Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Feed: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers [11/13/12]


The San Antonio Spurs edged out the Los Angeles Lakers, 84 to 82 in a close battle at the Staples Center. Neither team led by more than 8 points, and stayed within one possession throughout most of the game. There were a total of 11 lead changes and 4 ties in this possible Western Conference Finals match up.

Tony Parker wreaked havoc for the Lakers, scoring 19 points to go with his 7 assists. Tim Duncan added 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. The Spurs weren't having an easy time getting their buckets, only shooting 39 percent from the field tonight. The Lakers defense forced them into tough shots and Dwight Howard's presense in the middle did not make it any easier. The Spurs defense would not spare any mercy either, stealing the ball from Los Angeles 13 times to contribute to their opponent's 17 turnovers (Spurs only had 8).

Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 28 points and 8 rebounds. His offense was crucial late in the game. He single handedly brought the Lakers to the brink of victory, however his effort was reduced to waste by Coach Poppovich's brilliance. With less than 16 seconds to play, he drew up a play that led to a Danny Green game winning three pointer that left 9 seconds on the clock. The Lakers would return from their own timeout, without the same success. San Antonio's ball denial on Kobe, forced Pau Gasol to throw up a three point prayer that never found its way to the basket.

I am sure making Dwight Howard set a screen on his own teammate was not part of the plan, it was still executed to perfection.

Offensive End:

The Spurs have an advantage that most people would dismiss. Some people might have criticized the zero changes made to the roster in the summer, but it allowed this team to build a chemistry. You can see it in their play, they react according to tendencies and know where everyone's spots are.

Tony Parker carved up the Lakers, he killed them in transition, in pick and rolls (When Dwight is absent) and in dribble penetration that led to open outside shots for his teammates.

Kobe Bryant was just being his unstoppable self, there was really no way San Antonio could have contained him. Maybe putting Kawhi Leonard on him instead of Danny Green. Metta World Peace is a waste of Kawhi's talent.

Los Angeles has to realize that they have an advantage in size. They can not let the Spurs to outscore them in the paint, which did happen, 38 to 26. When you have the two of the best centers in the league, they need more than 10 shot attempts per game to be of any effect. Even MWP had 14 tonight, about 5 more than the big men.

Dwight Howard needs to learn how to make a quicker move, he takes way too long in the block and with his terrible free throw shooting, he needs to avoid all help defenses at all costs. Just watch some Shaq tapes, he hits his man once and just dunks it right on him, you can easily do the same.

Defensive End:

The Spurs played a good defensive game, besides for Gary Neal. This man was so horrible in rotating, he actually allowed Chris Duhon to score multiple times, let me repeat myself just so you are clear, it's CHRIS DUHON!

The Top heavy Lakers once again suffered from poor bench play, unlike San Antonio, who can make a complete rotation change, they have to make adjustments and leave a starter or two with the second unit. They did not get outscored today, they just played terrible defense. Especially, if Dwight Howard isn't the one anchoring the unit. Without Dwight, Tony Parker is a nightmare. The All Star center does not just reduce the French point guard's attacks, he can also stop the pick and roll game. If he gets beat, he can easily use his length and athleticism to recover, blocking the shot just by pinning the ball against the backboard.


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