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NBA New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Hornets’ Backcourt Breakdown

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Projected Starters:

PG: Greivis Vasquez- Vasquez is a solid player but only the starter because of a lack of other options. The team has high hopes for Austin Rivers taking over the job at some point, but if he is not ready, then expect Vasquez to be the starter for the year. He is very big for a point guard, is an excellent passer, has good court vision and is a solid shooter, but he is slow and a horrid defender. He is a passable short-term option, but they need a long-term answer, as Vasquez would be best used in a backup role.

SG: Eric Gordon- Expect Gordon to easily be New Orleans Hornets, leading scorer, with at least 20 points per game. He simply does not have any holes on offense, as he is a great shooter, a solid ball-handler and distributor and is good at getting to the hoop. He is even an above average defender and he will be the top option on offense.

Backups:

PG/SG: Austin Rivers- Rivers will most likely spend the year as the team’s sixth man and leading bench scorer, backing up both Gordon and Vasquez. He is an elite scorer, as he is a fantastic ball-handler and shooter and able to get off shots from everywhere. He is also quite capable of getting to the rim, despite elite athleticism. He needs to work on his passing skills and his willingness to pass, if he hopes to become a lead guard on a full time basis, so until he learns, he will be a backup.

SG: Xavier Henry- Now entering season three and season two in New Orleans, Henry is expected to finally have his breakout year. He is a good shooter, despite his struggles so far in the NBA and has the size and athleticism to be a very good defender. If he does show these two skills, he could finally find his role on the team. He could be a very good role player for them. He could also find himself out of the rotation if he continues to struggle, but the former lottery pick is too talented not to get everything finally together.

SG: Roger Mason Jr.- The team’s elder statesmen, is nothing but energy and scoring off the bench, but he has always had fantastic per 36 minute numbers and is an excellent shooter. He will be relied upon to give instant offense, although his biggest position will be as a leader and mentor to the very young roster, as he has been able to do in Washington and New York.

PG/SG: Brian Roberts: Roberts should make the team, but will most likely be the 13th or 14th man and find himself inactive most games. He has point guard skills, which are rare on this team and may find himself active, if the other options struggle. He was the team’s best Summer League performer and he proved that he is a very good scorer and could make the most of his minutes. For now he seems to be on the outs, with all of the talent in the Hornets’ backcourt.