With the Lakers set to take on the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs, here’s a look at the starting five of each squad and who they will be matching up against for (at least) the next four games.
San Antonio Spurs
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Matt Bonner
C: Tim Duncan
B: Manu Ginobili
Los Angeles Lakers
PG: Steve Blake
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Metta World Peace
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Dwight Howard
B: Antawn Jamison
With Kobe Bryant out for the playoffs the Spurs’ advantage gets even greater. Even though the Lakers were able to beat the Spurs the last time they faced each other, missing your best player isn’t exactly encouraging. Still, the Spurs play a favorable style for the Lakers, who are an older, slower team and will be looking to slow down the pace of the game.
Point Guard: Tony Parker vs. Steve Blake
Parker is averaging 20.4 points and 7.6 assists for the Spurs, and has taken the reigns from Tim Duncan as the clear offensive leader of the team. Whatever the Spurs are hoping to do on offense flows through Parker and is distributed throughout the rest of the roster.
Blake has been a pleasant surprise for the Lakers since Kobe Bryant’s injury, even leading the team in scoring on Wednesday night against the Rockets. But how long that can actually hold up is yet to be seen. Even with Blake’s recent emergence and strong play for the ailing Lakers, he’s no match for Tony Parker.
Shooting Guard: Danny Green vs. Jodie Meeks
It’s been a long time since the Lakers haven’t had the advantage at the shooting guard position. With Kobe a mainstay at SG for nearly two decades, seeing anybody other than Bryant listed here is a tad odd. But with that torn Achilles it won’t be Kobe suiting up for L.A. this series. Instead it’s Jodie Meeks, who has struggled to find consistency on the offensive end all season. Meeks is averaging just 7.9 points and 2.2 rebounds on the season.
On the other side is Green, who has averaged 10.6 points and 3.1 rebounds this season for the Spurs. He’s a player that thrives in San Antonio’s offense, and will knock down open shots when they’re given to him. Green shot 45% from the field for the Spurs, and 43% from three-point range. He’s also strong on defense, averaging 1.2 steals per game.
Next Page: The Frontcourt