The New Orleans Hornets' stock is on the rise heading into the All-Star break, with some players hitting their stride while others are still struggling to get going. New Orleans finished the first half of the season strong, winning four of their last five, including a 99-63 trouncing of the Portland Trail Blazers just before the break.
As a whole, the first half of the Hornets' season has had mixed results. With star shooting guard Eric Gordon sidelined with a knee injury for most of the first two months, New Orleans ended 2012 with a record of 7-23.
Since then, the team has opened 2013 going 12-11, as of Valentine's Day. The keys to New Orleans' improvement has been a combination of Gordon's return and the inspired play of some unheralded players.
Guys like point guard Greivis Vasquez and small forward Al-Farouq Aminu closed the first half strong, while power forward Ryan Anderson has maintained a steady, consistent pace all season. Anderson leads all Hornets with 17.1 points per game. He also leads the league in three-pointers made (159) and attempted (396 as of Feb. 14).
While some have stepped up, others have struggled to follow suit. Forwards Xavier Henry and Lance Thomas have become afterthoughts, while rookie Austin Rivers continues to disappoint in his debut season.
A lot has changed since the first team stock watch back in December. Let's take a look at who's rising and falling heading into the NBA All-Star break.