COMMENTARY | So far in the 2012-13 NBA season, Monty Williams has used three different starting lineups for the New Orleans Hornets. Injuries and youth have made the assimilation of all the Hornets' new parts a work in progress. Chances are New Orleans fans will see many different starting lineups throughout the season.
What would be the New Orleans Hornets best starting lineup?
Greivis Vasquez has been outstanding filling the shoes left behind by Chris Paul. Somehow, Vasquez has managed to distribute the ball to all the Hornets' talented new players. In fact, Vasquez ranks fourth in the NBA with 8.6 assists per game. Vasquez is averaging just under 32 minutes per game and I'd like to see that number go up. To stay competitive, New Orleans needs Greivis Vasquez to stay healthy and remain in the starting lineup.
I realize that Brian Roberts has yet to appear in the New Orleans Hornets starting lineup. But every time I see Roberts play, I'm even more impressed. Roberts is averaging 7.3 points and 2.8 assists for New Orleans in only 14 minutes per game. But as the shooting guard, his 46.7 percent three-point shooting would take some of the pressure off Ryan Anderson. I'd also like to see Roberts in the starting lineup to start the second half.
Clearly, representing Nigeria in the 2012 Summer Olympics has done wonders for Al-Farouq Aminu's confidence. Aminu has at least as much talent as most of the current NBA players and this year, Hornets' fans are seeing it on the court. So far, Monty Williams has inserted Aminu in every Hornets starting lineup and that should not change moving forward. Aminu is averaging 10.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
F Ryan Anderson
Despite averaging career highs in points (16.2) and rebounds (8.0), Ryan Anderson has only appeared in the Hornets' starting lineup three times. I believe that Anderson could alleviate many of New Orleans' problems at the outset of the second half. Anderson is such a unique talent with his combination of outside shooting and rebounding ability that he needs to be on floor for the Hornets as much as possible.
The only thing disappointing about Anthony Davis so far in New Orleans is that he has already missed three games due to injury. But it hasn't taken long for Hornets' fans to realize why Davis was the first overall pick in the draft. His offensive skills are much better than advertised and his rebounding and shot blocking ability make him a defensive star as well. Whether it's at center or forward, Anthony Davis will be in the Hornets starting lineup for years to come.
Endnote on Eric Gordon
It goes without saying that a happy, healthy Eric Gordon should be in the Hornets starting lineup. But having only played in 12 percent of the games since being traded to the Hornets, talking about Gordon in a New Orleans starting lineup seems like a discussion better suited for fantasy basketball.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick 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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