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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hornets are a Tough Match-Up For Spurs in Game 1

The New Orleans Hornets beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of theit Playoff Series 101-82. Although the score was a blowout, it wasn't that easy for the Hornets, who trailed by 11 in the 1st half. But after halftime, the Hornets showed that the Spurs could not apply the formula they used to beat the Suns. Tony Parker was the primary reason for the Spurs' dominance of the Suns. But during game 1 against the Hornets, Tony Parker couldn't dominate CP3 the way he dominated Steve Nash. CP3 showed superb lateral movement and was always in front of Parker. During the times when Parker got past CP3, he was usually met by Tyson Chandler or David West, who are quicker and more athletic than Shaq, who was toyed around by Parker during the Suns/Spurs series.

In the offensive end, the Spurs have got to find a way to stop Chris Paul. CP3 doesn't score every time he drives to the basket, but he always creates ways for his teammates to score. Every time Paul drives to the lane, a ton of Spurs collapses on him, thus creating open shots for his teammates. And Paul broke Bruce Bowen's ankles a couple of times.

In game 1, David West looked like the veteran, while Tim Duncan just scored 5 points, which matched a career playoff low. West scored 30 points through simple, fundamentally sound basketball moves against the Spurs all night. Shades of Tim Duncan? It's going to be interesting to see how the power forward match-up will develop in this series.

Can the Spurs come back in game 2? Definitely! They're the defending champs! And they've got, in my opinion, the best power forward in the game today. Duncan will be back for sure. Let's see what adjustments Greg Popovich make for next game.

Spurs Not Ready to Give Title Up