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.