(Sports Network) - The vaunted San Antonio Spurs head to the Big Easy
Wednesday night to take on Southwest Division rivals, the new-look New Orleans
Hornets in the NBA debut of No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis.
Davis, who played one year at Kentucky and led the Wildcats to a national
championship, spent the summer on Team USA at the London Olympics and is ready
to lead the Hornets in his rookie season.
New Orleans head coach Monty Williams has been so impressed with Davis
offensively, that Williams said Davis would see some time at the small forward
spot. Not bad for a 6-foot-10 stud known primarily for his defense.
Davis wasn't the only major addition to a Hornets team that went 21-45 last
Austin Rivers was selected 10th in the NBA Draft, but has been hampered by a
sprained right ankle. He is expected to play Wednesday night.
Eric Gordon, the main piece in last season's Chris Paul blockbuster trade,
signed a restricted free-agent deal with the Phoenix Suns, but the Hornets
matched. He is still bothered by a bum right knee and his availability for the
season opener is in question.
The Hornets acquired reigning Most Improved Player Ryan Anderson in a sign-
and-trade with the Orlando Magic.
There are a lot of new pieces to give Hornets' fans optimism.
There are very few new pieces for the Spurs, who really don't need much help.
San Antonio tied for the best record in the NBA last season and was knocked
out in the Western Conference Finals by the Oklahoma City Thunder. They made
almost no moves in the offseason, other than re-signing all-world Tim Duncan
to a three-year deal.
"I'm glad the regular season is here and we get to play some games," Duncan
said on Monday.
He will be back to anchor the Spurs, but the team's best player has become
Tony Parker. He nearly missed the Olympics for his French national team, when
he injured his eye in a New York bar fight. Parker averaged 18.3 points per
game last season and a career-high 7.7 assists. He finished fifth in the
2011-12 MVP voting.
The third member of the Spurs' version of the Big Three, Manu Ginobili,
didn't even travel to New Orleans. According to the San Antonio Express-News,
Ginobili stayed home to nurse a sore back, which kept him out of four
The role players of the Spurs, arguably the best role players in the league,
are all back. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner and Gary
Neal will help out Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw to lighten
the load on Duncan, Parker and Ginobili.
The Spurs won all four games against the Hornets last season and 11 of the
last 13 meetings. San Antonio has won two straight in New Orleans and five of
the last six.
The Sports Network