Game On: Hornets @ Spurs

Published: April 6, 2012

The forgotten contenders host the Hornets tonight in San Antonio, trying to push their winning streak to 10 and keep the pressure on the Thunder for the top seed in the Western Conference. 

I find it pretty ridiculous that still no one talks about the Spurs.  The plaudits for the Thunder come fast and furious.  Lakers, Heat, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Memphis – these teams get features and articles and commentary.

The Spurs?  They are playing with a limited Tim Duncan, have missed Ginobili for most of the season, traded away their starting SF for Stephen “Radioactive” Jackson, sent away George Hill in the off-season.  And guess what?  They have the same number of losses as the Thunder, whom everyone have annointed as a lock for the Western Conference 1st seed and playoff champion.

Don’t sleep on the Spurs, my friends.  So how do the Hornets, armed with “Deadeye” Gordon stop the streaking Spurs?  My keys to victory:

  1. Rotate defensively with alacrity.  The Hornets offense allows the third most three point attempts in the league.  They also defend those shots extremely well, with opponents posting the 2nd worst three point percentage against the Hornets.  However, San Antonio shoots prolifically from three and converts them better than any other team in the league.  The Hornets will have to be focused and sharp on their rotations to keep this from getting ugly.  If they pull it off, this could work in the Hornets favor.
  2. Free throws.  The Spurs own a major advantage night in and night:  They are the stingiest team in the league at giving away free throws while drawing an average number themselves.  They are, however, one of the worst teams at making free throws.  If NO can hit their free throws, the advantage in numbers is negated.
  3. Protect the ball at all costs.  The Spurs are the second best team at protecting the ball in the league, but also are the third worst at forcing turnovers.  If the Spurs aren’t going to help you out, then you have to make sure you aren’t coughing up the ball and helping them out.

Enjoy the game!


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