Considering where they are in terms of standings in the NBA’s Western Conference, this season has been pretty disappointing for the New Orleans Hornets. They are currently tied for next-to-last place in the West at 21-39. But it has not all been woeful for the soon-to-be-Pelicans.
They have gotten to see the enormous potential from rookie Anthony Davis. Ryan Anderson has proved that he can be a productive inside-out player in their frontcourt for years to come. But probably the most impressive, but maybe the least talked about thing that’s happened, has been how well point guard Greivis Vasquez has played this season.
On Friday in the Hornets’ win over the Detroit Pistons, Vasquez notched a team-high nine assists. It was also the 60th time in 60 total games this season that Vasquez had led the Hornets in assists. By accomplishing this, Vasquez became just the third player in league history to lead his team in assists for the first 60 games of the season. He joined Jason Kidd, who did so for 70 games in 2001-02, and John Stockton, who led the Utah Jazz in assists for all 82 games of the 1990-91 season.
With 22 games remaining in the season, Vasquez definitely has a chance to tie Stockton and lead New Orleans in assists for every game of the season. Given that Vasquez averages the third-most assists per game in the league at 9.4 and the next highest assists-average on the Hornets belongs to Eric Gordon at 3.1, it actually might not be that difficult of a record to tie.
The most important part about Vasquez tying Stockton’s record is that he’s just 26 years old and has another year left on his contract with New Orleans. As it is in the process of rebuilding its franchise, having a guy that can consistently facilitate at the level that Vasquez can is definitely a quality addition to its team. Whether he ties Stockton or not, the Hornets should look to keep Vasquez around for a long time.