Game 3 Preview and Chat: The San Antonio Spurs

Darius Soriano —  April 26, 2013

The Lakers are in an onerous position heading into game three. They trail two games to none, losing both games by double figures as the Spurs took control of both games in the 2nd half. Further, their depth is severely compromised. Steve Blake has already been ruled out due to a strained hamstring that leaves him out indefinitely. Jodie Meeks’ MRI revealed a partially torn ligament in his ankle and he remains doubtful to play. Steve Nash is also doubtful with his various lower body ailments.

These players represent the top three guards in the Lakers’ back court rotation. With Kobe already on the shelf, they’re every guard you’d want to be able to rely on to play meaningful minutes at this time of the year. All of them being out spells trouble of the worst kind, especially for a team already having issues generating offense from the perimeter in a way that’s respected by the Spurs.

This game, then, represents the type of challenge that can’t realistically be expected to produce a positive result. This isn’t optimism versus pessimism, it’s simply a matter of health. Take away Parker, Ginobili, Neal, and Joseph against a fully healthy Lakers’ team and I’d venture to say the Spurs’ outlook would be exactly what the Lakers face today.

All that’s left is hope. Hope that Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard can find a bit more efficiency in their games to score well and create good looks for others (especially Pau). Hope that Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, and Chris Duhon play some of the best ball of their lives. Hope that Earl Clark, Jamison, and Ron hit their open jumpers and find slashing and post opportunities behind a Spurs’ D that is heavily committing to stopping Pau and Dwight. Hope that the Lakers find some home court magic that provides them a level of energy and effectiveness that translates to a winning formula.

Because, without those things, it’s safe to say the Lakers are severely outmatched in this game. We can talk beating the fronting defense of the Spurs via high-post flashes and lobs over the top to Dwight Howard. We can talk shading Parker to the baseline on every single touch to funnel him to where the help is. We can talk trapping Ginobili aggressively to make him a passer rather than a scorer. We can even talk pressuring full court to change the tempo and feel of the game. These are all tactical moves that make sense in a vacuum; moves that can improve the Lakers’ chances if executed well and if the Spurs aren’t fully prepared for them.

But the fact is that unless some of the Lakers’ available players can play above their heads in this game, there’s simply too much a disparity in talent on the floor for the tactical adjustments to really make a huge difference. On many levels that’s discouraging. But it’s also how this series is evolved. Even if Nash and Meeks both play, it was really Blake and Kobe who carried the Lakers’ perimeter offense down the stretch of the season and both those guys will be in suits on the sideline. If Nash and Meeks don’t play (which, at this point, seems most likely), the Lakers will be turning to their fifth, sixth, and seventh guards on the roster and players who would not be in the rotation otherwise. That’s no insult to them, it’s simply what they are.

So, hope for the best tonight folks. If nothing else I expect the Lakers’ to play hard and try their best to get what is a very important game within the context of this series. It’s just that they’re so undermanned it’s difficult to see a realistic path where the outcome is different than what’s expected. Maybe at 10:30 tonight, we can all celebrate the improbable. I sure hope so.

Darius Soriano

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91 responses to Game 3 Preview and Chat: The San Antonio Spurs

  1. Hope don’t lie.

  2. For Kobe.

  3. if we can get duncan in early foul trouble maybe that can get us going inside. the younger lakers have speed on their side, which will be a plus on defense, but the veteran players will eat that up. best case scenario is that we push them to the last shot and maybe they’ll be a little tired for game 4.

  4. I feel like this inscription is on the Lakers door for the season.

    Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

    Maybe just maybe the Lakers shock the Spurs tonight. Go Lakers.

  5. It’s been a long time since the Lakers have been this big of an underdog. In a way this situation reminds me of 1993 against the Suns and 1995 against Spurs. Both times the Lakers were severely outgunned against a finals contender. Hopefully these Lakers can show similar grit and determination to make this a memorable series.

  6. darius: wheelchair basketball comes to mind when i hear of the latest injury to a player on a team, not the lakers. now if only the odds are evened just the slightest versus the spurs from little town in texas, san antonio was it?

    can’t argue with who knows when it comes to who knows what’s coming next.

    hope springs eternal and a wish and a prayer goes a long ways.

    tonite vs dem spurs that jingle jangle in the night.

    Go Lakers

  7. Maybe is the time to implement some full cort pressure and some zone trapping zones with the younger core clark ebanks,morris,goudelock,sacre and try to do something that san antonio is not expecting for,cause right now popovich knows every MD moves.

  8. I don’t think the elephant in the room has been addressed yet, but with the unfortunate injury of Westbrook, the west could have been easily had this year.

    If only the coach(boo!!) knew how to manage his players minutes better, we could have had the dream finals matchup between Kobe vs Lebron.

  9. While none of us are feeling especially optimistic about tonight, this Nike ad celebrating Kobe Bryant is a reminder of how blessed we Lakers fans have been. Goose bumps:

    ‘You Showed Us’
    http://youtu.be/_TXXeONnzs0

  10. If we win a game i be happy if we win two i be elated, too much to overcome.

  11. lil pau,
    ditto `for Kobe´
    (& dug the Desolation Row reference btw)

    Go Lakers!

  12. Mark, thanks for posting that Nike ad link on Kobe, can’t wait for Kobe to return.

  13. @Glove, no worries. We should all aspire to such great heights (as Kobe), and dedicate ourselves accordingly.

  14. No glory in safe bets, I am all in on Morris & Glock tonight. Playoffs, home court, national TV, the whole nine yards.

  15. I’ll be tuned in. Young guys have a true opportunity tonight to show they belong in the NBA. Go Lakers!

  16. Don’t know what to expect but I just hope they will play hard and not give up.

    Lets Go!!!

  17. Real Lakers Nation, stand-up!

    Go Lakers!

    Ditto, For Kobe!

    Pau and Dwight climb in that Hot Tub Time Machine. Goudelock get inspiration from the “Linsanity” time-frame. Darius show your coach that there were more than eight players on the team. Ebanks (may not dress) if you get in the game the same do the same. Revenge ball your coach.

  18. Hey ROBERT: The problem with your posts is that you often conclude them with statements that – well – could have been made by Robert. This could get confusing : )

  19. Fact

    Lakers have never lost when Morris and Andrew started an NBA game. Nor have they ever lost when I was in Orlando for business for the week.

    No problem. Lakers by 3.

  20. Mark Sigal: Nice link. Anyone who has not seen that video yet, please click on that, Brought tears to my eyes. Wow

  21. Maybe at 10:30 tonight, we can all celebrate the improbable.
    _____

    Hopefully, by 1:00am this morning, I’ll be celebrating the improbable.

  22. Respect to the backcourt for coming to play. No deer-in-the-headlights look from either of them, although it would be easy for them to pass the ball on like hot potato and try to stay out of the way. They’re trying to make plays.

  23. Next to the last game as a Laker for Metta.

    See ya.

  24. Yes Snoopy, too bad they playing like the 4th string backcourt they are, lets see if they can do something.

  25. I think I spoke a little too soon. Backcourt’s usage is a little too high right now for my taste.

    Fern – you’re preaching to the choir. They’re borderline NBA players in my eyes, at best. But what can you really expect? There’s a dearth of talent but they came to ball and I respect that.

  26. Good move by Lock’ we need that lets see what the D-league can do

  27. Lakers need Howard not to be in foul trouble for the rest of the game.

  28. Come on, boys, tonight we ride! Win this!

  29. This have all the signal of an ugly game.

  30. Lol we’re going iso ball with this team… wow.

  31. I know Snoopy, just sad at the current state of affairs, the basketball gods just took a huge dump on us this year.

  32. Only Morris look NBA level on the backcourt

  33. I’ve avoided saying this all year, but what exactly did Ebanks do?!

    This situation is as desperate as it gets, and he’s one of few players left who can play in the backcourt and defend at the same time.

  34. Ebanks must have done something horrible or pissed somebody off.

    The guy has potential, yet he’s just sitting glumly on the bench getting chubby getting overlooked in a desperate situation such as this.

  35. Someone get hot, please!

  36. Why would you not play gasol 45 minutes????

  37. Now Morris in in foul trouble, everything that can go wrong just does, sheesh

  38. GLock looks a lot slimmer than last year and Summer league.

  39. glock and morris so couldve spelled the mamba for 5-10 mins a game…they suck but not as bad as theyre made out to be…back to back 3′s for glock…even so i think we are done

  40. Announcer are making fun of the Lakers defense. Hard to think this coach is back next year.

  41. Spurs versus the D league team.

  42. forget the win. i just want G-lock to get 30

  43. Goudelock back to back 3′s a Lakers highlight.

  44. Glock getting hot — what’s to lose at this point?

  45. Pau´s come to play tonight-
    Great to see Glock get it going

  46. i know ebanks has had a couple brushes with the law…but cmon metta playing like trash right now let him try!

  47. Pau headed for a triple double.

  48. Freaking Bonner…..Can we not leave that guy open. Please. Thank you.

  49. Only thing Peace has done in 2 years. Knocked down Parker.

  50. When Goudelock is your leading scorer, you know your in trouble.

  51. Glock showed me something tonight, i knew he has skills but i guess he is showing why he was the D-league MVP,we need to keep this guy around.He belongs…

  52. Not a bad quarter. Metta’s line is awful.

  53. Fern,

    Glock may actually be someone to incorporate next year. Consistent playing time seems to have helped. Would be ice to see Morris get there as well. I assume Ebanks is done with the Lakers.

  54. Hey Anonymous, how about elbowing Harden? lol.

    Lucky we’re down only by 11.

    Sigh..

  55. I hate Bill Simmons on my TV, i want the Lakers to win this game just to say we didnt go down 3-0 like his beloved Celtics just did.

  56. Metta must miss KB more than anyone

  57. Totally agree TeamN.Could be a instant offense off the bench guy.

  58. Hey remember with Mike said “wait until Andrew comes back”?

  59. Tim Duncan at 90 years old is better than our 2 bigs. Dude is just ridiculous.

  60. Down by 11 at the half isn’t too bad considering the circumstance. Where’s Ron-Ron? Haven’t heard a peep from him all game. G-Lock taking advantage of his NBA audition (for next year).

  61. Has d’Antoni given up? Duncan has had time every game for his set shot.

  62. Kevin, is MDA guarding Duncan?

  63. Fern: the way duncan just challenged pau’s shot lakers should be doing the same.

  64. Lol, even dumb luck bounces go SA way.

  65. Kevin i put that on whoever is guarding him, not on the coach, when i played i didnt need no damn coach to tell me to play D.

  66. Things that make you go hummmmm

    Lakers release Andrew G yet keep Duhon, Ebanks and Meeks.

    10 minutes of rest for Kobe with AG might have changed the season.

    Wonder who made that decision?

  67. Howard should deliver a hard foul to parker or duncan for the way the spurs are hacking him. And I wouldn’t mind a punch to one of the refs faces.

  68. Have to give it up to the Staples crowd for that deafening ref-you-suck chant. Flipping back and forth b/t the games and I wasn’t paying attention, I thought that was the Warriors fans before I looked at the screen.

    Respect to Goudelock for making me eat my words. He always had flashes, just couldn’t stay in the league because he wasn’t consistent at all.

  69. I’m with you Gary. I’m might pull some Bynum smash.

  70. Question. Do the Lakers entertain the idea of hiring MDA if they didn’t pick up Steve Nash? I claim the answer is no. MDA was the wrong hire for this team. And no I don’t think that this year can all be put on MDA’s head. No training camp. Injuries to Nash, Hill, Dwight, Pau, Kobe, and Blake have all contributed to this lost season. However, I can’t believe that this team is “championship caliber” even fully healthy. Part of me wishes that Howard would throw down the ultimatum of MDA or me when the time comes.

    Next year will most likely be just as bad as this one. I just hope that Kobe can come back and be Kobe for one more year…

    Sorry for the rant guys. Depressed as hell with this season.

  71. well my friends it was fun while it lasted…what can we expect…MDA better be gone next year

  72. U have Howard…Gasol..Jamison…Peace….you should be able to compete….just like hubie just said..no defensive planning…in other words…thus coach sucks…

  73. Jamison…Gasol..Howard ..shouldve played most of the game…

  74. John Wall is a free agent in 2014. Goodnight.

  75. If Splitter’s ankle injury is serious, then the Clippers are the favorites to make it to the finals. Let that sink in.

  76. It’s not enough to have literally half our team injured, do we have to get absolutely hosed by these f*&king refs?

  77. KenOak

    It will get better.
    Phil Jackson Director of Basketball Operations
    Old scouts brought back
    B Scott new coach
    Metta signs with Nets
    Howard resigns
    Pau traded for draft choices and a point guard
    Meeks, Duhon, Ebanks gone
    Kobe back by December

    Things will get better.
    Over and out from Newport Beach!

  78. Mel Counts Counts April 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Geez, you think Goudelock should have been here all season? Why won’t this team bring young guys along? Who’s picking the talent around here, could say the same for Earl Clark, quality player who they were forced to play and were surprised he could actually play a bit.. Ebanks must be counting the minutes, get me out of here… Bye, Metta, thanks for the memories beating the Celtics. Nothing lasts forever, blow it up-including Dwight-Please!

  79. Did I just hear a “We want Phil” chant?

  80. I hate to say that but…MDA is playoffs-clueless. He can’t draw a simple play to let GLock open.

    Amazing. And he insists on pounding the ball to Dwight, the (former) DEFENSE player of the year… SMH

  81. With Jamison barely playing and Clark taking more shots then Gasol..you not even trying to win

  82. Our season ended 5 games ago. Let’s be realistic.

    You know what Phil would say at this point?

    “Look fellas, settle down. These guys let teams back into series – that’s what they do. Last year they dropped four straight at the peak of their dominance. What’s to say they won’t do it again? Let’s regroup and stay in the moment.”

  83. Gasol first career playoff triple double

  84. Ken, how many champioships Mitch have bring in? I dont understand the damn histeria, with all the injuries, well crap happens this is the season that describe that better than anything i ever seen, if Nash didnt break his damn leg maybe all this would not go downhill like it did. Next year well see, we cant win every year, im more interested on what is going to happen after next season when we can really reload, even if they keep this team one more year, which is the way to go in my opinion, without all this injuries and drama this team could be very good, we lost because we are too damn injured, Mitch is one of the beat if not the best GM in the NBA i chalk this season to the crap happens file and move on.

  85. I think you can make a case for Goudelock as an Eddie-House type guy. I said that when they drafted him. He is not as good as House, but he should probably be in the league.

    The only plus I see here is that it will quiet down the few remaining “Kobe hurts the team” types in the media, here, and elsewhere.

    I

  86. ken,

    One thing I do agree about, so lets celebrate that, is they could have made a mistake re Andrew G…I was wondering about him as I saw some signs last year, I think…just a few minutes of burn for him sure could have made a big difference, this year.

  87. A few thoughts

    - the refs were outrageous tonight – every single touch foul was called against the lakers defense and spurs were allowed to be physical an hack all night and whistles were swallowed – MDA should have gotten a technical or take the fine and mention something post game so that things are being looked at fairly

    - terrible defensive planning – our bigs are always sagging back on picks for Parker leading to open shots and no one but Clark was forcing Duncun to drive from 15 feet out where he was 10-11 shooting or something – both should
    Be adjustments for game 4

    - Morris and Goudelock shined on offensive but were picked apart on defense – they just need for reps on that end and for a few touch fouls to not be called.

    - metta will be released at the end of the year – lakers would save 25 million in luxury tax payments and insurance should save more money from kobes salary – pau will most likely stay

    - Morris should at least be our backup pg next year – has the penetration ability, decent defense that should improve, good size, good passing which at times could be erratic but overall he will improve with experience.

    - question: for those that might have ben at the game- did a we want phil chant break out? And did Kobe show up at all?what was the reaction?

  88. @ rr, totally right, if Kobe was playing this could be a 2-1 series either way, and i have to eat some crow about Gaudelock.

  89. Fern

    I don’t blame Mitch. I feel he will be the fall guy for Jim. I think we all know many of the decisions were not Mitch’s. I heard he was very frustrated last year with coaching changes and scouts being fired. I think Mitch will be gone but only because someone must take the fall and for sure it won’t be Jim.

    Clearly a power struggle will occur this summer. Only hope Jeanne and Phil come out on top. Lakers have never been swept in a first round series and to do so with the highest payroll in the league is to say the least, bad.

  90. @Ken
    I’m thinking that MWP will be gone after this year via amnesty. Pau will get traded to someone for some version of a crap platter. Kobe will come back around Xmas. Nash will hopefully be healthy. Dwight will probably resign hopefully at full health…. MDA will have a team that is “more” suited to his favored style of play, but probably further away from a chance at a title.

    Kobe and Nash will be a year older and more fragile than ever. Will Kobe even be 80% of what he was before? Oh and, for the record, if PJ would have been coaching this year with all the injuries that have befallen the Lakers, then the result would have been the same.