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Old 05-20-2008, 11:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Land of 16 NBA Championships
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Default Article: OC Register - Lakers can expect ambush in Texas

Source: Lakers can expect ambush in Texas


Welcome to defense.

Welcome to Bruce Bowen, and his assortment of quick feet, slappy hands, brass knuckles and foreign objects.

Welcome to Tim Duncan, who, over the course of seven games, spreads across the paint like one of those frowning trees in Oz.

Welcome to Fabricio Oberto and Ime Udoka, who are not guest musicians on "Morning Becomes Electic" but who uphold San Antonio's rich tradition of obstruction.

The Spurs are coming, fueled by their Game 7 victory in New Orleans, in which they endured Chris Paul and David West and made everyone else shoot 37.7 percent.

They gave the Hornets just 82 points, on a New Orleans floor, and they finally barred Paul from the lane when it mattered.

Yes, it took the Spurs a while, took them three consecutive road wipeouts and an 0-2 series deficit to figure it out.

Hey, they're old. You don't always remember where you left your playbook.

But the Spurs and Lakers tee it up Wednesday in the Western Finals, and the Lakers might as well freeze-frame the final open shot they got against Utah. They won't see another for a while.

Bowen will be around to hassle Bryant, a role he only defines by the final score. In the 2003 conference semifinals, when San Antonio denied L.A. its fourth consecutive ring, Bryant averaged 32.3 points but also shot 43.4 percent, including a 16 for 38.


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