to the third quarter. Eventually it opened things up for CP3 in the 4th quarter of Game 1 to come unglued.

Tyson Chandler is a perfect complement to David West. While West can focus on the scoring, he can mainly focus on dominating the boards and sending back every layup sent his way.  Tim Duncan had his hands full with him in the first two games.  The days of Tyson Chandler as a Chicago Bull are long gone.  He is a double-double waiting to happen.  Not to mention one guaranteed alley-oop from CP3 every game. 

Add to that instant offense from Jannero Pargo and the spirited play of Julian Wright off the bench and you have yourself a team that is playing with a confidence, a swagger and with such savvy that one has to wonder what Gregg Popovich is going to do.  Certainly, the Spurs will not go quietly into the night.

But there is no way that any observer can look at this team after these first two games and not say the following phrase about the Hornets:

The sky's the limit.

 


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