There’s some purple and gold walking around the AT&T Center as the San Antonio Spurs (40-15) and the Los Angeles Lakers (36-22) prepare to square off for the first time, late in the NBA season.
San Antonio and Los Angeles have always had a connection as a percentage of San Antonio citizens have moved from California down to the Lone Star state over the years.
The Lakers will be without All-Star shooting guard Kobe Bryant, who his coach Mike Brown said still has no timetable set to return.
Playing without Bryant won’t bring any complacency from San Antonio, according to their shooting guard Danny Green.
“This team’s very focused no matter who is on the floor,” Green told me, “our defensive schemes change just a little bit.”
Green stressed that as much as the Spurs’ offense has been scoring, the motto in the locker room is still the same, “the biggest thing for us is our defense.”
Coach Brown has ties to San Antonio as he was an assistant coach during the Spurs’ 2003 championship season, as he is still aware of the accomplishments this organization has continued over the years.
“Their core has been together ever since I was coaching (here),” said Brown.
Brown says though the Spurs’ offensive game plan has changed from the older days of the “Twin Towers” philosophy with Tim Duncan and David Robinson, the Spurs’ new run-and-gun offense is still a great approach.
“Pop is not doing it the traditional way like we are, but it’s still effective.”
Brown was referring to the Lakers’ offense these days of punching the ball into his big men Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, but Brown knows why the Spurs are a special group.
“They just move the ball well,” said Brown, “they’re unselfish.”
Brown also knows one of the keys matchups tonight will be Spurs point guard Tony Parker and Lakers point guard Ramon Sessions, but he only wants Sessions to do his best against Parker.
“You can’t stop a guy like Tony Parker,” Brown said, “you just hope you can slow him down.”
The Spurs will be without shooting guard Gary Neal as he currently has Gastroenteritis.