Spurs vs Hornets Preview


The Spurs (4-1) are back on the winning track after beating the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, will face the New Orleans Hornets (4-1) in New Orleans tonight.
The Hornets have gotten off to a fast start going undefeated until losing their first game against the Blazers.  The Hornets are on the wrong end of a streak as they have not beaten the Spurs since Dec. 18, 2005.  This Hornets team has talent.  Led by Chris Paul, the Hornets also have Tyson Chandler who is a monster in the paint, David West who has been on fire of late and Peja Stojakovic who made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers against the Lakers this season.   Tyson Chandler, who is averaging 11.6 points and 11.6 rebounds, will be a load to handle for the Spurs centers.
For the Spurs, it has not been a kind week for their centers Oberto and Elson.  In the past 3 games, the Spurs centers have faced Yao Ming, Shaq and tonight, Tyson Chandler.  Elson and Oberto must rebound tonight and can’t have a repeat of the Rockets game where they were out-boarded.
If you thought Tim Duncan or Tony Parker were leading the team in scoring, you’d be dead wrong.  Manu Ginobili is leading the team in scoring at 20.8, off the bench!  So far he has been the Spurs MVP but of concern is that he is playing close to 30 mins per game.  Spurs fans have to wonder if he will have anything in the tank after the All-Star break.
Early in the season, the Spurs have struggled on the offensive end and aren’t moving the ball around as much.  Though they are averaging 102 points their first three games.   Something Spurs fans haven’t seen from a team that is known for its defense.
Also look for Ime Udoka to get some good minutes on the floor.  Brent Barry got hurt (ankle) against the Heat and will be out for the game.  This is Ime’s chance to shine
Key matchup tonight will be Parker vs. Paul — two of the fastest guards in the league.  Parker will have to set the tone early and dictate the tempo if the Spurs want to win.  Parker must not let Paul into the paint and cause havoc. 
In the end, the Hornets will surprise the Spurs and upset the defending champs.

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Michael is the founder and editor of ProjectSpurs.com. He has a long history in journalism, sports and online media. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others.