Game #20 Preview: Hornets @ Spurs

The last time the Spurs faced the NOOCHies(one week ago today), we ended up with what was probably the best win of the season so far. A come-from-behind affair, the Spurs turned a 17-point halftime deficit into a 14-point victory, partly through the strength of swarming smallball defense. That move was a gimmick which probably won't pay the same kind of dividends again.

The Spurs lately have looked a bit listless and complacent for most of the game, but applying pressure at the right times to come away with the W, Clips game notwithstanding. Sooner or later, they're going to have to start playing aggressively from the opening tip. Sooner would definitely be better, since they've got a hated division rival right on their heels, waiting for the Spurs to slip up so they can make their move. Here's an updated snapshot of the division, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports:

Southwest W L Pct GB Home Road Div Conf Streak L10
San Antonio 16 3 .842 -- 8-2 8-1 2-2 10-3 Won 1 8-2
Dallas 16 4 .800 0.5 8-3 8-1 4-2 10-3 Won 9 9-1
New Orleans 13 6 .684 3.0 8-2 5-4 3-2 8-5 Lost 1 5-5
Memphis 8 12 .400 8.5 6-5 2-7 1-2 6-6 Lost 2 4-6
Houston 7 12 .368 9.0 4-4 3-8 1-3 5-8 Won 2 4-6
Our boys need to hear those metaphorical footsteps behind them, and play with a sense of urgency. Making some shots wouldn't hurt, either. Tonight is a chance to bring their division record back above .500, and stay ahead of the Mavs for the division lead. The standings so far also serve as a reminder that there are no nights off in the NBA. Let's hope for yet another W.

Here, have some industrial music:

Let's do it.


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San Antonio Spurs vs New Orleans Hornets
Where: AT&T Center

When: 12/05/2010, 6:00PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: NBA TV, FSSW


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By the Numbers

Data source: basketball-reference.com

Category Stat Rank
Offensive Rating 111.9 3rd
Defensive Rating 103.4 8th
Defensive Rebound Rate
75.1 12th
Offensive Rebound Rate 26.2 15th
Field Goal Percentage 46 14th
3-Point FG Percentage 39.9 2nd
Free Throw Percentage
80.4 3rd
Turnover Percentage
12.7 3rd
Category Stat Rank
Offensive Rating 105.2 18th
Defensive Rating 101.1 3rd
Defensive Rebound Rate
76.7 4th
Offensive Rebound Rate 21.8 28th
Field Goal Percentage 46 13th
3-Point FG Percentage 37.1 10th
Free Throw Percentage
75.8 18th
Turnover Percentage 13.4 13th
Record Wins Losses
Overall 16 3
Conference 10 3
Division 2 2
Home 8 2
Away 8 1
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: DeJuan Blair
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
George Hill
Tiago Splitter
James Anderson

Record Wins Losses
Overall 13 6
Conference 8 5
Division 3 2
Home 8 2
Away 5 4
Position Conference Division
Record 5th 3rd
Lineups

Starters
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Marco Belinelli
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: David West
C: Emeka Okafor

Key Bench Players
Jarrett Jack
Willie Green
Jason Smith

Matchup Analysis


Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward

Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: Tony's been having a good season, up until the past week weak. Meanwhile, Paul is an early MVP favorite. Please, Tony, come back to us.

SG: Speaking of MVP candidates, Manu is as Manuriffic as ever. Belinelli doesn't stand a chance.

SF: I sang Ariza's praises before the last game, and then he went out and made some of the most crucial mistakes in the game. RJ 2.0 has remained a key factor in the Spurs' resurgence, even as others have faded, and deserves the nod here.

PF: I still don't like this matchup for us. At all. West didn't play in the NOOCH's last game due to a stomach virus, but I'd expect him to be ready to go today.

C: Timmy needs to get some boards in this game, but he can easily beat out the Mighty Oak if he so wishes.

Bench

Our bench gets the Spur almost solely due to the stellar recent play of Georgie and the Nailgun. Bonner and Tiago need to show up for this one, though. The NOOCH have some great scoring wings coming off the bench, so even though Hill and Neal can counteract that, we need more from sommebody else on the bench. With our depth, that shouldn't be a problem most nights.

Coaching

Pop is still the teacher, Monty still the student. If that wasn't evident already by the end of last week's game, Monty even said so himself when it was over.

Intangibles

Home court doesn't mean a lot to the Spurs, but the NOOCH are only 5-4 on the road. The arena needs to be loud and rowdy.

Mojo

Both teams have cooled off a bit after incredible starts to the season, but the NOOCH have gone 5-6 in their last 11.

Prediction

Another W for the good guys.

Key(s) to the Game

Rebounding - I said this in the game thread for the T-wolves game, but rebounding is first and foremost an effort stat. If we're getting more boards than they are, it's because we're playing like we want this game. Extra possessions and shot opportunities can be immensely helpful to your own cause, and disheartening to your foes.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell - Check out the advanced scouting report posted on gamedays for great in-depth analysis of the day's matchups.

Hornets

At The Hive(SB Nation) - Rohan and crew are still going strong, though they aren't quite as happy as they were after the 8-0 start. Congrats to Rohan on landing a gig as an author at Hardwood Paroxysm as well.

Following Along

TV

We're on national TV again, folks. NBA TV, but still. You can also follow this one on Fox Sports Southwest in San Antonio or Cox Sports TV in New Orleans.

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game 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. You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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