The New Orleans Hornets have been declining ever since their magical 2008 Playoff run where they were one game away from the Western Conference Finals. After a disappointing 2008-09 season and a 3-5 start this year, it looks like the Hornets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. David West’s stats are down, Morris Peterson and Julian Wrighthave been horrible, Okafor is struggling to fit in and Chris Paul seems unhappy. While the blame can be passed around in N.O., Byron Scott will probably be the scapegoat.
Although there isn’t too much talk about firing Scott at this point of the season, it’s just a matter of time. There are subtle signs that he is no longer viewed as the coach of the future. His contract is up at the end of the season and there haven’t been talks of any extension. With the roster healthier than last season and the trade for Okafor, this Hornets should have been a better team than last year.
You also wonder if Scott is starting to lose his team’s ear a little bit. The Hornets have lost by 10 or more points in four of their five losses. The Hornets have been horrible defensively, particularly with their defensive rotations and contesting shots around the perimeter. They gave up 14 threes to Toronto last week and another 12 to the Lakers a few nights later. People have also complained about some of his coaching decisions. Everything from his choice to start Wright at the beginning of the year, to his failure to develop any of his rookies to properly managing CP’s minutes.
Of course, a lot falls on his players too. You can say James Posey hasn’t done anything since he left Boston and Peja Stojakovic has been an underachiever. But whether it is entirely Scott’s fault or not, New Orleans might just need a change in voice. Whatever they’re trying clearly isn’t working and the team has started to give up on Scott. It’s always sad when axing the coach becomes the convenient solution, but that’s the name of the game in the NBA.
What do you guys think? Does Scott deserve to get fired? What other coach is on the chopping block?
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Follow Gerald Narciso on Twitter at @Gerald_Narciso.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE