Hi, all. I hope you're having a lovely Saturday night. There's been something on my mind today about which I'd like to solicit the views of the SS&R readership....
How good do you think the New Orleans Hornets are?
At the time I'm writing this, the Hornets are 5-0. After beating the Miami Heat in NOLA last night, they flew to Milwaukee, where they're currently leading the Bucks in the fourth quarter. If they hold on, their 6-0 record will tie the Lakers and Atlanta for best in the NBA. Coming into tonight's game, they were 12th in the NBA in offensive efficiency and sixth in defensive efficiency, and if an MVP vote were taken right now, I feel fairly certain that Chris Paul would win.
What do you guys think: are the Hornets the leading challengers to the Lakers in the West? Or is this just a good early-season run that will soon end and find them falling back to the pack? If not the Hornets, who do you think will be there to face the Lakers in the conference finals? It feels like we've seen a number of unexpected performances in the West so far this season - from the Warriors' hot start, to some shaky play by the Thunder, to a possible 0-5 start for the Rockets - and I'm wondering whether this should realign our views of the conference pecking order, or whether it's just small-sample-size noise.
I anxiously await your thoughts.