Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Seven things the Hornets HAVE to do to close out this series in Game 6:

1) Chris Paul has to get to the rim. They are most dangerous when he is able to penetrate, like Tony Parker does.

2) David West has to outplay Tim Duncan again. In order for the Hornets to take the next step, West has to have a breakthrough performance on the road against the greatest power forward in NBA history. It's not as far-fetched a scenario as one might think. We could be in for something historical if he is able to do that with a bad back.

3) Peja and the bench have to step up. Someone else has to have a great game for them to beat the Spurs in San Antonio, whether it be Peja finding a way to get his shot off, Chandler playing great defense and throwing down oops from CP3, or one of the bench players putting in 13 or 14 points, the Hornets have to come at the Spurs as a three headed monster. Its especially big if Chandler plays well because it will be an emotional lift for the team knowing he is hurt.

4) Frustrate the Spurs with defensive pressure and offensive aggressiveness. The Spurs have a tendency sometimes to get chippy and have silly fouls called when they feel the game is slipping away; the Hornets need to cause this to happen in game 6.

5) Hit your free throws. Self explanatory. If you are able to get the calls driving to the basket, capitalize on them! As an add on, at least match them on the offensive and defensive glass! Tim Duncan should not grab 23 rebounds, Greatest forward of all time or not.

6) Make Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli jump shooters. The Spurs, even when shots are falling, are not as good a team when they aren't able to get to the basket. The Hornets have a unique and active front line that can form a wall and keep them out of the paint. When they do get in the paint, hammer them (cleanly though) and make them shoot free throws. Tony Parker should be sore after this one. No freebie layups, this is the Playoffs!

7) Make a patented third quarter run. Come out after the half and hit them in the mouth, whether its a 13-3 or 20-7 run, get out and up by 11 or more going in to the fourth, and your chances of winning game 6 go up exponentially.

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