Above The Rim: They’re The Defending Champs For A Reason

I suppose a good deal of us watching on TV were pulling for the Hornets; it’s always fun to see an upstart knock off a team, particularly one seen in some quarters as cheap-shot artists and floppers. The problem is, the San Antonio Spurs are good players who might be all those things I mentioned in the last sentence. Holding off a late rally like they did in the fourth quarter, on the road, is stuff championship teams do regularly — and they did it in a Game 7 when they’d been beaten by double digits in the previous three games in New Orleans. Thus, the Spurs are able to move on behind Ginobili’s 26, Parker’s 17 (and the clutch shot late), and Timmeh’s 16 points and 14 boards.

The crucial thing was San Antonio’s ability to shoot from three; when Duncan couldn’t work it in down low, the kick-outs worked to perfection, with the Spurs hitting 12 3-pointers.  The Hornets have no reason to hang their heads in shame; this is San Antonio they were dealing with, and no 2-0 lead is really safe against the Spurs.  They were a fun team to watch, and I only hope they’ll get better and more enjoyable as they keep growing together.

Photo: AP/Bill Haber

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