Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hornets-Spurs -- Game 1 thread

Big concerns for the Spurs:

* They have nobody who can guard West;

* Paul can take over whenever he decides it's time;

* The only offense the Spurs can get is 3-pointers.

Duncan just five points on 1-for-9 shooting, but even more notable is the paltry rebound total (three). I expect him to bounce back, but he looked very slow tonight.

Hornets win this one going away, 101-82.

Paul on the break, fouled. Hornets, 97-82. Paul rebounds his own missed free throw.

West from Paul on the break; 30 for West. Hornets, 96-82.

Paul drives for 2. Hornets, 92-80.

Finley for 3. Spurs within 8, 88-80, 5:11 to go. Basically, the Spurs are only getting 3s. They've cooled off considerably, and if they don't heat back up quickly, this game is over.

Duncan misses two at the line.

Wells again. Hornets, 88-77, 6:25 to go.

Lots of fouls at both ends right now. Duncan just gave up offensive rebounds to Ely and Wells. He looks even older than before.

Barry in for the Spurs.

Spurs have no answer for West, who has 28. Hornets, 80-71.

Finley for 3 to open the third. Spurs within 5, 74-69.

Hornets lead after three, 74-66.

Paul is taking over too, taking advantage of being in the bonus. He's attacking at every opportunity now. Hornets, 70-62.

Duncan looks old tonight. He has no lift on rebounds. His moves are indecisive and slow, and he's looking for fouls. Chandler and West have a huge edge inside.

Hornets outworking the Spurs now. Peterson chases down an offensive rebound, takes it beyond the arc and knocks down a 3. Hornets, 64-57.

Peja for 3, trailing the break. Hornets, 61-54 ... 13-0 run.

Spurs' offense is out of sync right now. Duncan can't get going because he's being doubled on every catch. The pick-and-roll game isn't producing any layins because the Hornets are clogging the lane and Chandler is lurking to block shots. The Spurs might need to try some clear-outs for Ginobili, or else the entire outcome will rest on their 3-point shooting. Brent Barry, anyone?

Paul steals, scores. Hornets, 58-54. New Orleans on a 10-0 run.

Peja over Bowen. Hornets, 56-54.

West dunks from Paul. Tie game, 54-all.

Spurs with four team fouls less than three minutes into the third. Bonus the rest of the quarter for New Orleans, 8:22.

Spurs with three team fouls less than two minutes into the third.

Spurs lead at the half, 49-45. Hornets have limited Duncan to three points on 1-for-6 shooting, but they've left the 3-point line open and the Spurs are 9-for-17 from 3. Paul, meanwhile, held to four points on 2-for-6.

Hack-a-Chandler: make, make.

Paul just picked up his third foul, 1:27 left before halftime.

Spurs just let Stojakovic inside for an offensive rebound tipin. Popovich calls timeout. Gotta love how Pop uses timeouts. Certain mistakes are just unacceptable.

Thomas wide-open on the perimeter. Spurs, 48-37.

Bowen for 3, and 1. Spurs, 44-35.

Finley for 3. Spurs, 40-35, 4:52 left in the second. Spurs 8-for-13 on 3s.

Bowen for 3, his fourth. Spurs, 37-35.

Stojakovic drives for two. Tie game, 33-all.

Stojakovic with four in a row. Hornets within 4, 31-27.

Parker teardrop. Spurs, 31-23.

Parker steals, scores. Spurs, 29-23.

19-minute delay. Popovich worried about how this will affect the Spurs.

In-game entertainment gone awry ... the Hornets' mascot trampolines through a ring of fire to dunk the ball. The fire, however, doesn't go out properly. Staff workers extinguish the fire, which of course, leaves a wet residue on the floor. Now, they're having trouble clearing it off the floor. The game is being delayed. It's the playoffs, people. Isn't that entertaining enough?

Bowen for 3. Spurs, 27-23, after 1. Spurs 6-for-10 on 3s, eight assists on nine field goals. Ginobili 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting (three 3s).

Wells on Ginobili.

Ginobili for 3. Spurs, 24-19.

Duncan from Ginobili. Spurs, 21-17.

Ginobili for 3. Spurs are getting lots of wide-open 3-point attempts due to all of the doubling on Duncan. Spurs are 4-for-7 from long distance so far. The Hornets' inability to defend Duncan 1-on-1 is why they won't win this series.

Ginobili for 3. Spurs, 16-15.

Oberto can't guard West. And 1. Hornets, 15-10.

Parker from Ginobili on the break. Tie game, 10-all.

Parker hits two at the line, ends 4:25 scoreless drought. Hornets, 8-2.

Stojakovic for 3 on the break. Hornets, 8-0. Breakdown by the Spurs defensively. They had Paul relatively contained on the break, but left Peja. That's what the Hornets love to do. Spurs open 0-for-4 from the field.

Chandler active early with four offensive rebounds, including a tipin. Hornets, 5-0.

Hornets doubling Duncan on the catch.

Chandler guarding Duncan. Bowen on Paul, Thomas on West.

Marv Albert and Reggie Miller. I'm going to take some Tylenol.