Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Hornets

Chuck Cook -US PRESSWIRE

The AT&T center welcomes the New Orleans Hornets

San Antonio Spurs vs New Orleans Hornets

The AT&T Center
Dec.21st, 7:30 Spurs Time
TV: FSNO,SPSO - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

This has been a rough stretch of games for the silver and black. The Spurs lost to some good teams during a brutal road trip. The good news is that the Spurs play a team that is a work in progress.The buzz from the Hornets (that pun was totally lame and totally intentional) has subsided these days. A few sports prognosticators were so bold as to call the Hornets a playoff contender before the start of the season. Well so much for that… Monty Williams' young team should start tanking if they are not already doing so. They own the worst record in the west, and Sacramento plays in the same conference. So yeah. That isn’t to say this team is not interesting though. However what do I know? I admittedly haven’t followed this team since this happened. Because of this lack of knowledge, I decided to talk to a Hornet’s expert. Now I don’t actually know any Hornet’s fans, and I live super far from New Orleans. But there is this hornet’s nest in my neighborhood park. So why not ask a vespine how things are going with Anthony Davis and company? Call this segment "Fraternizing with an Actual Hornet".

Wes from PtR: Well right off the bat, I am going to have to ask that you stop trying to sting my eyeballs. That is a bit scary and makes it hard to conduct an interview. Also your name "the Enraged Agony Inducer" is interesting. I do hope that is like the hornet equivalent of getting a tattoo to look cool amongst other hornets. But anyways on to basketball, you must be excited these days! Anthony Davis is back, and playing at the level most people expected him to. And there are even reports that Eric Gordon will be coming into the mix soon.

The Enraged Agony Inducer: My bad for trying to gouge your eye balls. Old habits die hard and all that. I am a big poser who is trying to look like a badass, is that what you want me to say? Am I excited for Anthony Davis? I am a hornet, so I feel no emotion aside from being perpetually pissed off. Stop being all smug with your backhanded compliments. We suck and you know it, so why don’t you go out and say it?

Wes from PtR: Well I was just trying to be optimistic. Sure this season is not looking so good for your team, but clearly this is a transitional period. In a few years you will almost certainly be in the top tier of the league. If you are tanking which I suspect you are, then that is scary if you pull that off. I can’t imagine another talented young player adding to a roster already loaded with them.

The Enraged Agony Inducer: Do you know anything about hornets? I am a worker hornet which means I have a life expectancy of less than a year. In fact I will probably soon snuff it, as all my friends have bit the dust. So you say "a few years", as if that means anything to me.

Wes from PtR: Oh man my bad, um so that Portland game was a close one eh? That must have been exciting.

The Enraged Agony Inducer: Yeah that was f***ing brilliant. We lost, you snide prat. And you just called me "man" but I am in fact a woman. That is the reason why I have this righteous blade of fury attached to my posterior. (She displays her massive stinger in a threatening manner.)

Wes from PtR: Are you from England or something? You seem to be using a lot of British slang.

The Enraged Agony Inducer: How can I be from England? Have you ever seen a hornet fly across an ocean?

Wes from PtR: Well now that you mention it… no not really. So I heard that your team's ownership is going to change their name to Pelicans, which means Charlotte will change their name back to the Hornets. Are you excited about the move?

The Enraged Agony Inducer: Yeah sure super excited. They got the number two draft pick last year, that is way better than the number one pick.

Wes from PtR: Anyways um how about Austin Rivers what do you think about his development?

The Enraged Agony Inducer: He is a worthless draft bust who is riding on the coat tails of his successful father.

Wes from PtR: Well that is a bit harsh. I personally think while Austin might not be the instant "just add water" superstar like Antony Davis, he has a bright future in the association.

The Enraged Agony Inducer: Sure I should really care about that praise coming from someone from who confused Serge Ibaka with Kendrick Perkins.

Wes from PtR: Well it was late, and… wait how does a Hornet use a computer?

The Enraged Agony Inducer: I get it, because of my brain size I must not have the mental faculty to sharpen a pencil. Does that about sum up your prejudiced outlook on me and my fellow hornets?

Wes from PtR: Actually I was going to say because you don’t have fingers…

(At this point the Enraged Agony Inducer starts attacking my face.)

Wes from PtR: Whoa chill out, I was just stating the obvious. Someone is insecure.

The Enraged Agony Inducer: Sorry once again that is an old habit.

Wes from PtR: It’s cool. So like are you interested in how the Spurs are doing this year?

The Enraged Agony Inducer: Not at all.

Wes from PtR: It’s just that we are doing pretty well… Timmeh is playing out of this world basketball, our rookie guard Nando is showing promise, and…

The Enraged Inducing Hornet: Look not to be rude, but I really don’t care.

Wes from PtR: Um any predictions for the game?

The Enraged Agony Inducer: Yeah you aren’t going to be able to watch it because you will be lying in a hospital bed blind, and reeling from my crew’s assault. This whole interview I have been spraying you with a pheromone that is like crack to any hornet within miles.

Wes from PtR: So that’s what that smell was um I should get running…. later on.

Game Analysis:

There are many reasons why the Hornets are scraping at the bottom of the league, and the Spurs are going to exploit those reasons. That being said the Hornets are not a horrible basketball squad. Their record is not indicative of their talent (raw as it might be). Most of those losses occurred while Anthony Davis was sitting on the bench in a suit. And some of those losses occurred while Greivis Vasquez was briefly injured. Greivis Vasquez is fast, skilled and tall for a point guard. He will be difficult to guard and can put pressure on perimeter shooters. Anthony Davis is a future MVP. So Duncan vs. Davis the sequel will be fun to watch again. Austin Rivers is streaky and could make life difficult for our guards, or he could do nothing the whole game. There is also Ryan Anderson to contend with. But honestly the Hornets are not deep enough to handle the diverse amount of rotations that Pop throws on the floor as if he is some kind of mad scientist looking for the magic formula. So the Spurs will likely bounce back from a rough string of losses. It sure is good to be home.

* Spurs record since Restgate 6-4, before Restgate 13-3

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Gary Neal
SF: Danny Green
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
Manu Ginobili
Boris Diaw
Stephen Jackson

Head Coach
Gregg Popovich

Lineups

Starters
PG: Greivis Vasquez
SG: Austin Rivers
SF: Lance Thomas
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Robin Lopez

Key Bench Players
Ryan Anderson
Dominic McGuire
Roger Mason


Head Coach

Monty Williams

The New Orleans Hornet's perspective can be found here: At The Hive

San Antonio Spurs Tickets

Our partner TiqIQ has teamed up with SeatCrunch to bring you great deals on Spurs tickets. Use the code 'SAVE' for free FedEx shipping (or equal $14 value). Check out the deals here, at SeatCrunch

Game Prediction:Spurs by 5

Game Previewers Prediction Records & points off per prediction

Wes Thorne 7-1* (-1, 0, 23, 2, -8*,1, 28, 10) *@MIA

Joe deLarios 6-2 (-1, 3, 5, 0, 1, 6,-11, -3)

Racm 1-3 (-25, -14, -5, 15)

Stijl 1-1 (-12, 11)

Fred 1-2 (3,-8)

CapHill 1-0 (13)

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and 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.

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