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2005-06 Hornets vs. 2008-09 Thunder

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm •  Published: October 26, 2008

I asked Desmond Mason which team was better, the 2005-06 Hornets or the 2008-09 Thunder. Mason said the Thunder. You can read all about it in Monday’s paper. But I tend to agree with him. Here’s an early look at my breakdown of both rosters, which will also be in Monday’s paper.

What do you think?

Hornets*                 Thunder                    Advantage
Chris Paul                  Earl Watson                 Hornets
Paul entered the league as one of the best point guards.

J.R. Smith                  Kevin Durant               Thunder
Critics of both point to sub par shot selection and defense, but Durant is the better talent.

Desmond Mason       Jeff Green                     Hornets
Mason, remember, was coming off a career year at 17.2 points per game in Milwaukee.

David West                Chris Wilcox                 Thunder
West was an unknown who averaged 6.2 points before arriving in Oklahoma City.

P.J. Brown                  Nick Collison                Thunder
Many similarities here, but Collison gets the edge over the then 36-year old Brown.

Speedy Claxton         Russell Westbrook      Thunder
Claxton turned a near Sixth Man Award winning season into a fat contract. But Westbrook is the better player.

Rasual Butler            Damien Wilkins            Thunder
Butler could shoot and do little else. Wilkins is a more versatile scorer.

Chris Andersen        Joe Smith                      Thunder
Andersen never lived up to his Birdman hype.

Kirk Snyder              Kyle Weaver                 Hornets                
When he wasn’t in Byron Scott’s doghouse, Snyder averaged 9.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals as a starter.

Bostjan Nachbar       Johan Petro                  Hornets
A foot injury derailed Nachbar’s season before his ultimate trade. But he could shoot it.

Jackson Vroman       Robert Swift                 Thunder
Only one of them is still in the NBA.

Brandon Bass            D.J. White                     Thunder
Bass was a wide-eyed rookie and prone to mistakes before he made a name for himself in Dallas.

Maciej Lampe           Mo Sene                        Thunder
Lampe played just 16 minutes before being dealt to Houston in mid-season.

Arvydas Macijauskas   John Lucas               Thunder
Macijauskas was touted as a shooter. Lucas is a shooter.

* The Hornets opened the 2005-06 season with 14 players. Mason was omitted from the Thunder’s roster.
**Analysis based on where Hornets players were in their careers entering the 2005-06 season.

-DM-

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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