I don't think anyone expected the Hawks to win in New Orleans last night. David West's absence made things interesting for two-and-a-half quarters but the first of what I hope to be many productive nights from Julian Wright helped the Hornets put the game away early enough that they could focus on entertaining the crowd during the lengthy fourth quarter delay cause by a busted net.
So I don't have much to say about the Hawks this morning. I don't know why josh Smith played less than 30 minutes. I don't know why Mike Woodson thinks points scored by the other team in last two minutes of the first half don't count as much as points scored during the rest of the game.
All I have are a couple of Hornets-related thoughts that I'd like to get down for my own reference if nothing else.
1) I downgraded Chris Paul prior to the 2005 NBA Draft because of concerns I had about his defense and the difficulty of playing point guard on a bad team. In the future I endeavor to limit the focus of my draft evaluations to the player's demonstrated ability and potential for improvement. Assumptions about what might happen aren't relevant at the time of the draft. If a bad team/franchise screws up a player's development I'll comment on that when it happens.
2) The Bulls essentially traded Tyson Chandler because he and Scott Skiles didn't get along. Less than two years later, Skiles is gone and a good chunk of the money they would have spent on Chandler had they kept him is being paid to Larry Hughes. Now Skiles is/was an above average head coach and it was still turned out to be a bad idea to trade Chandler. I'll keep this in mind when considering the futures of Zaza Pachulia and Salim Stoudamire this summer. Are they incapable of being productive bench players or is their future ex-head coach incapable of using them in a productive manner?
The Hawks play for three results this weekend. For The Drive For 35 to continue apace they have to secure at least two wins though anything less than a sweep may just be delaying the inevitable. Charlotte (now Jeff McInnis free) beat Golden State 118-109 at home last night. The Hawks gave away their last game in Charlotte. If they lose there Friday night it will be time to consider getting on with our lives for the remainder of the regular season.