3-on-3: Previewing Spurs @ Hornets

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Published: January 23, 2012

James Herbert joins our writers in taking a closer look at tonight’s matchup between the Hornets and Spurs.

Jarrett Jack went more than a few rows deep in search of a loose ball last game

James Herbert is the producer of HoopSpeak Live (where he also posts the Daily Peep), a writer for Hardwood Paroxysm, and a twitter monster @OutsideTheNBA.

Other tidbits– Chris Paul is buying Avril Lavigne’s old house, Xavier Henry will play tonight, Will Hibert has some followup on what I said about Eric Gordon’s knee cap supposedly being fractured, Ryan and Mike had another sweet podast, Mason makes his ESPN TrueHoop debut, and GO TO THE GAME TONIGHT.

1. Which matchup most favors the Spurs?

Michael McNamara: The head coaching matchup. Look, I love Monty and I believe his future is bright, but Pop is still the master and we all witnessed that last year when these two faced off last year, and Monty would be the first one to admit that. Popovich is doing an outstanding job in this wacky season, as he is showing confidence in his entire roster, and they have responded by playing above their talent level.

Ryan Schwan: I could say SG, since a stone can outplay Belly at this point, but I’ll be more interesting than that and go with Point Guard.  Jarrett Jack is playing well, but Tony Parker is the forgotten all-star point guard in this league.  He’s deadly off the pick and roll – which happens to be Jarrett Jack’s achilles heel defensively.  Parker’s going to hurt the Hornets.

James Herbert: Point guard. I love Jack as much as anybody, but Parker has been killing it. With Manu out, he’s had to shoulder a lot more of the load on offense. More work for him, sure, but it’s also more work for Jack on the defensive end. It will be difficult for to contribute as much as he normally does offensively while using so much energy trying to stay in front of Parker.

2. Which matchup most favors the Hornets?

McNamara: Is having home court a matchup? If it is, I will say that. Yes, I know the Hornets are horrible at home (1-8), but the Spurs have been equally bad on the road (1-6). Something has got to give, and although the record stinks, the Hornets have actually played good teams close at home, so a breakthrough is possible.

Schwan: Small Forward.  Trevor Ariza is impacting games.  Maybe not with his shooting, but his defense has been awesome to behold.  Jefferson – or whichever wing player Monty puts Ariza on – is going to suffer.

Herbert: I do not mean this disrespectfully: I’m having trouble finding a matchup that favors New Orleans. I’ll say this: Carl Landry and Tiago Splitter might not guard one another, but it’s an intriguing sixth man matchup. On Saturday, Splitter had his best game of the year when he started in place of a resting Tim Duncan in Houston. On the same night, Landry led the Hornets in scoring off the bench against Dallas. Hope that game was the start of a solid stretch for Landry; there’s no reason why he can’t outplay Splitter tonight.

3. Care to make some predictions about the game?

McNamara: Of the next five games on this brutal schedule, I actually think this one is the most winnable. Duncan doesn’t require a double team any more, and Manu won’t be on the court to terrorize Hornets defenders. Look for big games from Jack and Ariza, as the Hornets take this one 91-88.

Schwan: Spurs win via long-range shooting, raining threes while the Hornets can’t find the range as usual.  Spurs win 91-85.

Herbert: Tony Parker will score 24+ for the fourth game in a row, Emeka Okafor will violently block a weak shot attempt from a Spurs guard, everyone reading this will wish the Hornets had somehow acquired Kawhi Leonard, and Squeaky Johnson will play at least five minutes. The final score? I’m awful at this. Spurs 99, Hornets 85. Thank me if you guys take it.

1 comments
jobie cantrelle
jobie cantrelle

Wish I could have made this game. Alot of people dislike san antonio but I still think they're more of the upper echelon in the league as far as class as a franchise. I really think we are following their blue print as a franchise. Goo hornets