In preperation to tonight's matchup with the Hornets, I took some time to sit down with the guys that run At The Hive.com, an awesome New Orleans Hornets Blog. Below is how the Q&A went.
FTS -- Chris Paul and LeBron James are likely to be at the top of the MVP balloting this spring. Give me the best argument why Pal will win the award.
ATH - I think it will probably come down to the wire again, with the two guys being as even as they were last year (1-2 in PER, and virtually every other encompassing statistic). Unfortunately, MVP voters are idiots of the highest order and will, in all likelihood, ignore who was slightly better and select the guy whose team had the better record. On that basis, I like New Orleans as a team more than Cleveland, but James and Paul should finish neck and neck.
FTS -- How big of an impact has James Posey made early on in the season?
ATH -- Oh man, I think every New Orleans fan is absolutely in love this guy just two games into the season. He's already drawn 4 charges in 2 games, has played some lockdown defense, and basically single-handedly staved off a furious Suns rally on Thursday with both Paul and West having off days. I know he won't score like this or shoot like this every game. But his willingness to sacrifice his body is what makes him special. He brings another level of intensity to this team.
FTS -- Two games, two impressive road wins for the Hornets. What have you liked so far, and what have been some things that worry you?
ATH - To be fair, I've seen more worrying aspects than promising ones. For one, Chris Paul and David West have looked unusually rusty. CP3 had 5 turnovers against the Suns- I can't even remember the last time that happened. West shot just 7-19, missing many wide open looks. Also worrying is the early ankle injuries to Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic. If either of those guys goes down for extended time, that could be trouble.
However, those are all very fixable things. I'm sure those guys will start to round into shape over the next week or so. The one gigantic positive has been the bench. Posey, obviously, has been awesome. But Rasual Butler has been surprisingly assertive with his outside shot in these first two games, a good sign for the future. When we get Julian Wright back, we may actually have a decent bench, something sorely lacking last year. Still, it's very early, too early to say things for sure.
FTS -- What player on the Hornets is someone Cavaliers fans should pay attention to that they may not know a lot about.
ATH -- Honestly, nobody. The Hornets have no rookies this year, and the rotation remains largely the same, with the addition of James Posey and the departure of Jannero Pargo. Butler may continue to be a pleasant surprise, but the major contributors- CP3, West, Chandler, Peja- are all known entities
Our thanks to At The Hive for taking the time. I have a feeling these two teams will be among the last standing come April.