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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers

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The Kobe Bryant fairwell tour makes its first stop of the season in the Alamo City. Potential Danny Green bounce-back game?

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
December 11, 2015, 8:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW Radio: 1200 AM WOAI

For reasons both on the court and off, Kobe Bryant has been one of the least sympathetic figures in the basketball world for nearly 20 years. More than a human being or even a basketball player, he's been an absolute (or just an absolute a-hole if you ask Smush Parker) -- an imperfect, unflinching brand that divided opinions like few other athletes have or will.

Takes on Kobe are maybe less binary among Spurs fans, who fashioned those glorious 'Lakers Suck' T-shirts through the 2000s and saw the two teams alternate Finals appearances throughout the Big Three era. While perhaps not quite the rival the Suns were at their peak (depending on who you talk to) there's still enough bad blood to fuel the schadenfreude of watching this current iteration of the Lakers toil in futility.

Bryant's continued decline has been well-documented this year, as has coach Byron Scott's steadfast stance to feed Kobe all the minutes and shot attempts he wants, to the detriment of both team success and the development of the team's young players.

In what will either be seen as a breakthrough or simply a spasm of fleeting self-awareness, Kobe decided to sit out the end of their last game against Minnesota. The result was a competitive game on the road against a team that's been no pushover this season. The Lakers lost in OT but, in a season that's only yielded three wins, they'll take what they can get.

What they'll get in San Antonio should be a Spurs team that's in better form than the one that lost 97-94 in Toronto on Wednesday night. No word on if Kawhi's fully recovered from that cheesesteak, but the Spurs should be angry enough about their performance in the Raptors game to make sure this game isn't close. And yes I remember what happened just about a year ago:

I still expect a comfortable Spurs W tonight, along with some good vibes for Kobe. And hopefully a 'Lakers Suck' shirt or two.

Matchup to watch: Aside from a foot race between Timmy and Roy Hibbert, this game *shouldn't* be too competitive. So I'll cast my sights first on the struggling-but-still-important Danny Green. Although the Lakers are a bottom-five team, they have defended the three-point line reasonably well. Still, with a combination of Kobe, Lou Williams and rookie D'Angelo Russell chasing him around on the wings, I'd hope this game would be a chance to give Green a few more looks than usual and, hopefully, to see a few Tar Heel triples go down.

San Antonio Spurs (18-5)

Los Angeles (3-19)

December 11, 2015

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

8:30 PM CST

TV: FSSW

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Jordan Clarkson

Danny Green

SG

Lou Williams

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Kobe Bryant

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Larry Nance Jr.

Tim Duncan

C

Roy Hibbert


Game prediction: Spurs by 24.

For the Lakers fans' perspective, visit Silver Screen and Roll.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.