Friday, August 29, 2008

Marks-ist Revolution (I Can't Beat This Title from ESPN)

In what is likely their final offseason move, the Hornets have signed veteran power forward/center Sean Marks. The New Zealand native is entering his ninth season in the NBA. For his career, he's averaged 3.1 ppg and 2.0 rpg while playing for four teams. And he comes to the team with exactly two minutes and thirty seconds of playoff experience.

If you search YouTube, you probably won't find any Sean Marks highlight videos* on there. His best year came with the pre-Dwyane Wade Heat of 2001-02 when he posted season averages of 4.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, and 0.5 bpg. There's no denying that he's a career backup (127 games played, 6 starts). But he gives this team frontcourt depth... which became a gaping hole at the end of last season with uninspiring play from Melvin Ely and inconsistent output from Hilton Armstrong.

Marks will give Coach Scott and his staff a pretty versatile second unit. The team now has a good number of reserves that can play multiple positions: Devin (PG, SG, SF), JuJu (SG, SF, PF), Pose (SG, SF, PF), RyBow (SF, PF), and Sean "The Kiwi" Marks (PF, C). If nothing else, he'll probably become a fan favorite, and we might have a new player's-head-on-a-stick for the 2009 playoffs. Welcome to the Crescent City, Sean.

* I stand corrected. Mistilynn apparently had enough time on her hands to put together this tribute. Musical accompaniment provided by Incubus.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

World Domination (a la Chris Paul)

Unless you just woke up from a coma, you probably caught at least one Olympic event over the past few weeks. I'm hoping you were able to catch some of the men's basketball tournament. And -- if you only saw one game -- I hope it was Sunday's gold medal match between Spain and the United States of America. Team USA outlasted the Spaniards 118-107 in one of the most exciting basketball games in Olympic history. Both teams looked great, and they were on pace at halftime (when the US led 69-61) to set an Olympic record for points scored.

Not surprisingly, the Hornets' own Chef Paul was a key component of the Redeem Team. Over eight games, he posted averages of 8.0 ppg, 4.1 apg, 3.4 rpg, and 1.8 spg. He shot exactly 50% (19/38) from the field, and he was money from the free throw line at 91.7% (22/24). His two best games were against Spain. In the USA's fourth game during preliminary play, CP13 had 14 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals. In the gold medal game, he posted 13 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. More important than any stat I could track were two things: his composure on the court and his control of the tempo in these games. He and Dwyane Wade were always the first two players off the bench for Coach K. And they always pushed the lead out of the opponents' reach (or regained control when the starters had slipped up).

And don't think his contributions have gone unnoticed. In an interview about his Olympic experience, Kobe "The DoberMamba" Bryant was asked which teammate impressed him the most. I'll bet you can guess his answer. Over at the Times Pic, John DeShazier has an article about how proud all of New Orleans is to have CP representing our city and our team. And Dime Magazine has an interview with the Golden Child himself. Congratulations to Chris and the rest of Team USA on winning Gold. Now, let's go try to get excited about tennis and baseball until the season starts.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Player Movements

After Jannero Pargo received a $3.8 million deal from Russia (with love), I've been wondering what the Hornets would do to shore up the depth of the bench. As we've reported, the team has added veteran James Posey, and the coaching staff will be relying on the improvement of JuJu and Hilt to strengthen the reserve unit. In addition to all of that, the Hornets re-signed Mr. Hustle himself: Ryan Bowen will return to action to give us another season of bust-yo-ass highlights and flailing-arm defense.

Although most of the 2007-08 roster remains intact, the team and its fans will no longer enjoy the heart-stopping play (sometimes in a good way... sometimes in a bad way) of Mucho Jannero. But they will have a familiar face on the bench in guard Devin Brown. Earlier today, the Times Picayune reported that he'll be re-joining the team after appearing in 58 games during the 2006-07 season. I'm excited about the signing. After key players went down with injuries, Brown was a big reason why the Hornets stayed competitive through the final week of 06-07. In his first stint with the Bugs, he averaged 11.6 ppg, 4.3rpg, and 2.6 apg (all career bests). Although he primarily plays shooting guard, he can spend some time at small forward and can handle the ball well enough to spell CP3 at the point.

The roster is really starting to fill itself out. Chef Paul will be better than he was last year... if you can even imagine that. D-West will likely play right around the All-Star level he achieved last year. Tyson will probably put up slightly better numbers than he did last season. Peja (with any luck and no injuries) will give the team reliable shooting. Mo Pete could improve his offensive output and will continue to provide defensive pressure. Look for JuJu to improve. Posey will offer a new threat from the bench. Devin will give us what we lost in Pargo. And that's a pretty formidable eight-man rotation.

HH Sponsors JuJu

Hometown Hornets is proud to show its support for great sources of knowledge and the Hornets by sponsoring Julian Wright's page on Basketball Reference. We figured his pretty face, octopus-like arms of impenetrable defense, and general dunking awesomeness would provide a good face or our fledgling project of a blog.

Furthermore, we encourage the readers of this blog to use Basketball Reference to strengthen their arguments [read: comments] against our otherwise pithy statements and analysis. The link is also in the side-bar if you ever lose the ability to spell or operate google.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Re-Branding the Rebirth

As has been expected for quite some time, the Hornets will have new uniforms for the 2008-09 season. Earlier today, they unveiled the new designs at an event for the media and some season ticket holders.

You can follow this link to learn more. And check out the home page on their website to see the interactive re-design. I was able to make it over to the unveiling ceremonies this afternoon, so I'll upload pictures of JuJu and Mo Pete modeling the new digs.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hornets Fever is Spreading

For the first time since the franchise has been based in New Orleans, the Hornets have surpassed the 10,000-seat benchmark for full season ticket sales. The team is also only 100 tickets short of selling out the lower bowl for the entire season. They will begin selling partial-season ticket plans next week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2008-09 Hornets Schedule

The NBA released its schedule for the 2008-09 season earlier today. Our beloved Hornets will be appearing on national television at least 13 times -- including a high-profile road game on Christmas Day against the Orlando Magic. The team's full schedule has more details. I wouldn't be surprised to see the national stations pick up a few more Hornets games throughout the course of the season. Plus, NBA TV hasn't finalized its lineup.

Over at, Marc Stein goes through his favorite matchups of the season. Can't wait to be back at the Arena on November 1. Bring it on, Bron.