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Game 16: Hornets vs. Spurs

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2010-11 NBA Regular Season

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12-3 vs
13-2
November 28th, 2010
New Orleans Arena
2:00 PM CST
TV: CST, NBALP 
Probable starters:
Chris Paul > Tony Parker
Marco Belinelli
< Manu Ginobili
Trevor Ariza = Richard Jefferson
David West
> DeJuan Blair
Emeka Okafor < Tim Duncan

Your Pregame Moment of Zen

Have yourself some lols.

The Spur Outlook

Surprise, surprise, the Spurs are, for the millionth year in a row, pretty damn good. Not to jinx anything, but San Antonio appears a lock to qualify for the playoffs for a fourteenth consecutive season (and hey, what do I care if I jinx the Spurs). But peeling back the onion a little bit reveals that this isn't the same old team that routinely made the casual playoff-viewing public shrivel their noses and cry. 

No, this team plays not just efficient offense, but exciting offense. They're fast. They get up and down in a hurry. They still play decent defense, but these days, the D is predicated more on forcing turnovers than keeping down floor percentages (obviously the staple of the Spurs in the 2000s). Through 15 games, the Spurs boast the second most efficient offense in the league (trailing the obvious), shooting better than all but two teams in the conference. I never thought I'd say this about a Popovich-coached group, but the team has forged an offensive identity that far supersedes its defensive one. 

From an overall perspective, B-R SRS system rates the Spurs the number one team in the NBA. The usual suspects- Timmy, Tony, Emmanuel- are all producing, so the Hornets will have their hands full tonight.

Subplots

  • The first game feels like it happened multiple seasons ago. I don't think either team has really changed much in the past two weeks... we've just learned more and more that both squads are probably for real.
  • The Spurs never foul, ever. The Hornets have done a middling job of drawing fouls. So basically unmovable object meets altogether resistible force.
  • The Hornets are the league's last remaining undefeated team at home. The Spurs are the league's last remaining undefeated team on the road. Ooh, intrigue.
  • Some lols were had above already, but 2k11 changing Tony Parker's loyalty rating from 87 to 0 is also worth mentioning and laughing about. 
  • The Miami Heat still have a higher point differential than the Hornets, despite losing for the 8th time last night. It makes you wonder what exactly was going on in their cupcake games. I'm too lazy to look it up, but I'm starting to think that their wins may have come against teams comparable to your average SEC football non-conference schedule. 
  • Tyson Chandler made 13 of 16 free throws against the Spurs Friday. Emeka, the gauntlet has been thrown. 
  • Win and we're tied for 1st... excitement!
  • Win or lose, and we still have 66 games to play... boredom! 
  • Is it just me, or was Bruce Bowen's presence in the league just a really long, really bad nightmare? Bruce Bowen never actually existed in real life, right? I mean, just the name sounds silly.