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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Spurs/ Hornets Second-Round Preview: A Cyborg Manifesto

Posted by Tariq al Haydar

by Tariq al Hayder

Remember how a lot of people thought that Dallas would beat New Orleans? It seemed strange that a #2 seed would get such an utter lack of respect from the pundits; everywhere I looked: "Mavs in seven." Now it's easy to claim that you were down from day one after the fact, but I really didn't think Dallas could beat the Hornets. I didn't think it would be such a cakewalk for the Bugs, but I thought they'd pull it out. Now, with the Hornets in the second round, their season is secure. No matter what happens against the Spurs, this season will be viewed as a success. And the lack of respect continues: Even though New Orleans is the higher seed, everyone expects San Antonio to win. Over at, nine out of ten "experts" have picked the cyborgs from Texas, with only John Hollinger rolling with the Hornets.

I was going to go position-by-position, but decided to just go with bullet-points:

• The Spurs and Hornets split the regular-season series 2-2. The two Hornet victories were blowouts, and in both Manu couldn't get going; he only scored 11 points in both losses. So if he lights it up early…

• The Hornets match up very well with the champs. No one can guard David West, who will undoubtedly get his. In addition, Parker won't have as easy a time with Chris Paul as he did with the rip in the space-time continuum where Steve Nash was theoretically playing defense.

• The manager of Scottish soccer club Aberdeen, Ebbe Skovdahl, shares my philosophy on stats, which he says are "like mini-skirts…they give you good ideas but hide the most important parts." Preach, Ebbe. There is, however, one stat which is especially telling: in the four regular-season encounters, the team which won the rebounding battle emerged victorious. The most lopsided victory was the Hornets' 100-75 thrashing of San Antonio. In that game, the Bugs out-rebounded the 'Bots 45-27.

• Someone other than Paul and West needs to step up in order for New Orleans to have a shot. That means you, Peja. Now that DeShawn and Drew have been eliminated, Peja needs to shoulder the burden of Beard-bearers, but he also needs to score more than 9 points against the Spurs.

• As someone who is praying for San Antonio's inexorable push to the title to come to an abrupt halt, I'm particularly nervous about Game 1. If New Orleans win, the Spurs won't be too rattled: they've been here before, and it's only one road game. But if San Antonio win, the Hornets will probably end up quivering in the fetal position.


I really hope the Hornets win. I also respect them. But Spurs in 6, unfortunately.


Eboy said...

This could get interesting.

BETCATS said...

WRONG! as much as i hate them damm Hornets, they will win it in 5-7 games