Jan 29, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders (8) and point guard Brandon Jennings (3) look at the basket during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Bucks beat the Pistons 117-90. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2013: San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers Comprehensive Preview

NBA PLAYOFFS 2013

Apr 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 91-88. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

(2) San Antonio Spurs VS Los Angeles Lakers (7)

Regular season record: 58-24 San Antonio Spurs: Los Angeles Lakers 45-37

Regular season series: San Antonio Spurs 2 – 1 Los Angeles Lakers

5 Facts:

  • San Antonio leads the league in assists (25.10 per game) while Los Angeles allows eighth most assists to opponents (23.39 per game).
  • Spurs average 103.02 points per game (fourth in NBA) and Lakers average 102.21 (Sixth in NBA).
  • San Antonio’s (96.62) defense allows nearly five fewer points per game than Los Angeles’ (101.05).
  • Lakers (44.8/gm) are fourth in the NBA in total rebounds while Spurs (41.3/gm) are 21st.
  • San Antonio is third (.791) in the league in free throw percentage while Los Angeles is last (.692).

San Antonio can win if…

… They get healthy. The Spurs at full strength are an elite team in this league. If  Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker can return to form, this team is hard to beat. Tim Duncan needs to play as well as he has all year to frustrate Dwight Howard. If Parker and Ginobili do not return to their usual form, the series could get interesting.

Los Angeles can win if…

… Dwight Howard and Paul Gasol dominate. The Lakers offense now runs through them. Even if Steve Nash returns, the Lakers will need to play through Gasol in the post utilizing his passing and scoring skills while Howard protects the paint on the other end. Defense will be the biggest obstacle to Lakers’ success as it has been all year.

Prediction

Every game of this series will be competitive, but without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers will struggle to close games against the savvy Spurs. Tony Parker will remind us why he was an MVP candidate this season and shred the Lakers’ perimeter D.

Winner: San Antonio Spurs 4 – 1 Los Angeles Lakers

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoffs 2013 San Antonio Spurs