Heading in to the playoffs, most observers looked at the big man match up between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers as advantage Lakers.
Dwight Howard was finally starting to resemble Dwight Howard again and Paul Gasol had been on a tear the last week of the season. However, Tim Duncan played better than either Laker big in game one and Tiago Splitter played good enough defense that the Spurs didn't have to adjust their defensive strategy too much.
After the game, Howard told reporters the Spurs were aggressive on defense, but he doesn't expect that to last.
"As the series goes on, those bigs will wear down from trying to fight for every possession," Howard said. "We've just got to do a good job, myself and Pau, of not getting offensive fouls, not to try to fight back too much, but read the defense."
Howard's right about needing to read the defense, but to suggest just waiting till the Spurs get tired isn't exactly a great strategy. The hope for the Lakers is that someone starts hitting open shots, or hope Duncan and Splitter get in foul trouble. Considering both are pretty good about not fouling, the Lakers need to hope some other guys start hitting shots, because the Spurs seemed content to pack the paint, limit the Gasol-Howard high-low game and let other guys shoot.
Oh and memo to Dwight, it's not like he's facing Oliver Miller and DeJuan Blair in college. It's going to take more than four games for Duncan, Splitter, Matt Bonner and current Blair to tire out.