Game Preview #40: San Antonio Spurs @ New Orleans Hornets

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Great. Just great. We're on a two-game losing streak, playing our fifth game in seven days and it happens to be an early afternoon game. Did I mention that this 3-game road swing so far has been looking like it's leading to hell? We got whupped by a home-lovin' Bobcats team and a young, hungry Grizzlies outfit, and now the improving Hornets take aim at a weary Spurs bunch.

Your hack afternoon-based preview, after the jump.

I can only predict one thing with absolute certainty: There will be no halftime fish due to the two-game losing streak rule. Unless Hipuks becomes a darling and changes his mind about it.

I also predict, but with much apprehension, that more than half of PtR nation might miss this game because of the schedule. I meself am dealing with a 4:00 am start time for chrissake. There might not be any second half game threads. Not that the Spurs deserve it, too, either.

But through it all, I remain hopeful for a win. So I'm pushing Timmeh's CTFD button:

Now that's out of the way, let's do this.

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San Antonio Spurs @ New Orleans Hornets
Where: New Orleans Arena - New Orleans, LA
When: January 18, 2010; 2:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN Southwest


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How They Stack Up
17-6 Home 13-5
7-9 Road 8-13
101.1
Offense 98.7
95.5 Defense 100.2
48.4 FG% 45.0
38.4
3-pt% 35.9
73.8
FT% 77.4
42.1
Rebounds 41.1
14.2
TOs 12.9
6-4 Last 10 8-2
Lost 2
Streak Won 1
2nd, Southwest Position 4th,Southwest (tie)

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 5:30 PM
West Coast
12:30 NN
Philippines 4:30 AM
Central Europe 9:30 PM
Palestine/Egypt 10:30 PM
East Coast 3:30 PM
CapHill's Room
1:30 PM
Perth, AUS 4:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 5:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 6:30 AM

Spurs
(24-15)
Matchups

Hornets
(21-18)

Tony Parker
Four-Point Stinker

Point Guard

Tony sucked last game. Plantar fasciitis or not, will he take that as motivation to bounce back against top point guard competition?

Despite his team hovering only a few games above-.500, Chris Paul is still the best PG in the game. He's a killer, and will want to avenge that opening day loss. He always plays a good game against the Spurs, so I'm kinda scared.

Advantage: Hornets


Chris Paul
Scooby Doo

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Manu Ginobili
Passing Savant

Shooting Guard

LatinD shared a great article about Manu in one of the FanShots so go read it. He hasn't been scoring much lately, but he's been very effective in so many ways, particularly in the assists department. For the last six games, he had these assists numbers: 7,3,6,7,6,7. That's 6.0 assists in only 28.3 mpg of burn, or roughly 10 assists per 48 minutes. Maybe not spectacular when benchmarked against the Pauls and Nashes of the world, but better than OUR point guard's 5.0 apg average in 33.6 mpg (about 7 assists per 48 minutes) in that same 6-game span. Bad comparison, I know, because TP's not really a passing point. I'm just saying that the passing game really comes easy to Manu.

Devin Brown has carved himself a nice career in the NBA as a role player. He'll be a threat, but won't really go off on us (I hope).

Advantage: Spurs


Devin Brown
Former Spur

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Richard Jefferson
3-Point Stinker

Small Forward

It's just gawd awful when RJ puts up Bruce Bowen-like numbers on the offensive end. I expect a bounce back from Rage. Wait, let me correct myself. I demand a bounce back.

Peja really just sucks right now. He can still get hot from three but he's so damn fragile, psychologically.

Advantage: Neither


Peja Stojakovic
Never The Same

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Tim Duncan
Clockwork Silver

Power Forward

He's Tim Duncan. No further explanations needed.

D-West, on the other hand, plays really well against the Silver and Black on Nooch's home court. He might be matched up against Blair in some sequences, we'll see how DeBeast handles that.

Advantage: Spurs


David West
Solid Big Man

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DeJuan Blair
B-LOL-air

Center

Might be a tough night for DeJuan, having to go up against two very good big men. I hope Pop plays him decent minutes, but if his butt is glued to the bench again or gets in foul trouble, I wouldn't be surprised. Prove the naysayers (me) wrong, kiddo.

Trade-related question: Will Okafor make a good frontcourt mate for Timmy D?

Advantage: Hornets


Emeka Okafor
Another Solid Big Man

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Roger Mason, Jr.
Puppy Force

Bench & Role Players

Our bench wins. They always do.

Advantage: Spurs


James Posey
Ro-Ho 0.5

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Gregg Popovich
Still Drunk

Coach

Considering his obsession with small ball, I am convinced that Pop is still not sober. Maybe he will be during the RRT.

Jeff Bower, meanwhile, has been given the unenviable task of taming CP3's punk a$$.

Advantage: Spurs


Jeff Bower
Looks Like Your Friendly I.R.S. agent
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

It's a dreaded FIGASEDA, since this game is so freaking early. We're old, on the road and goddamn tired.

Advantage: Hornets

Mojo

We've lost two in a row. Nooch are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

Advantage: Hornets

Winner:

Totally unrelated to everything written above, but nobody knows my previewing mojo is still spotless. Well, now you know. If we do win, it's all because of me. (yeah, right)

On a more serious note, I want to see how this team has matured in terms of overcoming adversity. We've shown flashes of that fight in the Thunder game, and I expect to see some progress today against the Nooch.

Keys To The Game

  • Paint Balls - It'd be nice if we can protect the paint and limit CPunk3's penetration.
  • Long Bombs - Live by the three, die by the three.
  • Reserve Duty - Minutes distribution for tired legs and young 'uns will be crucial for our 3rd consecutive roadie.

Strength of Schedule

In case you missed it above, it's our fifth game in seven nights (or days) and this is the last stop of a three-game road test. So far we are 1-1. The Spurs need to salvage at least one more win before they become lazy again with an unnerving six-game homestand. Crazy people, those NBA schedule guys.

The Noochie-Haha's are also on one day's rest, after a road victory against the Pacers.

Last Time They Met

We opened our season with a bang by delivering a 113-96 beatdown against the unsuspecting Bees. The Blairventure began with a 14-point, 11-board LOL-ing effort.

Some Other Reading

Hornets

At The Hive - The SB Nation site for the Hornets. Yes, it probably was affected, too, by the great SB Nation Crash of 2010.
Hornets 24/7 - The NOOCH's TrueHoop affiliate. I'm not really a reader, but check out the comments link in each post - they describe them with adjectives such as "life-affirming", "mighty", "legendary", and "superb". You can never have too many superlatives, I guess.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: The best TrueHoop team blog is now even better, after adding two new writers. The increased content is making my head explore, in a good way, of course.
Project Spurs: Check out their podcast recaps of the game, plus the well-written articles.

Other Things Of Possible Interest

I just found two photos that'd I'd like to share.

From the 1st game of the season. Almost halfway there.

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I don't know if this has been used before. I don't even know if this is Joey C., because there's no shiny head of doom there. Oh please oh please let not Joey ref this game.

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Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired on Fox Sports SW in San Antonio, and the local network in New Orleans. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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