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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Lakers

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The Spurs have righted the ship and are now back to playing San Antonio basketball. They head back to Los Angeles to face Kobe and some guys he's probably unhappy with.

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Lakers

Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
November 14, 2014, 9:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: ESPN/KENS - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

The difference between the first week of the NBA season and the second week is vast. Imagine it a dark chasm that swallows all fleeting, quick-trigger, "small sample size theatre" notions we had about many teams and, instead, reveals to us general truths, slapping some sense into us. For instance, it turns out that after winning two of their first three – including one against the Cavs – the Knicks aren't going to be saved by the triangle offense after all. We've also gotten over Cleveland's slow start and now understand that the learning curve does actually exist even for the best players.

And finally, we – and by we, I mean everybody else – are reminded that the San Antonio Spurs are going to be okay, just like they've been okay for the past sixteen years.

Up until this past Monday, the Spurs' "slow start" was popular fodder on most major television networks and radio stations. "What's wrong with the Spurs?" "Is their age finally catching up with them?" "Is Kawhi looking for contracts elsewhere?" All of these talking points made up the noise attempting to silence the nearly two-decades worth of evidence that this franchise was going to remain at the head of the class.

Then came Monday's road win over the Clippers, followed by another road win against Golden State the next night, and finally Kawhi announcing that he wanted to be a "Spur for life." All of the noise that surrounded this team to begin the work week completely dissipated by humpday. Two wins on the road against tough playoff teams, along with a star player pledging allegiance to the Silver and Black proved that the rest of the season should be business as usual for San Antonio.

But what occurs in the first week of the NBA season isn't always vastly different than what follows after that. For example, Anthony Davis' MVP level of play from opening night and league-wide dominance looks like it will continue into the next calendar year. Also, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton look like they will be a fun rookie tandem to watch in Orlando for the remainder of the season.

And yes, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to continue to be as bad as they looked in their opening week.

The team made waves across the NBA blogosphere in the preseason when Lakers' head coach Byron Scott said that he didn't believe three pointers "wins championships." At that time, Los Angeles was 1-for-19 from behind the arc over a span of three games. The team has since improved a tad upon those numbers in the regular season, ranking 25th in three-pointers attempted and 18th in 3PT% (the Spurs are currently 28th in 3PT%).

Where the Lakers' problems lie is on the defensive end. Los Angeles currently ranks last in defensive efficiency, with a DRtg of 114.4. After their 109-102 loss to the Pelicans on Wednesday, Coach Scott had quite a bit to say about his squad's defense:

"They got pretty much anything they wanted in the paint with no resistance whatsoever. It was just terrible. That was probably the worst defense that we've played from the preseason all the way to this particular point."

And at the center of this forum blue and gold circus is Kobe Bean Bryant, who did all he could to not add to the mockery of his team until a few days ago when he became the NBA's all time leader in missed field goals. Personally, I feel that this was made into too much of "point and laugh" situation and comes with the territory of being the go-to man on the roster for two decades. Kobe – currently leading the NBA in points per game and field goal attempts per game – is doing his damnedest to not be a part of the dumpster fire that is the rest of his team, and you can tell by almost every response he gives to the media that he's not sure if he's going to make it to the end of the season without going off on a teammate (please let it be Carlos Boozer).

Much more would've been hyped about the meeting of two legends in Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant – the 78th all-time – on national television, but with the direction both franchises are heading, it's hard to do so without cracking a smile. The Los Angeles Lakers franchise is at it's lowest in years, and many blame Kobe for that.

Superstars aside, the Spurs are the deeper, more efficient, more talented team, and should comfortably penetrate this swiss cheese of a defense.

vs

Los Angeles Lakers (1-7)

San Antonio Spurs (4-3)

November 14, 2014

Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

9:00 PM CDT

TV: ESPN/KENS

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Jeremy Lin

PG

Tony Parker

Kobe Bryant

SG

Danny Green

Wesley Johnson

SF

Kawhi Leonard

Carlos Boozer

PF

Boris Diaw

Jordan Hill

C

Tim Duncan



For the Lakers' perspective, visit Silver Screen and Roll

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 | dfarias@attcenter.com

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