NBA New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Hornets’ Greivis Vasquez Emerging as Upper-Tier Point Guard

Greivis Vasquez NO Hornets

Tyler Kaufman – USA Today Sports Images

Being a fan of the New Orleans Hornets hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world this season. The Hornets are in the cellar of the NBA’s Western Conference, they play atrocious defense, Eric Gordon is perpetually injured, and they are still trying to rebuild their franchise.

Anthony Davis is obviously their primary source of optimism, but Greivis Vasquez has given New Orleans plenty of reasons to remain positive as well.

Vasquez is in his third year in the league, but is receiving a starter’s share of minutes for the first time in his short career. Before this season, his career-high in minutes was just 25.8 per game last year for the Hornets. He also averaged just 8.9 points, 5.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds last year on 43 percent shooting from the field and 31.9 percent 3-point shooting.

Because he had never really produced at a high level before, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could have predicted the season that he’s had for the Hornets this year. Vasquez has played in and started 72 games for New Orleans this year and has averaged 34.5 minutes per game.

He has thrived in his increased role , averaging 14 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game, and improving his shooting efficiency to 43.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.1 percent shooting from three.

Vasquez has shown that he has the ability to score when necessary this season. More importantly, though, he has demonstrated the ability to set up his teammates like Davis, Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson for quality shot opportunities, which has made their offense look promising.

As the Hornets continue to build and look towards their future, Vasquez is sure to be someone that New Orleans is expecting to be a key contributor in years to come.

Cody Williams is a Senior NBA Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20 and like his Facebook page.