Hornets-Spurs Game 2 Aftermath: Tuesday news wrap

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Published: May 6, 2008

Game 2 is in the books, the Hornets won again in a blowout, and everybody in the world is talking about it today. Here's the latest from around the web.

Quotes lifted from the AP recap of Game 2…

  • "These are some of the best moments, I think, of my life that we're experiencing right now," Paul said. "We're just riding a wave right now."
  • "We're definitely a little shocked," Spurs forward Kurt Thomas said. "You can't take anything away from them. They are playing extremely well. If one person's not going, someone else is stepping up."
  • "It's just frustrating losing. That's the biggest thing," Duncan said. "They've obviously done an excellent job defensively, frustrating all of us with their double-teaming, with their shifting. … It seems like they come the other way and they're not missing shots. That stacked on top of each other just makes the whole game very frustrating."
  • "I am proud of way our team has played. … We've had a heck of season. We've still got a lot of people out there that doubt us. I think that's what fuels these guys. We've been proving people wrong all season," Hornets coach Byron Scott said.

    "We've got a young bunch of guys that are very, very hungry and they're playing right now for respect more than anything … because there's not a lot of people out there who feel we have a real good shot of winning this series."

Jim Eichenhofer checks in over at The Official with his usual game recap, giving us performance notes on each Hornet yesterday…

  • Peja Stojakovic: He's had a great 10-year NBA career, but is playing so well right now that you have to say this is the best he's ever performed in the playoffs. He looks like he’s turned back the clock about five years. His decisiveness on three-point attempts has been there all postseason, resulting in 24-for-39 shooting from beyond the arc.

J.A. Adande is all aboard the New Orelans bandwagon parade float at ESPN's Daily Dime

  • The next natural skeptical step is to wonder if the Hornets can do this on the road. But it's time to stop doubting and start believing.

More from Adande, who was in New Orleans last night to see just how mean Chris Paul is between the lines…

  • For the captains' meeting before the game, Paul greeted Tim Duncan and Tony Parker with big hugs. Official Dick Bavetta wanted a hug, too, so Paul showed him some love. But during the game he scowled at the officials when they let him get roughed up without blowing the whistle. He glared at Chandler when Chandler let Duncan get free for a layup. He gave a quick "gotcha" look to Bruce Bowen after hitting a 3-pointer in Bowen's face.

Tom Planchet quotes Charles Barkley from last night…

  • "The past has nothing to do with the present. The reason I think New Orleans is going to win is they're just the better team. These guys are better defensively. They are so active. Chandler is everywhere. David West had a terrible game and they didn't even miss him. We've been sleeping on them all year." 

My main man DJ Toney Blare has the usual entertaining recap over at SLAMonline. From his notebook…

  • CP3 wants Bowen bad. Every time they face off, Chris bucks and bumps, flails his arms, and then when he scores this time, to make it 54-47, he sticks his tongue out at Bowen quickly, avoiding a tech but really taunting ol' boy. I mean, he really hates him.
  • The crowd stands for most of the last 5 minutes. This place gets louder and louder and is flat out not the same arena as it was in November. Hard to overestimate.
  • In the locker room, Bonzi is clowning Mike James for his belt buckle, which reads "Fighter." "What's that say, Mike? 'Tighter?'" Which is a good name for a belt buckle, really.

Henry Abbott has a bunch of Game 2 notes over at TrueHoop. Among them…

  • The Hornets with Tyson Chandler on the floor were +35 tonight. That's 27 minutes of premium game time when the defending champions were absolutely killed. Chandler — once considered something of a bust in Chicago — is playing splendid basketball at both ends of the floor. Everyone in the NBA has always wondered what it is you can do to limit the effectiveness of Tony Parker's penetration. The answer, it turns out, is to have Tyson Chandler on your team. The only time Parker ever got a halfway decent look at the rim was when Chandler was benched. Also, did you notice that Chandler was a peacemaker several times when players were a little heated?
  • Chris Paul is working mind games on the Spurs. Bruce Bowen is physical and at times dirty. But Paul is setting traps for him — looking for every opportunity to make a big fuss of getting himself hit, run into, and knocked over. And it's working. Not only are the Hornets getting some calls Spur opponents usually don't get, but the Spurs are, at times, devolving into whine-a-palooza.

From the game notes over at the Courtside Live blog…

  • It is just the fourth time in Spurs playoff franchise history that San Antonio has lost the opening two games of the conference semifinals (19 total appearances)… the Spurs have never come back to win a series after being down 2-0.

Bits and pieces from John Reid's cover story in the Times-Picayune…

  • West had many of the same looks that he had Saturday night, but often his mid-range jumper bounced off the rim, and he could not convert on several of his driving shots.
  • The Hornets wanted to keep Duncan from getting to his desired spots in the post area, and he was a non-factor after the Hornets made their decisive third-quarter run. The Hornets outscored the Spurs 60-41 in the second half, and Duncan only made two of six shots. 

Nakia Hogan has Duncan commenting on his performance in Game 2

  • "Not a whole lot different [from Game 1]," said Duncan, who was 6-of-11 from the field. "They did a great job of double-teaming me. They limited my shots. I got a couple things to fall for me. That was about the only difference. But I didn't have any stretches where I was extremely effective for periods. I had exactly the opposite, stretches where I wasn't.

    "I need to take those out and make sure I am being effective a lot longer and be able to move the ball. And if they are going to double-team be able to find our shooters and get better shots for us."

Morris Peterson was the key player last night according to the San Antonio Express-News…

  • With the Spurs finally getting David West under some semblance of control, holding him to 10 points on 2-for-11 shooting, New Orleans' Morris Peterson had a nearly perfect game. With Spurs defensive ace Bruce Bowen again checking Chris Paul, the 6-foot-7 Peterson took advantage of 6-foot-3 Tony Parker. He made all five of his shots in the first three quarters. Peterson's lone 3-pointer was exquisitely timed, swinging the momentum in the third period. That shot, with 10:20 left in the quarter, put the Hornets on top by seven. After the Spurs scored on three-straight possessions, he nailed another 20-footer.

Seems almost every question from the media is a stupid question if you're Gregg Popovich (just ask Alejandro!). Gotta love this though: Here's an exchange he had with a reporter at shoot around yesterday…

  • Reporter: "Will you try to change up your defenses on David West a little tonight?"

    Popovich: "We're probably going to do four or five things you've never seen before in basketball."

    Reporter: "I sense sarcasm."

    Popovich: "You sense correctly. We're going to spend the afternoon re-inventing the light bulb. Those CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs)? There are a lot of people who have problems with them, so we're going to think of something different."

    Reporter: "Might you try to use (Bruce) Bowen on David tonight?"

    Popovich: "That's a good idea. Look at this guy right here. He's got all kinds of ideas. Let's do that. What's (West) going to do? Get 30? Let's put Bruce on him. What's Bruce weigh? About 90 pounds? He'll just knock the shit out of him."

Make room for Stan McNeal of SportingNews.com

  • I'm still not ready to give up on the San Antonio Spurs, but I am due — make that overdue — to buy into the Chris Paul show. How is the weather in New Orleans in mid-June, anyway? The way Paul has performed in the playoffs, he could be playing deep into the spring. He is no worse than the third-best player in the game after Kobe and LeBron. And maybe that's a spot low for Paul.

Jeff McDonald tells us how Manu Ginobili responded to questions about the Game 2 loss…

  • "If you replay my answers from Game 1, it's the same answers tonight," Ginobili said.

Also in the Express-News, Mike Finger writes that Tim Duncan desperately needs help from his teammates if the Spurs hope to win the series…

  • Rarely in his career has Duncan looked this frustrated, this powerless, this out of sync, in back-to-back games. If it hasn't been because of a reported illness — one he refused to acknowledge after Monday's game — it's been because of too-short jump hooks and the long arms and double-teams of the Hornets.

You gotta respect Timmy for downplaying that illness. It would be easy for him to blame his woes on whatever is ailing him, but when asked about his health in the post-game press conference, he responded with just two words: "I'm fine." Ditto for Popovich, who had the floowing to say after Game 2: "No injuries, we're healthy. No excuses."

Buck Harvey wants to see much more from Manu Ginobili

  • Manu Ginobili doesn't have to be good now. He has to be better than that.

    He has to become what he was earlier in the season. He has to be what he was the last time the Spurs beat the Hornets, and before he landed badly in the Phoenix series.

    Against these Hornets, good isn’t good enough.

A great story from on David West today in the Newark Star-Ledger: Dave D'Alessandro tells us how West was ready to give up on basketball when he moved to North Carolina as a teenager, but Eddie Gray, his high school coach, refused to let him walk away. My favorite part of the article is this quote from Gray…

  • "We had one rule that year: If you didn't pass the ball to David, you didn't play. That was our offense. And man, he hated to lose. … But David was a dream."

From the Elias box over at ESPN.com's Hornets page

  • Chris Paul had 30 points and 12 assists in the Hornets' Game Two win over the Spurs. He's the first player in 13 years to score at least 30 points and record 10-or-more assists in a postseason game against San Antonio. The last player to do that was Houston's Sam Cassell on May 30, 1995. Over the last two regular seasons only one player had a 30/10 (points/assists) versus the Spurs and he did it in an overtime game: Baron Davis (34 and 14) on January 7, 2008.

Charley Rosen has in-depth analysis of yesterday's game. Dude must have been up all night rolling back the tape and counting on his fingers…

  • For the game, Duncan was doubled 21 times in the pivot. The result was 4 points scored by the Spurs and 2 turnovers created by the Hornets. That's because the Spurs' shooting woes continued — 42.5 percent from the field, including only 29.6 percent from 3-land.

    But Pop had other adjustments to try. Duncan spent most of the game above the foul line. He executed three handoffs, three reversal passes, set 15 screens, scored once on a screen/roll, and shot 0-3 from the high-post.

John DeShazier's thoughts in the Times-Picayune…

  • The Hornets actually are behaving like the playoff kids they are, no matter how much they'd rather not see or hear something like that written or said about them.

    They're refusing to share their shiny, new toy — the national spotlight. They've been terrible about deferring to the older kids on the playground. They're filled with so much adrenaline it looks like a sugar rush. They keep sticking their hands near the flames, even though everyone warns them the postseason is hot and the careless will get burned.

    And given the results, we hope they never grow up.

Also in the T-P, Teddy Kider has Byron Scott's thoughts on another impressive crowd last night…

  • "I'm getting used to this, to be honest with you," Scott said. "This is something that we expect now. Earlier in the season, you know, being disappointed in November and December because we weren't getting the type of support that we felt we should be getting, and we had a pretty good team out there. But like I said, since 2008, it's been unbelievable. So I think everybody, from the players to the coaches, we expect when we walk out there that the fans are going to be incredible."

Shawn Kirsch checks in from Project Spurs, and he foresees the series getting more physical as we move to San Antonio…

  • Some dicey moments have arisen in the first two games, and I will confidently say, before we come back to New Orleans for game 5, somebody will have been suspended, and their logo will probably have an insect on it. So far, everything has been broken up quickly, but emotions are running high, and I think David West is approaching a breaking point.

Another Spurs blogger, Matthew Powell, thinks his team stinks

  • Trimethylaminuria, folks. Trimethylaminuria.  It's a rare metabolic disorder that prevents the proper catabolism pf tremethylamine. The result is a faint to very strong, pervasive fish odor. The sufferer could bathe five times a day and still smell like rotting fish.

    It reminds me of most of the Spurs supporting cast.

This sad and fictional news might ease Matthew's pain…

  • The Spurs lost more than just a game Saturday. While leaving the court following a 101-82 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio forward Matt Bonner suffered a fractured left ankle and was euthanized just outside of the team's locker room.

Over at the X's and O's of Basketball, Bruchu says the Hornets are the best team in the playoffs right now, and has words and video to back it up…

  • The Spurs are trying so hard to get their scores, while the Hornets are scoring so effortlessly. And I don't think it's so much that the Spurs are playing bad defense, or that the Spurs offense is particularly bad. It's just that the Hornets are playing at such a high level both on offense and defense that they're on a whole other level right now skill wise than everyone else. 

A great blog entry here from a dude named Brian McCormick, who says Hornets GM Jeff Bower deserves high praise for putting this New Orleans team together…

  • Bower never did anything noteworthy enough to win an award. However, he built a franchise which has a chance to compete for the NBA championship for the next five years, as Paul and Wright have yet to reach their prime, West and Chandler have just hit theirs and Peja is still at the end of his. If he continues to make savvy moves and stays true to his method, the Hornets are poised to be one of the top organizations into the next decade.

Via BallHype, here's video of Manu Ginobili taking his frustration out on the towel boy last night. Head up, Towel Boy. You're doing a great job out there with the toweling and such.

And finally, let's say happy 23rd birthday to Chris Paul, and point you in the direction of At the Hive for Chris Paul Blog Day. Everyone's chipping in with appreciation for our own CP3, even Ryan here at the 247.

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