Spurs Point differential: +9.2
The Lakers are going to have to keep these guys under 100 points if they are going to give themselves a chance.
The Spurs and the Lakers have almost identical offensive ratings, so this one comes down to the Lakers playing above board defense and the Bynum/Brown duo showing up enough to slow Duncan and more importantly making the Spurs bigs play defense and possibly get into some foul trouble. The Spurs are +11.9 with Duncan on the floor and -6.5 with him off.
Lamar Odom will be an integral factor in this game and must be an aggressor on the offensive end whether Kobe is in the line up or not.
The penetration of Ginobli and Parker will need to be limited, as that is the modus operandi of this offense. If those guys can’t get into the paint then you have a shot. Unfortunately when Thetis dipped the Lakers in the river Styx, she was holding them by the perimeter defense.
“We’re not in competition with San Antonio yet,” Jackson said. “This team isn’t at that level. We haven’t shown that we can play at that level in a game. So those games, we just have to play above our experience and our precision that we normally do.”
Pounding the Rock to perfection: Hop over to this FB and G counterpart for some more insight into this match up. Needless to say, they are feeling pretty good about their team, especially after exacting revenge on their two previous tough losses to the Warriors and Bobcats. Here’s a taste:
“It is not the rampant winning or remarkable feats of athleticism (traits common to all successful sport franchises). It is the unshakeable notion that the Spurs are not truly playing a game. The Spurs goal is perfection; 48 minutes of flawless execution, seamless integration, unbreakable cohesion. The evolution of Five into One.”
Roll over Shakespeare: “Kobe, or not Kobe” is one of the most awful Bard inspired headlines and sadly I’ve seen it more than once. My guess is that he won’t play in an effort to get himself healthy for the upcoming turn through Texas. In today’s Times Kobe seems to have “gotten it” as to whether or not he should play,
“If it gets progressively worse as the game goes on where I start limping and stuff, then that’s no good,” Bryant said. “That will set us back.”
It seems he will again be a game time decision. Updates as information is available.
Finally: DrRayEye asks, “Smushaphobe or Smushaholic?”
Following allong with nba.com’s “gamelive” is frustrating. I just need to shell out for Audio Live for the season, or NBA League Pass (a little pricier). Or get the full DirecTV lineup, which should include FSW. Or buy a slingbox for a friend in LA, and use them to watch the games live.
Definitely a smushaphobe.
But I am gaining some confidence in UPS
When did we trade Kwame for Amare?
LOL @ the Greek myth tie-in to the Lakeshow.
Cary D says
Alright, we just beat the Spurs!!!! Is this site Nostrodamus, or what? 14-6 record after 20 games. That was the goal at season’s tip-off and we nailed it. Great defense and Luke Walton/Kwame Brown just killed it tonight. I love seeing that “Duncan Whiny Face”. Betcha he didn’t think Bynum and Kwame were gonna work so hard tonight. Poor baby! 14-6.
There will be many stories told about Kobe, starters, and even revenge of the Smushaholics, but the “real” story is absolutely amazing and simple: Kwame Brown owns Tim Duncan.
16 points 13 rebounds and 5 assists isn’t exaclty being shutdown.
I think I read this about Kwame earlier in his career, and I feel like it is quite true. Does it seem like Kwame is much more motivated when he is facing a quality opponent at PF? For example, he seemed to be MUCH more aggressive against Jermaine O’neal the other night. I wasn’t able to watch the game last night (sounds amazing, even ESPN is raving) but if DrRayEye is right, it would seem the theory holds.
I remember he had career highs in points and rebounds–33 and 18 or something–against Chris Webber and the Kings earlier in his career.
It’d be nice if Phil could somehow tap into that type of aggressive play (specifically at the defensive end) regardless of the matchup.
Gary C says
â€œIt is not the rampant winning or remarkable feats of athleticism (traits common to all successful sport franchises). It is the unshakeable notion that the Spurs are not truly playing a game. The Spurs goal is perfection; 48 minutes of flawless execution, seamless integration, unbreakable cohesion. The evolution of Five into One.â€
What a steaming pile of crap. You might want to mix in at least one repeat in your franchise history before you start spewing about “perfection.” But at least they’ve seen perfection up close and personal…end of game 3 and start of game 4…it was as close as an NBA team has ever gotten to perfection…when it was over, the run was Lakers 102, Spurs 48 and the biggest mismatch in playoff history was over except for the garbage time.
John R. says
19 vs 27 against the 2nd best team in foul differential seems like the perfect time for a fouls update.
Let’s start with our early season winner for turnover of the year: http://youtube.com/watch?v=t5QpE09C7As
Stu at 22 seconds in, “I guess he felt the official was a teammate.” Quite. I am sure all of the Lakers feel that way, in fact.
We need to bow our heads and understand what we witnessed against the Pacers. For only the second time this season, the Lakers were called for more fouls than their opponents at home. And both times it was against relatively weak teams in Memphis and Indiana. That alone is weird enough considering the massive foul differential versus two of the best teams in this regard in Los Angeles and San Antonio. A closer examination reveals exactly why it happened. Both games were first quarter blowouts. Without the game on the line, the Lakers racked up much more normal foul totals. Peculiar indeed. Look it up for yourself.
Contrast with Atlanta when the Lakers trailed at halftime, they were whistled only 17 times. 17 is low. They only got in the penalty 1 out of 4 quarters? Perfectly in-line with a previously floated theory about how the game changes when the Lakers are about to start giving up free throws.
Also under 20 vs NOOCH and SA. 6 fouls on Bruce Bowen. He of the 2.31 career PF average.
Lakers have been over 20 fouls only 6 out of 15 home games this season. (2 of those were the previously discussed early blowouts against bad teams.) Lakers have never been under 23 on the road. Stronger evidence of the powerfully different sets of rules I cannot imagine.
Well thats all the specific weirdness with the previous set of games. Heres the totals thus far:
Lakers at home: 20.47 fouls per
Lakers away: 25.8 fouls per
And its not a matter of pace because Lakers at home vs Opp is still -4.4.
Since the extra 4.5 fouls the Lakers are being whistled for on the road are over the magic 20 number, we can safely assume the vast majority of those will be shooting fouls. We are talking about the refs witholding 7-8 points per game from the Staples Center visitor. Incredible.
Clipper fan you should occupy yourself with your team’s woes rather then Lakers’ succeses. But then that’s all Clipper fans know how to do isn’t it?
John (Vancouver) says
Don’t let his long-winded whining confuse any of you FB&G faithful. As with most Clipper fans you can simply point to obvious facts to debunk their argument.
Noticeably what John R. doesn’t mention is that the Spurs actually had 3 more free throw attempts than the Lakers in the game, but were only able to convert one more (13-20 as opposed to 12-17). So what was that about “extra points”? How can a team who is shooting less from the stripe actually be “getting” points at home John R?
By the way – Bruce Bowen has had one good game against Kobe Bryant in the past two years. When he is matched up against Kobe he averages about 5 PF a game, whether at home or on the road; you can see that Bowen’s ability to handle Kobe’s explosiveness has diminished.
The San Antonio game looked like a mirror image of what the Hornets did to us. Shutting us down with timely steals and controlling the offensive glass (14-5 for the Lakers!).
Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that.