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Manu Ginobili

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Photo courtesy of Andrew D. Bernstein, Getty Images

March 19, 2014 — 7:30 PM (PST)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: ESPN / TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

After 4 days off, the Lakers seek revenge as they play vs. San Antonio Spurs tonight for the 2nd game in a row. The Spurs easily handled the Lakers during last Friday’s matchup, defeating the Lakers 119-85 despite future Hall-of-Famers F Tim Duncan, PG Tony Parker, and SG Manu Ginibili all playing under 16 minutes.

The Lakers have a brutal schedule to conclude this season, playing 12 of their last 16 games vs. teams over .500 record. As the Lakers front office seek to determine how to move forward during this upcoming offseason, they have a few bright spot in an otherwise dismal season. One of the bright spot is SG Jodie Meeks, who has played extremely well this season replacing SG Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup. Meeks’ scoring average of 15.3 PPG while shooting at a career high pace of 45% FG and 40.2% from behind the arc. Meeks has made a case to be part of the reloading process for the Lakers offseason. If he cannot reach a deal with the Lakers, he will definitely sign a more lucaritive offer with another team.

Projected Starters

PG – Tony Parker/ Kendall Marshall [Advantage: Spurs]
SG – Danny Green / Jodie Meeks [Advantage: Spurs]
SF – Kawhi Leonard /  Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Spurs]
PF – Tim Duncan / Ryan Kelly [Advantage: Spurs]
C – Boris Diaw / Pau Gasol [Advantage: Lakers]

Notable Bench Players

Spurs: G Manu Ginobili, G Marco Bellinelli, C Tiago Splitter, PG Patrick Mills
Lakers: C Robert Sacre, G Kent Bazemore, Xavier Henry

Bench Advantage: Spurs

Injury List

Spurs: None
Lakers: Out-PG Jordan Farmar, Out-G Kobe Bryant,  Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-F Jordan Hill, Out-F Nick Young

Bottom Line

If the Lakers can find a good opportunity to defeat the Spurs in their current state, it would be tonight. The Lakers have had 4 days off, so they should have fresh legs in order to hit a lot of their 3-pt shots. Although odds are in favor that the Lakers will suffer the same fate vs. Spurs, I believe the Lakers can compete throughout this game if they can come out of the gate with a sense of urgency. I believe we can see an upset for tonight’s game that will definitely bring a positive vibe back into their locker room.

Prediction

Lakers: 103-99

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Photo by Gabriel Bouys | AFP | Getty Images

March 14, 2014 — 5:30 PM (PST)
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
TV: NBATV / TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

The Lakers face off vs. 1st seed San Antonio Spurs tonight. If a term stability comes up in an NBA dictionary, the Spurs would be the definition.

Future Hall-of-Famers F Tim Duncan, PG Tony Parker, and SG Manu Ginibili, have played together since 2002-2003 season, winning 3 championships together and going for another title this season. Parker has taken the throne from Duncan and Ginobili to become the team leader, scoring 17.7 PPG while dishing out 6.2 APG.

Spurs President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, Gregg Popovich, has done another spectacular job saving his star players until the playoffs while maintaining the best record in the NBA. Without Phil Jackson coaching anymore, Popovich is unquestionably the best head coach in the NBA. With Spurs Owner Peter Holt leaving all basketball decisions up to Popovich, Popovich has shown that a great basketball coach can be an even better asset to run the basketball-related aspects of an organization.

Projected Starters

PG – Tony Parker/ Kendall Marshall [Advantage: Spurs]
SG – Danny Green / Jodie Meeks [Advantage: Spurs]
SF – Kawhi Leonard /  Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Spurs]
PF – Tim Duncan / Ryan Kelly [Advantage: Spurs]
C – Boris Diaw / Pau Gasol [Advantage: Lakers]

Notable Bench Players

Spurs: G Manu Ginobili, G Marco Bellinelli, C Tiago Splitter, PG Patrick Mills
Lakers: PG Jordan Farmar, C Robert Sacre, G Kent Bazemore, Xavier Henry

Bench Advantage: Spurs

Injury List

Spurs: None
Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant,  Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-F Jordan Hill, Out-F Nick Young

Bottom Line

With all the distractions surrounding the Lakers, major difficulties exist to focus solely on tonight’s matchup. The Spurs continue to play extremely well regardless of who they put out on the floor, so this game will unfortunately look like the same outcome as last night.

Prediction

Spurs 120-106

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