NBA Playoffs: Close Out Special?
Is tonight the night the Spurs championship defense comes to an end? With the Lakers holding a 3-1 edge in the series and the game taking place in LA, there’s a very real sense it’s time for the Larry O’Brien trophy to change hands. While NBA Playoff leads of this size are rarely overcome, there are number of Lakers who were apart of the team when they collapsed against Phoenix in 2006.
Those Lakers also had a 3-1 lead.
But these Lakers seem to be a different breed. First off, there’s the Pau Gasol factor. He wasn’t apart of the Lakers then and neither were any of the things he brings to the table. With Gasol, Kobe has a definitive number two guy, making Lamar Odom one of the most versatile and dangerous third options in the NBA.
Then, of course, there is the Kobe factor. When he’s not jumping cars and snakes, Bryant has been playing like the MVP he is and no one on the Spurs looks like they can even slow him down, let alone stop him.
So what does this mean for the Spurs? More than likely, it probably means the end of their season and their reign as NBA Champs, their fourth since 1999. However, if Ginobili can rediscover his shooting stroke and the Spurs can get some help from their bench that extends past the services of just one player — Brent Barry in Game 4 — they may be able to prolong the series.
They’ve already proven Tim Duncan can’t really be matched by the Lakers so if the Spurs do get hot from outside, LA will definitely have to earn their advancement to the NBA Finals.
Game time is at 9/8 Central.
Oh yeah, does the fact that the Spurs have never repeated lessen their impact as a dynasty franchise?