After a tough series against a very physical and game Utah Jazz squad, the Lake Show is preparing to square off against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. It's only right that if the Lakers go on to win a championship this season, they should have to go through the Spurs to do so.
The key factors going into game one:
- Kobe's health: He says he's 100%, that's good enough for me.
- Manu Ginobili: Starter? Bench? Does it matter? Containing him will be one of the keys to our defensive effort. I'm not as worried about Tony Parker as we are coming off a long series against Deron Williams who I would place ahead of Tony Parker in terms of causing defensive problems. And D-fish held his own against D-Will so the focus in my mind will be Manu.
- Pau vs Tim: After facing a Utah team without a true center, I wonder how Pau will matchup with Tim Duncan. On one hand, I don't think Tim is nearly as physical as Carlos 'Bruiser'. On the other hand, Tim is better. However, this year's playoffs have seen Tim disappear for stretches.
- Role Players: Starter for starter, the Lakers look good in this series. Even going down the rotation, I give the Lakers the edge. The wild card? Experience. This Spurs team knows how to win regardless of circumstances. Keeping the Bowens and Finleys under control will go a long way to reaching the Finals.