A quick preview today….
Whether or not a sense of normalcy is returning for the Lakers is probably more an individual thing than anything for the collective to decide. Folks manage and deal with their grief in their own way and, if they’re anything like me, they might feel better one moment and not as great later on, and then feel even worse the following morning before having a good stretch the following day. Today’s game vs. the Spurs, then, is likely going to be a mixed bag. And it will probably be that way for a while.
That said, the Lakers are back in action tonight. They’ll face a Spurs team that lost to the Clippers last night and it will take place back at Staples where the Lakers most recent memories are of losing that game to Portland on the night the organization paid tribute to and publicly mourned Kobe’s passing with such heartfelt displays of love and grief. Returning home will probably bring back some of that rawness, but as several around the team have said, these feelings are going to endure and its the players’ jobs to understand and expect what’s coming and just try to manage as best they can by being their for each other.
Saturday did bring a win in Sacramento, however, so at least the team has got that under their belt.
As for tonight, the Spurs are likely going to suffer from playing last night, so the Lakers would be wise to take it to them physically on both sides of the ball. Attack the rim offensively, play with force defensively, push the pace as much as possible in transition, and hopefully wear this team down until they submit. The Lakers are the more talented team, but we all know that talent also needs to execute. So, the Lakers must remain sharp and not take anything for granted. Play hard, play smart, and get after it.
If the Lakers do those things, they’ll put themselves in a great position to win this game. I’m hopeful they’ll have that focus and drive to get that W tonight. They sure could use it.
Where you can watch: 7:00pm start time on Spectrum SportsNet and TNT.