"We've got 13 wins,” West said. "The team in the (Western Conference) eight spot has 17 wins. That's a good week (of making up ground). We're capable of winning some games, especially when we get healthy. We're going to start turning that corner here in a little bit.”
It's not that easy. A Western team likely will need 45 wins to reach the playoffs. For the Hornets to go 45-37, they must finish out 32-15, and that's with several games still short-handed. Not very bloody likely.
"Until we're mathematically eliminated, I still have hope of making it,” said coach Byron Scott.
"I haven't thought about that,” he said. "Will not think about that until, like I said, we've been eliminated from the playoffs.”
That tough talk will help keep the Hornets from sliding into the abyss of this long season. Yes, the Hornets are only five games out of the playoffs as we speak; but they also have four teams to climb over and too much January to play before Paul returns.
Besides, who wants to cheer for defeats? It worked for San Antonio in 1997, when the powerful Spurs sunk without the injured David Robinson and were rewarded with the lotto that produced Tim Duncan. But OKC might hit a bonanza will cheering on victories.
Oklahoma City could recapture some Ford Center magic before George Shinn's show goes back to New Orleans and be rewarded with the Sonics.
Hey, Seattle. Lose, lose, lose. Fall as deep in the standings as you can, and if you check that Sonic roster, you know that's pretty danged far.
The Sonics are not very good and don't have the Chris Paul cavalry coming to the rescue.
If the Sonics relocate to Oklahoma City, what better jumpstart than Greg Oden? He's not as lovable as Chris Paul — CP3 was pretty dang lovable — but he might be just as effective.
There's your menu for the next four months. Cheer on the Hornets and whoever's playing the Sonics.