(Editor’s note: Because of time constraints, this recap will have a little less content than usual. I’m sorry and I will do better in churning these out in a more timely manner.)
– The Spurs won despite shooting 36-for-90 from the field (40.0 percent) and an awful 2-for-19 from behind the arc. The New Orleans Hornets went 35-for-81 (45.7 percent) and shot especially well from 16-23 feet. They went 14-for-25 which represents a considerable anomaly in the NBA.
– In the last week, the Spurs have accomplished the feat of 10-plus offensive rebounds and more than 90 field goal attempts twice. That has only happened seven times all year.
– DeJuan Blair was awesome. In only 25:18, Blair totaled 23 points, seven rebounds (five offensive), two steals on 64.3 percent shooting. When he’s aggressive and finding spots on the floor to camp for offensive rebounds or creating creating space in pick-and-rolls, Blair is incredibly hard to stop. Gustavo Ayon was bullied down low when he was engaged in close hand-to-hand combat with the “Dancing Bear.”
– The Spurs were really aggressive last night. Once again, they held an advantage in points in the paint (52-42). The teams combined for 73 attempts at the rim.
– Again, Jarrett Jack was successful in dismantling the Spurs defense. He totaled 27 points on 11-19 shooting, seven rebounds, five assists and four turnovers. With Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Emeka Okafor and Jason Smith out last night, he was asked to carry the entire offense and that he did.
– Early on, I felt the game wouldn’t be easy. Give the Hornets due credit, they don’t lay down. They play tough defense and force the opposing team into a dawdling, frustrating pace. The Hornets have lost by a combined 13 points in three games against the Spurs.
– Some proof: The Spurs were up 10-4 with about eight minutes left in first quarter. After a couple of Tim Duncan misses and a Blair lineup that couldn’t find the rim, Jack scored six consecutive points that tied the game up at 10-10. He did so by utilizing his midrange jumper and an impressive foray to the rim.
– Great defense, Kawhi Leonard. His discipline forced Jack into a costly carrying call with 32.7 seconds left in the game.
– Better luck next time, Danny Green. He did make a critical shot from the corner that put the Spurs up 89-86. Of course, he followed that impressive shot with two missed free throws that gave New Orleans another shot at tying the game.
– Tony Parker looked slow last night. He admitted that he needed some time to fully heal from his hamstring issue in his postgame presser. “I can’t really push off, so I looked a little bit slow today.” Parker also said that he would spend more time with strength coach Matt Herring to rehabilitate. This could probably explain why Parker wouldn’t get to the rim with the same proficiency and, instead, relied heavily on perimeter shots. Even so, he still was good enough to post another double-double.