Game Preview - Lakers vs Spurs

John 'Fatty'-FatlandCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2008


        From the A T & T Center

           San Antonio, Texas 

     Los Angeles Lakers 27-12
      San Antonio Spurs 26-13

      9:00 PM NBA Standard Time

                (9:00 PM EST)

            Television : ESPN


Yeah, but what have you done lately: Lakers 3-1 Spurs 2-2

Wouldn't be the NBA without the injuries report:

Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm, Vladimir Radmanovic, Trevor Ariza
Hobbling: Kwame Brown (ankle, ego),  Luke Walton (ankle)

Spurs: Really none
Hobbling: Tony Parker (foot) B.Barry

Lakers View:  4th game since missing Lakers center Bynum (2-1). The Lakers had a better flow against Denver and they scored easily as Kobe directed the offense. The defense was suspect and rebounding was off. Still, an easy win with Melo leaving the game early with an injury.

Spurs View: Offense has been struggling to score, though they shot well at Charlotte. No problems with D. Teams are struggling to reach 90 pts.

The Coaches Insight:

PJ — After the Denver win. "It's a good win for us," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We just can't make too much out of anything and stay really close into what we're trying to do — try to force every game to be an opportunity to win, don't give anything away. We know we're going to have to work hard to get some wins."

Pop — "For a decade now this has been our period where we get into a little lull," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Hopefully we will be a lot better at playoff time as we have been in the past."

The defending NBA champions are just 9-10 in their last 19 games - a stretch that includes a 102-97 loss at the Lakers on Dec. 13 - but Popovich doesn't seem overly concerned.

"Losses at this part of the season have never really bothered us much," the coach said. "It's a game of mistakes. It's just an educational thing until playoff time comes around."

A Fans Perspective:
Don’t trust either coach. Game is on National TV. Could be possible playoff match. Players want to win. Will be  intense. Spurs D will make it hard for Lakers to score,(we’ll duh!) should be 85-94 pts for both teams.

It’s the 'Little Things' that count:

Lakers are thin and can’t  be aggressive on D. Manu will be a handful, especially with Luke Walton on the hobble list. Can Sasha V. (Why type it, if can’t be pronounced?) guard Manu? Look for Kobe to stay on Manu in the 4th quarter.

Bowen vs Kobe — Always a lot of fun. Watch the two of them fight for position when Kobe doesn’t have ball. In the past, if refs calling tight, Kobe puts the hammer down on Bruce.

Outside the obvious:

For the Spurs to win —  Finley and Bowen need to make the 3 shot, will be wide open.

For the Lakers to win —  Lamar Odom will attack the basket and needs to be successful scoring, passing, and making free throws.

Excitement factor: 7 (Intriguing, worth watching — unless wife, girlfriend has other plans)

Nostradamus Game Prediction:

Spurs at home (19-4), Lakers without center sensation Andrew Bynum, Spurs should win. But ... Lakers, PJ and Kobe may surprise and steal one. Just covering my bases.

Alternate game worth watching: Portland vs New Orleans


(Authors comment: What's your take? Who wins, final score, who wil be the leading scorer, will someone have a breakout game? Something I missed on the match ups you want to add?)