The New Orleans Hornets are a young team that will need a few things to bounce their way in order to make the playoffs this season. The Hornets are brimming with talent and potential, but they are stuck in a deep Western Conference where making the postseason is going to be a tough task.
This offseason, Hornets GM Dell Demps took a wrecking ball to the roster of a team that finished with the fourth-worst record in basketball last season. Veteran staples such as Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack were shown the door. In their place, the team added Ryan Anderson, Robin Lopez and rookies Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.
The changes have brought excitement to the Big Easy, but also an understanding that the team is in rebuilding mode. As high as expectations will be with a potential superstar like Davis in town, the Hornets are still a couple years away from being an actual contender.
That doesn't mean they harness all their talent and untapped potential into being a playoff team immediately. Davis gave the world a taste of what he can do in London as a member of Team USA in the Olympics.
Shooting guard Eric Gordon, the centerpiece of last year's Chris Paul trade, is now signed for the next four years. The team also extended the contract of head coach Monty Williams, who showed some promise last season.
The return to the regular 82-game season should benefit a team like New Orleans, which has good depth and young legs. The Hornets have only two players on the roster that are even in their 30's. Like any young team, New Orleans will need luck on their side if they are going to make the playoffs this year.
Here are five things that need to go right for the New Orleans Hornets to make the playoffs this season.