Blogtable: Hornets for real?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the five most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

What makes you think the so-far unbeaten Hornets might actually be for real? What makes you think … eh, maybe not?

Steve Aschburner: Yea, Hornets: They have the best point guard in the game (when healthy) in Chris Paul. New no-nonsense coach Monty Williams is getting reinforcement from the early season success. Forward David West has all the talent he needs and center Emeka Okafor is primed for a 16-point, 11-rebound, defensive-stopper season. Nay, Hornets:  Not big enough, and it’s hard to imagine Paul playing 90-plus games.

Fran Blinebury: So much of the game is about confidence and attitude, and a healthy Chris Paul has given the Hornets both. Credit Emeka Okafor for taking a big step up. Credit Monty Williams for teaching them how to spell ‘defense.’  But it’s CP3 playing like an MVP again that’s spiced their gumbo. The only question is about their depth.

Art Garcia: For real is relative here, isn’t it? If we’re talking about the playoffs, I’d say pump the brakes right now. I’m not about to take away from their start, and beating those South Beach glamour boys can’t be written off as a fluke. Anytime you start with Chris Paul, especially a healthy Paul, you have a chance to beat anyone. Monty Williams has identified his best players, surrounding CP3 with athletes, finishers and scorers like David West, Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli. Emeka Okafor is finally a presence down low. But over the course of 82 games, I’m not sure there’s enough off the bench to book a postseason trip in the rugged West.

Scott Howard-Cooper:  They have a healthy Chris Paul back, and that’s instant credibility. If he’s healthy again and for real, the Hornets are for real. But there’s a difference between a good start and being an actual West threat. This is a team with a limited bench and problems generating scoring.

Shaun Powell: Here’s a “Jeopardy” answer: Chris Paul Prudhomme. Question: Name two from New Orleans who serve sumptuous dishes. Local fans are still wobbly from the Super Bowl hangover to notice, but the Hornets will be for real as long as Paul keeps making Emeka Okafor (71 percent shooter) look like Karl Malone.

John Schuhmann: I think they’re for real because their first six wins came against pretty good teams. Also, they’ve won with defense, which doesn’t slump. And when healthy, Chris Paul is a guy who can carry a team to the playoffs. I would question if Marco Belinelli and Jason Smith, two guys who have never been consistently productive before, can contribute all season.

Sekou Smith: Four words: Chris Paul is healthy! As long as he’s playing at his best the Hornets are a factor. When he gets the kind of help he’s getting right now from Emeka Okafor, David West and the somewhat surprising Marco Belinelli (11.1 points and .423 from beyond the 3-point line), they’re a problem for anyone. I usually like to wait until after Thanksgiving to make any definitive statements about any team. So they have time to convince me that they’re not for real.

16 Comments

  1. t lo says:

    are the hornets for real? no respect. just keep doin what you doin bees and we’ll see these naysayers in da playoffs!

  2. Nathan says:

    To everybody stating the hornets have a lack of depth: You guys clearly haven’t watched a single game this season or even bothered to check the hornets bench scoring vs their opponents bench scoring. Their bench has been playing great all season and while they don’t have a possible top talent in the making backing up Paul this year their bench has clearly shown more than capable of efficiently handling the ball while still playing some damn good defense.

    The “problem generating scoring” comment had me in tears. Guess people that clearly haven’t watched a single hornets game this season also don’t know the simple fact that a team that can completely control a games tempo and often forces a team to have to use the entire shot clock results in lower scoring games not to mention that they have continually shown a balanced offense with Paul and West always being a threat to take a game over and provide the scoring if the rest of the team can’t.

    I always love the “professional” blogger’s mentality: if they’re not (insert “top” team whose bandwagon they’re currently riding) they automatically have no depth and their team completely depends on its best player to do everything.

  3. James says:

    they only had a bad recored last year cuz chris paul was out.. chris paul akes this team and when hes healthy and doing good, then the team is going to to good.. end of story.. and emeka okefer is pretty good down low.. chris paul just has to take care of that knee thoo………………

  4. Scedotal says:

    The Hornets are now 8-0 and have beaten mostly playoff teams from last year. They look pretty good to me. Defense defense and more defense. This is the deepest Hornets team since they have come to New Orleans. I will admit if Paul goes down, we will not be very good. The team is built around Paul and it does not have a true backup PG.

  5. Herbert says:

    Well I got to admit this team is for real i see them gettin 65 games 8-0 now i dont see why not?

  6. Jhoward says:

    like everyone else says …if CP3 stays healthy we have da best point guard in the world….when u have a pg dat can drop 25 a game on any given nite he’s always gonna have da best defenses off center to double team him and therefore leave other teammates open….we have a great new coach and new life in ariza and benelli….i dont see us messing with da lakers but we could certainly get a #2 or #3 seed…….hey we’re doing alot better then Miami right now…..lmao

  7. Dave801 says:

    I don’t think so… as the season goes on depth becomes more and more important. I definitely think they make the playoffs, with Yao getting injured again and The Clippers not living up to expectations, Melo leaving Denver, I think Phoenix will drop out of the play off race, and Golden State having the same false start as the Hornets.

  8. martinronan says:

    Hornets are not for real lets quit kidd ourselves

  9. RobertM320 says:

    I think the key as to how far they go in the playoffs is what seed they are. They definitely don’t match up with the Lakers, so iwhomever is the #8 seed, they’re one and done. If you are #4 or #5, you get past the first round, then you get the Lakers and you’re done. But, if you can get the #2-3-6-7 bracket, you can make it to the finals. Other than LA, I don’t see anyone else that doesn’t have some flaws. No one thought the 2007-08 Hornets would be #2 seed at the beginning of the year, either. And that was only 3 years ago.

  10. I see them winning 45 games at max
    In playoffs i dont see them getting past second round

  11. Anderly says:

    The addition of Ariza, Belinelli and Bayless have worked out very well. Ariza gives them the athletic wing player capable of guarding the other team best player and can also score. Belinelli is a great 3 point shooter and a way better defender than Stovakovic. As for Bayless, I don’t even know how Portland let him go. He’s going to be a very good player in this league for a long time.

  12. Hornets#1 says:

    Hornets are obviously a top team in the league and there should be no problem winning a title.
    True#1Fan: Go Hornets

  13. Jake Berlin says:

    Hornets are a real playoff team (if everyone aka Chris Paul stays healthy). I don’t see them going past the first round though.

    • KillaRific says:

      THAT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT SEED THEY GET.

    • James says:

      if the hornets get a high enough seed though, such as the 2nd or even 3rd seeed, i could easily foresee them getting to the western finals, but that is assuming that they remain healthy and also that their bench players and other starters contine to contribute as they have been doing the last few games. and we’ve even seen that jarred bayless can be a threat when he’s on his game, so with cp3 as a mentor to him, i’m sure that we can have another darren collison on our hands after some time. just give the bench some time. jason smith has been knocking down jumpers too. so let’s keep it that way. Go Hornets!

    • Gringo says:

      Are they 4 real?Thats an understatement.They are 7-0{while playing teams like miami,milwaukee,San Antonio}+They have the games best point guard in Chris Paul,an all star talent in David West.And hear this “the defensive player of the year this season in Emeka Okafor”So why dont U do the math.You guys have to remember a team is not based on spectacular talents a real team is based on wins,and as long as they keep winning “they are 4 Real”