Weary from an intense five-hour film session, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich sat alone in his office at the Spurs practice facility. He’d sent the rest of his coaching staff home to their families hours ago, allowing himself some time to sort through their recommendations on the Los Angeles Lakers while collecting his thoughts in solitude.
The matchup of the first game in the series between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers will be between Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard.
The Lakers have not only won 5 games in a row, but Dwight Howard has been playing like the player everyone expected him to at the beginning of the season. In his last 10 games, Howard has been averaging 20.6ppg and 11.4rpg in 38.1mpg. The majority of the offense has been going through Howard with the team losing Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the season and playoffs with an Achilles injury. Duncan has been equally impressive in the last 10 games with an average of 19ppg and 9.3rpg in 29.9mpg. Howard has helped bring the Lakers into the playoffs with momentum while the Duncan and the Spurs have been the opposite coming into the postseason. This matchup is likely to determine Game 1 in San Antonio.
What Duncan must do on offense:no comments
The San Antonio Spurs (0-0) will host the Los Angeles Lakers (0-0) today at the AT&T Center for game 1 of their first round series.
Both teams entering the series limping. The Lakers will not have Kobe Bryant for the playoffs with a season-ending left Achilles heel tear while the Spurs will not have Boris Diaw (recovering from back surgery) and a banged up Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
But this is the NBA playoffs which means it is time to play through the pain and march towards the NBA Finals as these two old rivals will once again square off in the postseason. These two teams have not played against one another in the postseason since the Lakers beat the Spurs 4-1 in the 2008 West finals.
The Spurs went 2-1 in the regular season versus the Lakers, however, San Antonio lost the final meeting to the Lakers sans Bryant.
And as the Spurs an Lakers get set to open a new chapter of their rivalry, here are five things to watch for during today's contest:
• The Spurs have averaged 99.5 points in 73 postseason games at the AT&T Center.
Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has taken to Twitter and has given the public some pretty insightful and also quite random tweets.
Today hasn't been any different. Jackson took to Twitter to give a friendly jab to one of his former players, Pau Gasol. Gasol tweeted about his last practice before the playoffs start against the San Antonio Spurs and Jackson held nothing back from poking fun at the Spaniard.
Project Spurs continues its 2013 Spurs Playoff preview as the Spurs face the Lakers in the first round. Next is Trevor Zickgraf on Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni.
There's a lot of storylines heading in to the first round match up between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. Since Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls, either the Lakers or Spurs have represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals 11 out of 14 years. There's Tim Duncan facing Dwight Howard for the first time their careers, memories of .4, etc.
One storyline that's been overlooked by most is the fact that this will be the fourth time Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni will square off in the last nine years, the fourth time D'Antoni meets the man who has caused him so much pain in spring's past.
Interesting fact about Mike D'Antoni, he has a losing record in the playoffs (26-29). 12 of those losses, just over 40 percent of D'Antoni's playoff losses have come at the hands of Popovich's Spurs. On top of that, D'Antoni teams only have four victories total against the Spurs in three series. In short, whether it's by roster talent, coaching guile, dumb luck or all of the above, Popovich owns D'Antoni in the postseason.no comments
Project Spurs continues its 2013 Spurs Playoff preview as the Spurs face the Lakers in the first round. Check out some of the key 2012-13 regular season numbers between San Antonio and Los Angeles.
The San Antonio Spurs (0-0) and Los Angeles Lakers (0-0) will get their first round playoff series going tomorrow in San Antonio in a battle of old familiar foes.
The Spurs and Lakers have had an intense rivalry which has given fans some of the best games to remember. However, heading into their opening round series, the rivalry has cooled since the days of Shaquille O'Neal, Phil Jackson, younger Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher squaring off with Spurs' Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Bruce Bowen and Gregg Popovich for the Western Conference crown.
Let's take a looks at some noteworthy numbers between the Spurs and Lakers from this past 2012-13 regular season which might be a factor during their playoff series.
Let's go streaking
• The Spurs enter the playoffs on a 3-game losing streak
• The Lakers enter the playoffs on a 5-game winning streak
Project Spurs continues its 2013 Spurs Playoff preview as the Spurs face the Lakers in the first round. Kyle Boenitz and Lakers writer Rey Morlade discuss the series in this special playoff edition of the Spurscast.
In a special playoff edition of the Spurscast, Rey Moralde (@thenolookpass) from The No-Look Pass and Forum Blue and Gold joins me to talk about how the San Antonio Spurs match up with the Los Angeles Lakers.
We talk about the Lakers wanting the 7-seed so they could play the Spurs and where both teams have matchup advantages.
The rivalry between these two teams is no secret and we're both looking forward to the next chapter.
The Spurscast. The original Spurs podcast.
Music: Genesis -- Tonight, Tonight, Tonightno comments
"I'm sure they'll try it."
Those are the words from Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni when asked his thoughts on the San Antonio Spurs intentionally fouling Dwight Howard (aka Hack-A-Howard) during their opening playoff series against the Spurs which begins tomorrow.
After yesterday's Lakers practice session, D'Antoni spoke on the issue and stated there's only one thing the team can do - deal with it.
Hacking a player in general may be annoying to fans and the opposing team but if it is useful to win the game, why not use it? And with Howard being iffy at the foul-line throughout his NBA career, one can see why the Spurs will hack him if the game is close.no comments
The Los Angeles Lakers won't be in full force come Sunday for Game 1 of the first round of the 2013 postseason, but they might be getting a little bit more help with Steve Nash.
Nash told the LA Times that he's "very optimistic" about playing in the opening game against the San Antonio Spurs.
"Mentally, I'm chomping at the bit. Physically, I'm getting there,” Nash said. “I'm very optimistic that I'll play on Sunday. I just don't want to over-promise and get ahead of myself."
While that seems like good news for Lakers fans, Nash's further comments might lead some to believe he might be getting a little ahead of himself.no comments
Project Spurs kicks off its 2013 Spurs Playoff preview as the Spurs face the Lakers in the first round. Paramjit Mahal asks if releasing Stephen Jackson will hurt the Spurs in the playoffs.
After the final night of the regular season, the San Antonio Spurs found out they will be meeting an old foe in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs -- the Los Angeles Lakers.
Any team wants to be set with their roster and their rotation heading in to the playoffs. So last week’s announcement of the Spurs releasing forward Stephen Jackson came as a big surprise considering the playoffs were just days away.
While Jackson’s release may not be felt on both ends of the court, however, his loss will be felt in the intangibles he brought to the team. More on that later.
Immediately, both Kawhi Leonard and Gary Neal will need to step up and become another option behind “the Big Three” of Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Not to mention Danny Green especially since he had a horrific postseason in last season's playoff run. During the course of the playoffs, they will be called upon to help lighten the load on the Spurs' key players.no comments