The New Orleans Hornets are a team on the rise, but there are still a few obstacles this young team must hurdle to reach its full potential. The Hornets have had a solid January so far, going 7-5 this month after opening 2013 at 7-23.
As of Jan. 23, New Orleans finds themselves tied for the worst record in the Western Conference with Phoenix (14-28) and is seven games behind Houston for the eighth seed. The Hornets' woes are a combination of inexperience and untimely injuries.
After being without star guard Eric Gordon for much of the first half, the Hornets have turned things around since the former Indiana Hoosier's return on Dec. 29. New Orleans is 8-5 since Gordon's comeback against the Bobcats and 7-4 in games that he's played in this season.
The soon-to-be Pelicans (or "Hornicans," as a reader once dubbed them) still have a ways to go. Even with Gordon back, the team is 26th in the NBA in points scored, averaging 93.5 points per game. The team is also getting beat up on the glass, as it is 19th in rebounding, averaging just under 42 boards a game.
At this point, the playoffs look out of reach for the Hornets. However, if the team continues to play like it has been since Gordon's return, it has a chance at making a spirited comeback.
To make good on those high hopes, the team has a few kinks that need to be worked out. Here are five things the Hornets must do to reach their full potential.