COMMENTARY | New Orleans Hornets PG Greivis Vasquez has garnered a lot of attention in the 2012-13 NBA season for his much-improved play. In fact, many NBA analysts project Vasquez as the frontrunner for the NBA's 2013 Most Improved Player award. But how does Vasquez's improved season rank among other Hornets who turned their careers around in one season?
Take a closer look at the top five most improved New Orleans Hornets in history.
5. Robin Lopez
Before coming to New Orleans, all Robin Lopez ever heard was that he wasn't as good as his brother. With the Phoenix Suns, he averaged 14.4 minutes per game and only started 39 percent of the games in which he played. However, Lopez has improved his playing time to 25.8 minutes per game and he is the only player to start every Hornets game this season. He has also improved his scoring average from 5.8 to 11.2 points per game as a Hornet.
4. Jarrett Jack
Greivis Vasquez isn't the first Hornets PG to improve after earning a starting opportunity. Jarrett Jack came to New Orleans to provide security at PG and backup Chris Paul. But when the Hornets traded Paul, Jack became the starter and had an incredible season. In 2011-12, Jack improved to the point that he posted career highs in scoring (15.6), assists (6.3), and rebounds (3.9) per game. He virtually doubled his totals from the previous season for New Orleans.
With the Chicago Bulls, Tyson Chandler had a reputation of being a good defender and rebounder who was limited offensively and had trouble staying healthy. However, Chris Paul helped improve Chandler's NBA career in 2006-07 with the addition of an almost indefensible alley-oop dunk. That season, Chandler led the NBA in offensive rebounds and he averaged 12.4 total rebounds per game. He also improved his scoring with a career high 9.5 points per game.
2. Greivis Vasquez
From his rookie NBA season to his third year in the league, Greivis Vasquez has improved to the point that he has virtually quadrupled his averages in the three key offensive stats. Even more impressively, Vasquez leads the NBA in assists by a wide margin in the 2012-13 season. His averages of 14.1 points, 9.3 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game dwarf his past numbers. New Orleans has definitely found its permanent replacement for Chris Paul at point guard.
1. David West
Many New Orleans fans may not have noticed David West's historic improved NBA season because it took place in Oklahoma City. While New Orleans was recovering from Katrina, West improved his previous season averages from 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game to 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Just two years later, West, Paul, and Chandler were the foundation of the much-improved Hornets' 56-26 season and 2008 Southwest Division title.
Honorable mention most improved New Orleans Hornets players
Al-Farouq Aminu, Hilton Armstrong, Devin Brown, Dan Dickau, Jannero Pargo, Jason Smith
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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- Sports & Recreation
- New Orleans Hornets
- Greivis Vasquez
- New Orleans
- Chris Paul
- Jarrett Jack
- Tyson Chandler