A look ahead at the Spurs games for the week.
Date: Wednesday, January 14 (8:00)
Team: Los Angeles Lakers (H)
Why you should care: This is by far the biggest game of the season, the ultimate test against arguably the best team in the league. If the Spurs have any serious thoughts about winning a championship they will have to go through the Lakers. Last year in the Conference Finals the Spurs had no real chance with a hobbled Ginobili, and some contend that they would have won if he was healthy. Unfortunately Ginobili still doesn’t look like himself, and neither do the Spurs. They are winning the easy games (but making them too exciting) and struggle against the good teams. Hopefully having it at home will make a difference, but I’m not feeling too good about this one.
Date: Friday, January 16 (6:00)
Team: Philadelphia 76ers (A)
Why you should care: The Spurs needed an improbable last second shot by Tony Parker to win after blowing a huge lead. It was typical for this year’s Spurs. At some point they will have to start winning these games a bit easier. As I said before, I think the 76ers have the talent to be a good team, and they showed that they can play with the Spurs when the Andre’s are clicking. This could be a tough game because it comes right after playing the Lakers. Hopefully the Spurs aren’t too drained from that game to prepare mentally for this one.
Date: Saturday, January 17 (7:30)
Team: Chicago Bulls (A)
Why you should care: It’s another chance to see George Hill show Derrick Rose what’s up. Earlier in the season Hill dominated the fourth quarter and led the Spurs to a win. However, the Bulls are significantly better at home with a 12-6 record compared to 4-15 road record. The Bulls are still a team trying to figure out who they are, so a big lead early on might do them in. Let them hang around and it could be dangerous, however, with scorers like Ben Gordon and Rose.