The Spurs started out running and continued running the Hornets right out of the building tonight in Game 4 of their series. We hear that cliche all the time, you can win games with heart and hustle. The reason why you hear it is because sometimes its the straight up truth. The Spurs just outplayed the Hornets by pure hustle.

Early in the 1st quarter, Byron Scott told his team the same thing. Here are a couple of early sequences with Tony Parker outrunning everyone and Byron Scott lecturing his players on their lack of hustle,

Prior to the playoffs, the talk all around regarding the Hornets was their lack of experience. I think in the past 2 games it's safe to say, we saw some of that inexperience show itself in their demeanor. They lost their cool a bit in game 3 and tonight they just came out flat taking some bad shots and then compounding it by not getting back on defense. Just little things, but very important when you put them all together.

Motivation is always a tough gig, especially with the younguns. Listening to Byron Scott, I couldn't help but think about the many many times I've told my players similar things. "You're getting beat, they're running harder than you. They're beating us at our own game..." Sometimes, kids gotta learn the hard way.

Transition Defense:

Here, the Hornets get back on transition defense, but with a speedster like Tony Parker, you need that 5th guy back on help-side because it's too easy for him to beat a back-pedaling Chris Paul,

Key to key, I tell my forwards. In this second clip, the Hornets did a much better job getting back on transition defense and I probably would've played the ball-screen underneath as well since the only weakness to Parker's game is the long jumper. But it underscores the importance of taking care of the ball. If you're loose with the ball, good teams will run it down your throat,


The series is tied 2-2 now. The Hornets do have home court advantage but the Spurs have momentum and they have a formula for slowing the Hornets down, by basically not allowing West, Chandler, Stojakovic anything easy. It will be interesting to see what changes Byron Scott will make going to game 5. Will there be less 1v1 and more drive and kick, stagger screens for Stojakovic, or a high PNR instead of the side PNR they usually run.

For more early offense and fast break video info, check out Tom Izzo's new DVD on the Numbered Fast Break. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.