Game 1 Preview and Chat: The San Antonio Spurs

Darius Soriano —  April 21, 2013

We’ve covered a fair amount of ground in the lead up to game one, from the regular season trends to what to look for on offense and defense to some potential X-factors to look for over the course of the series. The analysis we can provide before the games begin is done, now it’s about what happens on the floor moving forward.

What we know is that Steve Nash will try to influence that as he plans to play in game one. How long Nash can go and how effective he can be are open questions. His presence should aid the team’s offense, but it remains to be seen how much and if there are negatives we haven’t yet accounted for. How Nash performs on defense will also be key, the Spurs will surely test him on that end of the floor to see how he holds up physically. They don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary to do so, they simply must run him off some screens and attack him in isolation a few times to see how he performs.

Beyond Nash, however, there aren’t many new wrinkles to explore — though the Lakers certainly have the potential to mix things up more due to missing Kobe and how that affects style of play and rotations. These teams are what they are heading in to this contest and much of what we see today will be about execution and energy. The team that does the former better and brings more of the latter will be the one that has a better chance of claiming the all important first game. The Spurs are favored to win this contest and the series, and with good reason. They’re the better team by any metric we have available to us to measure such things.

In a way, however, that underdog status can be used to fuel the Lakers. For the first time in what seems like an eternity, the Lakers can truly adopt the “us against the world” mindset and use that as an extra bit of motivation. Many expect the Lakers to compete, but few (if anyone) expects them to win. This shouldn’t matter to a team who has confidence that they can win anyway (as the Lakers claim they are), but it would be silly to think it won’t play a part in their approach to the series. When no one believes in you, there can be hardening of your core that can help move you forward. We’ll see if this holds true for the Lakers.

Lastly, and I say this every year, for the fans, it’s time to sit back and try to enjoy this ride the best we can. The regular season offered many ups and downs. The playoffs will offer more of them. But now that the team has made the post-season, they have the opportunity to do something special. Whether they do or not will depend on a myriad of factors, none of which we can control. So, enjoy this extended journey for as long as it lasts. We may just be surprised when it’s all over.

Darius Soriano

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130 responses to Game 1 Preview and Chat: The San Antonio Spurs

  1. Warren Wee Lim April 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I am sorry for all current streaks that ya’ll planned for today, but I feel there’s one that has not been broken since 2008.

    Lets GO Lakers!

  2. From the other thread:

    I’m not sure what Haberstroh is talking about, because the team is not playing better without Kobe right now.

    It is only two games, but statistically, they were significantly better on defense and significantly worse on offense in both than they generally were with him.

  3. As much as I am hoping for an upset, I just don’t know how this team will generate enough offense to win the series

  4. Haberstroh is stat “foolish”. Anyone who thinks the Lakers r better without Kobe really needs help. The Lakers played unwatchable ball the last 2 games. Take the last 30 games and compare the Lakers performance in their wins vs the last 2 games. Lakers won their last 2 games cos they were at home. That is all. If any of those 2 games were road games they would have lost. To finish the season the Heat played some games without the big 3 and their defensive numbers were better in those couple of games that their numbers all year, I don’t see Haebaestroh talking about the possibility of the Heat being better without Bron or Wade. Its obvious some at ESPN don’t like Kobe and will take senseless shots when they can.

  5. I have to agree, the Lakers have won the last 2 games playing some ugly ugly ball, thank God we were are home. To have a shot we need Nash play at an MVP level, Dwight and Pau dominating and our perimeter game being effective, if we lack on any if those aspects we are done, i find it very hard to believe the Lakers will get all those aspects going at the same time. Too many things have to go right for this team to have a shot. Praying for an upset. GO LAKERS!!!

  6. Figuring, if he’s actually ready to go, that Nash has to be chomping @ the opportunity to get out there and assume his natural Point Guard position. Due to an assortment of reasons (mainly injuries), he’s been playing off the ball this season more so than @ any point of his illustrious career. As Darius noted, offensively, he should be an asset. However, defensively, it’ll be difficult trying to hide him because I can’t see him staying in front of TP, nor can I even imagine him chasing around Green or Neal. Especially coming off of the type of injuries that he’s returning from. Truth be told, I’m just hoping that he can contribute in any type of fashion and doesn’t re-aggravate his hamstring (back or hip) injury.

    Maert, in the last post, I touched upon the Home vs Away subject for THIS particular Lakers team (but not in conjunction with Haberstroh’s article). Today, IMO, we’ll start to get some answers.

  7. Maert: basketball writers are all smarter than us we should acknowledge that. They’re all about efficiency and what winning basketball is to them. Shot selection is a big part of that. It doesn’t matter that Kobe averaged 6 assists or Westbrook averages 7 they take poor shots, create stagnant sets, little ball movement and ugly basketball. I think we might have a distaste for a scorers mentality type of basketball if we watched as much film as writers do.

  8. Where I agree everyone must play top shelf Fern, but—————
    to expect Nash to play at MVP level is crazy. That was 6 years ago. Not only is he 39 but is coming off another injury. His opponent is a top 3 point guard in the NBA and WAS in discussion for MVP at one time. He is slower, older and at best a back up point guard at this point. You have a better chance of Blake playing at MVP level.

    Expectations should be somewhere in the scope of reality unless you want to be deeply disappointed..

  9. @Maert- Espn is in the Lebron bandwagon for years now and they do everything in their power to diminsh him because until Kobe retires this will be his era. And their comment section is a microcosmos of whats wrong with this country, vomit inducing level, to have a ” journalist” say that this team without Kobe is Lebron sucking at its best. They are so much better than they cant break 100 points with an overtime. What Kobe brings with his 28ppg his will and how he can guard when motivated like he would have been in this series cannot be add up on some stupid geek stats.

  10. Ken, thats my point he cant, but thats one of the things that would take to beat the Spurs, it would not surprise me if the Spurs are just playing possum.

  11. Ken i been a Laker fan since i was a child i used to play too. I seen it all and by saying that Nash needs to play at MVP level tells you that my expectations are not high, im hoping for an upset if we get swept? I be down 1 or 2 days and get over it and wait until next year. Cant win every year.I be satisfied if we steal one or 2 games on this series, considering this team is almost fatally wounded coming in, if we do better than that it be a bonus.

  12. Go Lakers! Make history.

    Lakers believer until it’s not believable.

  13. Hoping Nash surprises us all, but expecting Blake to continue his stellar play (though many doubt he´s capable of it) – KB wanted SB for a reason, & he´s finally had a chance to step up.
    As Darius has stated, ENERGY and EXECUTION are what may get us over the hump, and if we embrace the underdog status, we might just be able to will ourselves to a game 1 victory.
    So bring it on Lakers!
    Wishing D. Morris much luck on Parker; rattle him as much as possible Morris! Keep your chin up-
    with a fairly healthy amount of butterflies (since yesterday) I say:
    GO LAKERS, GO PURPLE & GOLD!!!

  14. rr–I think that is what is known as a “wash.” My guess is, if Kobe doesn’t get hurt, LA had the same odds of beating SAS and HOU in Staples—they just would have been higher-scoring games (probably).

  15. I think that Kobe’s absence opens up room for growth, energy, and team chemistry. Kobe takes on so much, even when he is in facilitator mode, that it can detract away from the development of others. Kobe is the star that the Laker galaxy revolves around.

  16. Lakers’ Jordan Hill in uniform, but not expected to play vs. Spurs

  17. Lakers are going to need Dwight’s offense. Blake’s legs will be gone the longer this series goes.

  18. big man jumper shootout!

  19. Fern

    I know the feeling. 40 years for me and the older I get the more it seems to matter. I actually feel this is a 7 game series, combo of Spurs playing .500 ball of late and the Lakers much improved defense.

    I am hoping for tough, hard working series. You never know what happens. Look what happened to GS and Lee last night!

  20. good point Kevin;
    with Duncan giving Pau some space from 15ft. he too needs to get it going

  21. man, we’ve looked pretty decent defensively over the last couple minutes, but just can’t buy a bucket

  22. Lakers offence looks confused, everyone running around for 18-20 secs then looking or Kobe to pass to for a bail out shot, but he is not there.

  23. Splitter was in the key for about 6 seconds on Spurs last bucket.

  24. This Could be ugly. Nash and Meeks look bad and Parker and Spurs look good. Lakers look like a 10 seed out there. A 15 point quarter. I figured Nash might hurt the momentum.

    First games on road are seldom winners.

  25. you can have all the ball movement you want, but you still have to put the ball inside the basket.

  26. Jamison with a nice catch and finish off the Gasol pass. Lakers offense struggling, only one three point attempt. Lakers will need to do well from the 3 for a chance at this game.

  27. Lakers dress Jordan Hill who can’t play in series over Ebanks who isn’t dressed!

  28. Looks like spurs were just resting the last while and are playing much better. In particular, Parker and Ginobli seem fine if not 100%. If so will be a tough series.

    Nice to see the guys hanging in, even with a very poor shooting start. Nash seems ok if a bit rusty. He does tend to speed it up a bit, and I hope that doesn’t disrupt the teams chemistry.

  29. Sorry I meant Dwight not Nash looked not so good.

  30. Yeah, Tom Harberstroh is smarter than me because he sees a team that can only muster 15 points in the 1st and says they are better than having Kobe. Look, I know. I am smarter than Harberstroh when it comes to analyzing the Lakers because I know he clearly doesn’t watch the Lakers if he thinks they r better without Kobe.

  31. Lakers played exclusively through the post without Kobe and Nash. I was excited to see that continue but now Nash is back so he gets to orchestrate. He’s not the strength of the team and didn’t will them into the playoffs. He has to take a backseat to the bigs.

  32. Damn, another injury again on Meeks?!

    BS…

  33. Anybody who defends Meeks is just blind. He kills the offense with his brick and low IQ in drives, man is ge bad. Another 1 for 5 start.

  34. Ebanks clearly must have slept with MDA’s wife.

  35. Lakers offence is terrible right now – honestly is it so hard to get Pau in the post? I haven’t seen him there yet. Why does MDA have him shooting jumpers again?

    Unless the Lakers play through Pau in the post we are going to have a really hard time scoring any easy baskets.

    Dwight looks not quite ready for prime time right now.

    Finally, anyone else get the feeling we could sweep the Spurs with Kobe.

  36. we gotta pick up our shooting % up fellas!
    set up on the block Pau, KB tweet

  37. When Gasol in anywhere near the paint and can pass the ball, good things happen.

  38. Our defense is good right now, keep it up.

    TP can’t even score on Blake.

    They just need to be patient on the offense and put it on the post. DAMN!

  39. Meeks has a mild sprain of his left ankle. Gary Vitti is re-taping him. He will return

  40. Meeks out. Lakers go on 8 to 0 run. That is not a coincidence. Moving the ball around now. Keep it going.

  41. even with nash in still seems like a decent number of touches for the bigs, and that they are getting it down low, and are very involved. Lets not panic too much just yet about how they are playing. the wins down the stretch were great, but they were at home, so a little tweak for the road games could still be very valuable.

  42. It’s the playoffs so Pau won’t be ble to shoot… But why are the Lakers not getting Dwight the ball in the post?

  43. Pau is barely hitting the rim in 10 foot jumpers! Seen that before in playoff games.

  44. Considering only 2 points from SF and 1 for 8 the Lakers played fairly well. Need something from Metta. Zero not good.

  45. Have to say that im pleased with the effort considering how depleted we are and now Meeks is hurt too. If the Lakers hit their outside shots they would be neck to neck, they are missing Kobe like crazy, so much for the ” Lakers play better w/o Kobe” theory. But on the other hand they have kept themselves in the position to steal this one.

  46. Yeah, according to the geniuses, Lakers r better without Kobe. The is a game only because the Spurs r injured at PG. Blake can’t guard a healthy Tony Parker, that’s the simple truth.

  47. Zero ft’s for Pau. Zero blocks for Dwight. Both have been effective to a degree but neither are aggressive enough.

  48. Dwight 2 fouls, forces Dwight to guard Bonner, Bonner sources the floor, Dwight can’t impact paint on D, spurs punish lakers inside.

    in the second half mike d. Needs to keep Dwight on Duncan.

  49. Magic burying MD again.

  50. pau shouldnt even be taking these long jumpers…mda worst coach in the world…this is the lakers mo tho…stay 5-10 points behind then make a little push late 3rd…still not optimal usage of personnel and thats coaching but maybe pau should just do what he wants and stay down low…break the play when needed

  51. i guess there’s a reason why Kobe shot as much as he did

  52. What the f##k is magic talking about? When is someone going to point out Pau struggles scoring vs. the bigger centers. When Splitter / Duncan are both in he’s better at the high post. I’m fine with Pau putting Bonner on the block, but look at his game log, he’s only played well offensivly vs. smaller teams.

  53. Second half needs Pau in the post (high or low). He needs the ball. If he sees nothing to pass to. He has to back it in. Especially when Matt Bonner is guarding him.

  54. Maert, Parker is injured but i saw blake play some nice defense on him too, sorry but at this stage im glad he is not 100% and the Spurs are nowhere near as banged up as the Lakers.

  55. I don’t understand why Pau didn’t get the ball when he was being defended by bonner. Don’t tell me mike d is forcing his system on the team again..

  56. This game is sitting on a silver platter for whichever player decides to take over. A good time for Dwight to establish himself and lead this team to an upset in game 1.

  57. Kobe is absolutely correct, Pau needs to get down low. On 1 play, he had a clear lane to the basket on the right baseline and shot a jumper that barely grazed the rim. Blake is doing a phenomenal job on TP. With pathetic shooting, only down 8 at the half.

  58. Look at Pau’s numbers vs. SA a week ago. Like 3 for 18. He’s not effective in the post vs. 7 foot post defenders.

  59. DAMN, what are you doing, Nash?! crap

    as in total crap…

  60. What the hell was that thing that Nash threw in the air?

  61. damn….we suck!

  62. Guess the MVP for Nash is out. Nash and Pau look old and as if they have cement shoes on.

  63. Hope Lakers get to 50 points. Nice offensive plan Mike.

  64. Even with Kobe out Dwight doesn’t take the most shots on the team. This game is begging for him to take over.

  65. After a timeout and still throwing bricks, BS!!!

    They put it to Ron on the post and scores.

    Damn, stop throwing jump shots please…

  66. ken,

    Once again total over reaction…give these guys a chance to get their legs underneath them. Pau is in a bit of slump..Nash just coming back, and as Darius points out, with Kobe out, therefore less for the bigs down low. Need for the outside guys to knock something down, to create some room down low.

  67. Nash with the Fisher special, the foot on the line 2.

  68. At this rate, the Lakers would be lucky to get 70points..yikes!

  69. duncan shooting just as bad as pau…the metta post ups are finding success need more of them…also i like this blake nash backcourt…yeah i said it

  70. Nash has taken most shots 13. If his legs are not under him then isn’t that not smart? Perhaps he should work back in and pass until he is ready.

  71. Pound it down low to Dwight & Pau! Go Lakers

  72. Meeks back? Turnover.

  73. Blake is ballin’!!

  74. The outside shooting is killing the Lakers, thats the only reason this team is not closer or even leading.

  75. Btw the refs just swalow their wistles with that Duncan tantrum.

  76. Howard in foul trouble, Lakers need him in the game.

  77. So the ft’s are now 20 to 10 in favour of Spurs, and 2 of our ft’s were an intentional fouling of Dwight. Lakers near the top of the league in FTA’s – Spyrs near the bottom…refs decline to call an even obvious T on Duncan who is getting away with holding Dwight all day.

  78. Manu with another 3, Lakers are in trouble in Game 1.

  79. Jamison lost Ginobli in transition for 3. Let’s see how many columns that gets.

  80. Lakers defense is atrocious. How do you lose sight of manu on his last 3 pt attempt?

  81. Well it was fun while it lasted. Out manned, under coached and without your alpha dog means no chance. The rumors of Spurs demise were again greatly in error.

  82. nash and MWP with best +/-, with +3. bench guys getting killled. playoffs….where experience counts.

  83. The Lakers D is been been nothing short of stellar, SA is shooting 40% from the floor, our backcourt is 9-24 thats the game right there. We can put to rest the “Lakers play better w/o Kobe” theory. If he was playing im sure we would have the lead.

  84. good patience there Ken, you waited a whole 3 quarters of game 1 to declare it over.

  85. Smart timeout by popovich – kills our momentum right away

  86. Sorry make that 37% from the field.

  87. Play those guys with bench and see what happens. Steve has 1 assist in 23 minutes and is 5 for 14. Maybe game is closer if Nash didn’t play. Hurt team for sure today,

  88. Fern, we might look better offensively, but i’m not convinced that we’d look as good defensively. and yeah, i’m with you Harvey M. way too early to be giving up on this game. both howard and gasol have missed a couple gimmes around the bucket and if nash were shooting as he normally does, we’d be right in this game.

  89. we should change our name to the los angeles masons…brick after brick hard to watch

  90. Albert,

    Not sure this game isn’t already over. just saying series isn’t..not yet anyways.

  91. Even with our D not being that good we would had a much better shot of winning this game, even before Kobe went down or D was better than it was all season long, i see no reason why the Lakers should not win this game with Kobe playing

  92. Lakers long range shooting lost this game.

  93. TOs Killing us this game – 16 overall to SAs 8

    The FO will need to explain how we dont have a single player on the roster comparable at least in size to Kobe – maybe Ebanks should get some burn

  94. At least with Kobe out we get a chance to magnify everybody’s help defense. They’ve all been late and out of position. And Dwight’s dreaded 18 and 15 ceiling isn’t good enough. He has to be in the high 20s and sometimes 30s for Lakers to have a chance.

  95. 68points with little more than 4 minutes to go, i guess Kobe isnt needed after all. We just dont have the points to win this series unless Pau and Dwightscore at least 50 points between them.

  96. yea Harvey, meant to type series, though when i wrote that, the deficit was still around 10 or so, but yeah. at this point, the game is pretty out of reach.

    @ Fern, of course, didn’t mean to come across as suggesting we wouldn’t have a better chance of winning with Kobe on the floor. you’ll never find me making that particular argument

  97. Dwight D is been pretty good but we need more than 18 points.

  98. Aside from Dwight the Lakers are 20 of 56 from the field.

  99. I was only talking about this game Harvey. Would have been closer if they rested Nash but home teams win first games. It was clear Lakers were tired and once again Mike played starters to many minutes.

    Less we forget Lakers were 7 and 1 while Nash was out.

  100. the only way we will win any games against SA will be if we get Tim Duncun in early foul trouble where we then continue to pound them down low ..every single possession… we have to be solely focused on attacking the rim every single play – no more dumb ass 3pt shooting – Gasol and Howard posts with Jamison and clark slashing to the basket – thats it – with o duncun they have no rim protection and it will force their whole team to foul which will shorten the game and lead to 0 transition opportunities for them.

    Our bigs are accounting for about 40% of our shots – it will need to be in the 60%s for us to have a chance this series

  101. Laker’s looked much worse than I thought they would here. Bad game plan on offence. Defence was so-so, Parker missed a lot of shots he normally makes, score could be even worse.

  102. Why are starters still in. Waiting for a 15 point play?

  103. On to the next one folks, Lakers played hard but not enough.

    I still think they can win one in Texas.

  104. Hey smart people, keep saying “Lakers r better without Kobe”, !they don’t miss him”..smh

  105. Kind of silly to think that the best coach in the league wouldn’t be able to adjust from last weeks game.

  106. yeah… why are we fouling?

  107. Joe

    Pop is a playoff coach. Last game was not important to him. This is who they are and this is who Lakers are. If Lakers make this a 6 game series that will be surprise to all who get paid to watch basketball.

  108. our bench got outscored 38 – 10
    we gave up 18 TOs
    we came out cold to start the game
    ugh—
    let´s get the next one Lakers, come on!

  109. Ken–

    +/-

    Nash +2
    Blake -14

  110. Dwight couldn’t play with Kobe says it took “80 games” to figure it out. When he’s surronded by “his team” he gets 20 pts 15 reb in a blowout loss. Is this the real Dwight Howard? Because if so he’s no max player.

    20 and 15 is nothing to sneeze at but if this is what the best center in the game’s peak is he’s a franchise player by league definition but not the hof player standards. The display today isn’t championship level play.

  111. kevin, if Kobe makes the Lakers play ‘ugly basketball’, what do you call this?

  112. @Ken – Spurs did not exactly blow my doors open with their stellar play. They are a very beatable team that play a pace that suits the Lakers. Lakers defended well enough to win, but can’t score with Nash playing shooting guard, Pau playing 15 feet from the basket and Jodi Meeks playing significant minutes. Bad game plan by MDA – isn’t he supposed to get good offence out of D leaguers?

  113. Dwight did his thing, Pau,nash and blake were woeful, no bench production, thats the game right there,we dont have the points. Its that simple

  114. Ken,

    Greg Pop had a seasoned team with few changes that won 60 ish games last year, and had a full training camp to run the exact same offence they have run for over a decade. as a result they got off to a very good start, and could rest starters down the stretch.

    Conversely, Dantoni, came in after a panic firing with a brand new team (and therefore no training camp) who had for the most part never played together and had a bagillion injuries and arguably some challenges in team composition and therefore needed to gut out every victory to the end only to make the playoffs. I think that might explain the slight difference in coaching approaches.

  115. Spurs did an excellent job defending the paint because our Backcourt shooting was pathetic (12-33). If we’re to have any chance in this series, Nash, SB and Meeks will have to knockdown those jumpers.

  116. All season long the Lakers have fixed what wasn’t broken. The Lakers won the last two games with a certain lineup and instead of standing pat, they decide to insert unnecessary lineup changes.

    Sadly, Nash is done… At least this year, too many injuries.

    Steve Blake!!! Steve is finally the player that the Lakers thought they were picking up in free agency years ago.

    Pau can’t operate in the post with Dwight and his defender two steps away from him. Dwight needs to go out-of-bounds like he did before or go two more steps out of the key. Pau gives Dwight plenty of room to operate by going out free-throw line extended. Return the favor big man.

    The Lakers played with no energy and no passion.

    This coach hates to hear anything from Kobe!

  117. really bottom line, Nash played ok ish, just missed two or 3 makeable shots he would usually hit. Team played ok but as is often the case, marginal bench players often struggle on the road (probably worse in playoff games) whereas other teams bench players often deliver very well at home. Lakers bench was like a composite -44 in a combined 56 mins and blake was -14 in 39 mins. the “other 4″, Nash, Dwight, Pau, Metta, were ok but not enough to overcome bench deficit.

    Nobody promised this would be easy. Team played hard ish…Darius nailed it in his tweets, that game was lost when Nash went out mid 3rd and the offence did not run properly missing many mismatches.

  118. If this game showed something is that the Spurs are ripe for the picking if not the Lakers someone else will, they aint winning nothing this year you can ride the Duncan-Manu-Parker triad for so long the Lakers were one more player stepping up away from taking this game. With Kobe we won this game and probably the series, it was painfully obvious how much he was missed down the stretch in the 4th.We lose this game but i think we can steal a couple and made a series out of this.

  119. Nash will play better next game and steve blake has been playing well. The problem is meeks is a d league player and i wonder if it would be better to have darius morris playing instead of meeks.

  120. This was a very simple roster construction loss, in that the Lakers simply don’t have the talent on the perimeter to score enough to win consistently without Kobe. Pau is still pretty good, but he is almost 33 with a ton of mileage. Howard is an excellent overall two-way player, but he isn’t Shaq or The Captain on the blocks. Nash is still pretty good but he is 39. Blake is doing everything he can and has played very well in the 3 games, but he is 32, plus he’s Steve Blake.

    The team D looks a fair bit better; Kobe was really compromising it. But they have failed to break 91 points in regulation since Kobe went down and today’s 40% shooting is the highest mark that they have had in the 3 Mambaless games.

    Small sample size, yes–but the NBA is also in some ways a what-you-see-is-what-you-get deal.

  121. rr: if your saying this was a roster construction loss you’re saying Dwight Howard is only good for 20 pts 15 reb 2 blks. And being honest the box score shows more than what he actually did. Your saying he gave all he can give and to me it’s not enough.

  122. RR,

    good analysis..Other big concern is that even with better defence, Spurs missed a lot of open shots and could score a bunch more next game. Still think that there is some basis to believe that this roster with Kobe and maybe just one really solid (and younger) perimeter player, who can really shoot and defend (plus the return of Jordan Hill) and playing one more year, thereby having a lot more continuity and being able to better maximize their skill set, has a chance to compete.

  123. Kevin,

    Like I said, Howard isn’t Shaq. They still need to offer him a max deal and hope he stays; his flaws are a non-issue at this point, and focusing on them is just a frustration reaction. The Lakers have no backup small forward of any type and no athletic perimeter players. Howard isn’t the problem.

  124. ken, yes Lakers were 7-1 without Nash (at home, mind you)..I am not, anymore, saying Nash is the full answer..but to go in the opposite direction, i.e that he is the big problem, is way too far. Nash is still a pretty good player, and arguably plays at the best level almost anyone has ever played at 39. He certainly is better at this age, than Stockton, or Jason Kidd are/were. He can give you 30 good minutes, control the floor and hit some shots…the lakers still need that.

    And despite what anyone says, there were a fair number of post ups and pounding it down low, given what the spurs were giving up…As JVG said, they do need the perimeter guys to score at least a bit or there will be no room for Pau/Dwight. So I thought that was a pretty good game by Nash, and much needed and that he balanced the offence well.

  125. rr: I’m not trying to focus on his flaws. Just saying when there’s a game of this magnitude and it has absolutely no rhythm at all. This is where you assert your dominance. This game Dwight should’ve been calling for the ball all game no matter what coverages San Antonio was throwing at him, Shaq would’ve. That may be the difference. The game wasn’t out of reach until Ginobli’s spurt at the end of the 3rd. I was expecting the aggressiveness and intensity of Dwight to pick up. Still seeing regular season form in the playoffs.

  126. A little Twitterness between Kobe and MDA; MDA called Kobe a “fan” after he was asked about a Kobe Tweet in the presser.

  127. Kevin,

    Howard is in his 8th year and as gifted as he is, he has limits. He can’t just go get a 35/20, particularly against a team as good as SA, because we want him to.

  128. rr: then he’s not max player and Lakers would NOT win rings with him as their best player. There aren’t limits to greatness. If going into a game and the THREAT of Dwight going for 35 pts and 15 rebs isn’t there he’s not franchise player. And Lakers would be making a huge mistake locking him up for 5 years and not knowing if they’ll have a superstar to pair with him in the future.

    I’m no huge cp3 fan but he is great and there’s a threat of him going bananas in a game. 20 assists or 10 steals type of game. LeBron and Durant going into a game you expect dominance but also something historical. Even Rondo there’s a sense of something great could happen. You don’t get that with Dwight and that’s not the sign of a great great player. Someone with his gifts and mediocre games, like today, isn’t something Lakers fans should accept.

  129. Dantoni is bs.