Hornets vs. Spurs, Game 1

By Aggrey Sam

This will be quick.

–Got to the game just before tip. Saw the other half of the GreyTone crew as he was walking in. Sychronized like swimmers. Or Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. Or Julian Wright and Ryan Bowen.

–Sea of yellow in the Hive tonight, as every fan was given a “Fan Up” T-shirt as they came in, as well as a mini-Peja head on a stick. Tone wants both. This is the loudest I’ve ever heard this place.

–Tyson Chandler is an animal. Five boards in the first two minutes or so.

–Hornets start game on an 8-0 run. Spurs timeout.

–Tone confuses Reggie Miller for Mark Jackson. You’re better than that.

–Spurs storm back. Tony Parker isn’t playing. Not literally. In fact, he’s playing very well.

–The CP “homecooked” Hornets jerseys are quite a popular item. Not for me.

–Bonzi is the sixth man tonight instead of Pargo. I don’t like messing with team chemistry, but I guess the coach of the year should have some leeway. He was a Spurs killer in Sac-town, during another contract year.

–Bruce Bowen hits three treys in the first quarter, including a non-corner shot to beat the shot clock with 6 seconds left, before CP takes the ball coast to coast to beat the horn. Spurs up 27-23 after one.
This happened while I was getting red beans and rice after the quarter. Long delay.

–Melvin Ely is in the game to start the second quarter. Maybe Byron thinks practicing against a team for a year means a player knows their secrets.

–Bruce Bowen writhing in pain is humorous to GreyTone. Suspect flagrant called on Bonzi.
–Fin and Peja think they’re back in Dallas and Sac-town, respectively. That’s a good thing.
–Bowen hits his fifth trey of the half, an and-one. 17 points to lead all scorers at the break. Meanwhile, Duncan has three and three on 1-6. Bizarro World. Spurs up, 49-45.
–No rhythm to this game. It’s like three in one, with the first quarter followed by the delayed second quarter and now the second half. Oh yeah, I saw Craig Sager outside at halftime. Nice guy, though he seemed disappointed, as his gold suit was muted by all the yellow shirts in crowd.

–Peja is leading the Hornets charge with his shooting, along with Dave West’s ever-steady blend of post and mid-range work and Tyson’s general inside play and energy.
–Bowen is suddenly cold. Things gets worse after he fouls CP on the break, which incites a mild brouhaha.

–Hornets go up eight, 74-66, after three. CP isn’t having a vintage game, but the aforementioned trio and an overall team effort is getting it done.
–A Spurs timeout leads into one of the best Honeybees routines I’ve seen in a while. They later do this thing I call “The T-Shirt Dance,” which you would only understand after seeing it. Maybe it’s not that complicated.
–CP starts turning it on late and blows the game wide open toward the end. The highlight: His fake pass spin move around Bowen on the break. Missed the finger roll, but he was fouled and it was a hell of a move.

–Hornets win, 101-82. CP finishes with 17, 13 dimes and four steals (seemed like twice that), West gets a blue collar 30 and nine boards, Tyson has 10 and 15 and Peja drops 22. TP has 23 and five dimes in the loss, Manu adds 19 and seven, Timmy ends up with five and Bowen doesn’t score after the break. And the GreyTone duo hits Frenchman Street.
–Maybe the Spurs just had a bad game, maybe the Hornets were extra hype for the first game of the series and maybe the fire messed up the flow of the game, but I’m now thinking the Hornets can win this thing in less than seven. As in six. Seems optimistic, but I could see them defending home court again Monday and stealing one in Texas. Also, the Suns are really bad. The Spurs are not what we thought they are.