Just four games to go in a season that will, against most odds, end just as disappointingly as the last.
In so many ways, I feel like mW at the Hype, unable to muster up the energy to explain why New Orleans provided New Jersey with one of its most lopsided wins of the year or how Washington snapped a 16 game losing streak with relative ease. Where last season ended with Tyson Chandler's future in serious doubt, this one ends with an ineffectual Chris Paul causing far more anguish. Where last off-season began with the fresh hope afforded by the shrewd acquisitions of Diogu, Thornton, and Collison, this one ends with the contributions of those signings crushed underfoot by injury and old age.
This offseason will be another long one for sure. Once again, we'll have little financial flexibility on our hands with Peja Stojakovic and Mo entering their final years in the fall. New Orleans has already committed more to 2010/2011 than 09/10's cap level, producing the annual "Hornets look to trade draft pick" rumors. Trade rumors will surely swirl around Paul as well. David West could be an attractive option for a team that misses out on a marquee free agent; two years (possibly the last 17~18 PER seasons he has left) and an opportunity at a quick restructuring timetable could be attractive.
Ultimately, these last four games could be merely segue into more of the same for the 10/11 Hornets... or they could be the end of an era in New Orleans. Either way, at long last the end is in sight.