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The Sports Daily > Project Spurs
Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Hornets
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (1-0) vs. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (2-0)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Tim Duncan 23.0 Tim Duncan 12.0 Tony Parker 9.0
HORNETS David West 19.5 Emeka Okafor 8.5 Chris Paul 11.5

The San Antonio Spurs won their season opener over the Indiana Pacers 122-109 with their “Big Three” scoring at least 20 points a piece. They will try to start a winning streak of their own against their Southwest Division foe, New Orleans Hornets, who remain unbeaten after two games in the AT&T Center. The Spurs won the season series against the Hornets last season and are hoping to continue that trend.

The Hornets are coming off a thrilling 101-95 victory against the Denver Nuggets and will try to extend their winning streak to three games against a well rested San Antonio squad.

The Spurs will likely to continue to miss the services of Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter and Matt Bonner who is expected to be out up to two weeks after spraining his right ankle in the Spurs’ season opener.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:


Offense
The Spurs used a balanced offensive attack on their season opener against the Pacers. It will be key for the Spurs to try and jump on their opponents early in game as the Hornets will play the second night of back-to-backs. Tim Duncan must establish his inside game and at the same time find open teammates to hit their outside shots.
Defense — The Spurs need to be more consistent on defense and set the tone early. Though they did get the win over the Pacers, coach Popovich expressed disappointment over the lack of defense so expect a more concerted effort on defense. It will be key for them counter Chris Paul’s play making ability. Paul has been a nightmare for opposing teams as he can score and get his teammates involve on offense.
HORNETS:

Offense — It all starts with Paul, and he is getting plenty of help. After two games, four Hornets are averaging in double figures. David West has been anchoring the teams’ inside offense while Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli has provided backcourt scoring.

Defense — Limiting Duncan on the inside and defending the perimeter. The Spurs shot 45% from behind the arc entering this game. Also, transition defense seeing how the Spurs used more of a running game in their win over the Pacers.

INJURIES

Spurs — Tiago Splitter – strained right plantaris muscle (out), Matt Bonner – sprained right ankle. 

Hornets — None.

PREDICTION: The Spurs might have caught a good break as they will face a Hornets team that played their starters heavy minutes against the Denver Nuggets the night before. However, the Spurs should be wary of the Hornets’ balanced offensive attack and try to establish their defense at the start of the game, and try to pull away early.
The Spurs will lean on their experience and depth against the Hornets and will get their second victory in as many games.