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Hornets on the Internets: We're #1 Edition

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Your morning (Mon-Fri) link roundup. Happy George Spelvin Day.

  • Mondays are generally power ranking days. Marc Stein should come around with his ESPN column soon; for now, Hollinger's rankings have New Orleans at #1. If you sort the league standings by point differential, you'll see New Orleans comes in at #2. 
  • Staying on the subject of statistical rankings, Basketball Reference's Simple Rating System (SRS) has the Hornets comfortably at #1, well ahead of the Miami Heat.
  • David Berri writes on his blog that we shouldn't expect the torrid pace of the Hornets to continue, as it's mostly fueled by unrealistic starts by Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor. Curiously, he makes no mention of the Hornets' improved defense. And while I agree that Okafor's eFG% will come back down to Earth, Paul hasn't deviated that much from prior seasons if we look at other statistics. Chris Paul's current 29.1 PER is actually lower than his 2008-2009 PER of 30.0 which he sustained over 78 games.
  • Check out OnPointLikeCP3's FanPost. He attended the Hornets game in Milwaukee and has some good thoughts up. I like his saying- "good defense begets easy offense"- too, though I've never heard it put like that.
  • Hornets247 has their latest "team power rankings" up. I think it's a good idea, but I find the ranking of Ariza two spots beneath Willie Green rather hilarious. For starters, Willie Green's offense hasn't been that much better than Ariza's (and TA has struggled on that end). Green's defense has been good, but it comes against opponents' second units. Secondly, Ariza's defense has been absolutely stellar and has come against players like Kevin Martin and Manu Ginobili. And third, Willie Green and his 46% eFG% (read: bad) have not been the fourth most valuable component of this team, regardless of what you think of Ariza thus far.
  • If you missed it last week, the Hornets released Joe Alexander. Dell Demps had until January to release him- that's when Alexander's, Mbenga's, and Mensah-Bonsu's contracts become fully guaranteed. So the front office is potentially setting up for another move soon because the Alexander cut didn't need to happen for at least another month.
  • Switching gears to tonight's game: here's the AP preview. My preview should be up later today. Caron Butler is day-to-day, meaning Shawn Marion could get a third consecutive start.
  • Check out Mavs Moneyball and The Two Man Game for Mavericks coverage.
  • Last but not least, here are some strange comments from Tyson Chandler. A snippet: "I think places like Miami and LA, those are built-in home advantages.You can only go down to Bourbon Street for so long. And it's not like college days when go from bar to bar and get wasted and stumble across the street. For us, it's more Miami and LA that have a home-court advantage.' Nothing fires me up more than vaguely inflammatory comments!