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The Hive Five: Game Ninety-Three

Shades of Milwaukee-Charlotte. Anyone remember that series? I'd rather not...


This wasn't supposed to happen...

Obviously not the way I drew up Game 6. Gregg Popovich finally went to the Duncan on West switch, and boy did it pay off for them. If anyone wants to question Timothy's countless All-Defensive Team credentials, they should be directed to footage of this game, specifically his footwork. I don't know if I've ever seen a 7 footer (let alone that he is a 32 year old in his 11th season) move laterally better than that in my life. I mean, Kevin Garnett could be taking lessons from this guy, that's how good he was. But enough with the hyperbole.

Matthew of Pounding the Rock made a great point pre-game- putting TD on DX might fire up West emotionally, a bad thing for us. And that's exactly what happened. DX lost his head after that quick succession of foul calls (I'll do a post about the foul calls later). Duncan's defense got into his head. But I'd like to point out the awesomeness of CP3 at this juncture. What other 23 year old could grab the attention of every player on his team, calmly explain the situation to them, and then rally his guys back? If we could've just made some open shots, this game was there for the taking. We have Chris Paul's composure to thank for that.

And then there was the Robert Horry play: I believe it was totally 100% intentional. I believe it was a malicious play. I don't care that Mark Jackson called it a "playoff foul." Answer me this- what reason did Horry have to push West in the back as he was backpedalling? One, West was totally out of position, stumbling backwards. Two, Horry had the inside offensive possession to the hoop. Three, there was no way he was setting a screen, because the guard had already gotten past his defender and Horry and West were a good distance from the play. Spurs fans have been calling the Hornets "classless." Tell your "7 time NBA Champion" to exhibit some class before ever speaking on the subject again. Horry knew about West's severe back pain. He knew West was totally out of the play defensively. After this game, I know that Robert Horry is a classless individual.

But back to the game itself- homecourt advantage continued to take its toll on the visiting team. This contest was far, far closer than the final score will say. We consistently got wide open looks in the third only to lay brick after brick. Meanwhile, they got good looks too, and they drilled 'em. Story of the night, story of the night... on to the factors:




















  1. Shooting (X): I don't know what it is, but it is what it is. The Spurs just shoot the lights out at home. This obviously brings up a coaching conundrum- do you rely on the fact that S.A. can't hit the jumper on the road and keep going under screens? I'm glad I'm not Byron Scott. But seriously, we're going to have to hit wide open shots. DX missed at least 5 of those today. We failed to take advantage of what was clearly a good shooting night for Peja.
  2. Turnovers (): It's hard to say you "lost" a game due to turnovers when you have an amazing turnover rate of 10.3. But the majority of those turnovers came in that horrendous third quarter where guys were losing their composure left and right. The second offensive on Paul was a stupid call but the first was legit, as was David West's charge call. We had our chances, we just gave them away when it counted most.
  3. Rebounding (X): Anyone else miss the Tyson Chandler of old? After two terrific games, his rebounding numbers have gone like so: 8, 4, 8, and 6. Sure he went 7-8, but his rebounding is a critical part of this team. 
  4. Free Throws (): Neither team fouled much (19-21), but the Spurs went to the line five more times than the Hornets. Additionally, New Orleans didn't get a single free throw in the third. When Melvin Ely leads your team in FTA (4), you're in trouble.
  5. Pace (87): The pace picked up considerably from last time. What stands out about our transition game, though, is the three missed opportunities we had on the break (all in the 3rd). The first was Paul striking Bowen across the face with his off hand, a legitimate offensive foul call. The second was Bowen running up behind Paul, getting brushed by CP3's hand, and picking up another charge call. That was a definite home team call. The final one was where Paul got the rim and left a layup short. If we get three scores on those fast breaks, it's a whole different game.

Some final thoughts: While the stadium chanting Robert Horry's name after he injured West was disgraceful, the guys at PtR were very classy about it. Props to them for showing the respect they did. I loved how Peja abused Bowen throughout the first quarter. Even more than that, I loved the scornful glare he delivered at Bowen after each score. We'll need him to play like that Monday. I mentioned this in the game thread but it's worth mentioning again- the long layoff until Game 7 will actually end up working in our favor (due to West's injury) and not the Spurs' as many presumed. Bonzi Wells was a total no-show once again, registering 0 points, 0 rebounds, 2 fouls, and a -5 in 7 minutes. General Pargo was easily the worst bench player, registering a -18 in 15 minutes... how does that happen? That's on the level of Melvin Ely putting up a -3 in 4 seconds of action. After combining for 8 blocks in Game 5, Tyson and DX combined for zero tonight. Finally, you'll notice that this recap was conspicuously evasive of how the game was called (other than the Ben Gay Bob incident) so more on that in the morning...