The (55-21) Los Angeles Lakers will host the (46-29) San Antonio Spurs.
The Lakers shook off their road struggles and in what became a statement game that had a solid start and finish to dispatch a red-hot Utah Jazz team.
Today’s game will be the last of the regular season series. Oddly enough after the third game of the series on March 24th, it appeared that the last major road trip would be promising. All those good feeling came after the Lakers put on an excellent defensive performance.
Several people have written off the Spurs as a team that can no longer compete at a high level. I don’t agree, San Antonio can make the Playoffs with a win today and a loss by the Memphis Grizzlies against the Orlando Magic.
This is the stretch drive for every team because everyone has something to prove at this time of the year.
The way that the Lakers played against the Jazz is the mentality that this team needs to play every game. The Spurs are still one of the top teams in the Western Conference as evidenced by their recent win over the Magic with Manu Ginobli scoring 43 points.
The Spurs are a talented team that will pose a problem for any opponent. The Lakers are very familiar with this team and in my opinion it all boils down to the Lakers’ defense and execution. When the Lakers are focused, playing solid defense as well as playing with a sense or urgency, they are a difficult team to beat. The Lakers have to slow down Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan and in the process not allow the other Spurs to be a factor.
The Lakers need to send the Spurs and the rest of the NBA a message today. The Lakers can do this by playing solid defense, doing a solid job of defending the screen and roll action plays, stopping the dribble penetration, and extending their defense out to the three point line.
The Lakers need to come out and play aggressive on both ends of the court to send the message to the Spurs that “no matter what you do you will not leave Los Angeles with a win”. The Lakers will win by playing solid defense and utilizing excellent ball movement and excellent player movement to outwork the Spurs.
It was great to see Lamar Odom come alive against the Jazz, but hopefully as Lakers fans we’ll witness a solid team effort on both ends of the court with not only the starters but the reserves having a huge impact.
Tip-off: 12:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: ABC
- San Antonio: ABC
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- San Antonio: WOAI-AM 1200 (Bill Schoening)
- Andrew Bynum (Left Achilles Strain) Out
- Kobe Bryant ( Avulsion fracture of his right index finger, Sprained Left Ankle)
- Shannon Brown (Sprained Right Thumb) listed Day-to-Day
- Ron Artest (Sprained Left Thumb) listed Day-to-Day
- Lamar Odom (Sprained Shoulder) listed Day-to-Day
- Luke Walton (Pinched Nerve, Back) probable
- PG Tony Parker (Broken Finger) Out