Friday, 20 July 2012 05:49
New Orleans Hornets loss of Kamen puts Davis, Anderson, Gordon, Rivers at center of attention
Written by 

new orleans hornets logoWhen Chris Kaman signed with Dallas this week, it virtually assured that the Hornets will enter the 2012-13 NBA season without an effective center. For the record, the Hornets acquisition of veteran center Brad Miller, 36, from the Timberwolves was partly cap-related, and also provides a big body to wear opponents' jerseys in practice. I believe Kaman missed an opportunity to re-sign and become elder statesman of a team that probably will be the youngest and most inexperienced in the NBA next season.

     Inexperience is okay if you have the talent to fit the new paradigm, which is the direction the Hornets appear to be heading. In NBA parlance, "long" is not "big," because the latter implies a hulking plodder while the former can also give you defensive quickness and better shooting. Exhibit A is No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, who at 19 has been ballyhooed as a once-in-a-decade talent. The recent sign-and-trade with the Magic for small forward Ryan Anderson brings to the Hornets a 24-year-old, 6-foot-10, sharp-shooting forward who also can loft the 3-point shot at nearly 40% effectiveness. Anderson, by the way, was recruited to the University of California Berkeley by former UNO head coach Joe Pasternack.



     The late-season audition of 6-9 Al-Farouq Aminu, who is 22, apparently provided Demps and Williams with enough information to increase his role this year. No. 10 pick guard Austin Rivers, also 19, is fearless and a good enough shooter that Demps traded veteran point Jarrett Jack to Golden State to give the kid from Duke more minutes. Not to be forgotten is the fact the Hornets matched Phoenix's offer for Eric Gordon, who, if healthy, will be the team's leading scorer and will only be 24 on Christmas Day.

     Looking at things realistically, with this young talent on board how critical is the absence of a center who will give you 30 minutes a game? With such a high emphasis on point guards and athletic forwards these days, is the absence of a true center a death knell for success or merely a hindrance against certain teams? I would suggest the latter, because having a true center is not the imperative it has been in the past. Look around and name the best centers in the league right now. If your list stops with Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, Andrew Bynum and Marc Gasol, then we definitely are in an era when the center of attention isn't a center.

     A current and highly visible example of this de-emphasis in the position would be the United States Olympic team, which counts ex-Hornet Tyson Chandler as its only true center. Agreed that Chris Bosh or Howard would be on the team if they were notinjured, the loss of whom could put the Americans at a disadvantage against the likes of Spain or Brazil. But those teams must ask themselves who will defend a front line of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony? USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo stressed the point recently when he said: "I'll take versatility and athleticism and speed and quickness. That beats size all day long, because size alone can't get it done." Colangelo thinks the days of the traditional low-post center are gone, largely because there are so few talented bigs anymore.

     That all should be good news for the Hornets this season and beyond, as Demps and Williams appear to be building a team to fit the new pardigm. They have added players who have defensive quickness and shooting ability. If those ingredients can produce a championship, we will be celebrating another Olympic basketball title this summer while the Hornets will look back at the summer of 2012 as the year it all began.

by Jim W. Miller

Read his new book, "Where the Water Kept Rising," which is now available in local bookstores and at his website:



Join Our Email List



Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Edwards gets Graves challenge on Louisiana flood relief money
  • Gov. Edwards's pugnacious state of union gave wrong Louisiana vision
  • Trump plus 80 days: Jim Brown, Bernie Pinsonat talk US, Louisiana politics
  • Trump should be like Reagan, not like Bush

graves c 3Shades of Katrina?

    Is political partisanship raising its ugly head again in the face of another Louisiana disaster?  Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards thinks so.

    Edwards got some rough treatment from a congressional committee in Washington, D.C. when he testified before it recently about the state’s response to flood problems.

Read More

jbeWith equal parts pugnaciousness and disingenuousness, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ highly-politicized 2017 State of the State speech laid out a truly flawed vision for Louisiana going forward.

Read More

jim bernieIs Russia now our enemy, once again?

Did Donald Trump make the right move or was the latest attack, simply some wag the dog?

Read More

Iron nancy reagan 6n 1986, United States President Ronald Reagan authorized military aircraft to unleash a torrent of bombs in Tripoli, Libya to send a strong message to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The attack was in response to Gaddafi’s involvement in the terrorist bombing of a Berlin disco that resulted in the death of American soldiers. 

Read More


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1