I traded questions and answers with At The Hive in anticipation of tonight's inter-conference matchup.
These are his questions to my answers. My answers to his (much better) questions are over there.
Q. The Hornets are 3-0, having won two on the road and beaten Cleveland (my pick to win the Eastern Conference) at home. This despite missing Tyson Chandler twice, Peja Stojakovic once, and getting less than 4 minutes from Julian Wright. I know you picked them to win 57 games before the season started but are the Hornets maybe even better than you expected?
A. It might be a little early to re-evaluate my preseason expectations, but that was indeed a tough opening trio the Hornets navigated. The biggest eye-opener thus far has been Rasual Butler. If he can return to his '05 shooting levels, the Hornets may very well end up having a legitimate bench. James Posey has played well at the 4 in his career, so a second unit of James(Brown)/Butler/Wright/Posey/Armstrong(Ely) might end up being significantly better than I anticipated in the offseason. If the Hornets can dispatch L.A. next Wednesday at the Hive, they might be better than I thought.
Q. Speaking of Julian Wright, do expect the acquisition of James Posey to cut into Wright's playing time or will Byron Scott find ways to play them together?
A. Early indications were that the two would co-exist. Then Wright had a really bad ankle sprain in preseason, Butler has seemingly cracked the rotation with a solid first three games, and James Posey has been playing unbelievable basketball. Both Butler and Posey will come back down to earth, but will Wright be a forgotten man by then? I'd like to say no, but the fact that Byron Scott waited months to even put him on the floor last year indicates otherwise. Wright and Posey definitely have different skill sets, but his injury, Butler's (potential) emergence, and a few other factors may prevent the two from meshing until possibly December.
Q. So, uh, considering how the 2005 Draft shook out, Hawks fans drink for free in New Orleans, right?
A. Hah, definitely. Heck, Milwaukee and even Utah fans can have a few on us. (How's that for a veiled jab?)