It’s no secret that the two things on San Antonio Spurs fans’ minds as the Spurs enter the playoffs this weekend are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Spurs’ big men.
The Spurs will look to extend the Lakers’ five game skid tomorrow night and it appears that the Lakers, regardless of record, will be the one roadblock the Spurs will have to get past to make a run at the championship.
The Spurs are 2-1 against the Lakers this season, but the Lakers’ one win was an embarrassment at the AT&T Center.
With that in mind, I asked Jazz forward Paul Milsap, who’s team beat the Lakers recently and lost to the Spurs on Saturday, if there were any major differences between both teams.
“There’s a difference but both of them get out there and play basketball,” Milsap said. “They both have good team defense and both of them are pretty much the same.”
One asset the Lakers have that could pose a problem for the Spurs are their dominant big men, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
The Spurs have struggled at times playing against some of the league’s bigger teams, and in four games against the Memphis Grizzlies, who are looking to be their first round matchup, Zach Randolph gave the Spurs headaches.
Against the Jazz on Saturday night, the bigs were a problem again, but the Spurs were still able to secure the win. In a game where Al Jefferson, Milsap, Derrick Favors and Jeremy Evans scored a combined 64 points, the Spurs combated that with outside shooting.
“That’s simply how good their team is,” Jazz center Al Jefferson said. “You can maintain their big three but still have the other guys on the team that beat you. That’s how good their offense is.”
Milsap echoed Jefferson’s comments and said the Spurs’ balanced scoring makes them special.
“They’re tough,” Milsap said. “That’s what makes their team so special. They got guys that can come off the bench and score the basketball. They truly play basketball out there.”
Asked if the Spurs might have trouble against some of the bigger teams in the playoffs, Favors said the Spurs have enough weapons of their own.
“The Spurs are a good team,” Favors said. “They got other good players on their team too that can shoot the three and they got Duncan in the middle. They’ll do fine.”
The Spurs will have their chance to prove as much tomorrow night.