With 19 wins separating the San Antonio Spurs (27-9) and the New Orleans Hornets (8-25), it should be an easy win from a fan's standpoint.
From a player's standpoint, Tim Duncan knows better and his San Antonio Spurs aren't going to think underestimate the Hornets.
Their coach, Monty Williams, comes from the Spurs' organization and was influenced by Duncan's head coach Gregg Popovich. If Monty is anything close to Pop, the Spurs know that they'll have a Hornets team ready to play despite their record:
"They are a very well coached and they're coached to play hard. They have some really good talent."
The Hornets have been a challenge to San Antonio the last two meetings this season, both games were extremely close at the end.
In game one, the Spurs squeaked by with a 99-95 win and an equally close 99-94 win in game two. The Hornets were without their star shooting guard Eric Gordon and he's slowly getting into playing shape with more minutes.
It'll be a difficult task for San Antonio since they haven't played the Hornets with Gordon in their lineup and that'll change their offense and defense significantly. Their youth is what makes them dangerous on the court, which brings an energy San Antonio can't match with their veteran core.
Duncan knows that they are at a disadvantage against the Hornets and they'll command respect.
"We're going to respect them and go in there and hopefully play well against them."
Nothing is a given in the NBA, especially for the Spurs who have had the experience of witnessing large leads and series leads disappear from them. This veteran squad and its mix of youth will play the Hornets smart and the respect factor is the key to that.
Duncan and his Spurs have to use their veteran smarts against Anthony Davis and his Hornets' inexperience. The Spurs will get their open shots and they're not guaranteed to fall every night.
That's happened to the Spurs plenty of time. Duncan knows when he said they "hope to play well against them," the defense will play the biggest role and that's how the Spurs will show their respect for the Hornets.
The first game at New Orleans was close throughout the whole game, but the game here, while it was close for a little while, the Spurs did get some separation. It was only 99-94 at the end because the Hornets wanted to make it respectable. It'll probably be another close one but the Spurs should win again.
It will be 3rd meeting between them. Gordon will play, so what? The Spurs will win against this lightweight team. By the way. Casspi of the Cavs requested for a trade. This may open up other possibilities. He is a viable sf at 6'9". Maybe the Spurs are interested. The trade could come with others like Varejao and some guys with Casspi. The Spurs could give Jackson, Blair, Bonner and 2 of their guards. It may look attractive to the Cavs with Jackson and Blair having expiring contracts and the money involved maybe at par.
Waiting for tesoro to come on here and say we should let the hornets win because they only have 8 wins.
And why would I like that? I keep an open mind with respect other teams like the Heat, Clippers, Knicks and Thunder. The fact that I like these teams doesn't make me anti-Spurs. I like them because they make adjustments and wish the Spurs would do the same. So tha Hornets have 8 wins. So what? The Spurs don't have to give away a win. The Hornets are a lightweight team and it will be embarrassing for the Spurs to lose. If it were the 4 teams above mentioned, I would understand with a heavy heart because the Spurs Mgnt is remissed in their duties.