I, for one, am glad this series starts in New Orleans. This gives the Spurs the opportunity to put the fear of God in them right off the bat. A loss in game 1 and the story line for the whole series begins to write itself: the Hornets lack playoff experience and the Spurs know how to turn it up in the postseason. Whether or not either of those ideas are true is irrelevant; getting them into Paul and companys' heads is what matters.
I may be the only person on PtR who feels this way, but I hope Tony Parker sees this series as a personal battle between himself and Chris Paul. The man dominated Steve Nash on both ends of the court (with Bowen's help at times) and dropped 7.0 dimes a game in the first round. Is he going to dribble a lot and shoot 20 times a game? Yes. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt. I think there's a tendency here to imagine every every questionable shot he takes as him robbing Manu of a wide open three. Maybe he's robbing Michael Finley of one his patented awkward fading-in-two-direction 20-footers. Let's look at the glass as half-full, mmm-kay?
Speaking of Manu, I have a small quibble with the man. He's trying way too hard to draw the foul in the pick and roll. You know what I'm talking about. He just needs to go. Other than this small flaw he is, of course, perfection.
One thing I'm especially excited about this series? Jannero Pargo. As Jannero definitely knows, Jannero shot 51% and 45% against the Mavs in the first round. He averaged 15 a game and nearly got decapitated by Jason Kidd. Jannero, please, keep shooting the rock. It's all you. You're the man.
Bowen will obviously get a lot of time against Paul this series. I'm really looking forward to this. Obviously the run in they had earlier this season adds some spice to he matchup. Paul has proven to have a little bit of a temper. And Bruce? Well. Let's just say he has a knack for getting under people's skin. (Maybe we should call him Splinter. Yeah. We'll make that Bruce Bowen's Official PtR Nickname # 14.) But before he can be unleashed on Paul, he must first decimate the fragile psyche of Peja Stojakovic. That should take about, I don't know, two and a half quarters.
So here's this series is going to go. Chandler and Armstrong will be in constant foul trouble, allowing Parker at some point to hit tear drops on 6 straight possessions. Jannero Pargo will put up at least one 2-12 type performance, Bonzi Wells will be a non factor after losing a sanctioned knife fight with Ime during half time of game 2, and the only bench contribution New Orleans will get will be from Julian Wright. David West will discover the difference between regular season Tim Duncan defense and post season Tim Duncan defense. Paul will put up 25 and 11 but will shoot a poor percentage from the field and have his defense questioned. Manu will Manu down the stretch of at least Manu and single-handedly Manu it for the Spurs.
Spurs in six.