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Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Spurs Stung Twice in the Hornets' Nest

In the end, the defending champions lost twice, badly, against the team that everybody thought was not yet ready for prime time.

The San Antonio Spurs are a devastatingly good team. And they are still trying to figure out how to crack the the code on Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, David West, Julian Wright, and the New Orleans Hornets.

Memo to the League: the Hornets are very ready for prime time. This is not the team you want to face.

Game 2 featured a ton of interesting stuff. Thoughts:

So, now you have to think: what's next? What does this mean? Don't teams that go up 2-0 almost always win? Could the Spurs really be done?

On the one hand, a 2-0 lead against the Spurs is not the same as a 2-0 lead against any old team. They Spurs are not going to quit, panic, make stupid mistakes, or stop trying new things. What's more, they will get more love from the referees in San Antonio, and that will make a big difference -- a lot of their game is about working the zebras, and they did not work them well in the first two games. The Spurs also have to be considered heavy favorites in any nail-biters, in which they are exquisitely coached.

With all those factors being true, what it really means is that to keep beating the Spurs, you actually have to be notably better.

Are the Hornets notably better? They just might be. They really haven't struggled much so far in these playoffs, and they have played some solid competition. The Hornets are for real.

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)