Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jose Lima on the Hornets: "BEE-lieve It!"

If you're any one of the other 29 teams in the league, here's the scariest thing you could read today from a blogger (and not just ANY blogger. AOL Sports' Tom Ziller): Chris Paul Has No Ceiling. What's so scary about that? He wrote posted it online at 7 a.m. Monday morning, more than 12 hours BEFORE Chris Paul obliterated the Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference semi-finals.

Frankly, there is not enough verbage for me to fully describe what occurred in the New Orleans Arena Monday night. Not only with regard to CP3's performance, but on the team's performance as a whole: Peja Stojakovic made it rain from behind the arc, hitting 5-of-7 for most of his 25 points (he also had six rebounds) ... and even though he scored a mere 10 points in the game (six of which came on free throws), David 'the 17 Foot Assassin' West combined with Tyson 'God of War' Chandler for 21 total rebounds, just three less than the five San Antonio starters COMBINED.

And how 'bout the man of the hour? 'Mega Man' himself, CP3. I wrote on Sunday that the Hornets would need more production from the point guard position. I expected the wunderkind to have himself a nice game, but damn! 30 points and 12 assists.

The Hornets are seemingly on a whole other plain of thought here, because when the team needs somebody to step up, it's happened for them in these playoffs. When Chris Paul stopped being the man in the Dallas series, D-West made it his objective run all up in Dirk's pillbox and torch the German like it was from the first 25 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan." Chris Paul showed up in Game 5 to help close the show along with Peja.

In Game 1 against the Spurs, Tyson Chandler and David West made damn sure Tim Duncan had little to no effect on the game. When D-West slipped in performance, Peja stepped up and started draining three pointer and started to take a run at Martin Gramatica for the title of 'Best/Most Amusing Foreign-Born Athlete in the City of New Orleans.'

As thrilled as I am, though, I must temper my nipple popping excitement over the Hornets because these are STILL the defending NBA Champions and I have a sneaky suspicion that the refs will be far more 'pro-Spurs' in Games 3 and 4. I don't want to start thinking of any 'anti-Kobe' invective until AFTER the Hornets win that fourth game against Duncan and company, at which point I'll put the 'anti-Duncan' invective in the closet.

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