The New Orleans Hornets are undefeated still, after beating the Portland Trail Blazer on Saturday night. The Hornets stayed undefeated by pushing the speed of the game, and ended up winning it 107-87 at home. With that victory, the Hornets moved to 8-0 in the 2010-11 NBA season, and remain the only undefeated team left in the NBA. People need to start paying attention to this New Orleans team, because they are running through the schedule like they plan on staying undefeated for the entire season.
It was again a team effort from New Orleans on Saturday night, as seven players, including all five starters scored in double figures. Marco Belinelli and David West led the way with 18 points, Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Chris Paul had 11 points and 13 assists. They shot 48% from the field, 92% from the free throw line, and held the Trail Blazers to just 40% shooting on defense. Yet again, everything seemed to be working perfectly for the Hornets, but maybe the most disappointing thing for both the players and the franchise was that the team didn’t even come close to selling out the arena.
The Hornets may be 8-0 now (5-0 at home), but they are drawing only 14,537 fans per game, equating to about 85% of the capacity in their home court. That is fifth worst in the NBA, and definitely the worst attendance numbers for any team that is having a lot of success so far in 2010. Maybe the economy has hit fans too hard down in New Orleans right now, maybe the area is still focused on the Saints and football, or maybe there isn’t a lot of hope that the Hornets can keep winning basketball games like this. Regardless of fan support though, New Orleans has propelled themselves to the best record in the NBA at the eight game mark.
The Southwest Division is going to be tough for New Orleans this year, with the San Antonio Spurs (7-1) and Dallas Mavericks (6-2) right behind them. The Los Angeles Lakers are also 8-1 over in the Pacific Division, showing that there are indeed some really good teams in the Western Conference right now. So far in 2010, the Hornets have already beaten the Spurs though, in addition to wins over the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets, and two over the Milwaukee Bucks. They are playing good on both sides of the ball, have yet to give up 100 points on defense yet, and are spreading the ball really well on offense. This re-built New Orleans Hornets team is definitely worth keeping an eye on.