Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio SpursAT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
April 16, 2014, 7:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI
The final game of the 82-game preseason has come upon on us, and the Spurs are ready to start the real season in a few days. The only thing standing between them and the playoffs are the Los Angeles Lakers; a team that wants the regular season to end just as bad as the Spurs do. Because this game will resemble an exhibition match in it's lack of significance, as well as the amount of minutes Austin Daye will receive, there isn't much to preview about this game. Popovich will be extra careful with the minutes he hands out to his players, and because San Antonio has already locked up home court advantage throughout the postseason, another win or loss here wouldn't make or break anything.
So instead of writing a preview the last game of the Spurs regular season, I thought I would review the previous 81 games of the Los Angeles Lakers instead. The Lakers are finishing up their worst season since moving to Los Angeles, and because of all of their success over the past two decades, no one really has any sympathy for them. In terms of records, the Lakers are the worst team in the state of California (congrats Sacramento!). And while teams like the Bucks, Sixers, and Knicks made loosing look incredibly sad, Los Angeles somehow still made a terrible season look like a party. No team lost with more flair, this season, than the Lakers.
So as we, San Antonio Spurs fans, say hello to what looks like an exciting and bright playoffs, let's help the Lakers say goodbye to a hilariously dreadful season. Here are a few of my favorite Lakers moments from the 2013-14 NBA season.
Kendall Marshall begs Kobe for a follow and gets denied
It started out as a simple request. It was simply one player asking his teammate for a follow on Twitter. What makes it hilarious is it was Kendall Marshall asking this of Kobe Bryant, who is apparently Twitter follower stingy and keeps his follow numbers trimmed. His Twitter request went out on January 4 of this year, and at the time of writing this, the Black Mamba still has yet follow him. Bryant only follows 55 people on Twitter: a few athletes, a couple politicians, Steven A. Smith, and then a whole bunch of random folks. None of them Kendall Marshall. Checking in on whether Kobe follows Marshall has since become a weekly segment done by Leigh Ellis of the Starters.
My favorite three point celebration from this season
Pau Gasol hit only 4 three pointers this season, and by the way he celebrated after hitting this specific one against the Timberwolves, you know he's surprised he even got that many. Just look at the pure joy on his face.
My favorite not-three point celebration from this season
Nick Young threw up the "threes" in celebration for his shot that rattled out of the rim against the Knicks as the clock was winding down. Nothing can be more Swaggy P than that.
Robert Sacre fouls out, has to continue playing
I love it when I witness NBA officials enacting rules I've never heard of because that means something crazy just happened. The Lakers, and Robert Sacre specifically, taught me a new rule on February 5th.
With less than 4 minutes left in the game, Robert Sacre got his sixth foul on a C.J. Miles jumper. Normally, he would go straight to the team bench for the rest of the game because he fouled out, but the Lakers had no one to replace him. Nick Young and Jordan Farmar were already out of the game due to injuries suffered a few quarters earlier, Chris Kaman had previously fouled out, and four other players were on the inactive list for various reasons. There was no one left on the Lakers bench to replace Sacre. Per NBA rules, if a team only has 5 elligible players, and one fouls out, that player is to remain in the game and the team will receive a technical instead. What's even more sad is the shorthanded Lakers still ended up beating the Cavs that evening, 119-108.
Here's a good image of what the Lakers bench looked like that night:
This has got to be a top 3 moment in the 2013-14 Lakers season. pic.twitter.com/uu8vjZm1v5— Escoot (@Escoot) February 6, 2014
Pau Gasol becomes Lucille 2, comes down with Vertigo
Pau Gasol played incredible series in both the 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals. Kobe got the MVP in both, but Pau was definitely a crucial piece for Los Angeles winning it all two years in a row. That's why it's sad that possibly his last season with the Lakers has been cut short because of vertigo. Yes, vertigo. I find it so fitting that this L.A. squad's biggest name (other than Kobe) had to forego the final weeks of the season due to motion sickness. Gasol has already publicly said he will test the free market this offseason, so the city of Los Angeles may have seen their last glimpse of the Spaniard in the gold and purple.
Matchup to watch: At this point, I have no idea who Popovich is going to send out there tonight, so I'm going to say keep an eye out on Damion James. He was just signed to the team for the remainder of the 2013-14 season, and because we shouldn't expect to see much of him in the postseason, we should get our fill of him against the Lakers. Go ahead Pop, give him 48 minutes.
(GIFs courtesy of @cjzero)
Key Bench Players
Key Bench Players
The perspective of Lakers fans can be found here: Silver Screen and Roll
Game Prediction: Spurs by 12.
Line in Vegas: Spurs by 8.5.
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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