Hornets Continue To Sting At Home


This has been a hyped series, after Paul and Parker each opened up the playoffs with a bang, and they both continued to bring it in Round 2.  Manu Ginobili, eager to atone for his disappearance the last game against Phoenix, came out with a bang, and Bowen brought his offense with tonight as well.
1Q  Chandler came out and dominated the boards early, quickly getting 6, count ’em, 6, rebounds very early in the game.  San Antonio, after starting slow, brought Ginobili in, who quickly jump started things with a couple of BEAUTIFUL passes, and hitting shots.  Bowen was also on fire, as they would do most of the scoring in the first quarter.
2Q  After a LONG cleanup from entertainment gone wrong, the Spurs continued to hold onto their 4 point lead.  Wells would foul Bowen hard, but Bowen would recover to soon hit yet another 3 from the corner.  Before the half would end, CP3 would also pick up his 3rd foul.  Nobody would have guessed it, but Bowen led the Spurs with 17 at the half, off of 5-8 triples.
3Q  With Duncan still not getting anything going, San Antonio would soon go cold.  New Orleans would heat up, as Paul stepped up his game in the third, inspiring his teammates, and erasing a 4 point deficit to go up 74-66 to end the third.
4Q  San Antonio continued to give up way too many rebounds, and the Hornets continued their run.  Ultimately, Popovich would dig into the bench to finish the game, but not before Chris Paul led a fast break against Bowen, and pulling out a streetball move seemingly saved for the double B, who rarely gets his ankles broken.  Hornets maintain home court advantage, winning 101-82.
Review  Duncan was all but invisible in this game.  The Spurs got hot beyond the arc early in the game, Tim didn’t get enough touches early enough, and never established a rhythm.   San Antonio was outrebounded by 16, and allowed New Orleans to grab 16 offensive boards.  Just like the regular season, the winner shot better than 48%, and the loser shot in the low 40s.  San Antonio was hitting shots everywhere in the first half, but only produced 33 points in the second half.
Game 2  San Antonio’s bench really needs to start delivering.  Intangibles are a great asset throughout the game, but production in visible stats is also a must.  Duncan will be more involved in the game earlier in the next meeting, which will make life easier for both Ginobili and Parker, who struggled in the second half.  The Spurs will need to put the game out of the reach of Paul’s crew before the 4th quarter, as Parker won’t be able to continue doing what he does every game much longer, logging 40 minutes a night. San Antonio was also inefficient, turning it over 13 times, which should’ve been more, but they saved themselves from more several times during this game.
Where in the world is Matt Bonner?   It seems to me that he could be effective against West, but he’ll need to be on the court to do that.
Ginobili: 19 pts, 6 boards, 7 assists   Parker: 23 pts, 5 boards, 5 assists    Bowen:  17 pts, 5 boards, 5 assists
West:  30 pts, 9 boards   Paul:  17 points, 13 assists, 4 steals   Chandler:  10 pts, 15 boards (6 offensive), 3 blocks