After a disappointing season, the New Orleans Hornets will miss the playoffs for the first time in five years.The Hornets, who have had three different coaches within the past three years, hired former NBA standout guard Byron Scott in hopes of becoming a contender in the dominating Western Conference. During his tenure as coach in New Jersey, Scott led the New Jersey Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals.The move from the Eastern Conference to the West left critics and fans alike skeptical about the Hornet’s possible play-off berth.The “Bees” will finish the 2005 season last in their division where they are 2-14 and did not win a division game until late March. The “Shaq-less” Western Conference has at least five teams with 50+ wins. The Western Conference is better from top to bottom according to Scott.The East on the other hand, has two teams with 50+ wins, Miami, and the defending champion Detroit Pistons.Another low point for fans this season was the deal that shipped point guard Baron Davis to his home state California to play for the Golden State Warriors. Davis had made a huge impact on the Hornets’ organization and had been the face of the franchise. The trade left a sour taste in the mouths of most fans, but Davis was injury plagued and was often seen on the bench instead of the court.The improved play of point guard Dan Dickau, and forwards Lee Nailon and Chris “Birdman” Anderson will give the fans something to look forward to next season.J.R. Smith, of New Jersey, was the first round selection of the Hornets this past off-season. Smith was a reserve at the start of the season, but now has a spot on the starting lineup. He has won the Rookie of the Month award numerous times this season and also was selected along with teammate, Chris Anderson, to participate in the Rising Stars Dunk Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend.Fans will have to be optimists and look toward the future as the team rebuilds and gets younger. This year’s losing season will mean that the Hornets will have an early draft pick. One can only hope that rebuilding process does not take a long period of time.