FanPost

The Fool's Gold of Stomping the Lakers


112-91 seems like a trouncing, but there's a good reason L.J. (TimVP from Spurstalk) remains adamant that the Lakers are the worst match-up for us in the West, and I'm inclined to agree with him.



The Lakers for the most part executed their defensive game plan perfectly against the Spurs in the half court. The Spurs just beat it with an anomaly performance.

7-of-18 (38.9%) from 3 is fairly normal by Spurs standards, but by my count, the Spurs shot, and made, an extraordinary number of long-2s, defined as jumpers between 15-22 feet.

They were 19-of-28 last night (67.9%), which is an INSANE percentage. First off, if a defense gets the opponent to shoot 28 long twos, they're feeling wonderful about themselves, because it means they're keeping the opponent away from the paint, the free throw line and from more the more efficient three-point shot. But the average team shoots 40-47% from long two. To shoot at the clip the Spurs did is just something you tip your hat to and shrug your shoulders at, if you're Mike Brown.

Parker, specifically, was out of his mind, shooting 10-13 (76.9%) from 15-feet and beyond, and one of those three misses was from downtown, which as we all know is not his shot.

Duncan, meanwhile, was 5-7 (71.4%), which is obviously a great night for him since he shoots so many of those flat jumpers we cringe at.

Friends, we can't expect a night like that against the Lakers again any time soon. Instead of our usual 50-something points in the paint, we had to settle for 30-something because of the length of Bynum and Gasol. We got our fair share of lay-ups, but even most of those came on the fast break due to Lakers turnovers. Getting only 11 FTA attempts and having to count on canning 26 jump shots is no way to have sustained success against LA or anyone else.

To me, the real positives from the win, besides (or rather because of) Pop's eureka moment of giving Blair a DNP-CD, were at the defensive end. Forcing the Lakers into 19 turnovers, limiting them to only eight offensive rebounds (Bonner!), allowing less than 50% FG despite their relatively low number of 3-point attempts (2-of-10) and keeping them off the line as well (11-of-11, yikes) were all far more significant accomplishments than anything Parker or Duncan did on offense.

But yeah, all in all, I'd be thrilled if the Spurs maintained HCA and the Lakers held on that 3 seed. Not to say that I don't think we can beat them, but so far both games have been equally fluky and I think overall it's a pretty even match-up, with different advantages and disadvantages for both teams. It would be the series in the West where I'm least certain of a positive outcome for the good guys, especially once Stern's zebras get involved and it's the league's glamor team against the ratings poison that are our Spurs.

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The Value of DeJuan Blair: Minutes Eater

Not to dance too emphatically on Blair's grave, but his two best qualities are offensive rebounding and energy in blah games, and those are the two least important things you need in the playoffs. Defensive rebounding is far more vital than offensive rebounding and everyone gets up to play for playoff games, so the juice he brings is irrelevant.

That's not to say Blair has no value. I liken him to an inning-eating 4.50 ERA 4th or 5th starter on a baseball team, a guy like Livan Hernandez (which fits because they're similarly built, HEY-O). Sure, he's not very good, but somebody has to pitch those innings to keep the good starting pitchers from getting overworked and breaking down. Once the postseason starts, the 4th and 5th starter doesn't play.

Blair keeps the other bigs from having to play too many minutes during the regular season and we get by because the rest of the team is so good. He also takes advantage in the 1st quarter of games when neither team is too into the game and the crowd is dead and nobody really wants to be playing because it's the 4th game in six nights or whatever. Against shitty teams, he's a great weapon to have, because he brings it.

But now it's big boy basketball time and Blair has to sit once the playoffs start. He's just too short and he compounds his weakness by A) not being smart either and B) being an awful shooter. Start Diaw, keep the integrity of that awesome Splitter-Bonner-Ginobili bench trifecta (the new pale triangle?) and away we go.

This is fan-created content on PoundingtheRock.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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