Found January 09, 2013 on
Purple and Gold Blog:
San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers
After their loss to the Hornets on Monday, Manu Ginobili was gracious enough to say that his San Antonio Spurs (27-10) must play better against the Lakers (15-19), a team, he says, "got heart" and "play hard", in order for them to keep their 10-game winning streak at home alive. Not sure which Lakers team and what season he's pertaining to, but it's good to hear teams still fear the purple and gold.
All kidding aside, Ginobili was doing what he's supposed to do as a sportsman and a leader of his team. The Lakers and us Laker fans don't need any reminder that every team in the NBA almost always bring their A-game when the Lakers come to town or just how pathetic our team has been playing so far this season. But the fact remains that the Lakers must now win at least 30 of their remaining 48 games to qualify for a post-season run. With Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill out for who knows how long, that is going to be a task for the ages for this franchise.
After starting the game with bounce in their steps last night in Houston, the Lakers couldn't sustain their energy and team focus the rest of the way to earn themselves a win that could've injected a spark that they'll be alright without their bigs. But looking at the positives in that game, the younger, less-utilized players showed that they care about winning and willing to do whatever they can to help the team win. The team also, at least, had the concertive focus that they needed to come out swinging from the get-go in order for them to have the chance to get the victory. They have to do that again tonight.
The Lakers and Spurs are familiar rivals who have won titles more than any other team in the league in the past 12 years, and Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni have gone at one another in the playoffs before. So, there's really nothing cute needed in this matchup other than whichever team can grind it out more than the other.
If the Lakers are to win this game and hope to keep above water until they get their starting frontcourt back, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash must elevate their game even more. Bryant has done an incredible job at keeping his body and conditioning at top level because he has learned over the course of his 17-year career how to maintain his energy by picking his time to play defense. That is why you often see him communicate to his teammates by pointing at his man for anyone to cover him and get caught not guarding his man behind the 3-point line because he doesn't want to spend energy shadowing his man.
It's a catch-22 for Kobe. Should he waste energy on defense early and not have it late in the game or should he sacrifice his D so that he'll have the legs to close out the game offensively? At this point, he may have to do both.
Nash did look to score more against the Rocket last night getting a season-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. But having Bryant as the only other player the team can rely on in putting up points, Steve may have to eat some of his assists to shoot more tonight.
The bottom line is the Lakers need to lean on their best talent available to carry them more than ever while the entire team bring the energy and effort necessary for them to win games. It won't be easy, especially when the rest of the league salivate at the chance of kicking the Lakers while they're down. The alarm has gone off inside for the Lakers. Right now, it's just a question of how much fight they have left in them.
The Lakers are 5-10 on the road and 2-3 away from Staples Center in their last 5 games. The Spurs are 14-2 at the AT&T Center and have taken 3 of the last 5 meetings in their building against the Lakers. This is the 2nd of only 3 meetings between these teams and won't see each other again until April 14th at Staples Center. The Lakers lost last year's season series, 2-1.
Matchup of the Game
Steve Nash vs. Tony Parker: Savvy vs. Speed. These guys have faced each other too many times to know there's really nothing else to do but bring it. Parker obviously has a number of advantages going for him but let's see if Nash can bring his bag of tricks to pull this matchup closer for the Lakers.
Keys for the Game
> Maintain Energy: The Lakers will most likely come out swinging again tonight despite being the 2nd game of a back-to-back. They have to bottle that energy each passing quarter if they want a chance at an upset.
> DEFENSE!: This is going to be a permanent key for the Lakers until they can prove they're a team to be reckoned with each game in this department. And just to put it out there, the Spurs are 3rd in the league in scoring (104.9 per game).
> Prove It: The embarassment in losing in Darius Morris's voice in his post-game interview say that even the young and less-utilized players are sick of being walked on by every team in the league. But as they say, talk is cheap.
Tonight @ San Antonio Spurs
Tip-off: 5:00 p.m. (PST)
TV: TWC SportsNet (Southern California)/ESPN (national)
Radio: 710 AM ESPN/1330 KWKW
LAKERS: Steve Blake (abdomen), Pau Gasol (concussion), Jordan Hill (right hip) and Dwight Howard (right shoulder) are all out.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
SAY IT AIN'T SO
Phil Jackson was in the running to get the Lakers job midseason, but he reportedly now says he has no intention of coaching again.
Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, recently finalized the sale of one of her three Southern California mansions, TMZ reports. Kobe signed the couple’s three properties over to her wife when they were beginning divorce proceedings in late 2011. Vanessa listed the 6,000 square foot mansion on sale for $3.75 million in September. TMZ reports and a listing service confirms that the property...
Steve Nash and Metta World Peace have only been teammates for a few games but already their bond is tight. Perhaps a bit too tight.
During the Lakers recent loss to the Rockets, Nash needed to dry off a bit which included his sweaty, damp, and probably smelly armpits. Not a problem, any athelete needs to dry off. It is understandable but what isn't is when same player hands...
Although it seems pretty bad, Dwight Howard is saying his shoulder injury isn't as bad as everyone is making it out to be. The Los Angeles Lakers announced that Howard had a torn labrum in his shoulder, but Howard clarified yesterday. He said the injury is actually a separation from the bone - still a tear, though in medical terms.Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles says...
Once an elite NBA power, though it’s still not too late, the 15-19 depleted Los Angeles Lakers have flown into San Antonio to visit the (27-10) San Antonio Spurs.
With the Lakers comes a lot of media, only Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t really pay too much attention to what’s going on out in Hollywood.
“I don’t think about it,” said Coach Pop when asked...
I was sincerely pulling for Robert Sacre to have a good game in his first start in place of the injured Dwight Howard… mostly because I wanted the Lakers to win, because that just would’ve been funny. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Sacre did score 10 points, but, as the Lakers got blown out 125-112, he grabbed just three rebounds in 27 minutes and played Washington...
Just so everyone is aware, the Los Angeles Lakers lost, again. They were beat up by the Rockets and their problem may have been due to the lineup they put out on the court. The team is missing Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, and we all know that Kobe Bryant can be a ball-hog at times, but this was taking it to another level. For what it is worth, this was Chris Webber’s suggestion H/T Game On!
What’s the best assist in Steve Nash’s career? This one from last night in Houston during the Lakers 125-112 loss. Even on a milestone night where he eclipsed the 10,000 career assist mark, the magician pulled a fast one on teammate Metta World Peace. After exiting the huddle Nash wiped his nose/mouth, both arms and both armpits.
Metta, who appeared to witness the whole sweat...
Funny stuff. Somebody remixed Sarah McLachlan’s PSA for the ASPCA into a PSA for trading Pau Gasol. The video has gone viral over the last 48 hours and is guaranteed to make you laugh:
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tony Parker scored 24 points and the San Antonio Spurs handed the slumping Los Angeles Lakers their fifth straight loss with a 108-105 victory Wednesday night.
Manu Ginobili added 19 points and Tiago Splitter and Stephen Jackson had 14 each for San Antonio, which has won 11 straight at home.
Kobe Bryant had 27 points, Metta World Peace added 23 and Earl Clark...
As Project Spurs reported, Aron Baynes is heading to join the San Antonio Spurs. With new information from the DailyTelegraph.com.au, it appears the signing is all but official. His team, Union Olimpija, has wished him good luck in his new endeavors:
Thank you for everything and good luck - @aronbaynes! (@Union Olimpijia)
The site is also reporting about the contract...
While Metta World Peace tried to do his part, the Los Angeles Lakers couldn't overcome the loss of three frontcourt players, including a pair of All-Stars, during their opener to a brief road trip through Texas.
The Lakers will attempt to end that two-game trek on a more positive note Wednesday night but have the daunting task of trying to snap the San Antonio Spurs' 10...