Game 2 Preview and Chat: The San Antonio Spurs

Darius Soriano —  April 24, 2013

The Lakers enter game two with some key issues to work out. First is how they can score enough points to hang with the Spurs. That will involve shot making from multiple players and a refinement of how they work the ball into the post. Ball and player movement before an entry pass are key. As will be offering the type of release valves flashing to the middle of the floor to help beat a fronting defense. We’ll see what the Lakers have in store in this regard, but at least they seem to understand where some of their issues lie.

On the injury front, there is some good news to report. Jordan Hill has been cleared to play only 3 months after having hip surgery that was supposed to end his season. How (or if) Hill is integrated into the lineup remains to be seen, but it’s always good to have serviceable depth available to play, even if it’s at a position where many of the minutes are already accounted for. The other good news is that Steve Nash didn’t suffer any setbacks after game one and is slated to start tonight. Nash is still not 100%, but if he can find some of the rhythm he clearly lacked in game one it will be a boost to the Lakers’ offense. Jodie Meeks will also play tonight, though he too is not 100% as of yet. The swelling in his ankle has gone down, however, and that’s good enough for him to give it a go.

For the rest of our preview, we offer a 3 on 3 with myself, Ryan Cole, Rey Moralde and J.M. Poulard. (Yes, I know that’s 4 people. Work with me here.) Let’s get to it…

1. Are you more or less optimistic about the Lakers heading into game 2 than you were heading into game 1? 3on3 truehoopnetwork

J.M. Poulard: Less. Mike D’Antoni got next to nothing from his second unit in Game 1 and barely trusted them to give the Lakers any form of contribution. The Spurs on the other hand got terrific play out of Manu Ginobili and Matt Bonner. The scariest proposition in all this is that Tony Parker struggled a bit and the same holds true for Gary Neal. Playing at home, one has to think they bounce back with good performances.

Rey Moralde: More. The Lakers just seem to continue to go cold from the midrange and the outside. At some point, those shots are going to go in. Pau Gasol usually makes those midrangers. And Dwight will get more touches in the post. I think they’re in for a big evening.

Ryan Cole: Less. The Spurs are seemingly healthier than what we all thought, and I don’t think that they are going to shoot as bad a percentage in this game as they did in the previous one. I’d also expect some adjustments from Coach Popovich, which is a definitely something the Lakers should be concerned about in my opinion.

Darius Soriano: Neither, really. Game one went about as expected with both teams playing well in some areas, not so well in others, and the difference being one of the X-factors stepping up for the Spurs. I still think the Lakers have a shot in this series should they continue to play the type of defense they have over the last few weeks while also finding some efficient scoring from someone not named Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol. These will still be challenges and there will surely be others as the series evolves, but I don’t think the gap between these teams has widened after how both teams played in the first game.

2. Which player has to step up the most to help the Lakers get a win tonight?

J.M.: Metta World Peace. With the bench giving the Lakers next to nothing in Game 1, the onus is on MWP to help out Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol by spacing the floor with his shooting. Even if his shots aren’t falling, he must aggressive and look to put the ball on the floor for drives. A few post ups wouldn’t hurt either.

Rey: Where was Antawn Jamison in the first game? Basically invisible. Jamison is capable of putting up 20 points in a game, even off the bench; I would like to see him put up more shots than just three in a game.
Ryan: Steve Nash. I think Nash’s ability to create for others was not highlighted enough in game 1, so in tonights matchup the Lakers are going to have to feature his play-making ability if they are going to come close to stealing one on the road.

Darius: Steve Nash. The Spurs’ treated Nash as if he was just another guy in game 1, sagging off him in the P&R and in standard post up sets. And while Nash isn’t fully healthy, he has to do more to exploit the Spurs’ approach against him specifically (and the Lakers’ perimeter attack in general). Of all the Lakers’ wing players, Nash is the most skilled and the best shooter. If anyone is going to be able to make them pay for laying off the wings, it will be Nash and his ability to hit shots and/or get into the teeth of the defense and be a threat as a scorer or passer. Whether he has it in him physically to be that guy is questionable, but he’s the player who it needs to come from. 

3. Who wins tonight and why?

J.M.: The Spurs can survive for stretches without optimal production from their big guns. The Lakers cannot. Howard and Gasol were effective in the first game but coughed up the ball 10 times. If the Lakers are going to win, they need huge games from their Hall of Fame big man tandem and good performances from everybody else. The odds of this happening on the road are not impossible but they are quite slim.

Rey: With all that said, I still think the Spurs win this by a hair. At some point, Tony Parker is going to go nuts. Tim Duncan will do better than 6/15. And the Spurs will shoot better than 32 percent from three. We thought the Lakers blew a golden opportunity in the first game? This one will be even more frustrating in my view.
Ryan: Gut feeling has the Lakers losing a close one tonight. I think the Spurs will counter with some adjustments that will make the task of getting a road victory to difficult to overcome for the Lakers. Tony Parker didn’t have a terrific first game so I’d expect a better performance from him en route to leading the Spurs to a win.

Darius: I’ve been higher on the Lakers’ prospects than most analysts out there, so I think the Lakers steal this game. While I expect the Spurs to play better than they did in game one, I expect the same out of the Lakers. I think they take better care of the ball, hit a few more jumpers, and find a few cracks in the defense to get Dwight and Pau a few more cleaner looks than they got in game 1. Add it all up and I think this game is close at the end with the Lakers stealing it to tie the series heading back to Los Angeles.

Darius Soriano

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123 responses to Game 2 Preview and Chat: The San Antonio Spurs

  1. darius: it was more like three on one and without sounding miffed at the other guys because they’re entitled to their opinions, lakers win tonite vs spurs at san antonio.

    i say it, you say it and my dog will confirm later on tonite.

    Go Lakers

  2. Jordan hill has been cleared to play in game 2 – how many minutes do you think hes gonna get?

  3. Gut says hill soaks up the minutes clark had at pf game 1, with clark sliding in as the backup for metta (in limited minutes, around 8-12 max)

  4. No Meeks tonight guys.

    I guess Ken will watch Goudelock and Morris in this game LoL.

    Hoping for some mini mamba barrage of 3 pointers.

    Game 2, Lets GO!!!

  5. Meeks out. Who would have thought AJ would be our ironman? This could be rough…

  6. i like glock over meeks honestly…he has an underated tear drop/floater….houston played so hard too bad very admirable, parsons overrated shooter

  7. Nash remains the Lakers weak spot.

  8. Come on, Jamison, need some scoring.

  9. dwight has such low iq at times…flirting with that 2nd for no reason…cmon d12 we need you…hes beasting right now just needs to stay smart and out of foul trouble…twan needs to hit some shots

  10. Dwight has been great….Nash not moving well, you can tell he is diferring as he doesn’t feel the ease of movement in his body. with the way Dwight is beasting and the consistency of Blake, a healthy Nash would have been enough to really scare these guys I think…too bad he just doesn’t have it, perhaps he will be better after a rest.

  11. Out bigs our lagging too much off screens allowing for open shots at the top of the key by Parker and Ginobli – we need to bring our bigs up so they can at least be level to allow the guards to recover on the screens

  12. Pau’s really in a shooting slump. He has to find a way out the funk, quickly.

  13. Nice pass by Nash to Gasol for the layup. Lakers much better from the 3 tonight.

  14. Nash!!!!

  15. Guys are really gutting it out.

  16. How is that an offensive foul? defender wasn’t set, Ron was moving laterally … stupid

  17. Come on Peace, get back in th game!

  18. Metta is playing terrible ball right now. We need game 7 Metta, what we are getting is games 1-6 Metta.

  19. Metta = Amnesty

  20. and now we have completely forgotten about playing the ball through the post – 4-5 straight possessions where the ball never touched the post

  21. Nefariousgnome April 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    man, blake came to play

  22. Dwight earning a contract tonight. Some of the more inspired ball I have seen him play all year. Much better than last game.

  23. Why would guess at start of season Blake would be out best player at end of season?

  24. Blocked shots, dictating the defense on his post attempts, aggressive, 9 shots, and-1′s. This is the Dwight Lakers need. Doing as much on offense as defense.

  25. Nefariousgnome April 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    blake as our best player? c’mon now. that’s just reactionist extremism at its worst, man.

  26. Haven’t forgot to play in the post…Pau and Dwight still lead in FGA’s…For such a close game, still comments are about 60% negative…interesting.

  27. Keep up the good work.

    We can steal this one…

    Lets GO!!!

  28. Let´s keep it comin´ fellas!!!!
    edit: we were all even when i wrote that
    tighten up D!

  29. Gasol goes strong to the rim, more of this please.

  30. come on guys how hard can a post entry pass be – frack

  31. Well coached team. You showing them there Mike?

  32. …and MDA calls a timeout when the Lakers had 3 guys to the Spurs 2 in the offensive zone and the rest if the Spurs were celebrating in our end. The guy just can’t coach.

  33. Lakers can’t play offence and defence at the same time – like asking some people to walk and chew gum.

  34. Nefariousgnome April 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    well that was a god awful way to end the half. what a waste for a pretty solid half of basketball up until the last 2 minutes

  35. why not add a defensive sub for Nash at the end of the half – put clark or someone out there instead… little things

  36. Nash continuing to kill the team by being the only guy with a + +/- on the half. Nash +1 in his 18 mins. team is -9 in the 6 minutes he is off the floor. what a joke of a player! take the bum out!

  37. @Shaun

    Because Nash was out there for the offense before that Spurs possession.

    You can’t sub when Spurs have the ball and running the play. This is not college basketball LOL

  38. It seems we´ve got no answer for Ginobili just yet…
    at the very least, we´ve kept the TOs down

  39. Nash 2 for 6

    Dwight 2 rebounds

    Enough said.

  40. Lakers having issues stopping Ginobili. Had a foul to give and did not use it, not a good way to end the half.

  41. Nefariousgnome April 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    really, ken? enough said? what about dwight’s 2 assists and 3 blocks? or nash’s 5 assists? thanks for playing the game where you cherry pick stats to fit the narrative you want to push.

  42. MWP is pretty much useless right now. Maybe his torn meniscus is still bothering him but hes playing bad.

  43. The biggest difference in the games through 6 quarters have been Ginobli spurts. I think a guy named Kobe could’ve countered those. Still surreal he’s not playing. Been expecting him to come out the locker room every quarter this series.

  44. Gasol shot free throws with 25 secs left – you can sub during the free throws

  45. Meeks is out so MDA is the only scapegoat for Ken lol, we neeeed to close these quarters better, thats the only difference on this game, one thing i noticed, i believe Dwight is starting to understand what it means to be a Laker, he is not having his best game offensively but he is playing with a scowl got to respect that, need to turn that scowl into dominance. Another thing, no matter what happens on this series i dont think the Spurs will go past next round, they are winning against a team w/o its superstar and devastated by injuries, so they dont have much to celebrate, they get the Nuggets or the Warriors they will be in serious trouble. This team is just ripe for the picking. Lets get them!!!

  46. Definitely not the way to end the 2nd quarter (10-2 Spurs run). Have to find a way to corral Manu. SB once again shutting down TP. Pau doing a much better job not settling for jumpers & Dwight (getting mauled and all) manning the paint on both ends of the court. Hopefully, we can recover from our poor play to end the half.

  47. Ken,

    I continue to have no clue what world you are in when you watch a game. some strange zone of negativity…do you watch the game in a sauna or something?

    Dwight and Nash are 2 of the top 3 or 4 players on the floor for the lakers along with Blake and Pau. getting hurt by the bench, again and by lineups with Ginobli and Bonner (and presumably that is happening against the bench guys mostly).

  48. Basing results by plus minus is a sure demonstration of not understanding the game. If the other 4 players are shooting 65% and the 5th 33% that still gives that guy a plus. Basketball 101. Wonder why this coach can’t watch tapes and understand why Gino gets so open.

    Metta not helping. Got beat 3 times on defense besides poor shooting. Spurs doing it with a clearly slowed Parker. Guess we miss Kobe.

  49. Game Over

  50. So many senseless offensive fouls for Dwight this year. Easy fix. Instead of using your arms and shoulders to create position bend your knees and use your butt and hips to get position. Fouls averted.

  51. Howard picks up his fourth foul, in foul trouble once again. He seems to pick up cheap fouls.

  52. Flop ….. Play Hill

  53. Was that an offensive foul?!

    @_@

    This game is not yet over. DAMN! Don’t watch and comment if this game is already over..

    There will always be hope, Man.

  54. Ken, so the root of all evil is MDA not the players blowing rotations btw Ginobili do what he does to anyone in the league. The Lakers main problem is that they are too injured and dont have the firepower to keep up the adjusments were made, you can create a hybrid of Phil, Red and Saint Riley on a goverment lab and that wont change the equation, you always bring an air of negativity every single game, instead of your never ending parade of complains and critisism why dont support a team that is fighting despite being mortally wounded? Or better yet why dont apply for the big job if MDA gets fired? Since you have all the answers.

  55. Come on, Pau, you can lead these guys!

  56. Ken,

    nash continues to run a very effective offence and is not hurting them on D. basing his value on his success on 6 shots when he is playing at 70% health is a fantastically brilliant way of analyzing a player and based on an absolutely enormous sample size. Very well considered post!!!!

  57. BS officiating

  58. Frack these Refs

  59. Thank goodness for Blake..

    As for Dwight and Nash they are playing perfect per one guy on here. The two former NBA players sitting next to be at this cigar lounge and I clearly know nothing.

    Still hanging in there. Getting nothing from Metta, and Jamison.
    Nice D Metta.

  60. Nash is showing enormous grapefruits playing the way he is hurt.

  61. how was that not a foul on gasols drive – bs officials indeed

  62. Nefariousgnome April 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    they’re not playing perfect, but they’re certainly not the terrible players you think they are, Ken. i’m not sure there’s a single player you like on this team other than Steve Blake. And way to name drop without actually name dropping.

  63. Nefariousgnome

    which laker is playing better than blake right now? i see nobody

  64. These refs, SMH!!!

    Stupid coaching, Parker roaming on the paint and still no adjustment.

    Might put Hill in there to have some defense and rebounding.

    DAMN!!!

  65. They are playing like a team that its hurt and its missing its biggest offensive weapon. And still hangin there and making the Spurs sweat.

  66. Ken’s the reason why I tend not to read game threads because if I wanted to real so much hateful bashing of Laker players I’d read another team’s blog.

  67. officiating is bad..you cant even touch ginobili without getting called for a foul.

  68. pau has got to be the weakest player in the game

  69. These Refs Blow – ticky tack foul on Manu now free throws

  70. Nefariousgnome April 24, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    i’m not saying that I don’t like Blake. I agree that he’s playing better than anyone could have expected based on his performance the past couple years and he is definitely keeping us in the game. I’m loving what blake is doing for us, so don’t take it like I don’t like Blake. I just see no reason why we have to pointlessly bash most of the players on the team.

  71. Not a bad quarter. 3 pt shooting still a problem…

    Looking for a quick run to start the fourth.

  72. no foul on splitter bodying up Gasol and then no foul on Bonner for taking down Jamsion on the rebound – oh but touching manu – foul – I hope we get the same home court cooking when the series moves to staples

  73. End of 3rd -2 in the quarter – now we essentially need to shut them down for a whole quarter for the win

  74. We just dont have the firepower on the perimeter, its simpler to defend the Lakers without Kobe roaming around, the Lakers miss him like crazy, its simple, we need Kobe, if he was available im convince we leave SA tied 1-1 at the least. The Spurs aint impressing anybody.

  75. I cant stand the Spurs celebrating like they up 14 on the Heat

  76. Plus these horrible refs is such BS.

  77. Ill say it again… Jamison can’t be on the floor. They need to see what Jordan Hill (a far more talented player) has to offer

  78. For those who might call it Monday morning quarterbacking to criticize MDA when Nash is found to have aggravated his injury in a way that requires a long offseason rehab, let me just go on the record right now by saying that playing Nash right now is unconscionable–and even moreso after running Kobe into the ground.

  79. I don’t like the officiating, that is all

  80. Sitting on the bench looking their coach in the eyes Lakers players probably feel they have no chance. Misery and defeat written all over D’Antoni’s face.

  81. Poor poor execution on both ends of the floor. I hope we get one in Staples, too injured.

  82. Officiating has been the usual NBA terrible in this game, but Lakers are losing because Kobe, Nash, MWP, Hill, Meeks, Jamison are all hurt to the point that they can’t play or shouldn’t be playing and Pau and Dwight are not 100%.

    I would be curious to see what would happen if MDA was an NBA quality coach who could utilize what little talent we have in reserves. However he has gone from 7 seconds or less to 7 players or less…we seriously need to shed this guy like a bad coat.

  83. good thing they’ve got the Princeton to fall back on!

  84. nice mda hill and glock when its too late

  85. How the heck did D’Antoni win over the Lakers intellectual front office in that interview?

  86. So what options we have Funky? We are missing our star sg AND his backup, Nash wanted to play and he have a respectable game. Sometimes players have to gut it out, this is the playoffs if we get bounced he can rest for 6 freaking months.

  87. He finally removes a handicapped Nash. Definitely took him long enough.

  88. I have to agree with Ken, Nash is not an effective player on the floor anymore – Why?

    - He cannot get past his man anymore on the dribble and close outs have eliminated his ability to penetrate effectively – now he cant even bring the ball up without a trailing big man to set a screen at half court

    - He cannot keep his man in front of him and is too small to contest the shot of his man or even be able to help contest on a rotation – Nash’s limited speed (injured or not) severely limits his ability to rotate as well.

    - Playing 2 small guards in Blake and Nash is hurting the team overall on defense – Spurs are shooting 50% tonight with Spurs guards shooting a high percentage

    - Nashs now -7 +/- is also suspect because he is only playing with the starters who have helped keep the game somewhat close when they were playing together.

    It is also very obvious that Nash is still injured as he is labouring up and down the court – should be taken out and rested for the rest of the series instead of being run into the ground by MDA

  89. Blake might be injured too. Lakers season is cursed.

  90. Hiring a coach who can’t sit on the sidelines because of a recent surgery doesn’t sound anything like Mitch, the student of one of the greatest gm’s sver. Calling a coach to tell him he didn’t get the job before it hits the tube does. Jim Buss is killing this franchise.

  91. The question is what is the point of playing a hobbled Nash and risking an injury that will carry into next year. He is a pylon on D, he is shooting horribly and is running pick and rolls at 50%. Play Duhon and you will get similar stats.

  92. Just a bit off topic: when was the last time we had good defense at the PG position?

  93. D’Antoni is trying to ‘Kobe’ Nash.

    Hopefully it gets him fired, but it likely won’t. I have to say I was cautiously optimistic when he was hired, but forget wins and losses, he just doesn’t know how to manage personnel.

  94. 7-seeds don’t often beat 2-seeds … but when they do, their coach is not Captain Pringles.

  95. Crap season full of injuries.

    Spurs have a lucky playoff series, DAMN!

    Blame David Stern for the mess he created before blaming the front office.

    Blame all those front office of the other teams who can’t create a team who wants to win with talented players.

    I don’t care if big or small market. They just don’t have the intellect to form a bunch of players who can win and lead to the stupid lockout that affects our salary cap.

    BS…

  96. Blake has a strained right hamstring. Just another injury for the Lakers.

  97. Nash ran a good offence through out the game…What killed the team was Dwight’s two fouls to start the 3rd. Pau was also less effective then he should have been.

    I am only responding to the idiotic dissing of him as he had overall a pretty effective game, and played with obvious physical issues in a lineup that has hardly had any floor time together ALL YEAR. I don’t think he really needs to come out as he knows his body and its issues and this is something he has been dealing with for years. I think he would hate to come out of a playoff appearance when he can go at 70%, but I can recognize others may feel otherwise.

  98. Dantoni was coach of the month at the end of season. C’mon people.

  99. D’Antoni looks and acts like a coach who is overwhelmed. Forget Phil, ill even take Mike Brown at this point

  100. D’Antoni did wat no other man could do in the NBA – stop Kobe. He deserves his award…oh wait…

  101. Bringing in Steve Nash to go with two 7 footers screams stupidity. Mitch isn’t stupid. Pairing Nash and D’Antoni’s running offense with two 7 footers is downright stupid. Mitch isn’t stupid. Jim Buss is killing this franchise.

  102. nice post Harvey-i agree with you
    —-
    Lakers just don´t have the firepower to keep up :(
    hope we can get 1 in LA

  103. Fern, there are a number of options besides running a 38 year old injured PG into the ground. For what Nash has given the Lakers in two games you cannot tell me his presence would have been missed.

    Gutting it out sounds real manly, but sometimes injured and out of shape players compensate for their deficiencies by straining other muscles and joints and tendons and end up getting injured worse.

    I can’t believe anyone who watched what happened to Kobe could think that playing Nash in this condition makes any sense, but by your logic, Kobe has all summer to “rest.”

  104. Shaun, why Nash is not effective? Because he if freaking injured, granted he is not at an MVP level anymore, but the guy is playing at 70% at best, the Lakers are playing 2 small guards because they have no choice, who you going to start? Morris?Duhon?Lock?, no you go with your veterans and now Blake is hurt too, people comment here like this is a healthy team, not a team injured and having to reinvent itself on the fly, in the playoffs no less.Ninety something points its the best this team can give with what we have and if Blake is gone too we are going to be swept instead of losing on 5 or 6 at the most. Thats the reality of it. Lets hope we can win at least one back home.

  105. Anyone else notice how Pops called a timeout up 14 with under 2 mins left to ‘instruct Leonard’ for not fouling and allowing a dunk. Pops = real coach. This is why every player that plays for the Spurs executes and Pops can throw out anyone and get production. He coaches.

  106. Quite a few comments on D’Antoni – I just put them all in a time machine – and sent them back 6 months

  107. Possibly both Steve Nash and Steve Blake will not be able to play in the next game because of hamstring injuries….. most depressing season ever.

  108. The basketball gods must hate us. Kobe, nash, howard, gasol, mwp, etc all get injured, terrible officiating in most of the games and potato chip mascot Mr. Pringles is our coach.

  109. I have commented negatively on MDA when we win in blowouts – because he inexplicably plays Kobe 40+ when he didn’t even have to. He is just an awful coach. Note: Knicks are more or less the same team personnel wise as they were when MDA was coaching them into irrelevancy.

  110. Mike D’Antoni is the first Lakers coach ever to lose his first two playoff games.

  111. Funky so Morris would avg 16 points on these 2 games healthy? I dont think so, the Lakerrs dont have any options, im out, tired of all this armchair quaterbacking and acting like this team is healthy and whole. SA defended his homecourt against an injury depleted team, if MDA didnt play Nash then that would be the reason to be whinning about. Im out.

  112. Playing at 70% or not – my points are still valid – you can see these things happening

    we have been missing a secondary slasher/guard that can break down his man outside of Kobe ever since brown left and then barnes leaving this year continued that trend.

    We just did not keep out core bench players and it ended up killing our team.

  113. Right Shaun like our bench last year was so great. It was even worse!! Barnes? Get out of here with that, he was a bust and a choker in the playoffs, what the hell he did?If Nash didnt play this two games? We lose both games by at least 25. Lets start Morris then or better yet Duhon,SMDH

  114. Fern, you are making no sense at all. Nash exacerbated his injury tonight an his status for the next game is now in doubt. As for Morris, he played 8 fewer minutes than Nash and scored on more point.

    Playing Nash hurt Nash and it hurt the team. He couldn’t guard anyone, and he worsened his injury. But by all means, excuse the coach and rail against those being critical in hindsight (even though hindsight in this case means during the game).

  115. Fern,

    Totally with you…its some kind of nana land here. injury decimated team that is top heavy… and has two key players either hobbled or in foul trouble, with their best player out, playing a 60 win team on the road..Pau needed to be more effective mind you..

    Purple blood, thanks.

    Reggie Miller = much more balanced…recognized a good effort in a difficult situation.

    Don’t agree with funky but at least his position is defensible…others…not so much. its like the fans actually sound more like trolls.

    Darius, you are a great and thorough analyst and try to keep up a bit of an upbeat tone. Others, again….not so much.

  116. nash is hurting the team. dantoni is killing the team. play the kids their better in energy than nash. gosh, can we fire the coach now?

  117. Sorry Funky call me old school but injuries happen this is the playoffs, he was hurt in the first place, he came back to help the team if he got hurt again so be it. If this was February sure sit his butt down and rest, in the playoffs you give your all, Morris scored the majority of his points on garbage time. Im sorry but if you can play you play. Thats how i was taught to play the game, not pussyfooting about injuries, you have to win today’s game and forget about the next one when you playing to stay alive in the playoffs, he can rest in like 9 days or so which is how many days this Lakers season have left.

  118. Barnes was our top producer off the bench last year with averages between 10-15 pts for the 2 years he was here – well above any of our bench players now.

    Barnes is now a clipper and arguably their best 3 as he usually gets more burn than Caron Butler – and plays both ways – slashes for dunks, defends and hits 3s – he hurt his knee before the playoffs in both years he was with us.

  119. ugh, what a season!

    At least it ‘s almost over.

    Mercifully.

  120. One thing that the organization might want to look at is the injury prevention/conditioning program. Even with an old team, this seems extreme. Many said that once Nash was away from the PHX staff, that he might have trouble staying healthy.

  121. Simple point, you need an effective point guard to get it inside when a very smart team is conspiring to pack the point and make it very hard on your bigs.

    Point 2, if your point guards are D league players, they will be ignored on offence, and this will cause even more pressure on the bigs, as they will be double and triple teamed. So play your D league guards all you want…they may get lucky for a short span but that is a road to a very serious and depressing blow out.

    As for Nash, I have watched the guy for a decade. I think he gave what he could. he knows how to not go over the edge…as I said he helped the team and did not hurt them, they were ok defensively when he is on the court, given that possibly better defenders like say Morris, absolutely kill you in every, other aspect of the game. So if Nash really couldn’t play he wouldn’t…he is wired totally different than Kobe, in that respect.

    And he didn’t hurt the team, just couldn’t help them as much as he would have liked..

    You guys don’t even see it…he is a former MVP, also trying to go out with a touch of dignity so he wants to be part of not only a playoff team but a competitive playoff team. he has the total heart of a champion, just like Kobe. If he can’t play on Friday, he won’t but with blake possibly out, my guess is he does try to play.

    This lakers season is like the scene from Monty Python and the holy grail, where the knight has both his legs and arms chopped off and keeps fighting saying “its only a flesh wound”….it may be soon time to wave the white flag…can Jordan Hill play guard?

  122. rr,

    The observation is a very good one. I was very worried about how Nash would get through without the Phoenix training staff. That group in Phoenix, needs to be seriously studied.

    Also wonder whether as much as Dantoni, Mike Brown ran them into the ground in training camp.