|Western Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 1|
|Last 5 Games||5-0||+5.4||3-2||3-2||105.0||50.0||46.1%||56.2||99.8||53.8||43.1%||48.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||102.2||51.8||37-81||45.8%||9-25||35.5%||19-28||69.2%||55||11||22||18||7||15||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.4||49.5||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.5%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||101.8||50.8||36-81||44.9%||9-25||35.3%||20-28||71.8%||53||11||20||18||7||15||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||101.0||52.0||40-88||45.3%||7-21||35.7%||14-19||73.2%||51||12||23||23||8||12||5|
|vs opponents averaging||98.7||49.6||37-82||45.5%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.8%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||104.7||54.3||41-88||46.5%||8-21||38.5%||15-20||74.0%||52||12||23||23||8||13||5|
|Last 5 Games||1-4||-7.6||0-5||3-2||96.2||51.6||43.7%||50.0||102.4||48.2||45.2%||55.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||103.0||51.4||39-81||48.1%||8-22||37.5%||17-21||79.1%||49||8||25||17||8||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.4||49.5||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.4%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||104.6||54.1||40-81||49.7%||8-21||38.5%||16-20||79.5%||49||8||26||17||8||14||6|
|Stats Against (All Games)||96.6||47.4||38-85||44.2%||6-18||35.3%||15-20||76.0%||50||11||21||19||8||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||98.6||49.6||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.4%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||94.3||47.7||37-84||44.0%||6-18||35.7%||14-19||75.1%||48||10||21||19||9||15||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: LA LAKERS 96.6, SAN ANTONIO 96.2|
|3/25/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||103-109||L||1||L||205.5||O||36-91||39.6%||60||9||43-90||47.8%||59||11|
|4/7/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||95-109||L||4.5||L||199||O||33-76||43.4%||42||11||42-84||50.0%||55||10|
|4/21/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/24/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/26/2013||SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/28/2013||SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/4/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||88-100||L||7.5||L||201||U||33-83||39.8%||47||10||38-82||46.3%||51||12|
|4/14/2013||@ LA LAKERS||86-91||L||-3.5||L||193||U||33-89||37.1%||57||8||31-85||36.5%||69||14|
|4/15/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||106-116||L||7||L||199||O||45-98||45.9%||45||15||46-85||54.1%||55||21|
|4/21/2013||LA LAKERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/24/2013||LA LAKERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/26/2013||@ LA LAKERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/28/2013||@ LA LAKERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|LA LAKERS: GUARDS: Coach Mike Brown will reportedly turn the offensive gameplan over to STEVE NASH, but it's tough to picture a smooth transition after so many years of iso-heavy play in L.A. Don't be surprised if Nash has a tough adjustment . . . KOBE BRYANT will also have to learn to play with the ball out of his hands more often. He still figures to force some hold-and-wait basketball when he can . . . STEVE BLAKE will be in the old Derek Fisher role, coming off the bench to shoot corner threes . . . CHRIS DUHON and DARIUS MORRIS will battle for that No. 3 point guard spot . . . JODIE MEEKS will back up Bryant and provide some long-range shooting off the bench . . . The young guys, ANDREW GOUDELOCK and second-rounder DARIUS JOHNSON-ODOM, will bounce between the bench and the D-League. FORWARDS: If L.A. redesigns their offense to fit Nash, PAU GASOL should thrive. He's adjusted his game to fit with Kobe's iso play, but Gasol can make the passes and cuts to create quick buckets in a Euro-style offense . . . METTA WORLD PEACE looked done early last season but rebounded for a solid second half. He's a distant fifth option on offense, but can still defend . . . ANTAWN JAMISON will likely fill a sixth-man role. His skill set is too narrow to play a lot of minutes with the starters . . . JORDAN HILL is in the rotation. He did a nice job rebounding and clearing out space last year . . . DEVIN EBANKS figures to be bumped out of the rotation by Jamison. CENTERS: DWIGHT HOWARD's back remains a bit of a concern, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him sit out a handful of regular season games. But when he plays, he'll put up the same kind of monster production that he had in Orlando . . . ROBERT SACRE will be lucky to make the roster.|
|SAN ANTONIO: GUARDS: TONY PARKER played at an MVP level last year. His eye injury is obviously not an issue, and he was constantly getting on coach Gregg Popovich to let him finish meaningless games last year. There's no reason he can't repeat last year's performance . . . MANU GINOBILI dealt with a series of nagging injuries last year, and it's clear the team will have to monitor his regular-season workload . . . GARY NEAL provides solid minutes in this rotation, mostly at the point, and is able to consistently knock down threes . . . DANNY GREEN's rotation spot is in a bit of peril. He was too much of an offensive liability in last year's Western Conference Finals . . . NANDO de COLO is a combo guard who can provide instant offense off the bench. He can shoot it and does a nice job getting to the line . . . PATTY MILLS steps in as another viable option in this loaded backcourt . . . CORY JOSEPH's roster spot is in jeopardy after a middling D-League season. FORWARDS: TIM DUNCAN will continue to save it up for the playoffs. He still has plenty left in the tank, but he'll get tons of rest in March and April and more and more often defers to Tony Parker on offense when he does play . . . There's plenty to like about KAWHI LEONARD, who proved to be useful on both ends of the court last season. He'll be asked to be a little more aggressive offensively this year and should even have a couple of sets designed for him . . . STEPHEN JACKSON was a bit of a disaster in Milwaukee before landing with the Spurs last year. He's another veteran who will be paced during the regular season. And while he's been a facilitator in the past, he's really just a catch-and-shoot guy in San Antonio . . . MATT BONNER will continue to come off the bench and hoist some threes. CENTERS: BORIS DIAW's pick-and-pop ability makes him Popovich's top choice in the center rotation . . . TIAGO SPLITTER looks to be a career second-unit guy. He works hard and can defend, but he's just too clunky on the offensive end . . . DeJUAN BLAIR can pick up some cheap baskets, but his lack of offensive skills and defensive size makes him a fringe rotation player.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (LA LAKERS-SAN ANTONIO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Lakers-Spurs Preview* ======================
La Lakers At San Antonio, Game One, 3:30 p.m. EDT
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs won't be facing Kobe Bryant when they begin their playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
It's their 12th postseason series, but familiar foe Bryant is absent after tearing his Achilles tendon on April 12.
Are the Spurs going to miss competing against their chief nemesis when the series starts Sunday?
"Not really," Manu Ginobili said. "Of course, playing against him makes you better, that's for sure. He challenges you on every possession, but I'm not going to miss him, that's for sure."
San Antonio has enough of its own worries. The Spurs enter the playoffs having lost three straight and seven of 10 while Ginobili and Tony Parker have dealt with leg injuries.
Bryant's injury capped a tumultuous regular season that included the firing of Mike Brown, the courtship of Phil Jackson before the hiring of Mike D'Antoni, purported infighting among players and injuries to Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace.
Los Angeles responded by winning five straight to close the regular season, including a 91-86 victory over San Antonio in its first game without Bryant. The late push helped the Lakers capture the seventh seed and earn a matchup with the second-seeded Spurs.
"Of course, I've think they've done a great job," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "The coaching change was a long time ago, but they're a different team and that's to be expected. Without Kobe, there has to be a different emphasis and they've made that transition very well and played very successfully."
The Lakers received some good news with Nash expected to play after missing the final eight games of the season with a hamstring/hip injury. Nash leads the team with 6.7 assists per game.
"Mentally, I'm chomping at the bit and physically I'm getting there," Nash said. "I'm very optimistic I'll be able to Sunday."
Nash's presence should help the team's transition to an interior game without Bryant. Howard and Gasol combined for 33 points and 35.5 rebounds in the final two games without Bryant.
"It's a new team, it's a different team," Parker said. "They play different. Everything goes through Dwight so he's going to try to draw a double team and they have got shooters. Steve Nash is going to have the ball a lot more. It's going to be a lot different."
Howard can expect added attention from the Spurs when they employ the Hack-a-Howard strategy that Popovich first used to force Shaquille O'Neal to the free-throw line.
"If they want to do that the whole series, God bless them," Howard said. "There's nothing I can do about it but go up there and shoot the free throws. Even if I make them, they're still going to do it."
How many times the Spurs will do that, is unclear.
"I don't know, you should ask Pop," Parker said, smiling, "But a lot, if I had to bet money. People are going to scream at him in L.A., it will be funny."
Howard shot 49.2 percent on free throws in the regular season, his second-lowest career total behind the 49.1 he shot last season. He was 8 for 17 in the Lakers' recent victory over the Spurs, but had 26 points and 17 rebounds.
"My concern is what I can control on the defensive end and then on the offensive end, just dominate," Howard said. "If they foul me, they foul me. We're going to make them pay."
The Spurs are aware of the Lakers' inside presence and Parker hopes to raise the tempo to keep Howard and Gasol from digging in defensively.
"We definitely want to push it," Parker said. "I definitely want to try to get some easy baskets because once they set they have a pretty solid defense. Definitely going to try to push it and get some easy points."
Parker had four points on 1-for-10 shooting and eight assists in the Spurs' recent loss to the Lakers in his second game back after missing four straight due to a sore neck, ankle and shin.
"The last time we played LA, I played the worst game of my season," Parker said. "I had a rough shooting night and everything was hurting. But this is a great opportunity for me to bounce back and play better. I'm pretty sure I'll play better than the last game."
The Spurs played that game without Ginobili, who missed nine straight with a strained right hamstring before returning for the team's season finale against Minnesota. Ginobili said his health and conditioning are good, but his timing is still off.
"I'm going to try to contribute in any way or form I can," he said. "I'm probably not going to be a factor scoring wise, I'm just trying to be solid, create for my teammates, play good D and do the little things."
Even with Bryant out, the Lakers and Spurs still have one of the league's more spirited rivalries. The teams combined to win seven straight Western Conference titles from 1999-2005. The teams met five times during the postseason from 1999-2004, but have not played since the Lakers beat the Spurs 4-1 in the 2008 West finals.
"It's a great rivalry with them," Parker said. "When I first arrived in San Antonio, that's all we talked about, that's all they talked to me (about). The whole first half talk was about how can we beat the Lakers, Kobe and Shaq. It's great to them.
"I'm sure the whole city and all our Spurs fans are excited. It's a great challenge and a greater opportunity to do well."
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 6:44:42 PM EST|