COMMENTARY | With little else to play for in April besides establishing momentum going into the offseason, New Orleans Hornets fans are keeping an eye on players within reach of league or franchise marks. One such player is PF Ryan Anderson. With 199 made three-point shots through 74 games, Anderson needs 33 more baskets from behind the arc over the last eight games to break the Hornets' record.
Ryan Anderson's three-point prowess for New Orleans is nothing new. Last year, Anderson led the NBA with 166 made three-pointers for the Orlando Magic in the strike-shortened season. This year, Anderson's 199 three-pointers are second in the NBA, well off the pace being set by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry leads the NBA with 236 successful three-point attempts.
The most amazing thing about Anderson's remarkable season in New Orleans is that he has primarily come off the bench for the Hornets. As a power forward, he plays the same position as Anthony Davis. So if he stays in New Orleans, Anderson had better get used to coming off the bench. However, he has still averaged over 30 minutes per game despite not starting and he should receive consideration for the 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
For much of the season, Ryan Anderson was averaging exactly three made three-point shots per game for the Hornets. This would have given him 246 three-pointers on the season, well ahead of the 231 that Peja Stojakovic made for New Orleans in the 2007-08 season. However, Anderson went into a mini slump later in the season and fell off the pace. But he made five three-pointers in the Hornets' last game to give the chase renewed vigor.
If he is destined to break the Hornets' three-point record, the brunt of his work will have to come on the road. New Orleans' next five games are on the dreaded west coast road trip. Then the Hornets return to New Orleans for the team's final two home games of the season before playing the season finale on the road. However, an excellent three-point shooter like Anderson should have no problem hitting long-range shots in any arena.
Before he can pass Peja Stojakovic, Ryan Anderson must overtake Glen Rice. In 1996-97, Rice made 207 three-pointers for the old Charlotte Hornets. Barring injury, Anderson should pass Rice on the Hornets' upcoming road trip.
Look for Hornets coach Monty Williams to give Ryan Anderson every opportunity to break the record. With nothing else to play for, Anderson deserves a chance to set this record for New Orleans. He has never publicly complained about coming off the bench and Williams has to respect that. Although Williams isn't the kind of coach that cares about individual records, in this case he should make an exception.
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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