I've heard it on the radio (well, mostly ESPN Radio) and read it on the Internets (well, Bill Simmons' column, at least) that the Hornets, who deserve credit for their amazing season, will likely not make it out of the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
Simmons seems to think the Hornets are a year away and other talking heads would have us believe that playoff experience will kill them in the end.
While I'm a firm believer in playoff experience, I don't think you can dash the New Orleans Hornets aside this post-season. If the Hornets do finish with the top seed in the West, their opponents will be one of the following three teams: the Denver Nuggets, the Dallas Mavericks or the Golden State Warriors.
The Hornets just beat the Warriors at home today, 108-96, giving the Bees their 11th straight win at home. The Warriors can run and shoot all they want, but if they don't play defense, they're not going to beat the Hornets if Chris Paul gets them in a rhythm.
As for the Mavericks, here's the shit from Simmons' mouth: "They're not a great halfcourt team, they're not a great running team, they're not a great defensive team. ... And on top of that, it seems like they hate their coach." So if Billy Baroo ain't buying it, neither am I. (Excuse me while I duck a lawsuit from Bristol.)
I'm also not buying the Nuggets as a threat in the first round, either, unlike Mr. Charles Barkley. The Hornets won the season series against the Nuggets 2-1 and don't forget that Denver is TERRIBLE on the road. Repeat: TERRIBLE (the 3:20 mark).
Bringing us to Round 2 of Los Playoffs de NBA: likely opponents are Phoenix and/or San Antonio.
The Hornets do not fear the Spurs or Suns, having swept the season series against Steve Nash and Co. and tied the Spurs at two games apiece, including a 100-75 drubbing in San Antonio.
In short, I refuse the believe that the Hornets cannot AT LEAST get to the Western Conference Finals.