AL: With the way San Antonio has been playing this year, it appears like they’re the defending champs' biggest competition in the West. Do they have a great shot of upending the Lakers this year?
BB: “Absolutely. The one issue with San Antonio is their age and their window is closing. They have to make sure Tim Duncan is well-rested and Pop has done a great job managing his minutes. He’ll be leaning on him heavily in the playoffs. Between the coaching and their big three, you have to respect what they’re capable of doing. We’ve seen that throughout the regular season.”
“The issue for them is their bench guys and who they rely on. Can their bench guys step up and play on that level of competition? Obviously, what Kobe has been talking about with the Lakers is that it’s the regular season and they’re waiting for the playoffs."
"Well, for Pop and the Spurs, they don’t know what they have on the bench. The Lakers, they know what they have in terms of their players and what they’re capable of doing. San Antonio doesn’t quite have that kind of definition with Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter, who’s been injured for a while and they were going to rely on him.”
“So, there are some guys that they are hoping are primed and ready to go. So, it will be interesting to see how Pop plays those guys down the stretch of the season and try to get them all in a pretty good rhythm.”
“Everyone wants to talk about the power teams or the glamorous teams and Popovich is fine with that. They’ll go about their business and they’re going to possibly push 60-65 wins this year and earn the homecourt.”