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San Antonio Spurs Vs. LA Lakers
San Antonio Spurs and LA Lakers Series Preview
This series features one of the most offensively productive teams in the league, the Lakers, against one of the best defensive clubs around, the Spurs. Los Angeles averaged 108.6 PPG and held opponents to 101.3 PPG. San Antonio held opponents to 90.6 PPG, while putting in 95.4 PPG. In the playoffs, the Lakers have been plus-7.1, mirroring their regular season differential. However, for the Spurs the difference between their PF/PA has shrunk from a regular season average of plus-4.8 to a playoff average of plus-0.8.
For the Spurs the outside, manned by point guard Tony Parker (18.8 PPG, 6.0 APG) and shooting guard Manu Ginobili (19.5 PPG, 4.5 APG, 1.47 SPG), has been impressive. Together, they have been responsible for 41% of the club’s offensive output. Upfront, center Tim Duncan (19.3 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 0.72 SPG, 1.95 BPG) has dominated, grabbing rebounds and making blocks at will. He’s also been a productive point producer. Small forwards Michael Finley (10.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG) and Bruce Bowen (6.0 PPG) and backup shooting guard Brent Barry (7.1 PPG) are all important contributors on this squad.
The Los Angeles Lakers are loaded. Shooting guard Kobe Bryant (28.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.84 SPG) is simply the best player in the NBA. He’s a talent that’s impossible to stop. Point guard Derek Fisher (11.7 PPG, 2.9 APG, 1.05 SPG) offers offense and good hands on defense. In the frontcourt, the Lakers feature power forwards Pau Gasol (18.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 0.56 SPG, 1.56 BPG) and Lamar Odom (14.2 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 0.97 SPG, 0.94 BPG) and center Andrew Bynum (13.1 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 2.06 BPG). This is a tenacious and big team in the paint. They are daunting. If a club can temper the guys around the basket, there’s always super star Bryant with which to contend.
The Lakers shoot .476 from the floor, .378 from the three-point line, .769 from the charity stripe and .527 when taking twos. They top the Spurs in every category but not by much. San Antonio grabs 41.3 RPG, while Los Angeles brings down 44.1 RPG.
Although overall the team stats are close, the Lakers are solid and juiced in every position. It looks like they are too explosive to be held back. If the Spurs can neutralize Bryant, that will be a start. But how they do that and control the boards is a mystery? Look for this one to go six. The Spurs will get very tired by games five.
Maddux Sports Series Prediction:
LA Lakers in 6 Games
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