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Old 05-19-2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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Default 81 Reasons For Lakers Fans To Root For Hornets

Found this article, thought you all might enjoy it!

81 reasons for Lakers fans to root for Hornets

In honor of the number of points Kobe Bryant scored in a game with Morris Peterson as Toronto's primary Bryant defender and Peterson is now New Orleans' primary Bryant defender here are 81 reasons for the Lakers to root for the Hornets to beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinal Monday night:

1. Bryant vs. New Orleans this season: 28 points per game, 50 percent from the field, 45.8 percent on 3-pointers, 25 assists, nine turnovers.

2. Bryant vs. San Antonio this season: 24.3 points per game, 44 percent from the field, 29.4 percent on 3-pointers, 18 assists, 17 turnovers.

3. San Antonio's style will be harder to adjust to particularly for Jordan Farmar and the free-flow, quick-strike Lakers second-team offense. Whereas Utah crashes the offensive boards, opening transition opportunities, San Antonio gets back at all costs.

4-7. Tim Duncan has four NBA championship rings.

8. The post-Katrina New Orleans economy deserves the boost as it recovers: Six months after the hurricane, the Lakers re-opened New Orleans Arena with a March 2006 visit. There has been amazing progress since then, when rats scurried in and out of broken storefronts and a guy in a hoodie jumped at me on a dark street in downtown New Orleans, saying: "Empty your pockets!" (I escaped, losing neither limb nor wallet, and that happy ending led some good-natured joking about the close call: Bryant heard about it and approached me later, gently asking, "Are you OK?" and mockingly offering his security guards.)

9. The fans in Oklahoma City who took in the post-Katrina Hornets until this season deserve the boost while awaiting the SuperSonics' arrival from Seattle. Explaining the Hornets' surprising breakthrough this season, Phil Jackson said: "Oklahoma City is what gave them their confidence about playing together. It was such a supportive backdrop for their younger players."

10. Luke Walton: "Obviously the Spurs are still the team to beat."

11-30. Tony Parker's first 10 playoff games: 25.2-point average, 6.6-assist average, 51.6 field-goal percentage, 41.7 3-point percentage. Chris Paul's first 10 playoff games: 25-point average, 11.3-assist average, 50.8 field-goal percentage, 26.3 3-point percentage.

31. San Antonio is on the road for this Game 7, but don't think for a second that New Orleans was better in the regular season. Both teams won 56 games. The Hornets got the higher seeding only by conference-record tiebreaker.

32. And the now-healthy Spurs were hit far harder by injuries in the regular season than the Hornets. Of the Spurs' 26 losses, 10 came with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili or Parker missing because of injury.

33-35. Duncan, Ginobili and Parker are all better than New Orleans' second-best player, David West.

36-37. West had to leave Game 6 Thursday night with a pinched nerve in his back. Tyson Chandler had to leave Game 5 Tuesday night with a bruised foot.

38. Pau Gasol's strength is his savvy, which works against the inexperienced and emotional Chandler but not against Duncan.

39. On Feb. 20, the Spurs traded for Kurt Thomas, a supremely clever interior defender, and Lamar Odom said: "Wow, that's big for them. His basketball IQ is through the roof." Thomas can guard Gasol, too.

40. The Lakers' Nov. 6 loss to New Orleans came without Odom, who was still recovering from shoulder surgery.

41. The Lakers' March 14 loss in New Orleans came about after Pau Gasol sprained his ankle 21/2 minutes in.

42. The Lakers' Nov. 13 loss in San Antonio left Bryant saying: "They know this offense. They knew it better than we did tonight."

43. The Lakers' April 23 loss in San Antonio left Phil Jackson saying: "They've now got two guys out there (Bruce Bowen and Ime Udoka) who can really defend against Kobe."

44-60: Since the Lakers swept San Antonio in the 2001 playoffs, the Spurs went and got Bowen to line up in front of Bryant and they've locked horns 17 times amid postseason pressure.

61. Final seconds, fourth quarter, Game 7, 2002 Western Conference finals, Sacramento down by a point: Now-Hornet Peja Stojakovic gets a ridiculously open 3-pointer from the corner and shoots an air ball. The Lakers go on to win.

62-64. New Orleans' regular-season field-goal defense ranked 16th in the NBA behind No. 13 Phoenix, No. 14 Denver and No. 15 Toronto!

65. Derek Fisher: "The Spurs are the defending champs, and until they're done, everything goes through them."

66-72. New Orleans' bench: Jannero Pargo, Julian Wright, Bonzi Wells, Melvin Ely, Hilton Armstrong, Mike James and Ryan Bowen.

73. How big is recent playoff experience, where San Antonio rules? It's why Boston, which didn't have as much as Cleveland, nearly gagged.

74-80. Spurs forward Robert Horry's seven championship rings.

81. Hornets coach Byron Scott who was a Lakers teammate and mentor when Bryant was a rookie probably won't be able to stop his Kobe-loving wife, Anita, from cooking Bryant dinner and sending him out to the court with a big hug.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: 81 Reasons For Lakers Fans To Root For Hornets

cool article, thanks for showing
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: 81 Reasons For Lakers Fans To Root For Hornets

Good find.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: 81 Reasons For Lakers Fans To Root For Hornets

the article complements the legitness of the spurs but in a backhanded way... regardless the spurs deverse the respect since they are the defending champs
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