Monday, May 5, 2008

Forecast: Hornets can expect to see the Spurs' absolute best tonight contributing writer Ralph Malbrough posted his thoughts on tonight's Game 2 Western Conference semi-final match-up between the Hornets and Spurs:

In the NBA, what defines a champion? They all have great players and a great coach, but the dynasties have something else.

The ability to bounce back after awful playoff games, for instance. Michael Jordan’s Bulls did it repeatedly to the New York Knicks in the 90s. Tonight, we’ll learn if the aging champion still has a strong enough right hand to knock the young Hornets to the floor. I cannot wait to find out the answer.

After San Antonio’s Tim Duncan was awful in game one on Saturday, expect the exact opposite tonight. Sure, the Hornets defense had a lot to do with Duncan’s five point dud of a game, but let’s not get carried away. Duncan is going to the Hall of Fame and Byron Scott didn’t conjure up a secret the rest of the NBA hasn’t thought of in the decade the Spurs have dominated.

So the Spurs will come out angry and looking to set the world back in proper order. That means San Antonio on the throne and the Hornets left to doubt themselves.

Just because the Spurs went to Phoenix and laid the smack down to the Suns in game three of that series doesn’t mean it will happen against the Hornets.

No Champion gets to hold the title indefinitely. Nothing in sports lasts forever.

While the Spurs still have the will, they may no longer possess the way.

Kurt Thomas, Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry are so old Matlock makes jokes about their age.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both over thirty. Teams with two major stars over thirty don’t win titles, according to ESPN's John Hollinger.

Let’s hope the Spurs' run is over and no one realizes it just yet.

Byron Scott’s plan to combat Tim Duncan is a solid one: as long as Tyson Chandler can stay out of foul trouble. And I’m not sure even the genius that is Gregg Popovich can conjure up a way to stop David West.

I had been thinking the Spurs would win in seven games but maybe I’m just falling into ‘media group think.’

Most of the media thinks the Spurs will win in a really good series in either six or seven games. The reason: they’re the Spurs.

It’s as good a reason as any because they do have four championships, but maybe the Hornets are the right team to take down the champs.

Why? No playoff baggage.

The Suns had been beaten by the Spurs twice before in the playoffs and really never believed they could beat them. The Hornets have no such doubts and while this is their first playoff trip and they lack experience, they also have no failures. A clean slate and no pressure.

Oh and Chris Paul is becoming a superstar now. Not during the Olympics or the 2009 season, but right now. It’s almost comical to listen to the talking heads talk about Paul.

They all admit he’s great and will be a superstar and then they add, “but I think the Spurs experience will win out.”

Do they refuse to believe their eyes? More likely they just stick to what they know and that is the Spurs winning. 0-2 is a gigantic hole to climb out of. The Spurs know it.

So tonight the champ will come out swinging and the Hornets have yet another chance to silence the doubters.

Ralph Malbrough is a Hornets fan living in Houston. He can be reached at


Anonymous said...

"Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both over thirty. Teams with two major stars over thirty don’t win titles, according to ESPN's John Hollinger."

To be fair, Hollinger was blowing goats for most of the mid-late 90's.

Mr. Held Over said...

@ Anonymous: Your argument is completely baseless...but utterly HILARIOUS! +1 for you, sir!