The Hornets’ past week of games was another tough stretch; they came up well short against the Lakers and Grizzlies at home before falling to the defending champion Heat in Miami, only to end that slate at home with another loss against the 2-15 Wizards. Let’s check out the net result on these rankings.
All season long, these player power rankings will be presented alongside various*“advanced stats”*in order to more accurately evaluate each Hornets player’s impact (click here for a glossary of the statistic abbreviations). In addition,*we also have created a chart*with the goal of standardizing advanced stat categories to distinguish the good numbers from the bad ones. Hopefully, these tools give each of you the means to comprehend the advanced statistical metrics used in these rankings as well as other columns throughout Hornets247.com.
For historical power rankings,*click here.
1) Ryan Anderson, PF - 20 GP, 33.1 MPG, 59.4 eFG%, 18.7% DRR, 6.1% TOR, .161 WS/48, 20.8 PER; Last Week: 1
Anderson has kept up his knack for scoring efficiently and ability to take care of the ball, allowing him to easily maintain his stranglehold on the top spot. Over the 16 games prior to last night, only once has he failed to total more points than field goal attempts, despite being the Hornets’ only credible scoring threat for 2/3 those games. He struggled through a rough second half last night, going 0-9 after starting 7-12, but was able to notch his 5th double-double of the season. There is still no question that Anderson has been the Hornets’ best player thus far, and by a particularly wide margin.
2) Robin Lopez, C - 20 GP, 27.0 MPG, 10.2% ORR, 58.1 TS%, 13.7% TOR, .125 WS/48, 19.1 PER; Last Week: 2
Over the past week, Lopez had two games where he looked like an above average starting center (Lakers and Heat), and two where he looked pretty sub-par. All together, it was enough to retain his #2 spot in these rankings. Though Lopez struggled against the well-rounded Marc Gasol and never really got it going against Washington, he was extremely efficient against the Lakers and Heat (despite getting repeatedly hosed by the referees against the likes of Dwight Howard). Possibly my favorite Lopez stat is that among centers averaging at least 20 minutes per game and a usage rate of at least 20%, Lopez has the highest true shooting percentage in the NBA. Next on the list? Dwight Howard. Not a bad couple of guys to be sandwiched in between, especially since Robin’s salary is about 1/3 of theirs.
3) Jason Smith, PF - 20 GP, 17.8 MPG, 51.0 TS%, 7.3% ORR, 13.4% TOR, .054 WS/48, 14.9 PER; Last Week: 4
Given that a high percentage of Smith’s field goal attempts are of the mid-range variety, he’ll go through cold spells just like any shooter. The thing that will make or break Jason’s value to this Hornets offense is his ability to crash the boards and get second chance points along with free throw opportunities. While making 15 out of his 36 shots over the past four games isn’t great, it’s not terrible either; the big problem was the four total free throws he attempted in that span, all coming in last night’s game against the Wizards (in his fewest minutes out of any of those games). When Jason picks back up his aggressiveness on the boards while staying disciplined enough to avoid fouls, his efficiency numbers will climb again.
4) Greivis Vasquez, PG*– 20 GP, 32.3 MPG, 47.3 TS%, 12.7% DRR, 34.3% AR,* 13.7% TOR, .011 WS/48, 13.6 PER; Last Week: 3
The most amazing thing about Greivis moving down a spot is that Smith really didn’t do anything worthy of a jump in these rankings; Vasquez’s week was just that*bad. In 30.3 minutes per game, he averaged 8.3 points on 11.3 shots and 3 turnovers per game. He did contribute about 7.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game in that stretch, but that hardly makes up for how poorly he played with the ball in his hands. With matchups against the likes of Luke Ridnour and Damian Lillard next week, he should have a chance to bounce back on the offensive end of the court and potentially climb back into the top 3. That being said, Lillard along with Westbrook and Curry will provide quite a test for him defensively.
5)*Anthony Davis, PF*– 7 GP, 27.9 MPG, 57.4 TS%, 13.2% ORR, 9.1% TOR, 0.201 WS/48, 26.4 PER; Last Week: 5
Welcome back, Anthony! Granted, with the way this Hornets team has played recently, he could have been out another month and still not fallen much within these power rankings, but the team is so much more exciting to watch when he’s on the court. He was very clearly still easing back into action last night, but his numbers were solid – in 25 minutes of action, he scored 13 points on 10 shots with 8 boards, 3 steals, 3 blocks, and 2 turnovers. The 5 fouls were not quite ideal, but that’s not a huge concern in the 7th game of his NBA career. With four more games before the next set of rankings come out, an all-star caliber week could shoot him all the way back up to 3rd if the two players above him don’t turn things around.
6) Al-Farouq Aminu, SF - 20 GP, 29.7 MPG, 50.6 TS%, 21.0% DRR, 13.9% AR, 17.3% TOR, .027 WS/48, 12.6 PER; Last Week: 6
Though Aminu suffered a weekend benching due to a lack of effort, his contributions while he did play were actually not that bad. His 14 points on 16 shots wasn’t very good, but he continued to do a better job of rebounding and cutting down his turnover numbers. Defensively, however, his continued inability to utilize his athleticism to the fullest is disappointing.
7) Brian Roberts, PG - 20 GP, 16.4 MPG, 52.7 TS%, 23.6% AR, 9.9% TOR, .062 WS/48, 15.8 PER; Last Week: 7
This was the week I was ready for Roberts to make a jump over one of the starters, but unfortunately, he responded with arguably his worst week of the season to date. He played great off of the bench against Memphis, but struggled heavily against the Lakers and Heat before another sub-par performance last night. Still, Brian has easily been the most effective guard for the Hornets off of the bench, and could climb even higher by outplaying Aminu next week.
8) Lance Thomas, F -*15 GP, 12.1 MPG, 53.3 TS%, 9.7% ORR, 5.4% TOR, .105 WS/48, 12.7 PER; Last Week: 8
Not much out of Thomas in his past four games; besides pulling down a rebound per 3 1/2 minutes against Memphis and Miami, not much else to speak of. Most importantly, though, he hasn’t really given me the feeling that he’s ever truly over-matched when he enters the game. That’s a good sign for his career in the NBA.
9) Austin Rivers, SG - 19 GP, 27.1 MPG, 40.3 TS%, 22.5% AR, 11.6% TOR, -0.047 WS/48, 6.4 PER; Last Week: 10
Despite two more lackluster outings for Austin against the Lakers and Heat, he also had couple of decent *games this week against Memphis and Washington. In those two, he totaled 26 points on 21 shots with 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and just one turnover. A nice sign for me was seeing him kick his game up a notch in the second half of the Grizzlies game. Rivers has certainly struggled this year, but just as frustrating was things appeared to click for him every now and then in the first half of games, only to see him disappear in the second. The Hornets’ furious comeback in the 4th quarter of that Memphis game was heavily assisted by Rivers, and this team could really use more of that from him.
10) Roger Mason Jr., SG - 20 GP, 20.4 MPG, 53.6 TS%, 11.6% DRR, 16.5% AR, 10.0% TOR, .031 WS/48, 8.4 PER; Last Week: 9
You know what you’re going to get from Mason every night, and that’s precisely why I wish his role in the rotation would be diminished. Give the two guys below him in these rankings his minutes and see what they can do. Mason isn’t going to help this Hornets team long-term. I respect his veteran leadership and ability to knock down open spot-up threes, but this team needs to be working towards the future.
11) Darius Miller, SF - 19 GP, 14.5 MPG, 49.7 TS%, 30.8% AR, 9.6% TOR, .042 WS/48, 6.7 PER; Last Week: 11
I honestly feel like the stats don’t tell the whole story with Darius, because I really think he’s better than they indicate. He works hard, but it may just be as simple as him staying focused every moment he’s in the game. It almost seems like Miller’s turnovers come more from silly mistakes like stepping on the out of bounds line than anything related to his ball-handling ability. Just like any specific basketball skill, though, it’s something he needs to work on in order to get better. Hopefully Monty gives him the minutes to help that happen as soon as possible.
12) Xavier Henry, SG - 12 GP, 14.6 MPG, 47.5 TS%, 14.2% DRR, .032 WS/48, 9.2 PER; Last Week: 12
Signs of life from Xavier! X is averaging almost two points per field goal attempt over his past three games, pouring in 25 over that stretch with 11 rebounds and just 1 turnover. As we saw with Aminu earlier this season, it is highly likely that this performance spike is merely an aberration, but certainly nice to see nonetheless.
NR) Eric Gordon, SG -Last Week: NR
All stats were obtained from Basketball-Reference.com.
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