The first quarter of the NBA season may not have gone how the New Orleans Hornets had hoped, but we should still take this opportunity to accentuate the positives and hand out some early hardware. The Hornets are a disappointing 5-16 as of Dec. 12 and have lost their last five contests, including back-to-back heart-breakers against Washington and Oklahoma City the past two nights.
New Orleans led late in both of those games, but managed to let them slip them away. Their woes are a combination of injuries, inexperience and inconsistency. They have a good collection of young talent, but they don't have a reliable superstar who they can depend on to close out games, especially with guard Eric Gordon out with a bum knee.
They are a rudderless ship still trying to find their way in the treacherous waters of the Western Conference. What once looked like a possible playoff year now seems like another season destined to end with coach Monty Williams' boys in the NBA draft lottery.
Despite all of that, there have been some positives. Point guard Greivis Vasquez and center Robin Lopez are having career years. Forward Ryan Anderson has a shot at making the All-Star game and rookie Anthony Davis, when healthy, is rapidly becoming a star on both ends of the court.
When you add the continued development of small forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Darius Miller as well as the potential return of Gordon, you get a team that can be interesting to watch going forward.
Time will tell what the future holds for this young Hornets team. For now, let's take a look back at the first quarter of New Orleans' season and hand out a few awards.