The Lakers vs. Spurs series of the 2008-2009 season moves into round two this Sunday. The 34-8 Lakers have a 22-3 home record; it is imperative that the team raises that number to 23, and the Lakers owe the 29-13 Spurs a loss.

The Lakers suffered a one point loss to the Spurs on the 14th and it is time to return the favor. The Spurs enjoyed a phenomenal three point shooting night and a few lucky breaks along the way. The fact of the matter is the difference between winning and losing for these two teams is offensive execution and defense.

The Spurs won the match-up but the fight for supremacy in the West is far from over.

There will be several adjustments for this game defensively. The Lakers need to start early and come out aggressively on offense with a contribution from everyone and take an early lead and feed off of the energy of the home crowd. The bench has to have an impact on the game.

It is time to see a phenomenal defensive performance that will lock up the Spurs. It seems to always comes down to which trio will play well. The Spurs ‘big three’ of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli or the Lakers trio of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The Lakers can’t allow all three to have good games; someone has to be taken out of the equation offensively.

The Lakers need to neutralize Manu Ginobli’s impact on the game and keep him out of the paint. His 25 points off the bench last game was big. Roger Mason, who had a career scoring average of 6.3 points against the Lakers, came up with 18 huge points, he also made the eventually game winning miracle shot. Derek Fisher’s late foul ruined the game for him even though he had 16 points and shot 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point line.

The Spurs are a solid defensive team but the Lakers need to throw the ball into the low post and allow Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol to go to work. Andrew Bynum has scored well against two of the worst teams in the league but it is also an excellent way to gain confidence and improve.

I’m looking forward to seeing excellent player movement and ball movement and seeing the Lakers end each quarter strong.

The team has an advantage with their long front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.

Tipoff: 12:30 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: ABC
  • San Antonio: ABC

Radio

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • San Antonio: WOAI 1200 AM (Bill Schoening)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Jordan Farmar (Knee)
  • Kobe Bryant (Finger)

Spurs:

  • None to report.