Looking ahead to the Hornets - Spurs series.
Chris Paul vs. Tony Parker
CP3 has been outstanding in the playoffs, but so has Tony Parker. Paul yanked the torch out of Jason Kidd's hand, and Parker yanked it out of Steve Nash's hand. They're roughly the same size. As good as Paul is, I have a hard time counting out Parker.
Morris Peterson vs. Michael Finley
I know Michael Finley's the starter, but it really doesn't matter what the line-up says. Manu comes in after about five minutes of clock and plays the bulk of the minutes, and this year the Spurs Big 3 have produced like nobody's business. Finley splits time between the 2 and 3 with Manu. Strictly between Peterson and Finley, it's pretty close.
Peja Stoyakovic vs. Bruce Bowen
Peja's been resurrected in New Orleans, and while Bowen is still a good defender, he's not as fast as he used to be, nor is his 3-point shot there as often as it used to be.
David West vs. Tim Duncan
West became an All-Star this year, and he's really good at shooting over his man and moving without the ball. But Tim Duncan is arguably the best power forward to ever play the game.
Tyson Chandler vs. Fabricio Oberto
Chandler is a tremendous defender and great at catching alley-oop passes from Parker. Oberto is a seven-footer than can take up space and set screens.
Jannero Pargo, Bonzi Wells, Julian Wright & Hilton Armstrong vs. Manu Ginobili, Brent Barry, Jacque Vaughn & Kurt Thomas.
The Spurs bench ain't what it used to be, but since Ginobili's on it, it's the best bench in the playoffs.
Byron Scott vs. Gregg Popovich
I'm seeing a trend here with the Western coaches still in the playoffs. They've all been to the NBA Finals before. Scott's been great with this team, but Pops has four rings.
The Hornets play fearless and have home court advantage. The Spurs have won four of the last nine championships and know how to close out close games. Were I conspiracy theorist, I'd say David Stern would love to see the Hornets face the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, but it's always dangerous to count out the Spurs. Then again, they only win their championships in odd-numbered years.
Prediction: The Spurs in 6 or the Hornets in 7. In that order.