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Game Thread # 8 -- vs. Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers come to town Tuesday night sporting a 3-2 record and the league's second highest scoring offense. They're beginning the season with an absolute brutal stretch of HOU, @PHX, UTA, NO, MINN, @SA, @HOU and DET. Jeezus.

Kobe Bryant. Felt obligated to mention him.

Kurt of asked me a couple of preview questions. I didn't ask him any in return because I'm rude.

1. What is Manu Ginobili eating for breakfast and where can I get some? Or, at least, what is he doing so well early on?

This has been the topic du jour amongst Spurs fans in the early season (and you can read hundreds of related words on my blog). The safe opinion is that he's rested after not playing for the Argentine national team this offseason, but after watching him play I know it's more than that. Though recklessness is his trademark, he's playing with an abandon that I've never seen out of him; taking threes early in the shot clock, attempting ridiculous passes to the likes of Matt Bonner, even getting into the face of opponents (something he's never done before this year).

Personally, I think he's finally comfortable with the notion of asserting himself as one the best players in the league. Which he is, whether people notice or not. He's currently leading the league in PER and fifth in points per 48 minutes. Is that all that surprising considering he was ninth and fifteenth in those categories last year?

2. I thought the Spurs traditionally started slow, so what else is going on here?

Well, their schedule has been easy, Ginobili's been trashing defenses and Robert Horry's and Jacque Vaughn's rotten corpses have stayed in street clothes.

3. Outside of staying healthy, what does this team need to do to repeat?

Nothing. They'll beat Boston in 5 games, Ginobili wins the MVP and I get the entire Spur home crowd to chant "Nancy boy" during all of Ray Allen's free throw attempts.

There you go.