In order to be the champ, you gotta beat the champ. And in order to beat the champ, you gotta bring a better game than the young and on the cusp New Orleans Hornets brought to try to beat the champion San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
The Spurs kept their thumb on the Hornets all night, simply playing their normal game while the Hornets were pressing, missing open shots, and getting caught in the Spurs' winning web. Even Chris Paul seemed a bit out of his element, trying a bit too hard to make it happen while playing from behind.
This game was proof positive that a playoff Game 7 is a different beast and experience knows best how to tame it. The league had a chance to evolve this year with the young, exciting Hornets eliminating a Spurs team that has methodically maintainted their position as the top shelf team in the L. The Hornets seemed to have more than enough horses to take down the Spurs, but too many missed opportunities (not to mention missed shots) gave the champs to seize the Game 7 W.
I hope Kobe Bryant and the Lakers enjoyed their rest, they'll need every minute of it to take down the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.