I thought the Spurs prepared very well for the game and it showed in their ability to inhibit the Lakers through the first three quarters and build a 20-point lead at one point. But the Lakers made some pretty good adjustments and were able to get back in the game for the last quarter based on their ability to find the open guy, the energy of the Lakers bench players, and the fact that the Spurs went cold and the Lakers increased their defensive pressure. I think the fact that the Spurs had played a tough game on Sunday also has to be accounted for as well.
The Role of Kobe Bryant
Kobe only had two points in the first half, but he was just trying to do what the Spurs were allowing him to do. When he had good shots he took them and if not he passed the ball. Even though he didn’t get a lot of good shots in the first half, though, he was able to set up his teammates with five assists. Then in the second half, he started to assert himself more. Kobe is a great finisher. He’s one guy that if you’re offense is having a problem, he can get shots no matter what kind of defense is being played. In the second half, that’s what he did, putting up 25 points.
Game 2 Adjustments for the Lakers
On Thursday at practice coach made a point of saying that they weren’t patient enough with their offense, which is why they didn’t shoot particularly well. The open shots that they had they passed up and the ones that they tried to get weren’t there. So for Game 2 they have to be more patient and understand where their opportunities are.
There was also talk coming into the series about the Lakers potential deficiency on the boards after having been outrebounded by Utah in the last round. However, I don’t think that San Antonio has demonstrated a great rebounding advantage. The Lakers should be able to hold their own when it comes to rebounding.
Game 2 Adjustments for the Spurs
The Spurs are going to have to figure out how to be more consistent on offense. When they needed baskets in the third quarter, they really had a hard time once the Lakers figured out what they were doing offensively. And of course they need a better game from Manu Ginobili.
A Great Laker comeback From My Day
The Lakers comeback on Wednesday night had me reflecting on a great comeback we had when I was a member of the Lakers. We were playing Seattle in the playoffs and were down 18 points at the half because we had shot the ball very poorly and Seattle had a great shooting first half. But Coach Riley seemed to think that we could come back and that’s just what happened.
Andrew Bynum’s Surgery
The last time that I spoke to Andrew he was thinking about getting more opinions on what to do about his knee. Seeing now that he had the surgery, I guess that was the best option presented to him. I’m sure the Lakers and the Laker fans will be glad to see him back at full strength next season.
The Greatness of Charlie Parker
Stepping away from basketball for a minute, I’ve been reading a book titled, “Chasing the Bird: Functional harmony in Charlie Parker’s bebop themes” by Juha Henriksson. I haven’t finished it yet but it’s great because it kind of talks about what he meant to the art form of jazz in his own personal speak. It’s pretty interesting stuff. As far as great jazz musicians go, “Bird” ranks at the very top. And if you want to enjoy a great listen of Bird’s, there was a disc that was just released of he and Dizzy Gillespie from June of 1945. It’s an incredible find and definitely worth your time if you love jazz.