Re: Western Conference Finals: Lakers vs. Spurs Game 1 Wednesday Thread
Lakers in 5, Lakers win Game 4 in San Antonio solidifying how strong they are. Remember last 3 games(if necessary) go LA-SA-LA. If not 5, this series will go 7 to the Lakers. Every game is going to be a battle. Nobody will be winning by more than 8 points in any game, no blowouts this series. Each game will go down to the last 2 minutes.
Sidenote: my spurs analysis will be short because we all know what they can do. San Antonio plays solid D and can have its days of being explosive on offense, when they aren’t being their usual efficient selves. Nothing here changes. On the other hand, plenty has changed for the Lakers.
These are not the same Lakers from years past. Pau is great post player, respectable shooter, and above avg passer(4.7 apg playoffs). Odom has a new lease on life driving hard to the basket and even harder to clean the boards. Sasha “the machine!!!!!!” is shooting terrific, as long as it’s a set shot.
Ariza, should he playe, will be the true X-factor of the Lakers on both sides of the court, slashing, running the break and scoring regularly; On defense he fills passing lanes, gets his hands on loose balls or weak passes with occasional key rebounds. Pure energy .
Lakers Version.07.08. are overwhelmingly different breed of past purple n gold squads. No longer are they solely a Kobe-Kobe-Kobe offense...you will be amazingly surprised. I am guaranteeing anybody doubting or unfamiliar with the Lakers, especially Spurs fans, are going be shocked at how efficiently beautiful the offense is. Defense still has many things to be desired, but they can put together stretches of great D, enough to win games and hopefully a championship, Unlike the spurs who play 48 minutes of solid defense.
The Lakers are no longer a doormat to easy wins.
Great match up across the board. A couple mismatches stand out, spurs have a superior guard in Parker, where the Lakers don't have an equally superior guard-defender. Farmar is surely not the answer against a quick drive heavy guard in Parker. Fisher and Vujacic will be the main options against Mr. Longoria(damn shes fine). Parker driving to the basket will be the key to Spurs wins and he will be successful for the most part.
As for the Lakers, Odoms size and talent will create problems across the board for Popovich. Timmy will be preoccupied with Pau. So Kurt Thomas and Oberto will be Odoms primary defenders. If Odoms jump shot is consistently going down, which i do not expect, this series is over for the spurs. Odom is no longer the clumsy lazy offensive clown he used to be. He finish's at the basket and rebounds hard on both ends. Spurs will focus on shutting Odom down more than Kobe.
I hate to use a <, > or = chart. But it is easy to read. I will stop myself from doing it.
gasol vs duncan...both guys will get theirs. I almost want to say this is going to be a wash of great big men. Don’t get me wrong guys DUNCAN IS A BALLER. So is gasol. Duncan will shoot a slightly below avg fg% basketball fans are used to. Gasol is as important to the Lakers as much as kobe at this point in the playoffs. Gasol opens up the floor for both Kobe and Odom to do their work in space, much how Duncan does exactly the same for Parker and ginobili. Opening up passing lanes, driving lanes and provides a sure handed low post presence for easy baskets or even a great mid-range shooter. Most importantly everybody on the Lakers trusts Pau to score anytime. Especially Phil Jackson, In game 6 vs the Jazz Gasol was the center of the offense. . He is also shooting 56.8% from the field during the playoffs, 59% during the regular season(message: he is consistent).
Pop is better off putting Oberto or Thomas on Pau to play roughhouse on Gasol. He was clearly struggling to get those easy baskets around the hoop vs utah. This defensive strategy has it drawbacks Pau is a great ft shooter unlike Duncan. Both players have fallen off their regular season numbers. Gasol 79 down to 71%. Duncan 69 down to 65%. Both guys shoot 4-6 fts a game.
Lakers defensive counter will be Turiaf on Duncan. Ronnie can play excellent help defense against both guards and bigs. Offensively, he can be semi-force every other game. DD Mbenga will also be used to pick up fouls against Timmy.
Duncan is Duncan. He gets ISH done. Providing for himself and finding his teammates once he draws the double team. Pau’s length will give him some issues. Also Duncan will hardly find a chance to rest on the court guarding either Pau or Lamar.
Kurt Thomas/Oberto vs Odom dead even on rebounds but Odom is superior to both guys combined on offense. Thomas and Oberto will stay in front of Odom very well. Odom will be effective but not explosive. Odom will avg 17 pts a game.
Kurt and Oberto will get their garbage point’s ala Kurt goggles Rambis. Mostly their presense will be felt on the defensive end versus both Gasol and Lamar. Both players could minimize Gasol/Odom effectiveness as rebounders.
Kobe vs Bowen. Offense vs Defense. Offense generally wins in one-on-one matchups, when we are analyzing elite players. We could easily see Bowen on Odom even though he is giving up 3 inches and a lot of reach. Bowen would only need to stop Odom from driving. What else am I going to say here. No way Bowen locks kobe down.
Bowen will strangely find Vujacic guarding out on the perimeter. Getting a taste of his own medicine. Sasha is the Lakers version of Bowen, pesky defender minus the on court maturity of Bruce.
Finley/Ime Udoka/ Ginobili vs Vujacic/Radman/Luke Walton ...They all play guard/forward positions.
Ginobili is the only BALLER from the group. Great all around player, can be a streaky shooter at times. Offense or defense Ginobili doesn’t have any holes in his game. Plenty of 3’s, assists, stls, rebounds, driving to the basket, high ft% and low turnovers. On any given night he will have any mixture of high rebounds or assists or threes or free throws.. I know first hand about Ginobili’s explosive stat lines. The guy helped me win a fantasy championship with a $1000+ prize along with CP3, Dirk, Jamison and Camby. TOOT TOOT.
Finley/udoka/Vujacic/Radman are all the same player on offense. 3point specialists with the occasional mid range jumper or layup. On defense they are completely different.
Walton is a glue guy. Who can put up 5 rebs and 5 assist nights. Triangle offense loves when Walton is hitting the open layups, jumpers, open slashers, turnaround post play. Walton played like crap all regular season. Thankfully as a laker fan…he is playing better in the post season.
Parker/vaughn vs fisher/farmar Parker gets the clear edge on offense here. Respectable defender as well. His quick feet will find him at the basket a lot, especially considering the Lakers are weak interior defenders especially when their guards are broken down at the front of the play. Fisher and especially farmar are susceptible to the ole defense forcing help d to come. Making Parker twice as effective as a scorer or passer.
Derek Derek Derek…I never wanted you to leave. Lakers should have paid you years ago. Thanks for not holding a grudge and returning. Fisher is shooting the second highest fg% of his 12 year career.43.6%. Derek stepped up his game during the playoffs, shooting 51.4%, making him the 4th laker starter, to shoot above 50% during the playoffs. Kobe 49.5% close enough. Pau 56.4%, Lamar 51.9%. Luke 54.4%. Sasha shot at or above 50% 8 out of 10 playoff games. Two bad shooting games put his average at 45.8%
Bench vs Bench. Lakers are deep. So are the Spurs. Lakers have more talent though.
Bottom-line…we have two great teams facing each other for the right to a finals appearance. These teams are so evenly matched it’s very hard to pick a clear outright winner or to even break down the match ups. But I tried my best. Hope you guys learned something new. I could do more…but I have done plenty.
Last edited by LakersLaLaLand : 05-21-2008 at 06:20 AM.
Re: Western Conference Finals: Lakers vs. Spurs Game 1 Wednesday Thread
I am gonna say Spurs by 7 but even if the Lakers. I am gonna out in the limb and say whoever wins this series has won the Championship guaranteed.
Celtics and Pistons pretty much look flat, Celtics shot 53 percent and did not even score 90 points . If the pistons somehow upset the Celtics they will likely get swept if Celtics win i think they will lose in 6 games at most.