San Antonio vs New Orleans, 2-2

This is what was written, last Tuesday, in this space, re: the Spurs vs Hornets, Western Conference Semi-finals match-up, after New Orleans went up 2-0 in their series.

The answer for the Spurs
Unless Gregg Popovich & Co. finally figures out that the Bruce Bowen vs Chris Paul match-up is NOT the way San Antonio SHOULD be playing this series … and creates the Tony Parker vs Chris Paul match-up, instead … the Spurs are going to be in serious of jeopardy of not getting past the Hornets in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

6 days later, the series is now tied at 2 games apiece, after Gregg Popovich came to his senses and elected to go head-to-head with the Tony Parker vs Chris Paul match-up, from a defensive perspective.

(I) As was mentioned last week, straight-up, Parker is not going to be able to prevent CP3 from putting up big numbers, individually, on the offensive end of the floor, but … whether or not this happens … this alone is not what will decide the eventual winner of this series.

Tim Duncan has recovered nicely from his bout with a fever … which (made him look old & tired and) dramatically effected his performance during Games 1 & 2, head-to-head vs Tyson Chandler … and the other 3 individual player match-ups … i.e. at the 2, 3 & 4 positions, regardless who is in the starting line-up for the Spurs … are now tilted toward the reigning champions.

(II) As was also mentioned last week, contrary to popular belief, as this series lengthens, it will increasingly favour the more veteran team, in this specific playoff match-up, as the Hornets will be swimming in uncharted waters for the first time, as a group, in the latter stages of an advanced playoff series against a very tough team.

It takes 4 W’s to win a Conference Semi-finals series and this specific collection of Spurs is particularly well-suited to wearing down (i.e. physically & emotionally) an inexperienced crew, like these Hornets … who are so heavily dependent on a young (and under-sized) Point Guard (CP3, who does not include among his many outstanding attributes the ability to single-handedly change the ‘Rebounding Differential Numbers’ for each team in this series, which is now beginning to exact a heavy toll on New Orleans … i.e. Game 3 – San Antonio/Rebs, +9) and his under-sized running mate (David West).

The Spurs were able to separate for good from the Hornets, in Game 3, when Byron Scott made the decision to go with a ‘small line-up’ at the 9:39 mark of the 2nd Quarter, San Antonio 30, New Orleans 24.

Replacing Tyson Chandler (C) with Peja Stojakovic (F) and leaving David West (PF) as the biggest Hornet on the floor – alongside Julian Wright (F), Bonzi Wells (G/F) and Jannero Pargo (PG) – resulted in New Orleans only scoring on 1 of their next 5 possessions; while San Antonio – with a line-up of Parker, Ginobili, Udoka, Finley & Oberto – converted on 4 of their next 5 possessions, to bump up their lead to 13 points … after which they were never headed again by the Hornets.

As the series shifts back to New Orleans, for Game 5, the Hornets will need to find answers to (i) the Parker vs Paul match-up and (ii) the ineffectiveness of their ‘small line-up’ … or this series will indeed be ending in 6 games, in favour of the Spurs.

The next move … if it’s coming at all … will be up to Byron Scott.

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4 Responses to “San Antonio vs New Orleans, 2-2”

  1. john Says:

    I agree with you. CP3 will post big points and big assists but in the end he can’t do it all by himself.

    I knew it from the begining that if Spurs could reduced the three’s from NO than they will be fine.

    It’s still not over for me as Spurs has to do something in NO, to win one game there. If they protect their homecourt, they will be fine.

    What’s ypur thought about the game?

    http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2008/05/playoffs-news-manu-posts-15-spurs.html

  2. San Antonio vs New Orleans, 2-2 | General | Sports Blogging-Wordpress and our take on the G’s-gambling, gaming, girls, guys, governments, golf and more Says:

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  3. FLUXLAND Says:

    aaand the next step in the passing of the torch continues. The Spurs are out shopping for canes and walkers today. 🙂

  4. khandor Says:

    Parker getting hurt early (on the pick set by Chandler in the 1stQ) and often during the course of last night’s game seemed to take a toll on him.

    If he’s banged/bruised up … the Hornets might be able to steal Game 6 in San Antonio, as long as both West and Chandler are healthy enough to play major minutes for New Orleans (i.e. each was also nicked with an injury last night) … but, if Parker can recover from the physical pounding he took in Game 5, and continue to penetrate into the heart of the Hornet’s defense, you SHOULD expect to see a Game 7 on Sunday.

    Picturing the Spurs with canes and walkers … might still be a touch premature, at this point. 🙂

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