I’ll analyse this matchup that’s about to start in the next few minutes and also just the teams going into this season in general.
I think the Spurs are going to be great this year, that doesn’t really mean much at all considering they’re always among the top seeds in the West – never mind the whole NBA. They don’t have the youngest roster in the NBA nor the most athletic but they’re the smartest roster and have the best coach in the NBA. That combination is lethal because most teams don’t know what to expect from this deep roster. I think for the Spurs to succeed this year is to keep playing their game and keep playing smart. They need their younger role players to step up. It can be intimidating sometimes to be playing among hall of famers in one of the most winningest franchises in the NBA but they provide the three point scoring and the perimeter offense. The reason guys like Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Gary Neal are so important for the Spurs is because they are the sparks of athleticism for the Spurs and they are the supporting role players. They’re going to be open for spot up jumpers all the time and they need to be ready to knock those down. They need Manu Ginobli to provide that spark off the bench for them. He’s struggling with back spasms at the moment and won’t be playing tonight but he is going to set the tone off the bench and provide some extra points off the bench.
The Hornets need to play together. They need to stick together. They’re a young roster of rookies, sophomores and third to fifth year players. They can’t have any guy think it’s their team. They all have to play as one and keep their heads up. There is tons of excitement going into this season especially for the rookies and they need to keep a positive attitude. They aren’t going to find success immediately especially with their best player Eric Gordon injured for the beginning of the season. They can’t expect the NBA season to be an easy road as it may seem in their dreams they have to remember it’s hard work and stay focused. I think they should definitely get a lot of pick and roll action with Anthony Davis because not only can he finish inside with his long arms but he can pop from mid range, he’ll be hard to guard if they play it right. They also have to play strong defense. They were one of the worst defensive teams last season and I know Anthony Davis is a defensive mastermind but the rest of the roster has to help out as well. They can’t rely on the interior defense to win them games. The perimeter guys have to work just as hard. I think if Robin Lopez can produce on the inside then they will reach more success, they lack a true inside scorer and Robin Lopez is the only true post offensive guy and he has more experience then most players so he’ll have to step up.
In this game specifically I think the Hornets have to stay confident and play hard, the Spurs are a savvy veteran team who will be relaxed and poised throughout the game. The Hornets are bursting with excitement, for a lot of these guys this is maybe the 2nd or third opening night for them ever. The Hornets have to try and run, they’re very athletic especially Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis and try to beat the slower Spurs on the break. The Spurs have to work the ball and try get their shooters open on the perimeter. I’ll give this one to the Hornets because I think the young Hornets are dying to show what they’re made of and Anthony Davis is just waiting to show everyone he is worth all the hype.