That the Hornets are currently parked in a 2-2 tie with the Lakers is quite a surprise. That they have done so without the services of 2 time All-Star forward David West is stunning.
Sunday night, as guard Jarrett Jack recounted the details of his game clinching hoop on a assist from Chris Paul, the locker over his shoulder was that of West's. The Hornets were going toe to toe with the Lakers, despite losing West's 18.9 points a game, 7.6 rebounds, 51 percent shooting from the field, and 81 percent shooting from the free throw line.
West is not only an All-Star, but has been a clutch performer throughout his career.
The beneficiary of West's absence has been forward Carl Landry. In the playoffs, Landry is averaging 17 points, and 6 rebounds a game. He is not as proficient as West in shooting the mid-range jumper, but Landry has done a solid job of defending and running the floor.
Both Landry and fellow forward Trevor Ariza have exceeded expectation. Ariza is averaging almost 15 points a game in the playoffs, 4 more than the regular season.
Those two, along with the superb play of Chris Paul, have negated the absence of West, one of the best and most consistent in franchise history.