No West, No Problem

Posted by By at 31 March, at 11 : 26 AM Print

In his first year as an NBA head coach Monty Williams is making this coaching thing look pretty easy. 42-32 and the current 7th seed in the west isn’t a bad first year of a 3-year contract and first year overall as a head coach. For 70 of those 74 games he had two-time all-star and the team’s leading scorer, David West though. That would make your job a bit easier I’d say. For the remaining 8 regular season games as well as the playoffs, if they hold on of course, Williams might have to do his best coaching job to date with West lost for the season with an ACL injury.

The adjustments have already started as Williams has been experimenting with his lineups and play styles since the injury. Having Chris Paul to initiate which ever plan he chooses is certainly a luxury to have. That Carl Landry trade the Hornets pulled off is looking pretty good now huh? It’s looking even better when you see that since West’s injury he’s averaging 21 points and 8 rebounds. His points are actually bit higher than West’s season average of 18.9 and the boards are pretty much a wash. No one’s ready to say Carl Landry is David West, but he’s doing his best impression at the moment.

Landry in the lineup leaves the bench pretty thin and contributions will definitely be needed from others the rest of the way. Backup center David Anderson will see increased minutes and should be the first big man off the bench. If Williams decided to keep Landry’s offensive punch coming off the bench, he could go big and start both seven footers. With his play as of late, I think Landry has earned the opportunity to start for the time being.

Two players that were expected to have good seasons, and largely have not to this point, would also be served well to raise their play a bit now to help pick up the scoring slack. Both Marco Bellineli and Trevor Ariza were expected to help provide offensive support this year, and playing along side Chris Paul you would think that wouldn’t be too difficult considering both are very good spot up shooters. I guess that’s one of those cases where things that would appear to work “in theory” don’t always work “in actuality”. Both are averaging only 10 points per game, and while it’s a career high for Belinelli, it’s a bit of a drop for Ariza who dropped 14 a game last year in Houston.

Jarrett Jack and Willie Green also see time off the bench and that’s about the extent of what Monty Williams will have to work with down the stretch. Quincy Pondexter doesn’t play many minutes. Jason Smith doesn’t either, and Patrick Ewing, Jr. was recently signed to a 10-day contract.

In their current position the Hornets would be looking down the barrel of a first-round match-up with the Lakers, and I doubt many people outside of Louisiana would expect them to come out of that series. The good thing for Hornets fans is that Williams and the rest of the team don’t care about those people. I’m sure at some point this season or even last year after he signed with the Hornets someone told him he was in over his head. His head is firmly above water at the moment and he looks to be doing just fine to me so I’m not going to bet against him. I’m sold on his ability to coach.

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One Comment

  1. NolaBoy, 9 years ago Reply

    No West means no Playoff success. Sorry, but he’s Mr. consistant.

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