The matchup of the game between the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets will be between shooting guards Manu Ginobili and Eric Gordon.
The Spurs saw a glimpse of a vintage Manu in their last game against the Philadelphia 76ers with an energetic dunk and between the legs passes for assists. Eric Gordon has been a pleasant welcome for the Hornets as he's missed a big part of the season and is barely making his way back from a knee injury. Gordon is averaging 16ppg along with 4apg while Ginobili has struggled for most of the season with 12ppg and 4apg. He hasn't gotten in a groove this season, so the Spurs are hoping they can see a repeat performance of the Sixers game.
What Ginobili must do on offense:
He has to play like the Manu of old. He doesn't have to be the player that used to cut every time to the basket and throw his body at a defender for a foul since he's not as quick and more injury prone with age. He has to be aggressive and get in the paint to kick out the ball to open shooters. If he can get good screens, he'll be able to get in the middle of the paint and have an advantage of scoring or looking for an open teammate with the defense rotating.
What Ginobili must do on defense:
Manu has to force Gordon to shoot. Even though he's averaging a good amount of points already, Gordon is shooting just 32% from the floor. If Ginobili can force Gordon to use the knee that he hurt on drives, he might disrupt Gordon's game since he probably isn't too comfortable just yet. Gordon is also just shooting 23% from the three point line, so playing back may be the best decision Ginobili and the Spurs can make against the Hornets' superstar shooting guard. The worst case scenario would be Gordon making the first few three pointers, but the Spurs can chase him off from the line and still recover to the point to not allow him a close shot. Gordon would have to get out of his shooting funk against a good defensive team that has improved their perimeter defense for the Hornets to win this game.