The Los Angeles Lakers "vaulted" into the seventh seed for a match up that seems like the lesser of evils when looking over at the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the San Antonio Spurs should not be taken lightly. Their execution on the offensive side of the ball is crisp, and they have personnel to take advantage of the Lakers' lackluster defensive tendecies.
Danny Green will be a key for the Lakers to keep track of, as he can pick apart their defense from beyond the arc in a number of ways. Whether it's in transition, through off-ball movement, or because the Lakers simply give him too much space, Green shoots over 40% from beyond the arc and will eat up defensive break downs.
Of course, Tim Duncan keeps on being Tim Duncan, and gives the Spurs not only a post presence, but a big man who can stretch the defense (aka Dwight Howard) away from the rim. The two-man game between Tony Parker and Duncan will be in full effect, forcing the Lakers into all sorts of issues. Given space, Parker will drain shots. Over commit to Parker and Duncan will either roll to the rim or pop out for an open jumper.
It's the Spurs' execution and basketball I.Q. that will try to dice the Lakers' defense up like ripe tomato dripping with opportunity. While the Spurs may be "limping" into the playoffs as damaged goods, their fluidity on the offensive side of the ball is still dangerous. An offense not built around athleticism, but crisp movements, screens on screens on screens, and misdirection.
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