The Spurs exacted their revenge on the Hornets two nights ago in the AT&T Center, with Manu Ginobili [injured, I might add] and Tony Parker putting up a combined 63 points (and the show put on by Chris Paul was nothing less of spectacular, either). Not to mention Duncan had a ‘quiet’ great game (which he usually does, but the box score can’t tell you the story). The two teems meet again tomorrow night at 8 eastern for game four.
What I don’t want to see in this series in the home team winning every game. It will be another dotted line drawing across the ‘balance’ until game 7. Like the Hawks and Celtics. And if it’s going to be like that, the Spurs — who ARE a modern day dynasty — are going to have to finish off this 0-2 smugged that was dubbed to them when people realized they had never came back down that far in a series. It wouldn’t put it past me if they did it. They know how to win more games, and they have more experience than the Hornets. Yet, experience can be overrated. The Hornets have experience. They’ve played basketball together the whole season. Some facets of last season. A few the season before that. The players’ college/high school careers. They have experience, so the experience card may be a little overplayed, but what if you’re saying it’s overplayed when you’re debating about/against a pro team that has the highest winning percentage out of any since 1999 (.700+ for the modern day NBA dynasty)
The Spurs know how to balance the tempo of games. I’m not saying they’re going to be perfect in every game and close out the other team, but they knew how to the other night. With the Hornets drawing back in, the Spurs shut them down by playing their usual style of basketball — smart, fundamental, winning basketball. I’m still not ready to write off the Spurs, because they can easily get back into this thing due to how damn good they are, but they are going to have to keep on matching up with the Hornets’ speed when they run amok down the court just like they proved they could do the last game. If they do that these next few games, and continue to shut down the Hornets perimeter attack and force them to shoot closer jumpshots and shots in the paint, the series will be one for the Spurs.
However, Hornets’ coach Byron Scott — who’s been one of my favorite coaches in the league, ever since he was wrongfully screwed out of the New Jersey Nets’ job after leading them to two NBA Finals — is smart enough to know that the Hornets have to continue to spread the court, then at times attack the painted area, getting the “old” Spurs to run the floor and be as active as the “young” Hornets. With Ginobili continuing to heal up, the Hornets will be healing up their emotions from game 3, but I expect a bloodthirsty rampage to occur Sunday night.