The New Orleans Hornets have had a blistering start to the season and are among the NBA’s best teams with a record of 11-2. But the bottom line is when you look at this team, aside from Chris Paul and David West, and at time Emeka Okafor, it’s hard to see this team staying among the cream of the crop in the West.
One major deficiency for the Hornets is at the two guard position. Marco Bellinelli is the current starter, and if you’ve followed this guy’s career from Golden State to the Raptors, you’ll notice on thing. Marco starts out strong and then fades to black. The Hornets however, confident with Belinelli’s play shipped away Peja Stojakovic, one of the NBA’s proven shooters, who has been hampered by several injuries over the years.
But already, Bellineli is showing signs of slumping. He’s a great overall player, just not as a starter, and just not down the stretch. In the last two games Belinelli appears to be slumping. Against the Sacramento Kings, he only scored 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting and had only four rebounds. Against the Los Angeles Clippers, Belinelli shot 4-for-11, 2-for-9 from three-point land for 12 points and only one assist. If the Hornets are going to stay competitive they’ll need more from Bellineli at that position and historically, he hasn’t been up to the challenge. For his career he’s never averaged better than 9 points per game, so he may very well be overachieving right now.
Offerings on the Hornets are hot right now, as Chris Paul has been unbelievable as he tries to re-establish himself as the premier point guard in the NBA. But will this team make the playoffs? They just might be one of the worst best teams in the NBA at this point.