Hornets-Spurs: Wednesday News Wrap

Published: May 7, 2008

Lots to get to as usual. Let's dig right in…

We'll start off with much love for Chris Paul. There was a bunch of stuff posted about CP3 on the interwebs yesterday on account of Chris Paul Blog Day, which was put together real good by At the Hive. You should check out that last link for a comprehensive list of everyone who took part. Here, I'll give you my favorite excerpts from the participants…

With Malice says the NBA's next generation will be special because of Chris Paul…

  • CP3 makes basketball fun for his teammates, and the more successful he is, the greater the chance that the next era of NBA guards will be like him. He's got nothing to do, really, with anyone that has come before him, but he'll have everything to do with what comes after.

An excellent contribution from Hornets Hype

  • It's the funny thing about these superlative New Orleans nights. You know we're so spoiled by Chris Paul that we'll say, "Oh, CP had a crap night — 16 points and 11 assists." And the irony is usually lost on us that most teams' point guards would kill for Chris Paul's crappy night. And it's hard to realize, on a game by game basis, when you're used to seeing it, that what you're watching is the future unfolding. Sometimes you'll get a glimpse, you'll get those shivers. But it's easy to forget that, this year at least, the revolution was not televised. It's easy to forget that what we've felt in flashes, in glimpses? Most of America is just getting it for the first time.

Rob Mahoney does a nice job comparing Chris Paul to Tiger Woods

  • Tiger and Paul both share that sort of intangible fire and drive that not only makes athletes envious, but should make everyone envious. When was the last time you worked at anything as hard as these two play at every possible instance of competition? When was the last time you displayed excellence on par with schooling Tony Parker, the NBA Finals MVP? Or were ambitious enough to imagine something equal to an unprecedented "perfect season" on the PGA Tour?

And here's another comparison post, listing the many similarities between CP and porn star Ron Jeremy

  • Both make players around them look better. You could put me beside Ron Jeremy and even I would look like Fabio out there. Similarly, even Kwame Brown would look like an All-Star next to CP3 (Okay, maybe he'd score double digits. No? FINE, he'd get playing time? This list is falling apart faster than the Spurs).

Fantastic read on CP from 48 minutes of Hell, written by a Spurs fan no less…

  • Despite his diminutive stature, he is made of pure toughness. Like many players, he brings attention to it, through chest pounding and cold-eyed stares, but that is not when it is at its most visible. It’s when he takes that first step toward the lane.

Jim Eichenhofer chimes in with some thoughts on Chris Paul…

  • The team's basketball operations staff raves about the way Paul treats people he encounters on road trips, such as arena workers in other cities. They say that there has been a noticeable change in the way road crowds react to Paul's introduction in the starting lineup this season. He is becoming a well-liked player, not just for his highlight-reel drives and passes, but also because the word is traveling around the league about how he conducts himself away from the game.

None other than Tyson Chandler also contributed to the cause on his blog at NBA.com…

  • I just love how genuine CP is. It's just a combination of things over the last two years that make me really care for the dude like a brother.

    Here's a story for you: My wife always teases him about "CP3". She doesn't call him Chris. She's like, "Hey CP3!" Just messing with him and giving him a hard time.

    So, one time my wife was sick on the road, and he brought her a little note like "I hope you feel better, blah blah blah. Love, CP3"

    It's just little things like that where he takes the time out. He could be a little arrogant prima donna, but he's not in any kind of way. For example: He's going to the zoo with my daughter today, on his birthday. How many NBA All-Stars live like that?

And finally from Chris Paul Blog Day, Ryan McNeill of Hoops Addict reminds us that CP is wicked sexy…

  • I would be remiss to mention his "bedroom eyes" that my girlfriend and countless other females around the globe swoon over. Paul represents the perfect package of skill, basketball IQ and charisma that merge to form a lethal combination which any marketing team, agent or corporation would drool over getting the chance to promote.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg for Chris Paul Blog Day — I haven't even had time to get through it all — so make sure you check out At the Hive for much much more. And thanks to Rohan who did a great job making it all happen. 

Moving on (but not really), Kobe Bryant was officially named MVP yesterday, with Chris Paul coming in second. No surprise there because we all knew it was coming, but finally we got a look at how the voting went: Kobe finished with 1100 total votes, compared to 894 for Paul. Bryant dominated the first-place votes, receiving 82 compared to 28 for CP. In today's Times-Picayune, John Reid has classy reactions to the news from Chris, Byron Scott and Tyson Chandler…

  • "It's a great honor," Paul said Tuesday about Bryant's win. "He deserves it. He had an outstanding year… It's all about winning. The reason I was being mentioned was because our team was doing well. So as long as our team is doing well year in and year out, I'm satisfied with that."
  • "It's been a great battle," Hornets Coach Byron Scott said. "Chris has done himself proud. He's done this organization proud. And like he said the other night, just to be mentioned in that breath when you talk about MVP is an honor. Just turning 23 today, I guess he has a lot more years left in this league hopefully to achieve that goal."
  • "I think they're both deserving of it," Hornets center Tyson Chandler said. "Kobe is definitely deserving. He's been the face of this league for a long time now, and this year I think he really proved that he was the MVP. He carried his team. They finished first in the conference. He did an excellent job. But obviously I'd love to see Chris win it, because I thought he was also deserving."

Among the Hornets-Spurs thoughts from Chris Mannix over at SI.com…

  • If you want to beat New Orleans, you have to be able to shoot the ball. The Hornets double-team everybody. They send two players at Tony Parker when he drives and they don't hesitate to send an extra defender when the ball comes in the post. They would probably double-team Spurs coach Gregg Popovich if the rules permitted.

An excellent article on Byron Scott today by Johnette Howard of Newsday…

  • The longer these playoffs have gone on, the more Scott has been rewriting the book on himself as a terrific coach, and not just a man in the right place at the right time. And the more Kidd has undergone a leaguewide reappraisal as a careerlong coach killer, not just a fading legend. A lot of revisionist history is being written.

    If he cared to, Scott has every right to stand up right now and ask, "So what do you think of Bryon Scott now?" But so far, anyway, he's letting the games talk for him.

Manu Ginobili's analysis of Game 2 in the San Antonio Express-News…

  • "We looked very frustrated at times, because for a moment we were having good looks and couldn't make a shot.

    "Then we saw the game slipping away, sort of the same way as Game 1 in that third quarter, and we changed the way we played. We were not as patient.

    "We took too many shots after one pass, and that’s not who we are. They made us pay again."

Les East focuses on the Hornets underappreciated defense in the Baton Rouge Advocate…

  • Amid all the Chris Paul crossovers, the Tyson Chandler dunks off lobs, the David West mid-range jumpers, and the Peja Stojakovic long-range jumpers, it's easy to overlook just how good the Hornets defense is.

    "Everybody looks at us as a running team," coach Byron Scott said after practice Tuesday, "but we've said from Day 1 that one of our main goals was to be one of the top five defensive teams in the league. We were able to accomplish that and that's why we had the season that we had."

  • "We can still rotate a little bit better at times," Scott said. "We miss our assignments at times. We've had some miscommunications on a couple of occasions. But on the defensive end I'm trying to get our team to play the perfect game. It's probably impossible, but that's at least what we're striving for. So we still feel we can play a little bit better on the defensive end."

Bits and Pieces from Jeff McDonald in the Express-News

  • The Spurs have faced a 2-0 deficit in a seven-game NBA playoff series on five other occasions. They've never recovered to win the series.

    Their most recent attempt came seven years ago, when the Los Angeles Lakers won the first two games of the conference finals en route to a 4-0 sweep.

  • "We can't think that just because we're going home, suddenly we're going to beat them," Parker said. "We have to play better for 48 minutes."
  • "It's about going home and trying to get the first one," Duncan said. "That's the most important thing to come. We can worry about things after that."

In the Times-Picayune, Peter Finney thinks the Spurs are showing signs of surrender, and gives us this quote from Jeff Bower…

  • What Bower saw in Paul was a point guard who made one turnover in almost 41 minutes of playing time. "When you consider the amount of time Chris has the ball in his hands, the decisions he's making," Bower said, "his ratio of turnovers to assists over a very long season has been utterly amazing."

Also in the T-P, John Reid devotes an article to the Hornets impressive play after halftime

  • "It's almost like we're a different team," Chandler said, in regard to the Hornets' production in the second half. "I guess we just focus in and smell blood, and we've been consistent with that. We knew . . . that we would have to use our youth as an advantage. We have to get up and down the court. I don't think we're necessarily in better shape, but we have younger legs, so we get out and run."

Sounds like Shawn Kirsch of Project Spurs has already given up hope against the Hornets, as he looks ahead to the offseason

  • I still like the idea of young legs coming in here, but in San Antonio, you do need something resting atop your neck if you want to get playing time. This offseason, there will be options. The Hornets have shown us, very obviously, that aside from the Big 3, nobody can create anything. J.R. Smith will be available. So will Corey Maggette. These guys can still create.

Byron Scott quoted in USA Today

  • "Our guys have been so active on the defensive end, and the mistakes we've made have been kept to a minimum," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "When you beat the defending champions by 18 and 19 points — No. 1, it shows how good you are as a basketball team. But it also shows people around the league that what we've done this year hasn't been a fluke.

    "We are for real, and we've got a very good basketball team."

Over at FanHouse, Brett Edwards has issues with David West

  • I hate to break it to him, but West is basically the equivalent of the 2004 version of Kenyon Martin, albeit with a slightly better jump shot.
  • So David, how about you just play basketball and leave the trash talking to the professionals? Your team will probably go a lot further if you keep your mouth shut, and you can stop annoying casual Hornets fans who think you're a little too full of yourself for being a one-time, marginal All-Star.

Hardwood Paroxysm disagrees…

  • CP3 is the emotional leader of the Hornets, but somebody's got to protect him. Otherwise… well, let's just say certain point guards get hung out to dry. This is why you hear Charles Barkley saying constantly that if so and so did something like that to his team, he'd let so and so know about it. The Hornets momentum is dependent on an attitude of "We don't give a f*ck." West provides them with that, in spades. If the Spurs try getting hyper-aggressive, West is there to make it clear the Hornets will not be their… ahem… dogs.

Ditto Hornets Hype

  • I certainly don't mind if D West claps in your guy's face, rocks his angry look, taps you, bitchslaps you, or gets real, real close, and talks real sweet and quiet while gazing into your eyes. Because we love it. And since we're the new kid in the playoffs, we need it.

This video clip from WGNO is pretty good. They've got the Hornets dancing to Poison in the locker room after Game 2, and this quote (paraphrased) from sportscaster Damon Darensburg…

  • "True story: at the game last night, it was packed. This guy outside the Arena, he offers me a shrimp po-boy for my ticket. He was like 'I'll give you my shrimp po-boy for your ticket to the game.' I was like, 'Well give me half of it, you can sit there for a quarter.'"

Quick hitters to finish it out…

That'll do. Well, one more thing: In case you missed it, be sure to check out Ryan's post from this morning. It's better than all the other stuff I linked to.

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