The Lakers are old, hobbled and backed into an 0-2 corner.
L.A. is already struggling against the San Antonio Spurs without Kobe Bryant. Now they’ve lost Steve Blake and who knows how long Steve Nash is going to be able to play for.
They’re going to be forced to play with third-string guards against one of the best point guards in the league in Tony Parker. Things look bleak in Hollywood.
Despite the fact that most Spurs fans already have their brooms out and aren’t planning to see the Lakers back in Texas until next season, there are still a few areas the Spurs can improve to ensure the series ends in four games. (Even if they don’t improve, it’s still probably a sweep, but it’s best to be in top form for the rest of the playoffs anyways.)
1. Danny Green needs to step up
Especially now that the Lakers’ are thin at the guard spot, it’s time for Danny Green to get his groove back. For the Spurs to succeed down the line in the playoffs, they’re going to need the sharpshooting Green and not the timid, ineffective Green. Luckily, Manu Ginobili has turned back into his old self and his picking up the slack, but it’d be nice to have Green back to the point where you felt he could be trusted.
2. Maintain the energy in the post
This isn’t as much of a suggestion for improvement as it is a hope that the Spurs can keep up what they’ve been doing. You know the Lakers are going to ride Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard into the ground over the next two games because that’s going to be the only area they have any hope to gain an advantage. Matt Bonner has been stellar down low in his pesky defense on Howard, earning more playing time in Game 2 than Tiago Splitter. Tim Duncan is always going to be doing what Tim Duncan does, you can count on his defense. If both these guys keep at it, and Splitter contributes even a little, then the Spurs can squash any hopes the Lakers have of stealing a game at home.
3. Don’t get hurt
I was asked to come up with three areas the Spurs need to improve against the Lakers. To be honest, I had trouble coming up with two. I don’t want to jinx the Spurs and say the series is in the bag, but to be realistic, I’m sure even the most homer-ish Laker fans are already calling it a season. The Spurs just need to go out there, take care of business and stay healthy. Then it’s on to round two.