The national media and experts alike may not want to acknowledge it, but the Hornets are preparing themselves for a run at the postseason.
Last week, the Hornets acquired forward Trevor Ariza in a four-team trade that sent second-year guard Darren Collison and forward James Posey to Indiana.
Though it's not quite a blockbuster deal, New Orleans now adds another big piece to a young team with plenty of potential.
Pencil Ariza in the starting lineup along with David West, Marcus Thornton and MVP-contender Chris Paul, and this could be a dangerous team for opponents to face all season long.
Forget all the other factors and potential moves leading up to opening night right now.
If each of the five projected starters can exceed expectations individually, that makes five reasons not to overlook the Hornets in 2010-2011.
Let's examine each of them.