Game 5 at New Orleans
Hornets -3½ vs Spurs (186½)
This series has been as advertised, with each team holding serve at home and looking dominant. The Spurs turned a 2-0 deficit into a best-of-3 by switching Bruce Bowen on Peja Stojakovic and putting Tony Parker on Chris Paul. It resulted in the two talented point guards offsetting each other, while Peja became a nonfactor. In Game 5, New Orleans also needs a better effort from All-Star forward David West, who has not come close to his brilliant 30-point effort in Game 1.
The Spurs have the experience and the psychological edge that comes with back-to-back double-digit wins. However, the home court advantage in the playoffs has been enormous both to victories and spread covers. San Antonio has had not success at New Orleans even during the regular season. While we haven’t had a close game, it’s likely this will be a defensive struggle in what could be the pivotal game of the series. Only one of the four games has exceeded this 186½ total so we’ll expect a half-court, physical battle with so much on the line. UNDER.