Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 4/28/13
The matchup of the game for Game 4 will be between Matt Bonner and Dwight Howard. With Tiago Splitter out, the San Antonio Spurs will be counting on Matt Bonner's contributions throughout the game to sweep the Los Angeles Lakers. Bonner has guarded Howard on the defensive end and Matt hasn't been afraid of giving him hard fouls to help wear him down in the process. The Spurs can't rely on Bonner too much other than his shooting, but that should make the Lakers uncomfortable enough with having to move one of their big men to the perimeter. What Bonner must do on offense: When Matt Bonner is on the floor, Lakers' coach Mike D'Antoni knows this is a horrible matchup for them when Bonner gets wide open shots. Los Angeles has two of the best big men in paint defense, but Bonner kills any hope of that when he drags them out on the perimeter. He's usually wide open with Tony Parker's drives or Tim Duncan's post scoring, which force the defense to collapse. Bonner is shooting a ridiculous 71% in the first round while averaging 26mpg this postseason. Bonner's 3-point makes have been one of the reasons why the Lakers haven't been able to get much momentum going. A combination of Tim Duncan channeling his youth and Matt Bonner's 3-point makes will make it a long night for the Lakers if it continues. What Bonner must do on defense: This is a side of the floor in which Bonner is at a huge disadvantage except in one area. It was obvious in Game 3 that Dwight Howard has made it visible his frustrated side with the Spurs' hard fouls. Bonner needs to keep having lose his cool on the floor and that will cause a downward spiral for the Lakers, who are already short handed. Howard's frustration cost him careless fouls on both sides of the floor. With Metta World Peace out this game, it'll be important than ever for Howard to stay calm to avoid of a sweet. If Matt Bonner can keep getting in Howard's head, he'll help the Spurs successfully complete a Lakers sweep and give his team a much needed break in the playoffs until the next round.
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