Lakers/Spurs: A Little Overwhelming

Rey Moralde —  April 24, 2013

Well, maybe not just a little.

But the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 102-91, to take a 2-0 series lead in this best-of-seven.

It seemed like the disparity of talent showed in this game. It’s not like the Lakers played bad overall but you can see how much better the Spurs are. The Spurs were able to get a basket when they needed to and have a lot more firepower than this depleted Laker team. What’s even worse? Steve Blake (16 points), who had been basically carrying the Lakers in the past week or two, injured his hamstring late in the game. Yes, because what the Lakers need are more injuries.

On the positive side, it was nice to see Jordan Hill back on the court. Did Mike D’Antoni bring him in too late? Perhaps. But the guy just got back from an injury so I don’t blame Coach Mike D’Antoni taking it easy on him. It was also good to see Andrew Goudelock get some minutes and he probably should’ve been used earlier considering how the backcourt was so hobbled.

Also, this was the most energized Dwight Howard had looked this season. He was quick to rotate defensively and made some athletic putback dunks and rejections. Dwight had 16 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks but foul trouble limited his minutes.

It hurt to see Steve Nash out there. The 39-year-old looked more like he’s 89 years old out there and he was laboring. If anything, he seemed to hurt the team more by being out there but it took a lot of guts for him to get on the court. You gotta admire that.

It also wouldn’t hurt for them to get on the post more. They have Dwight and Pau Gasol (13 points, nine rebounds). The Lakers should use them more often. It was nice to see the 2-4-5 alley-oop play even without Kobe and I wonder if they should use that more often.

As for the Spurs, Tony Parker persevered through Steve Blake’s tough D and ended with 28 points. We knew he wasn’t going to be kept down for long. Tim Duncan was his usual brilliance with 16 points. Kawhi Leonard got it going for San Antonio with 16 points of his own. And Manu Ginobili with his herky-jerky movements and pull-up threes poured in 13 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Even Matt Bonner put in 10 points (the Red Rocket, Red Mamba, Red Rooster, whatever). Just too much firepower. When the Spurs made runs, the Lakers simply couldn’t counter.

I don’t have much to say at this point. They’ll be at the comforts of their own home on Friday and we know what the Lakers’ advantages are. So they should go to that more and often. But if Steve Blake isn’t going to play, who will fill in for him? Heck, who will be their third scorer?!

All year long, the Lakers haven’t belonged in a professional basketball league. They really should be in a hospital ward.

Game 3 will be on Friday. Let’s hope we get some good news out of Blake’s injury.

And lastly, I would’ve loved to see Kobe Bryant live-tweet the game. But instead, he probably ended up watching Pitch Perfect for the tenth time. I wouldn’t blame him. That’s way better than watching Game 2.

Rey Moralde