Game On: Spurs @ Hornets

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Published: November 28, 2010

San Antonio Spurs (13-2) at New Orleans Hornets (12-3)

Offensive Efficiency Ratings: Hornets 106.6 (15th) Spurs 111.5 (2nd)

Defensive Efficiency Ratings: Hornets 100.6 (2nd) Spurs: 103.3 (9th)

The Spurs and Hornets battle for first place in the Southwest division today as the Hornets play their first home game in over a week. The Hornets come into the game at 12-3, having just snapped their two-game losing streak Friday night against the Blazers. That same night the San Antonio Spurs lost their first game since the Hornets went into San Antonio and defeated them 99-90 back on October 30th.

Before Friday nights loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs were the hottest team in the league, winning twelve straight and outscoring opponents by an average of nearly 9 PPG over that span. Manu Ginobili has started off the season remarkably well, averaging a career high 21.5 PPG while shooting a career high 47.4% from the field and 40.4% from three.

Another streak is guaranteed to come to an end as well today as the Hornets enter the game as the last undefeated team at home and the Spurs are the last undefeated team on the road. Defensively, the Hornets have yet to allow 100 points in a game at home (except to Cleveland- 42) and on the offensive end,  are shooting nearly 48% from the field on their home rims.

What the Hornets Need to Do on Offense:

Point blank, the Spurs do not have an answer for Chris Paul or David West. In their first meeting CP3 scored 25 points and generally controlled the flow of the game. The Spurs don’t have the athletes needed to get the ball out of Chris Paul’s hand and rarely trap CP3 coming off the pick and roll. As for David West, nobody on their roster can cover him straight up. When Tim Duncan is on West, look for him to fade out to the perimeter to draw Duncan out. From there he can either shoot the mid range jumper off the pick and pop or drive on Duncan when the Hornets isolate him on the wing or at the top of the circle.

While the two Hornets mainstays both had efficient games last time out against the Spurs, only two other Hornets scored in double figures- Willie Green (12) and Marcus Thornton (17). While Willie Green figures to play a big part again, Marcus Thornton’s minutes have bee drastically reduced since the October 30th meeting when he played thirty. Recently, he has been given spot minutes and has been a part of the Hornets three guard lineup, but there is no guarantee he will play today.

Thornton’s 17 points were huge last time and there is no question New Orleans would have lost that game without them. San Antonio’s defense is not what it used to be, but it can still lock up and get a series of stops in short bursts. When the Hornets were dragging offensively early in the fourth quarter and were in danger of giving up the lead, Thornton stepped up big by either assisting on or scoring 4 of the 5 baskets New Orleans scored before CP3 re-entered the game. If Thornton doesn’t fill that role tonight, somebody else will have to step up.

What the Hornets Need to Do on Defense:

This is where the game will be won or lost for the Hornets tonight. New Orleans comes into the game first in the NBA in points allowed, giving up just 91.1 PPG and allowing teams to shoot just 43% from the field. Meanwhile, the Spurs enter third in the league in scoring at 107.1 PPG and shoot nearly 47% from the field. In their first game, the Hornets did a fantastic job on the Spurs until San Antonio went on their fourth quarter run.

New Orleans played Tim Duncan straight up for the most part and limited him to just 7 points on 2 of 10 shooting. Manu scored 23 points but was just 2 for 11 from the three-point line, which as Joe documented in his latest post, three-point defense has been one of New Orleans’ biggest strengths this year. The third man in San Antonio’s Big Three, Tony Parker, was fairly silent as well, scoring just 13 points, and more importantly, only got to the free throw line three times.

The Spurs were actually most effective when Duncan and Parker were out of the game in the fourth quarter. With a lineup of George Hill, Gary Neal, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, and Dejuan Blair the Spurs went on a 28-13 run that reduced an 18 point lead down to 3 with just over two minutes to play. That lineup gave the Hornets problems, much like the Dallas small ball lineup did, because it had multiple ball handlers on the court that were able to get out on the break off of Hornets misses or penetrate the lane on half court possessions. If that happens again, expect to see a lineup with CP3, Jack, and Willie Green all on the court at the same time.

Lastly, the Hornets need to control the defensive boards against San Antonio. Of primary concern are Dejuan Blair and Tim Duncan, who average a combined 5 offensive rebounds per game. In the last meeting the Spurs ripped down 11 offensive rebounds, but that is not bad if you take into consideration that they missed 52 shots. Another defensive effort like that should result in another Hornets victory and a spot atop the Southwest division standings.

Gameday Banner

Once again, the fabulous Gameday banner has been provided by Darius Ejkiewicz. Amazing work.

Vegas Zone

The Hornets are favorites, but it is close as Vegas only gives them a 1 point edge in this game against San Antonio. Remarkably both teams come into this game an identical 9-5-1 against the spread this season. The over/under is 194, which means Vegas expects this game to be a lower scoring game, which should favor the Hornets.

71% of those betting are taking San Antonio +1 and 71% are taking the under in this game as well. I agree with one of those as I expect both teams to come out kind of lackadaisical in this Sunday afternoon game, with the Hornets winning an ugly game 96-91.

NBA 2K11 Sim

And of course the 2K Sim completely disagrees with me.

Pre- Game/ In-Game

Chat it up right here during the game. Hornets go for division lead as the Saints fans root for Ravens and Packers victories as well. Hopefully by night fall, New Orleans sports fans will have two division leaders.

New Orleans Sports Joke of the Day

Guy #1: I think I am going to get make a Fathead of the LSU football coach and sell it to people so they can stick that on the side of their car?

Guy #2: Why do you think people would buy that?

Guy #1: Who wouldn’t want their car to have Les Miles on it?

69 Comments

  1. mbdtf

    November 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I’m pumped for this one! Like you said, the game will either be won or lost on the defensive end for the Hornets. It should be interesting to see how many minutes Thornton gets, since he had such a big impact the last time we played them.

    Also, 2K is clueless.

  2. QueenBee

    November 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Hornets if you’re reading this DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, let Matt Bonner hang around the 3 point line firing up 3’s. Don’t let any other Spur do that either but Matt Bonner’s only role in the Spurs lineup is to hang behind the 3 point line and fire away.

    Also, REBOUND, REBOUND, REBOUND. And DEFEND, DEFEND, DEFEND.

  3. Schmide234

    November 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Im expecting the hive to be CRAZY. if it isnt i will be disappointed. this is a big game for us and will show we rnt going to have a slump where we start losing a bunch of games. if we win this we have to be considered the second best and maybe best overall team in the west.

  4. 42

    November 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Cavs got over 100 in New Orleans. You must’ve starting drinking early for that game, eh, since you were there? I don’t blame you one bit.

    • Michael McNamara

      November 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      Nice catch- I didn’t count that one since it was garbage time points, but you are right sir.

      • 42

        November 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm

        Hey, I’m fine with that. Wopner overrules me!

        I agree it was in garbage time and we were just trying to run the clock, but they did get to within 3, I think. Given that they got to within a stop/empty+possession of a tie, however, it did cause some sphincter tightening.

  5. ChrisTrewdotCom

    November 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I have to go to the bank tomorrow and the Hornets are 4-0 against the Spurs when I go to the bank the next day. I know this because he is a Spurs fan and rubbed that playoff series in my face. I’ll get him yet!

  6. HiMyNameisSteven

    November 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    im back and with a prediction…. hornets 103-92

    • HiMyNameisSteven

      November 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      uhhh lightning only strikes once i guess

  7. 42

    November 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    This damned game.

    No wonder people who rely on such things to figure out trades, etc. are completely out to lunch . . . garbage in, garbage out.

    It’s not this game, it’s all the games. It’s just a button you can press that says `Hornets lose.’ Hell, I don’t need a game for that.

    If we want to be charitable, we can say that the game can’t account for Monty, both his costs and his benefits, and that Monty is really what is allowing Chris, D, etc. to let their good karate out. Oh, and defense, which apparently the game guys don’t get based on an inkling I have about the average of the opponents’ scores in the absolute sense.

  8. cro_CP3

    November 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    If the Hornets play on the defensive end like they are playing it this season and we only secure the defensive boards and if they stop Duncan, I like the odds of NOLA beating the arch rivals Spurs…

  9. mbdtf

    November 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    D West feeling it!

  10. cro_CP3

    November 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Nice start, already forced 3 TO’s, defense and nice pick and roll offense leading to a Spurs timeout…

  11. peronas

    November 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Ugh seeing paul on the floor underneath the basket with duncan jumping all around is terrifying. Thank god Duncan didn’t land on him.

    • cro_CP3

      November 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm

      I saw the same thing peronas, it was ugly but lucky nothing happened…

  12. pinoyballah

    November 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    we on fiyah

  13. pinoyballah

    November 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    surprised how fast thornton is in.

    also, im glad green doesnt handle the more anymore. just shoot.

    • pinoyballah

      November 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      more=ball

  14. cro_CP3

    November 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Monty Williams is the man, he put Ariza on Bonner, good job coach…

  15. Schmide234

    November 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    THORNTON HAS MADE AN APPEARANCE!!!

  16. Pingback: New Orleans Hornets vs. San Antonio Spurs in-game updates – NOLA.com | San Antonio News & Views

  17. peronas

    November 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Team seems focused and locked in for the most part on both ends. Loving it so far. Gotta keep it up the rest of the game.

  18. cro_CP3

    November 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Marcus are you kidding me, playing like LeBron out there…Nice…

  19. peronas

    November 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    WOOOOO!!! That was pretty.

  20. cro_CP3

    November 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Okafor OWNED Manu WOW…

  21. mbdtf

    November 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    This is the most energy that I’ve seen the Hornets play with in a really long time!

  22. JCS

    November 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Tiago spends half his time laying on the ground…just like my cat, Tiago 😛

  23. cro_CP3

    November 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  24. Nik

    November 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    we are exploding all over the spurs…

    • Schmide234

      November 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      dirty

    • JCS

      November 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      You need to end those kind of sentences with “no brokeback.”

      • 42

        November 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

        What have you done in your life to constantly have to qualify your sexual orientation to the point of proactively qualifying others’ comments, of which you have knowledge of intent?

  25. Schmide234

    November 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Ariza is showing why we traded for him in the last two games or so. if Ariza starts to contribute as well we will most certainly have a dominate team

  26. JCS

    November 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Gino is starting to look like the Michael Jordan of Argentina. Can anyone stop him?

  27. eric

    November 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    i thank god for everyday we have bellinelli and not juju the stallion is runnin wild behind the line whoooooo

  28. Forever504

    November 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    ok guys we are getting a little sloppy here

  29. mbdtf

    November 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    So basically the Spurs don’t miss shots anymore.

  30. Schmide234

    November 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    O_O

  31. Adzs-London bee

    November 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Need to get some hands in their faces man jheeze!

  32. NOLA ALL DAY

    November 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    im disgusted

  33. HiMyNameisSteven

    November 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    wow they are way better than us i have to admit

    • JCS

      November 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      Didn’t we win the first 3 quarters?

      • QueenBee

        November 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm

        And didn’t we beat them once already this season? The fact is the Hornets should’ve wanted it more. They didn’t. The Spurs did.

      • 42

        November 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm

        No. Leading after 3. Only won 2.

  34. mbdtf

    November 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Well, I can’t watch anymore. 1st half was one of the best halves I’ve seen the Hornets play in a while. 2nd half was awful in every sense of the word. Way too many turnovers, bad defense , and quite possibly the best shooting performance in a half by the Spurs I have ever seen. I haven’t checked the numbers, but it was something incredible.

  35. Go Blue

    November 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    This is ridiculous in so many ways. Wish I didn’t even watch this game.

  36. NOLA ALL DAY

    November 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Hornets arent going anywhere if they let teams back in the game like this. Absolutely unexceptable, very pissed off right now, probably wont watch game vs OKC tommorow. whats the point, just gonna get me in a bad mood.

  37. rm

    November 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Monty doesn’t trust his bench.

    Monty going small doesn’t work.

    Hornets so need a big bruiser.

    Hornets need a consistent shooter.

    • JCS

      November 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      His bench doesn’t have the chemistry of Pops bench. It’s just what happens when you haven’t been playing with one another for an extended period of time.

      • 42

        November 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm

        Exactly wrong. Check the box score.

  38. QueenBee

    November 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    This is a damn shame. The Hornets had a nice lead at halftime and stayed in the locker room for the rest of the game. What a shame.

  39. Go Blue

    November 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    We missed how many lay-ups? I hope the game at OKC tomorrow is be than this. And I hope we never go small again, after this performance.

  40. QueenBee

    November 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    With the chance to up 2-0 on the Spurs even though we would’ve had the same record we would have been on top of them. Did they even know this? Did they even care? Did the Spurs care more? SMH.

    • JCS

      November 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      I think everyone knew. The winner of this game would be 1st in the league, no doubt.

      • QueenBee

        November 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

        Yeah, look like everyone on the Spurs knew. It’s like the Hornets thought their first half lead would be enough.

  41. Go Blue

    November 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    is better**

  42. thekeymaster

    November 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    wow, what a pathetic 2nd half performance. why did monty wait so long to put the starters back in? also could the refs have been more one sided.

  43. rm

    November 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    For me Thornton shows more than Bellinelli.
    Hornets need someone who can knock down a consistent 3.
    Smith seems to have lost his way.
    Green looked good in the first. Bad in the second.

  44. Nik

    November 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    prrrtty drunkk righy now and jusa gonna drinl som more

  45. Hornet

    November 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Where’d Chris Paul go?

  46. QueenBee

    November 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    After while Utah is going to have a better record than the Hornets too. This effing sucks. I swear.

  47. QueenBee

    November 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I had 3 tickets and gave them away to some relatives in town otherwise I would have gone but I must say the crowd sucked. The d*mn Superdome is full every week and even on a Sunday when the Saints don’t play, the Hornets can’t even get a third of the amount of people that run to the Superdome. I’m pissed all around.

  48. QueenBee

    November 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Last year the Hornets didn’t reach their 12th win until 12/18/09 (with a win against Denver). And when they did reach 12 wins, they were still a game under .500. Somehow that’s not making me feel good right now though.

    • JCS

      November 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      Last was an abomination starting with game #10.

  49. George

    November 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I think Demps needs to get aggressive and start looking for the next trade, because the bench has needs a backup small forward that can defend adequately and produce on offense, so we don’t have to use the three guard lineup. If not a small forward, we need a backup center who protect the paint and give us some more rebounds (good offensive rebounder would be great). Which players could we send off in a package and who should we target?

    • NOLABanks96

      November 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      I think we shud target for the Center position:
      Deandre Jordan – Clippers
      Brandon Wright – GSW
      Nazr – Bobcats
      Sam Dalembert – SAC
      Jason Thompson – SAC

  50. NOLABanks96

    November 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Alright Dell, its time to make a trade… FOR AN IMPACT PLAYER! Give the Grizz a call and get OJ

    • ollie

      November 28, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      do u mean the rich mans version of jerryd bayless?

  51. QueenBee

    November 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    This team puts me in a really bad mood when they lose games. I shouldn’t be so attached. LOL.

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