The Hornets used to be known as one of the league's cellar dwellers. Then again, next year, the Hornets can say they used to be known as the Hornets.
As New Orleans makes noise for switching their team name to the Pelicans starting next season, they're making plenty of noise on the floor too. The Hornets have won seven of their last 10. And this was almost eight of 10 as the team narrowly missed out Wednesday on beating the Spurs for the third time this season.
Even still, the return of Eric Gordon and/or the new calendar year has produced a much different version of the Hornets as opposed to earlier this season. In the 2012 portion of this season, the Hornets were 6-24. In the calendar year of 2013, they are 8-4 so far.
Gordon has averaged 17.4 points ever since he came back from a sore right knee. Greivis Vasquez has had his best month of the season, averaging 16.4 points and 10.3 assists in the month of January. Besides the obvious contributions of Ryan Anderson, Robin Lopez, and Anthony Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu has emerged from the doghouse to average a near double double in January.
"We're growing because we responded every time we do something bad, almost like a baby," Vasquez told reporters of the New Orleans Times Piscayune. "You tell a baby not to do this, but then the next day they do it right.
"I've been saying it the whole season," he continued. "We're so much better than our record. Our record doesn't really identify who we are. We lost six or seven games that we should've had won. And that's basketball. That's the NBA. But we still believe we can make a run and see what we have at the end of the season, so we've got to take it game by game."
The Rockets beat the 2012 version earlier this season 100-96 on November 14. They're 1-1 against the 2013 Hornets, winning 104-92 on January 2, but then falling 88-79 a week later.