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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers

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Before looking ahead to Monday's highly anticipated showdown against the Warriors, the Spurs have to take care of business in LA against the lottery-bound Lakers.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Lakers

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
January 22, 2016 9:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

While the waves of time continue to lap innocuously at the feet of the Spurs, the Lakers have succumbed further and further to its undertow. It's not a surprise given their reluctance to adjust to the league's sea change, but it's still a bit jarring seeing them serve as nothing more than fodder before Monday night's matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers, who have singularly committed this season to honoring Kobe Bryant's legacy, have lost eight of their last nine and dropped their last two at home by an average of 16 points. But in this spectacle of a season wins are trivialities -- or worse, since they could come at the cost of the team's 2016 pick in what appears to be a strong draft class.

What's more frustrating than losing of course is the simultaneous marginalizing of talent development in this lost year. That party line was reinforced by Mitch Kupchak, with the Lakers GM firmly endorsing Byron Scott's heliocentric brand of coaching. Rookie D'Angelo Russell, who's shown more promise over the last month as a playmaker, has been moved to the bench in favor of Lou Williams. Scott has at least stopped playing Nick Young (whom LA is now dangling as a trade chip), which affords Russell between 25 and 30 minutes most games.

The Spurs are coming off a laugher in Phoenix last night, so it's hard to predict who suits up on this SEGABABA (Tony and Tim both sat against the Suns). Harder yet is to say whether if that will have much bearing on the final score of this game. I've said it before, but I'm not sure if the concept of a 'trap game' really applies to a team this focused and mechanical.

Even if all of us are eagerly looking forward to Monday's game in Oracle, unlike Coach Scott, Pop uses every game as an opportunity to embed something into his players. Maybe we'll all learn a thing or two by staying up late and watching these two teams play. Maybe.

Matchup to watch: Kobe Bryant versus Kawhi Leonard. A battle of All-Star starters!

vs.

San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 37-6)

Los Angeles Lakers

(Record: 9-35)

January 22nd, 2016

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

9:30 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Starters

Ray McCallum

PG

Jordan Clarkson

Danny Green

SG

Lou Williams

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Kobe Bryant

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Julius Randle

David West

C

Roy Hibbert

Game prediction: Spurs by 20.

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

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.