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

Report: Eagles interested in bringing back Nick Foles

Report: Manning hinted to teammates he plans to retire

Barry Sanders shares thoughts on Megatron retirement talk

Report: Marshawn Lynch told friends he is retiring

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Marcin Gortat fires back at critic on Twitter

WATCH: Kerr told Warriors he was happy to have close game

Broncos could have tough decision with franchise tag

WATCH: Steph Curry does 'Dab' on court on eve of Super Bowl

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

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

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

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