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Old 08-31-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
Copperhead
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Default NBA.com:Hornets look to Okafor to help team return to glory

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The way Jeff Bower explains it, all the Hornets did was take a shortcut. The one-time salary dump of Tyson Chandler that turned into a salary grab in Emeka Okafor isn't as confusing as it appears. The end game was always the same.

"When you look at it you start to understand it a little bit more," the New Orleans general manager said. "The trade during the season was made to bring in two additional players [Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox] into the frontline and we felt that they would help us improve our depth and our team at that moment. They also would have had provided us with flexibility this summer for free agency, knowing we would have had a need at that position."

Had the Hornets moved Chandler to Oklahoma City during the season -- a deal rescinded after the center flunked his physical -- it would have opened up room this summer to bring in someone of Okafor's caliber. Bower ended up skipping the middle man to get another man in the middle.

Considering the investment in Okafor and the Hornets' tenuous place in the Western Conference food chain, Bower hopes it's the right man in the middle. The same goes for Chris Paul and David West. After the surprise run of 2007-08 that culminated with a 56-26 record, Southwest Division title and trip to the West semifinals, injuries and uncertainty tripped New Orleans up last season.

The team fell to seventh in the West at 49-33 and was humiliated in the first round by Denver. The five-game romp featured an all-time franchise low, a 58-point beatdown at home in Game 4. The momentum from the season before had dried up.

Okafor signals a new direction.

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/feature...ets/index.html
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: NBA.com:Hornets look to Okafor to help team return to glory

Hornets have 2 good starters on the 4 and 5, they just need a good rotational big man.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: NBA.com:Hornets look to Okafor to help team return to glory

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Originally Posted by Pharcyde
Hornets have 2 good starters on the 4 and 5, they just need a good rotational big man.

I agree. Diogu may end up taking minutes from both Hilton and Marks. Marks hustles his butt off and isn't bad for an end of the bench player and Hilton doesn't hustle enough. The Hornets need a strong aggressive player at that position coming off the bench. They've always wrestled with that 2 position as well.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: NBA.com:Hornets look to Okafor to help team return to glory

I think Marks is a great 4th rotation guy for the 4 and 5 to bring energy and get some easy dunks. I don't know if Ike may finally "get it" or something, but if they can get a McDyess player that would help them tons. The only thing the hornets need at that point is Wright being consistent enough to start at the 3 and they could be in contention again in the West.
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