San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles LakersAT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
April 24, 2013, 8:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: TNT/FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI
The San Antonio Spurs continue their playoff run by hosting the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center. The Silver and Black won Game 1 in convincing fashion, exhibiting a very strong defensive effort to earn the 91-79 victory. Despite a worse shooting percentage, as well as subpar performances by Tony Parker (8-21 from the field, even though he had 8 assists and 3 steals to 2 turnovers) and Tiago Splitter (0-4 from the field), the Spurs bested the Lakers with a stellar performance by Manu Ginobili (18 points in 19 minutes, including a pivotal 8-0 run) and a solid performance by Matt Bonner, of all people (10 points, more offensive rebounds than either Gasol or Howard).
To take Game 2, the Spurs should continue what they did in Game 1 and build up on it. Force turnovers, force bad shots, close out on shooters, push the pace in transition, and generally take advantage of the Lakers' weaknesses. Hopefully the Spurs can improve the ball movement and offensive flow, and, most importantly, get their open looks to fall. Should they do these things, the Spurs ought to be looking at an even bigger margin of victory than in Game 1. Nonetheless, they should not treat the series as if they already hold a decisive lead. Drop this one, and the Spurs slide into Los Angeles in a locked series, having lost home court advantage, and suffering a significant blow to their confidence.
The Lakers' late push to earn a spot in the playoffs cost them their best player, and likely magnified the fatigue experienced by even their healthy players, while the Spurs focused on rest and health to close the regular season. Returning to and maintaining a healthy state is still paramount in the post-season, and the Spurs' attention to minutes as the regular season wound down should continue to prove an advantage in this series.
Oh, and can we focus on the game, national media? That would be nice.
Lakers perspective can be found here: Silver Screen and Roll
Game Prediction: Spurs by 6.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.
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