5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Lakers Game 1


The San Antonio Spurs (0-0) will host the Los Angeles Lakers (0-0) today at the AT&T Center for game 1 of their first round series.

Both teams entering the series limping. The Lakers will not have Kobe Bryant for the playoffs with a season-ending left Achilles heel tear while the Spurs will not have Boris Diaw (recovering from back surgery) and a banged up Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

But this is the NBA playoffs which means it is time to play through the pain and march towards the NBA Finals as these two old rivals will once again square off in the postseason. These two teams have not played against one another in the postseason since the Lakers beat the Spurs 4-1 in the 2008 West finals.

The Spurs went 2-1 in the regular season versus the Lakers, however, San Antonio lost the final meeting to the Lakers sans Bryant.

And as the Spurs an Lakers get set to open a new chapter of their rivalry, here are five things to watch for during today's contest:

• The Spurs have averaged 99.5 points in 73 postseason games at the AT&T Center.

• In San Antonio, the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 meetings with the Spurs.

• Lakers' Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol combined for 33 points and 35.5 rebounds in the final two games without Bryant.

• Lakers' Howard shot 49.2 percent on free throws in the regular season, his second-lowest career total.

• During the regular season, the Lakers were 31-9 when holding opponents under 100 points.