Game day once again, the second of the first round series against the Spurs, once again in San Antonio. The first game showed a few things – that the Lakers possessed some defensive will, that Kobe’s instant offense was sorely missed and that Steve Nash in his first game back was not in particularly good shape. In some obvious ways, the game presented the ghosts of the Lakers’ past, present and future. The team is old and injured and many of the players who wear the uniform now won’t be wearing it in years to come. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a pathway to a steal on the road, however narrow. Can the Lakers find an effective way to redistribute Kobe’s minutes and responsibilities? Can Steve Blake thrive alongside Nash? Just how far can Gasol and Howard take the team?
Dave McMenamin from ESPN Los Angeles details Lakers adjustments going into game two – more ball movement to compliment the inside-out game.
Mike Trudell for the Lakers Blog, reporting on Tuesday’s practice.
Mike Bresnahan for the LATimes writes that the Lakers need more offense, instantly.
Drew Garrison for Silver Screen and Roll on the Spurs’ gamble and payoff in game one.
Ben Rosales for Silver Screen and Roll takes on the matter of offense in a Beast or Burden post.
The Kamenetzky brothers’ latest podcast covers a lot of ground, including Devin Ebanks’ burial.
In case you missed this one, Phillip Barnett stopped by to talk with Matthew Tynan at 48 Minuted of Hell on the eve of the Lakers/Spurs series.
Fran Blinebury for Hang Time Blog writes about a hobbled Steve Nash.
Arielle Moyal for Lakers Nation on Steve Nash and other Lakers news and rumors.
Adrian Wojnarowski for Yahoo Sports reports on Mike Brown’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Substitute for generic Kobe Bryant social media article: Kobe tweeted. Then he didn’t.
It’s not unheard of for an 8th seed to beat the top team in either the eastern or western divisions. The Nuggets did it against the SuperSonics in ’94, the Knicks defeated the Heat in ’99, the Warriors beat the Mavericks in ’07. Grizzlies took down the Spurs in 2011 and the 76ers upset the Bulls just last season. As for the real pot of gold, New York might have had a real shot when they made it to the finals in ’99 against San Antonio, were it not for Patrick Ewing’s torn Achilles.
The Lakers survived a horrendous season through increased determination, just barely outlasting their own diminishing stockpile of live bodies, inching agonizingly closer to a playoff berth but not guaranteed one until the very last day of the regular season. Our eyes and sense of logic informs us that a miracle upset like the ones listed above, simply isn’t in the cards. Still, tonight represents one of those rare, true tipping points, where one game can turn a series. Win this one and head back to Staples Center and a three-game home stand.