Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Hornets

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (16-3) vs. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (13-6)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 21.2 Tim Duncan 9.5 Tony Parker 7.0
HORNETS David West 18.8 Emeka Okafor 9.9 Chris Paul 10.5

Hornets_logoThe San Antonio Spurs (16-3) has the NBA’s best record and is 8-2 at home after a 107-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves last Friday. The Spurs overcame a 15-point deficit, outscoring the Timberwolves 36-15 in the fourth quarter.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Tony Parker and George Hill each scored 20 points.

The New Orleans Hornets (13-6) and the Spurs have split their first two meetings and both teams have won on the other team’s home floor. San Antonio overcame a 17-point deficit for a 109-95 victory in New Orleans last November 28, while the Hornets won in San Antonio 99-90 last October 30.

They Hornets are looking to get back on track after losing to the New York Knicks 100-92 last Friday.

Trevor Ariza led the team with a season-high 21 points while Chris Paul added 17 points and 10 assists.

After winning 11 of their first 12 games averaging 97.5 points, the Hornets have averaged 92.0 points in the last seven games. 

David West sat out with a stomach virus in their game against the Knicks. It’s not certain if he will play against the Spurs tonight. 


KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — The Spurs has to get Duncan involved on the offense early to set the tone on the inside. He should get enough help from Ginobili, Jefferson, Parker and Hill on offense. 

Defense – Containing Chris Paul will always be key, but the Spurs should also focus on limiting David West on the offensive end. Taking control of the rebounds is also a must.

HORNETS:

Offense — Their offense starts with Chris Paul and David West. Plus they should get added offensive boost from Ariza, Belinelli and Okafor. 

Defense — Contain Duncan on the inside and limit Ginobili, Parker, Jefferson and Hill’s dribble penetrations. They also have to be wary of the Spurs outside shooters.

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Hornets — David West – stomach virus (day-to-day)


PREDICTION:
The Hornets have already won on San Antonio’s home floor and will bring that confidence tonight against the Spurs. However, even with the best record in the NBA, the Spurs are still improving and are slowly getting better on the defensive end.

The Spurs must avoid a slow start and match the Hornets’ energy. The team that controls the rebounds and dominate on the inside will win this game. I say Spurs 98, Hornets 90. 

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21

Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Hornets

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (13-2) vs. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (12-3)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 21.5 Tim Duncan 9.3 Tony Parker 7.3
HORNETS David West 18.2 Emeka Okafor 9.6 Chris Paul 10.3

Hornets_logoThe San Antonio Spurs will visit the New Orleans Hornets tonight looking for a bit of revenge as try to extend their Southwest Division lead.

The Hornets (12-3) beat the Spurs 99-90 on Oct. 30, with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker sitting out the fourth quarter after San Antonio fell behind by 16 at the end of the third quarter.

Since then, the Spurs (13-2) racked-up 12 straight wins, a streak that ended last Friday with a 103-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Despite the loss, the Spurs are off to their best 15-game start in franchise history. Duncan has struggled early this season, he is averaging just 13.5 points and 9.3 rebounds — far below his career averages of 21.0 points and 11.6 rebounds.

The Hornets are coming off a nice 97-78 road victory over the Portland Trail Blazers last Friday. They held the Blazers to a season-low 13 points in the fourth quarter to move within one game of the Spurs in the South West.

Chris Paul scored 16 points and added 13 assists, and Willie Green scored a team high 19 points off the bench.

The Hornets leads the league in points allowed at 91.1 points per game, while the Spurs are third in scoring with 107.1 points per game.


KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — Tim Duncan has to wakeup and get out of his slump. The Spurs will need his inside presence to open the lane for Ginobili, Parker, and Jefferson. George Hill, Matt Bonner and Gary Neal should give the Spurs the added punch from the bench.

Defense
– They will have to limit Chris Paul’s play making ability, contain David West and Okafor on the inside and be wary of the Hornet’s outside shooters.

HORNETS:

Offense — Their offense starts with Chris Paul and he have plenty of help with Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli on the wings and Okafor and West on the inside.

Defense — Besides containing Duncan on the middle, they have to limit Ginobili, Parker and Jefferson’s dribble penetrations and guard the Spurs’ perimeter shooters.

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Hornets — No Significant Injuries.

PREDICTION: The Spurs could be thinking payback in this one as they try to get back to the win column. The Hornets are still unbeaten in New Orleans while the Spurs are perfect on the road.
This could be a down-the-wire finish, the Spurs will avenge their early season loss against the Hornets and get back on the right track.

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21

Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Hornets

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (1-0) vs. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (2-0)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Tim Duncan 23.0 Tim Duncan 12.0 Tony Parker 9.0
HORNETS David West 19.5 Emeka Okafor 8.5 Chris Paul 11.5

The San Antonio Spurs won their season opener over the Indiana Pacers 122-109 with their “Big Three” scoring at least 20 points a piece. They will try to start a winning streak of their own against their Southwest Division foe, New Orleans Hornets, who remain unbeaten after two games in the AT&T Center. The Spurs won the season series against the Hornets last season and are hoping to continue that trend.

The Hornets are coming off a thrilling 101-95 victory against the Denver Nuggets and will try to extend their winning streak to three games against a well rested San Antonio squad.

The Spurs will likely to continue to miss the services of Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter and Matt Bonner who is expected to be out up to two weeks after spraining his right ankle in the Spurs’ season opener.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:


Offense
The Spurs used a balanced offensive attack on their season opener against the Pacers. It will be key for the Spurs to try and jump on their opponents early in game as the Hornets will play the second night of back-to-backs. Tim Duncan must establish his inside game and at the same time find open teammates to hit their outside shots.
Defense – The Spurs need to be more consistent on defense and set the tone early. Though they did get the win over the Pacers, coach Popovich expressed disappointment over the lack of defense so expect a more concerted effort on defense. It will be key for them counter Chris Paul’s play making ability. Paul has been a nightmare for opposing teams as he can score and get his teammates involve on offense.
HORNETS:

Offense — It all starts with Paul, and he is getting plenty of help. After two games, four Hornets are averaging in double figures. David West has been anchoring the teams’ inside offense while Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli has provided backcourt scoring.

Defense — Limiting Duncan on the inside and defending the perimeter. The Spurs shot 45% from behind the arc entering this game. Also, transition defense seeing how the Spurs used more of a running game in their win over the Pacers.

INJURIES

Spurs — Tiago Splitter – strained right plantaris muscle (out), Matt Bonner – sprained right ankle. 

Hornets — None.

PREDICTION: The Spurs might have caught a good break as they will face a Hornets team that played their starters heavy minutes against the Denver Nuggets the night before. However, the Spurs should be wary of the Hornets’ balanced offensive attack and try to establish their defense at the start of the game, and try to pull away early.
The Spurs will lean on their experience and depth against the Hornets and will get their second victory in as many games.

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