What We Have Learned In Chris Paul's Absence

Joe GerrityCorrespondent INovember 30, 2009

Since the departure of Byron Scott and the injury to the holy one (CP3), the Hornets have fared rather well. So well in fact, that many are coming to the conclusion that Byron Scott was the problem.

How can a team that looked so pitiful even when their best player was on fire, all of a sudden start winning games against the likes of the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks?

For starters it's with an entirely new offensive and defensive mentality. The lineups are smaller, the guys are moving around, utilizing picks, and taking it to the hole.

Somehow the Hornets offense actually looks BETTER without their best player. Gone are the days of everyone standing around, waiting for Paul to make an amazing play.

The ball is moving around like we have never seen in New Orleans. We're used to seeing one spectacular pass per play by Paul, but to see two or even three good passes was a rarity. Not anymore.

On D guys are staying with their man when someone double teams, the necessary rotations are being made.

The overreliance on CP3 to make plays caused the Hornets to become predictable, boring even.

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When one player has the ball in his hands 60 percent of the time it's not hard to adjust your game plan to render him ineffective. We saw it time and time again in the Denver series, yet Scott made no adjustments during that series or during the offseason.

Bower was able to get that same stangant offense to pass the ball around WITHOUT THEIR BEST PASSER.

One thing we have learned is that Byron Scott was a problem despite what CP3 says.

"You can always say 'what if or this happened, or this is why, but you never know.' One thing about it is DC and Marcus have really given us a boost. Shoot, it might not be the coach. It might be because I'm out."

Paul may be among the most loyal players in the NBA and that's what we in New Orleans believe will keep him here for the long haul. It's not surprising that he hasn't thrown his old coach under the bus despite loaded questions from reporters. He's just a stand up guy.

So with that said, don't read to much into what comes out of his mouth off the court. He has been known to be a little loose lipped–like this summer when he said that even HE could be traded.

And earlier when he reacted to Tyson being traded–Tyson is averaging just 6-6 in Charlotte while battling injuries.

David West was no so kind in his assessment of the coaching change-

"We're not going to be as predictable as we have been in the past. I know that, having played for Tim before," said West, a sixth-year veteran. "That's something I'm looking forward to, in terms of style of play."

West said the players should be receptive to Bower and Floyd because "what we had wasn't working."

With Scott gone the Hornets have also learned that Collison and Thornton might turn out to be the steals of the draft. Brandon Jennings is having a great year, but you can't look past the production that the Hornets are getting out of the 21st and 43rd picked players.

Had Paul been healthy or Scott still been in town it's unlikely either of these players would have been given enough playing time to really show their worth.

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