The Los Angeles Lakers are back in action tonight as they hit the road to face their Texas rival from San Antonio, the Spurs. These two teams have combined for eight of the last eleven NBA Championships, but both teams will hit the floor tonight struggling. The Lakers, losers of three straight on the road, will enter tonight’s game as the top team in the west, but a team that has struggled to find their stride lately. The Spurs have played well lately, but have had their problems with the team’s elite teams so far this season. While the Spurs are 22-13, most of their losses have been against Dallas, Portland, Boston, and Denver, four teams that are expected to be playing deep into the summer. The Lakers are certainly one of the top teams in the league, and will look to capitalize on San Antonio’s struggles tonight at the AT&T Center. If Los Angeles wants to end their road losing streak there are several key elements they will need to capitalize on to beat the Spurs.
- Kobe’s Shot Attempts – In the past two games Bryant has shot an atrocious 15-58. While Bryant usually doesn’t make it onto the Lakers Nation hit list, this has to improve if the Lakers are going to beat top teams like San Antonio, or tomorrow night’s opponent, Dallas. While Bryant has never been known for his high shooting percentage, 26% is not going to get the job done. He needs to reduce his shot attempts drastically and look to improve the ball movement and be a facilitator for the Lakers.
- Find the Best Shot – The Lakers have been settling for far too many three point attempts since the latest injury to Pau Gasol. The offense has appeared stagnant and slow since Gasol’s injury, as too many Lakers are settling for shooting long jump shots and watching Kobe play one on five. This is not championship basketball and will continue to result in low shooting percentages and low scoring games. Los Angeles needs to pound the ball inside to Bynum and Odom to take advantage of their length.
- Control Tim Duncan – Duncan is the nucleus of the Spurs, both offensively and defensively. Without Gasol the Lakers are going to have problems matching up with Duncan, which could result in a big game for the Big Fundamental. The Lakers need to neutralize Duncan if they want a chance to win tonight’s game.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: KCAL 9
Radio: 710 ESPN