I think the Spurs are going to win tonight. I thought they were going to win both times we played before. I was surprised they lost one, and think it has something to do with Pop keeping the big three home, instead of taking them to Utah and having them sit on the bench and root for their team. TEAM. I didn't like that move because it divided the team. Getting absolutely embarrassed erased that division because they suffered it together, every one of them. I liked that Pop had Duncan on the bench for the Kings game rather than having him go straight home after the Lakers victory. But all of that is another issue and another rant for another time. Suffice it to say, I don't think we're going to see anybody miss any of the upcoming road games.
But this is a no-win situation as far as national attention goes. And I like reading good things about my favorite team from observers who are not "us".
Lakers win, but their frontcourt comes up small. Storyline: "Kobe is the greatest player on the planet."
Lakers win, and their frontcourt has average or big numbers. Storyline: "LA's frontcourt plus Kobe are just too much for the Spurs."
Spurs win, Kobe comes up small. Storyline: "Kobe not quite in sync yet."
Spurs win, Kobe comes up big. Storyline: "Kobe looks great coming back from injury - the rest of his team failed to show up."
Spurs have a run, get up big and LA slowly creeps back. Spurs win. Storyline: "Spurs take advantage of foul trouble to steal one from Lakers." or "Kobe's comeback attempt comes up short."
Honestly, I cannot think of a single scenario where Spurs will get recognition for "legitimately" winning this game. But it is as we have all come to regard as normal. If the Spurs come out on top in a big game, it is about what the other team was missing or how they failed to perform in some way. If the Spurs lose in a big game, that was expected and it is because the Spurs just don't have the horses to compete, regardless of how long we played our best people, or who was injured, or how the second (or first) squad failed to execute.
I will say, that it does appear that the national media is taking more note of the Spurs (hard to ignore them when they lead the west (have you heard anybody say, "And we can't ignore the Spurs (trust us, we've tried).")), and a few of them seem to have actually watched a number of Spurs games. The ones that have watched are way more sold on the Spurs as a contending team than those who have only seen a couple of the games and look at lineups and stats and box scores. It's happening less and less, but there are folks out there that are still saying that the Spurs are boring. Imagine exposing your ignorance by calling the team playing the most beautiful basketball I've seen in years, boring.