If You Don’t Know Me By Now You Will Never Never Never Know Me
Los Angeles Lakers 85, San Antonio 119
Umm…who are these guys? I follow the NBA pretty closely (though mostly through the prism of the Spurs), and I don’t even know two of these Lakers starters. Couldn’t pick them in a game of “Who He Play For?”. And they are starting for a professional basketball team. Poor Pau Gasol. Even in the height of his time in the Lakers, when Laker hatred was easy, I always liked Gasol. He is a great player and a true gentleman; he would’ve been a devastating fit on the Spurs as a counterpunch to Duncan.
There’s really nothing to say about this game. The talent differential between these two teams right now is massive. The game was an afterthought after about 9 minutes of play. I was impressed by the solid defense played by the Spurs throughout. In blowouts, the final score of the losing team will often be over 100 by virtue of how much garbage time is played with lackluster D; but the Spurs played competitive and solid D throughout, up and down the bench. One nice thing about the way Pop uses his players and sets up his rotations is that most every player on the team gets a chance to play meaningful minutes in the regular season and knows that their play in “garbage” time is getting noticed. So every minute of every game is played within the system.
On the other side, the Lakers defense was so bad that it actually gummed up our offense a bit at times. The team went good to great back to good, because they weren’t expecting good so easily. The Spurs system was almost too sophisticated for this team. Clever play, Lakers.
That’s all I’ve got. The Spurs have a stretch of very winnable games closing out March before April becomes somewhat brutal. So we should enjoy these easy wins while they’re available, allowing the team to sharpen the focus heading into April and then the playoffs.
Up next: The Jazz come to town Sunday evening. (Author’s note: as in the past, due to blackout restrictions, I still haven’t seen the Blazers game. I am excited to watch it as I always love beating the Blazers.)
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