Scouting the Hornets: Gordon to face Spurs for first time this season

After winning one of the most awkward games this season in Boston on Wednesday, the San Antonio Spurs (38-14) return home to the AT&T EGCenter as they prepare to defend their nine-game winning streak against the visiting New Orleans Hornets.

Though the Spurs have played the Hornets several times this season, this will be the first time that Eric Gordon takes the floor against San Antonio this season. Point guard Jarrett Jack is “probable” to play as he is currently nursing a sprained right ankle.

Jack didn’t play on Wednesday for the Hornets, but Gordon’s return was able to help the Hornets defeat the Denver Nuggets. The Hornets come into San Antonio with a 4-6 record in their last 10 games.

Case No. 53: New Orleans Hornets (14-40)

Road record: 8-19

The King

  • Eric Gordon – 19 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 17 FGA (39%), 5.0 3PT FGA (20%), 6 FTA (79%)

Danny Green will get the first initial chance to stop Gordon, and it’ll be interesting to see how Gordon keeps pace with Spurs’ multiple backcourt players throughout the game.

The Knights

  • Jarrett Jack (Probable) – 15.6 points, 6.3 assists, 13 FGA (46%). Should he play, the Spurs will get another chance to try to solve the Jack equation. What’s the Jack equation? The team must find a way to limit Jack as he averages 26.5 points and seven assists against the Spurs this season. Those numbers are the highest of any team Jack has faced this season. Of course, even when Jack has big nights, the Spurs still manage to come up with the victory because of the deep amount of depth that the team possesses.
  • Chris Kaman – 13.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 13.2 FGA (44%)
  • Carl Landry – 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 9.1 FGA (49%), 4.4 FTA (79%)
  • Marco Belinelli – 11.6 points, 10.3 FGA (42%), 4.2 3PT FGA (38%)
  • Trevor Ariza – 11.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 10.1 FGA (41%)

The Bishop

  • Emeka Okafor – Out
  • Jason Smith – 9.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 8.7 FGA (50%)
  • Greivis Vasquez – 8.3 points, 5.1 assists, 7.3 FGA (43%)

The Pawns

  • Gustavo Ayon 6.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 5.1 FGA (55%) 

Offense vs. Offense

  • 1. Points: Spurs (101.6) – Hornets (89) = Spurs
  • 2. Assists: Spurs (22.6) – Hornets (20.8) = Spurs
  • 3. Shooting percentage: Spurs (47%) – Hornets (44.8%) = Spurs
  • 4. Three point shooting percentage: Spurs (39%) – Hornets (33%) = Spurs
  • 5. Free throw attempts: Spurs (21.2) – Hornets (19.9) = Spurs
  • 6. Turnovers: Spurs (12.9) – Hornets (14.6) = Spurs

Offensive Leader: Spurs 6-0

Defense vs. Defense

  • 1. Opponent scoring: Spurs (96.2) – Hornets (93.6) = Hornets
  • 2. Opponent shooting: Spurs (46%) – Hornets (45%) = Hornets
  • 3. Rebounds: Spurs (42.8) – Hornets (41.2) = Spurs
  • 4. Personal Fouls: Spurs (17) – Hornets (20.2) = Spurs

Defensive Leader: Tie 2-2

Game Expectation

With Gordon returning and if Jack is able to play, this could be a competitive ball game. The Hornets play a good amount of defense in most of their games, but their issue is that they just don’t have the firepower on offense to compliment their defense.

Lack of firepower on offense could be the Hornets’ biggest weakness because the Spurs are overloaded with tons of offense this season. The bench is deep 1-13 and the Spurs have already had almost every player on roster lead the team in scoring once this season.

All San Antonio needs to do is try to forget about that second half against Boston and continue to do the things that got them to a nine-game winning streak, share the basketball, shoot the “right” shot, play team defense, and limit their turnovers.

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, and the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals. Paul has been featured on WOAI, Fox 29, and numerous nationwide radio shows.

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