Another extremely well-executed third quarter surge for the Hornets which resulted in another Hornets blowout in the end. Wow, playing like this, everyone hitting shots, crowd going wild, the only wildcard left is how the Hornets play in San Antonio. My prediction, same as the Mavs series, we’ll lose Game 3 or 4, and then finish it in 5. Or maybe 6, if the Spurs are able to redeem themselves and somehow stop the unstoppable force that is the Hornets.
1) Ceee Peee Three was finally an offensive powerhouse again. Since Game 3 of the first round, he was doubled and couldn’t drive to the hoop and score, and we hadn’t seen the dominance he had in the first two games. But today he dominated like the MVP he ought to be. He was able to drive right through Duncan and Parker, and had way too many awesome crossovers and moves in the paint. Wow. He finished with 30 points and 12 assists, of course, finding Chandler on the oop, and most importantly Peja on the three.
2) Peja was awesome himself. I have to look at the box score to see if he actually missed, because he was on fire. Every catch and shoot shot went straight in, all those off balance threes. Remember that one guy on ESPN who said signing Peja was a bust? Well, that guy was stupid, (editor (atthehive)’s note: It was Marc Stein.) Peja has done this the whole season, and once again comes up big in the playoffs. The third quarter ownage was really because of Predrag’s shooting. Oh yeah, finally TNT got some decent coverage on those Peja on a stick heads, they had a nice zoom-in on them after the Peja shots, but still not as many as I originally expected. Better than yesterday, at least.
3) Mo Pete was terrific and was essential to building up that momentum. Morris holds somewhat an underrated role on the team (compared to Paul, West, Peja, etc.), but his hustle and shooting have been key to the Hornets. He shot 5-5 with 12 points, plus he had 3 assists, I think all of which went to Peja three’s. Great effort by him the whole playoffs, Mo Pete is just frickin’ awesome. He doesn’t take over games like Pargo or Paul, but he is the consistent force in the Hornets back court that drives these runs.
4) Do the Spurs just quit after the Hornets start doing well? Seriously, Parker 11, Ginobli 13, and Duncan slightly better with 18. The defense on them was great, I’m not saying it wasn’t, but they were not able to do anything against the Hornets surge. Parker had his fair share good drives and layups, but none of them played with the intensity of a team down 1. D West had a pretty crappy day, 2-11, but the Hornets still won fought through it, proving their versatility.
The way the Hornets have won so far echoes the regular season exactly, with third quarter dominance and subsequent blowout victories. The Hornets won twice against the Spurs in the regular season with a 24.5 point margin, and the Spurs won 2 in a 10.5 point margin. So it’s very likely San Antonio could rattle off two outstanding games back in Texas. But just based on home court advantage, N’awlins will be in position to win it if we can steal a win on the road within the next two games. I honestly have to wait and see how the Spurs play in San Antonio to make better predictions on the series.
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