Five Things to Look For While we LiveBlog the Opener

Published: October 28, 2009

Opening Night!  I might need to wear a bib to handle all my anticipatory drool for the game.  Anyways, it’s a new season, so we’re going to try something new tonight.  I’ll be co-hosting a LiveBlog with at least one of our good buddies over at the Truehoop Network’s Spurs Blog 48 Minutes of Hell.  We’ll be kicking it off between 7:00 and 7:30 CST, so stop by, ask questions, gloat, groan, mock the other teams many foibles and mistakes in front of their fans, and generally have a good time.

For those of you who have read this blog for some time, typically you’d expect a matchup breakdown between the Spurs and Hornets before the game.  However, I just did that a few posts ago, so instead I’ll post five things you can look for in tonight’s game:

  1. The Hornets first set play will be a post-up for Emeka Okafor.  This is more a hunch than a fact since Okafor hasn’t played yet, but I still feel comfortable making the prediction. Byron Scott is a firm believer that he should get his teams 3rd scorer established and carrying the load early, so West and Paul can save themselves for the finish.  He used to start every game with a post up for Desmond Mason in OKC, and the last couple years Peja typically had plays run for him to start the game.  It’s now Okafor’s turn to try and slot into that role.

  1. I don’t expect to see much time for the rookies.  Byron is going to be Byron, and veteran guard Mo Pete will get the chance to start the first ten games or so and prove his worth before being yanked.(not to include the fact I think Peterson is being showcased) Bobby Brown also appears to have locked up the backup point guard role over Darren Collison.
  2. Don’t confuse Bobby Brown for Jannero Pargo.  Yes, he’ll take every shot he encounters, freely and happily like Pargo.  However, Pargo was a savvy, quick and determined defender.  Bobby Brown appears to be like a mosquito:  foiled by a simple screen.  I kid you not.  In the pre-season, when teams give his man a high pick, Brown was pretty much out of the play.  Maybe we’ll see more determination in the regular season, but somehow, I doubt it.
  3. You will see at least one surprising pass by Darius Songaila.  The guy has good instincts there.  He may not be able to dribble or rebound, but he can pass, shoot, and play hard.  I had missed big men capable of hitting cutters with bounce passes more than I knew.  I was smiling like a fool during the pre-season when Songaila was picking them out.
  4. Hilton Armstrong will turn the ball over at least once tonight.  Now, Hilton did show increased rebounding ability during the pre-season, snagging a slightly above average 16% of rebounds – and he showed his typical surprising ability to score around the basket, to the point the Clippers announcers were laughing in astonishment while calling him a scoring machine.  That was all nice, but as usual it was mitigated by Armstrong still  managing to turn the ball over at an incredible rate.  Some things never change, no matter how much you wish they would.

I wanted to say something about Julian Wright, but if I could make accurate predictions about what he was going to do, I’d have been able to sell before the Stock Market tanked.

Hope to chat with you tonight, or alternatively, Niall hopes to see you at Willy’s.

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