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Now That’s A 3rd Quarter Collapse

By Jeff Koch on January 22, 2011.

San Antonio 72, New Orleans 96  //  37-7  //  1st in the West

That was a good ol’ fashioned butt-whupping, no two ways about it. There’s not a whole lot to say about the game, not much analysis or dissection that needs to take place. The Hornets beat us in every facet of the game. Rebounds: 57-32. FG%: 47-36. 3-Pt Made: 12-4. After a dismal first half in which both teams struggled to shoot and score points, the Hornets completely overwhelmed us and seized control in a 31-10 3rd quarter.

Nothing went right for the team all game. Credit New Orleans for playing exceptional defense, completely closing off the lane and the rim, forcing us to take long, contested 2-point shots that we just couldn’t make. With the entire team going cold, we were never able to loosen up the defense. On the other end, the Hornets faced the same issues, but with some 3-point makes late in the first half, the Spurs defense finally loosened up in the 3rd quarter, allowing the Hornets offense to explode. In a defensive battle when the lane is packed in and the rim is shut down, perimeter shooting is what will slowly open up and expose the defense. The Hornets shot great, we didn’t. End of ball game.

One other note from the game: Manu Ginobili played very poorly. There’s a fine line between genius and reckless, and it’s a line that Ginobili has made a career out of towing. Gregg Popovich learned a long time ago that the price of Ginobili’s genius is his sporadic forays into awfulness. At 37-7 and in the midst of a personal career year, the good far outweighs the bad. But as beautiful as he is to watch on most nights, it’s like a train wreck that you can’t quite turn away from on the bad nights. His play has been down of late, so let’s hope he can pick it up in the upcoming days and weeks.

Luckily, nothing cures offensive woes like a visit to the Golden State Warriors.

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