Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 4/20/13
Project Spurs continues its 2013 Spurs Playoff preview as the Spurs face the Lakers in the first round. Next is Trevor Zickgraf on Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni. There's a lot of storylines heading in to the first round match up between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers.  Since Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls, either the Lakers or Spurs have represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals 11 out of 14 years.  There's Tim Duncan facing Dwight Howard for the first time their careers, memories of .4, etc.  One storyline that's been overlooked by most is the fact that this will be the fourth time Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni will square off in the last nine years, the fourth time D'Antoni meets the man who has caused him so much pain in spring's past. Interesting fact about Mike D'Antoni, he has a losing record in the playoffs (26-29).  12 of those losses, just over 40 percent of D'Antoni's playoff losses have come at the hands of Popovich's Spurs.  On top of that, D'Antoni teams only have four victories total against the Spurs in three series.  In short, whether it's by roster talent, coaching guile, dumb luck or all of the above, Popovich owns D'Antoni in the postseason. There's an argument to be made that each time the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns have met, the Suns had a more talented team.  Steve Nash in his prime, Shawn Marion in his prime, Amar'e Stoudemire in his prime (still not giving a damn about defense) and a slew of shooters for Nash to dish it to.  It was Pop's game plan to, for the most part, stay home on all of the shooters and let Tony Parker or Bruce Bowen chase Nash around while trying to prevent him from creating open looks for others.  The Spurs were also able to go small when they needed to, able to push the ball when they needed to. This coaching mismatch is the main reason I'm optimistic about the Spurs in this series is this coaching mismatch.  Popovich is able to make adjustments, usually in a short amount of time, when things aren't going well.  D'Antoni has never shown an ability or interest to alter his offensive strategy when teams make adjustments.  This season was probably the best job D'Antoni has done figuring out how to incoporate two big men in to his system and it was still anything but a seamless transition.  Pop and Co. have had a couple days now to figure out how to attack the Laker bigs.  Will Mike D'Antoni figure out an adjustment if the Spurs cause problems for Howard and Gasol?  Don't count on it.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker