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Spring Break

By Jeff Koch on March 20, 2014.

San Antonio 125, Los Angeles Lakers 109

I was never worried about the outcome of this game. Not 5 days earlier, the Spurs had run this Lakers team off of the floor. Now, in the friendly confines of their own gym, the Lakers were able to keep up for about 3 1/2 quarters. But don’t be mistaken: the Spurs were still running them off the floor; they were just offering little resistance on the defensive end. And a Mike D’Antoni team, no matter the players, will always offer up decent enough offense.

So perhaps the Spurs were in a bit of defensive malaise. (I know I was watching this game.) They knew as well as we did they would win this game. The gap between these two teams is just too great, almost entirely precluding the “any given night” corollary that exists most nights in most sports. Now Pop will have something to harp on his team about, even as they secure another easy win.

This Lakers defense is bad. I mean horrible. So bad it’s actually kind of good. Seriously. The Spurs found easy shots so quickly and with such little resistance that half the time they didn’t know what to do. Trained to always make the next pass and be unselfish, players would make that next pass which, against any other team, would have yielded a higher percentage shot; but against this Lakers team, the pass actually moved away from the wide open shot that was already there and back into defensive coverage (but only by coincidence, not design). It was really something to see. It feels weird to take shots so early and without the extra pass, and it seemed to give many players pause. (The team still shot 53% from the floor and 44% from 3.)

The 4th quarter came and the Spurs, predictably, blew the game wide open. I was never worried. That the Lakers have become this team is the most surprising part of this game and perhaps this season. I know the Spurs dynasty will eventually go gently into that night and the team will need to be rebuilt, but I hope to all that is holy that I’ll never have to watch a team (and organization) like this.

Up next: the Spurs are in Sacramento Friday night. The Kings are one of those teams that can be pesky and hang around all night. But the way the Spurs are playing right now, I still expect a win.

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