Good job, good effort.
That pretty much sums up the Los Angeles Lakers defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference 1st round. Good job, good effort. The Lakers tried. They tried really, really hard. And they were roundly beaten by a better team because all the effort in the world can't help you make an open jump shot. Steve Nash missed jumpers. Pau Gasol missed jumpers. Steve Blake missed jumpers. Metta World Peace missed jumpers. Wide open, nobody around them, completely routine. All missed. Dwight Howard was the only player on the team to shoot above 50%, and he doesn't shoot jump shots. Well, he actually did shoot a couple of those as well. He missed them, too. And so too the shot at a very winnable game was also missed.
Because the Spurs also missed a lot of shots. There were elements of misfortune in San Antonio's shooting performance as well, but there was also a whole lot of good Lakers effort. The Laker D was very, very good for most of the contest. Steve Blake was a defensive lion, terrorizing Tony Parker into an 8-21 shooting performance. In fact, the Spurs shot worse from the field as a team than the Lakers did, only winning the game by double digits on account of having nine extra possessions to play with because of the Lakers 18 turnovers to the Spurs 9. When points are as hard to come by as they were today, allowing your opponent that many extra possessions is not survivable. San Antonio scored 17 fast break points to the Lakers' 2. In a game the Lakers lost by 12, that is, as they say, your ballgame.
Now the Lakers have to lick their wounds, and see if Steve Nash gets any better between Games 1 and 2. They also might want to spend some time talking about why the Lakers failed to take advantage of post up opportunities any time San Antonio went to their smaller bench. Or, just have a whole bunch of shooting practice. Either way, they've got a lot of work to do if they intend to make this a series.