Last 5 games: 4-1
Spurs Point differential: +6.8
Vegas: Lakers +3
Similar problems, Different expectations: The Spurs are suffering from the same inability to play well without their backs being against the wall. Thatâ€™s a bad habit and a hard one to break. The Spurs and their fan base continue to be concerned with the teamâ€™s age and lack of depth. Will they be able to wrestle a top seed away from the Mavericks or have a better record than the Suns? In San Antonio, the only suitable outcome of a season ends in a parade.
Look for Duncan to work at establishing his jump shot early to free himself up in the paint later in the game. He was introduced to Andrew Bynumâ€™s shot blocking ability in the last meeting, so watch as he looks to get Socks (not so sure about this nickname) into foul trouble.
The Lakers: Losing to Stinkers for a Decade: Not exactly a slogan for a T-shirt, but an undeniable fact. The Magic Lakers did it, The Kobe-Shaq Lakers did it. And now this.
Dealing with Rejection: In the current SI issue, Chris Ballard discusses the intaginble, unteachable artistry and aptitude that is the shot block. Unforgivably, he relegates young Andrew Bynum to one sentence, even though he is averaging 1.6 on the season and 2.8 in January, including 6 against the Nuggets and 7 last night in the loss.
LOWEST PERCENTAGE of blocks OUT-OF-BOUNDS
Dikembe Mutombo, Rockets 5%
Andrew Bynum, Lakers 6%
Ballard aslo coins a new verb to replace the archaic “posterized”. Usage example: Last time the Lakers played the Spurs, Kobe “Youtubed” Tim Duncan twice.
Be Watching When: is the name of the campaign for the NBA on ABC. Kelly Dwyer sitting in for Henry at True Hoop, a personal fave on the blog roll, offers some advice on suffering through ABCâ€™s Sunday NBA telecasts and links to articles chronicling its ratings decline. How much of that can be blamed on ABCâ€™s production? My take: I guarantee at least one play (basket, foul, turnover) will not be seen because we are being shown another boring pre-recorded telling-us-something-we-already-knew athlete interview.
In Football itâ€™s a Yellow Card: No, not that football, soccer. The flop, a move unmistakably connected in history to the Lakers. Magic taught Vlade how to do it, and he ended up using his powers for evil while donning a Kings’ uniform. But a technical for it? It is a deliberate attempt at deceiving the ref and shouldnâ€™t that be punished?
Youtube find of the week: You didnâ€™t know Mike Dunleavy was a part of the NBAâ€™s new super slo-mo ad campaign? One involves old friend Ty Lue manhandling him, the other involves him throwing a tantrum and his jersey into the stands. Thanks to GSoM commenter and friend Jaynubs for the heads up.
On the Shoulderâ€™s of Giants: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has penned a book about growing up in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. Jazz and basketball have been relentlessly and metaphorically linked and Kareem, his love of Jazz history, and his heritage should deliver unique insights into both.
Update: Luke Walton’s sprain is “moderate”. Expect him to return halfway through the upcoming 8 game road trip. Radmanovic gets his first DNP-CD.