Game Recap – New Orleans @ San Antonio

Wait, what? The New Orleans Hornets are in first place in the Western Conference? What gives? What year is this? Where am I? I mean, I knew they were good but I didn’t know they were this good.

This is a big game for me since both Tyson Chandler and Chris Paul play big minutes on my fantasy hoops team. Oh yeah, and that Tim Duncan guy does too. It looks like Chandler is trying to draw some early fouls on TD, regardless of whether this works or not, I like it. Chandler’s already scored four points and we’re barely a minute into the game.

Speaking of fantasy basketball, David West just walked by the camera, another fantasy stud. He’s coming out firing and why not? Man, the Hornets are a deep team. I suddenly feel stupid for freaking out so much earlier.

Ahh! Tyson Chandler, instead of drawing fouls, just picked up his second!

On another note, not to say Peja Stojakovic would be overly handsome or anything, but bright yellow is not his color. Teal? Probably not. Black and purple? Maybe. But it’s good to see him on the court this year anyway.

Tim Duncan is so big, so patient and so smart it makes me wonder how long he’ll be able to dominate at such a high level. It’s logical to assume that his production will take a hit as he approaches his mid-thirties, and I guess it already has if you look at the stats long enough, but then something tells me, if anybody can avoid aging then Tim Duncan can. He’s the basketball equivalent of Denzel Washington, whereas Shaquille O’Neal is Sylvester Stallone.

Does Chris Paul get credited with an assist if the person he passes to has their shot goaltended? They better, or Robert Horry owes me two fantasy points.

Jannero Pargo just had one of those moments where he found himself with the ball a couple feet behind the three-point line and with all the confidence in the world. He’s been doing well lately, but after waiting for his teammates to get themselves open, decided to jack a long bomb and came up empty. Really empty. Like more than a foot to the right of the basket empty.

I’ve never really noticed this, but the Hornets are constantly coming up with acrobatic catches for awkward passes, they look like a bunch of wide receivers out there. I’m pretty sure though, that that just means they throw a lot of bad ones.

There’s an army of dancing children wearing little Tim Duncan jerseys on the court during a timeout here in the second quarter. I wonder how Tim Duncan feels about that. I wonder how I would feel about that? Imagine how you would feel about it? Weird.

This is a close game so far in the first half. Exciting too. David West and Peja Stojakovic have carried most of the load for the Hornets early on, and TD, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker keep doing their thing for the Spurs. Halfway through the second the Spurs are up 35-34.

Excellent shot-clock-beating, turnaround, pump-heave by Morris Peterson. I’m still not used to seeing him anywhere other than Toronto though. He has to be the undisputed king of circus shots, or at least up there in the royal family. What he did this time down was corral the ball halfway between the key and the three-point line, curled around Fabricio Oberto who was standing there being tall, jumped to the side, clutched the ball to avoid the outstretched arms of Oberto and banked it in.

Chris Paul just lobbed a pass over a mass of bodies in the key to a flying Tyson Chandler but it was broken up with authority by Manu Ginobili. It seemed believable, that Chandler could exist by himself in a world above the rim while the rest of the players fought for position on the ground, but then out of nowhere Ginobili’s floppy little arm reached up and slapped it out of the air. You don’t belong up there. Hacks!

It looks like New Orleans is getting frustrated with Manu’s Ginobiliness and I say that because Mo Pete came awfully close to rearranging his bald spot with an elbow in the backcourt. Then while Chris Paul was bringing up the ball, he, for no reason other than to be a weasel, veered into Ginobili as the two crossed center court and actually got the call. I guess Ginobili and karma do a lot of business with each other.

Third quarter now and Chris Paul gets called for a move not unlike the one he just tried to pull on Ginobili in the second! This time he tried to trip up a trailing Bruce Bowen but got called for the offensive foul. Paul really does have a sneaky side, just ask Julius Hodge.

An NBA TV graphic just said Paul and Chandler have hooked up for 39 alley-oops this season. These are the type of stats that should be made easily accessible to fans. Just like charges taken. We always hear complaining about how they don’t keep track of charges taken, and how they should, but then somebody on TV will come out and say so and so is averaging however many charges per game this season. They have to be hidden somewhere, and I’m determined to find out where.

David West is money and has been all game. But nobody even thinks about covering him. I guess it’s easy to assume that a player with his build should have to move closer to the basket to get his points but he doesn’t. He reminds me of a Best of Brian Cook Mixtape. Don’t laugh. Dude’s got 24 point on 11-15 shooting.

As time winds down in the third quarter the Hornets are on top by half a dozen. I honestly don’t expect them to keep up with the Spurs in the fourth and final, but then again I never expect anybody to ever keep up with the Spurs, the best team of this generation – by far.

Hornets up twelve in the fourth quarter, that’s got to be one of their biggest leads of the game. Go figure, the commentators just confirmed it.Tim Duncan is looking extremely mortal in the key with Tyson Chandlers bony outstretched arms in his face. I like this for the Hornets, but not for TD’s production and thus my fantasy team.

Question, where does Manu Ginobili rank amongst the best guards in the league? Probably better than you think. Certainly better than I find myself thinking every few weeks until I actually end up watching him again. It’s just hard to say he’s top-ten or top-15 without swallowing hard and grimacing a little.

New Orleans has stretched the gap to 21, make that 23, as Chris Paul nails a fadeaway from the top of the key at the end of the shot clock. Okay, as I slowly work on writing this paragraph the Hornets keep adding to the lead so let’s just say they’re up a lot with three minutes left in the game.

The Spurs are here and everybody’s healthy, so what does a win like this mean for a team like the Hornets? It’s easy to rally off seven wins in a row against teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle Sonics, but you can’t fake a convincing blowout over the reigning champions.

Ime Udoka on San Antonio reminds me of Jason Hart, I love how aside from the internal core of the Spurs (Duncan, Ginobili, Parker, Bowen, and we’ll say Robert Horry too), the rest of the team is nothing more than a revolving door of journeymen and NBDL call ups. Today’s Fabricio Oberto and Franciso Elson are yesterday’s Rasho Nesterovic and Nazr Mohammed. Michael Finley is Devon White who was Stephen Jackson. Yet they always find their way to the top of the barrel. Is it a testament to Greg Poppovich? The team chemistry established by the returning guys? Who knows, but whatever it is, it works. Works meaning every other night other than tonight against the Hornets. Ouch!

Well the game’s over and New Orleans came out on top 102-78. I’m impressed. I can’t help but look at the Spurs’ 42% field goal percentage, or the fact that they hit just two of the 20 triples they attempted, but at least some of that has to be credited to the Hornets’ defense.

Umm. See ya?


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