Game #44 Preview: Spurs @ Hornets

To say that this season has been unexpected is an understatement (much like the number of blocks Timmeh had against the Knicks). Although most of us thought the Spurs could compete for a top spot in the Western Conference again this year, no one predicted this. 37-6? Holy cow! What a team! And I mean that in every sense of the word. Part of the joy of this season is not knowing who's going to step up in each game - each win is just that much more enjoyable for that unforeseen surprise of who will be the Three Stars at the end of the night. I, for one, have never had more fun following a team's season and am going to continue to enjoy the ride.

Tonight's musical selection:


And now for the preview:

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San Antonio Spurs @ New Orleans Hornets
Where: New Orleans Arena

When: 1/22/2010, 7:00 Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: CW35


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.6
(1st)
100.3
(6th)
Rebound %
25.8
(16th)
75.3
(7th)
Field Goal % 47.0
(5th)
45.1
(14th)
3-Point % 39.6
(2nd)
39.2
(29th)
Free Throw %
77.8
(10th)
73.9
(3rd)
Turnover %
12.9
(5th)

13.6
(14th)

Assist %
60.5
(9th)
53.97
(3rd)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 102.4
(20th)
99.6
(4th)
Rebound %
25.0
(19th)
76.6
(2nd)
Field Goal % 45.4
(19th)
44.2
(6th)
3-Point % 34.8
(18th)
33.7
(4th)
Free Throw %
76.0
(17th)
75.0
(8th)
Turnover %
13.3
(13th)
14.0
(9th)
Assist %
58.6
(13th)
58.8
(20th)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 37 6
Conference 24 3
Division 6 2
Home 23 2
Away 14 4
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
Gary Neal
George Hill
Antonio McDyess

Record Wins Losses
Overall 28
16
Conference 13 11
Division 5
3
Home 17 4
Away 11 11
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
Marcus Thornton
Jason Smith

Matchup Analysis


Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: Chris Paul has been Chris Paul, although his scoring and FG% are down this year. Tony is having an amazine season, averaging a career high in assists. So even though CFlop gets the spur, Tony has narrowed the gap.

SG: Both Manu and Marco have Italian last names. Otherwise, they're not in the same basketball universe.

SF: Ariza has ankle tendinitis and wasn't supposed to play last night, but did. RJ hasn't been playing great on the offensive end lately; he needs to take advantage of Ariza's ankle and be aggressive.

PF: West is a sweet-shooting PF who rebounds decently. Blair has stopped thinking and just starting ballin'. Welcome back, DeBeast!

C: Okafor is usually good for 10 boards a night. Timmeh flat-out dominated last night.

Bench

We've been missing Matty, and with Cubits hurt, our bench just go really short. The Spurs need to watch out for Marcus Thornton, who's killed us in the past.

Coaching

Monty Williams has done a whale of a job with this team, considering the rumors and roster upheavals at the beginning of the season. Pop gives great interviews on national TV.

Intangibles

This is a SEGABABA for both teams. The Spurs have won 8 in a row - the Hornets, 7. Someone is going to lose their streak tonight.

Mojo

We have Timmeh - they don't.

Prediction

The Bees had an easy game last night - the Spurs didn't. I expect a hard-fought game with the good guys prevailing.

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - Start strong on defense. The Spurs' defense was sketchy in the 1st quarter last night. They need to start out playing intense.

Key 2 -Bench. Tony, Timmeh and Blair played big minutes (for them) last night. The rest of the guys need to step up.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell

Spurs Planet (Anyone remember AusTechSpur? ATS? Wane Vore? This is his site. Go check it out. -jrw)

Project Spurs

Spurs Nation

OPPONENT

At The Hive (SB Nation)

Following Along

TV

CW35 - League Pass is on free preview through Jan. 23rd.

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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