The New Orleans Hornets have been talked about quite a bit lately, but it has been more for an upcoming name change, than anything else. Last season the team traded away its franchise player and marque name in the talented Chris Paul, and since then, the team has been quietly rebuilding.
A 15-30 record at this point in the season does not go very far towards getting the city of New Orleans excited, and neither will switching your moniker from the Hornets to the Pelicans. What should be getting the people excited is the fresh young talent the team has already been able to send out on the floor.
The average age of the Hornets starting five is just 22.8 years of age, and when you add in the best of their off the bench rotation, the number goes down to 22.5. The point is, it is a young team that is full of talent.
On Tuesday night, the Hornets traveled to the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have had a rough season so far, but they have been appearing to find their groove over the last few games. No matter what difficulties they may have, Los Angeles still puts Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard on to the floor each night, and they can never be taken lightly.
With a team as young as the Hornets, it would be no surprise to see the moment become too big for them, but that was far from the case on this night. The tenacity with which the Hornets fought was something to be proud of, even if it did come in a losing effort.
Hornets guard Eric Gordon (pictured) set the court on fire hitting 6-8 from behind the three point line, and New Orleans had five players score in double-digits, including Robin Lopez and this season’s first rookie selected, Anthony Davis. With players like Ryan Anderson and Austin Rivers contributing big minutes and numbers from the bench, the Hornets are just a piece or two away from contending again in the Western Conference.
Playing against a star-studded team like the Lakers, and on their home court no less, the Hornets came out and were competitive, scoring over 100 points, and giving the people back home something to think about besides Super Bowl XLVII.
New Orleans NBA franchise is not ready to take the spotlight away from Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, but they are showing promise, and with a group of players this scrappy and talented, the Who Dat Nation may have another team to champion.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.