San Antonio Spurs – The Final Nail in the Lakers Coffin

Tony Parker, Tim Duncan

It seems like the San Antonio Spurs kept improving as the series went on, while their rivals sank into great despair with their chances slowly being eliminated off the board. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan didn’t need to play for most of the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers failed to show up for the two home games in the series, getting swept in the most humiliating fashion, barely putting up a fight.

The Lakers, who lost Dwight Howard to an ejection midway through the third quarter, actually shot 47.4% from the field, better than the Spurs with 46.4%. But when you force 21 turnovers on your opponent, you don’t need to out-shoot him. Just make the most, or not even that, of your opportunities.

The Spurs won 103-82, making it two games in LA with 20+ wins and a sweep with a double digit margin in each of the games, just like the Milwaukee Bucks conceded to the Miami Heat. When those numbers come up, you know it wasn’t a fair fight.

Obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight. When you’re a competitor, you want to compete on an even basis, and the Lakers weren’t able to do that. Even though it wasn’t a fair fight, we still want to win the series, and I’m glad we did. Our focus was great.

But it’s not the Spurs fault that the Los Angeles Lakers were built on the premise of veterans and old players needing to stay healthy in order to contend. Kobe Bryant couldn’t, wouldn’t rest, and bowed down with a season ending injury. Dwight Howard hasn’t been 100% all season. Steve Nash didn’t last till the finish line. Pau Gasol isn’t 100%, and possibly will never be again. The Lakers were left with Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris in the back-court, while Chris Duhon was the only guard coming off the bench.

The Lakers might have tried and complain about Howard not getting the amount of whistles he deserves, but he can also blame himself for not even trying to do anything but put the ball in the low post to him and Pau Gasol. It caused 10 turnovers off of those two alone, as the Spurs scored 24 points off of the Lakers’ turnovers.

Tony Parker had no problem facing players not really in his caliber, scoring 23 points in 26 minutes. Tim Duncan spent only 29 minutes on the floor; Manu Ginobili had 20 minutes. Even Tracy McGrady got some time in the game, playing five minutes and finally getting to pass a first round series in the NBA playoffs.

The Lakers might look at this as a missed season, but there were too many mistakes made along the way. The Spurs? They hardly made any at all, not just in the series but all through the season. Popovich has his big three relatively healthy and fresh, getting a little bit time off until the next series begins against either the Golden State Warriors or the Denver Nuggets, having a much easier time than anyone imagined could be possible against a team called the Los Angeles Lakers.

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