COMMENTARY | The 2012-13 New Orleans Hornets personify the sports cliché "rebuilding season." Youthful errors, inconsistent play, and a multitude of different lineups and rotations have frustrated Hornets fans. However, the Hornets have improved leading up to the NBA All-Star break and New Orleans fans are hopeful for a strong finish to build on for the 2013-14 season.
Take a closer look at five predictions for the remainder of the New Orleans Hornets' 2012-13 season.
5. The Hornets will not trade Eric Gordon during the season
With an injured knee, sore back, and sprained hand, Eric Gordon is too much of a risk for NBA contenders before the trade deadline. New Orleans will continue to exercise caution with Gordon in hopes that he heals up for next season or can be traded in the offseason. After this season, Gordon will no longer have veto rights to a potential trade.
4. Austin Rivers will get more minutes
Just because Gordon will be with the Hornets for the rest of this season doesn't mean he will be playing 40 minutes every night. Last year, Monty Williams shut down Trevor Ariza late in the season so younger players could get more minutes. New Orleans could shut down the hobbled Gordon, which would mean a lot more playing time for Rivers.
3. The Hornets will finish 10th in the Western Conference
Prior to the All-Star break, New Orleans won its last two games by an average of 27.5 points. And both games were without Eric Gordon. 59 percent of the Hornets' remaining games are at home and eventually, New Orleans' toughest strength of schedule in the NBA will even out. New Orleans is only 5.5 games out of 10th place at the All-Star break.
2. Greivis Vasquez will have another triple-double
One prediction is certain. Greivis Vasquez's incredible play will put an end to New Orleans' plans of having Austin Rivers become the Hornets starting point guard. Vasquez leads the NBA in assists and he will be the Hornets PG of the future. When New Orleans faces lesser opponents in their final 29 games, Vasquez will get another triple-double.
1. Ryan Anderson will break the Hornets' three-point shot record
Ryan Anderson is on pace to make 246 three-pointers this season. The Hornets' franchise record for made three-pointers in a season is 231 by Peja Stojakovic in 2007-08. There is concern in New Orleans about the durability and frame of Anthony Davis. As the Hornets carefully monitor his minutes, his backup will keep making three-point shots.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. Patrick has followed the Hornets since they moved to New Orleans and has covered the team since 2010. He was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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