I like the Hornets. They are a very good team that has a bright future. This year has been a decent year for them. But, in terms of expectations, this team has failed.
Lots of people thought this team could progress to be a top Western team. They are not terrible, but they are in the middle of the pack. That can change if they play well though.
Coming into this year, I thought the Hornets would be better to. I thought that a core of James Posey, Chris Paul, David West and others could be better than last years squad. I think everyone didn't take a long look at the supporting cast. They bring out decent players off the bench (Antonio Daniels, Mo Pete, and Julian Wright), but these guys just don't bring enough. I remember last year when Jannero Pargo could come off the bench and provide much needed fire power (and a rest for CP3). Daniels is no Pargo, that's for sure.
Also, I felt the fire set ablaze by last years play by the Hornets is definitely out. Last year if you were going to play in New Orleans, you knew you'd be in for a battle. While they've turned it up, a true contender is going to maintain its fire, or at least by able to turn it off and on with ease (Lakers).
Some expectations from others
I searched around for some expectations for the Hornets this year. They aren't going to achieve any of these:
The Hoop Doctors: My pick to win the Western Conference regular season race this year is the New Orleans Hornets.
Hoops World: Jason Fleming, "Really the only question is if Chris Paul will run out of gas after the Olympics. If he doesn't, the Hornets could win the West."
SI: With a talented starting lineup and a title-winning veteran in Posey serving as their sixth man, the Hornets believe they have built a championship contender this season. Anything short of a trip to the conference finals would be disappointing and labeled a setback for this group.
To follow up on those expectations, the Hornets are 12 games behind LA for the top spot in the West. No way will they even sniff number 1, they've only got 16 games left. Also, a trip to the Western Conference finals would be a big surprise. The Spurs and Lakers are the two best, the Hornets would have a hard time cracking my top five.
Bottom line: I really don't hate the Hornets. Everyone just needs to realize that this team was not as talented as thought before the season. I'm sure the Hornets don't hear that, brighter days will come in their nest.