The San Antonio Spurs (4-1) take on the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night in what should be an exciting game at the AT&T Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 8:30pm ET and will be televised on FSSW. San Antonio is coming off a heartbreaking 102-99 loss to the Washington Wizards after Bradley Beal hit a game-winning three right before the buzzer. The Hornets are coming off an impressive 108-94 win against the Dallas Mavericks on the road.
What are some keys to a Spurs win, and who will win the game?
–Stop AL JEFFERSON
Noticed how I put Al Jefferson‘s name in caps lock. That’s how important it is to stop the talented scoring big man. Jefferson destroyed the Mavericks, as he went for 31 points on 15-of-18 shooting in only 27 minutes. When Jefferson is right, he is one of the best scoring bigs in the league. The Spurs must limit him early on before he can get in rhythm.
At this stage Kemba Walker is arguably the better point guard. Walker is averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 assists this season. It’s important for Parker to contain him, not necessarily match his production. Despite being capable of going for 20 points on any given night, Walker (38% fg) is really inefficient. It won’t hurt if Parker puts up 16 or 17 points like he has in the last two games.
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–Pound the Ball Inside
I mentioned before that Jefferson is a force offensively. Defensively, he has his flaws. Jefferson and Marvin Williams won’t ever be known as “stoppers”. LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan should have their way inside. Spencer Hawes and Frank Kaminsky come off the bench for them down low. It seems as if the two are allergic to the paint most of the time.
The Charlotte Hornets are starting to roll with Al Jefferson and Nicolas Batum playing well. They are also getting terrific bench production from Jeremy Lamb. At the end of the day the Spurs are the much better team and they are home. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge should have big performances.