The Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs have quite the history between each other, both during the regular season and the playoffs. Anybody remember Derek Fisher and that ridiculous last second shot in the 2004 playoffs? The Lakers or Spurs have represented the Western Conference in the NBA finals eleven of the past thirteen years, with the other two years the Dallas Mavericks as the representative.
Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant will not be participating in the game tonight, but that does not mean this game will be without the drama or story lines. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum (who RantSports writer Joshua Casey believes is more important than Kobe to the team) will look to be huge while the trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker will try to keep the Spurs ahead in the playoff race.
This game also has the definite possibility of a playoff preview, minus Kobe not playing. The Spurs will probably finish second in the West, minus a collapse in the last few weeks. The Lakers will have to win a bit more than the Spurs, but I believe they should hold out over their crosstown rival Los Angles Clippers for the third seed.
Which means a Western Conference semifinals matchups await both these teams. They play twice more before the playoffs, excluding tonight. The game in San Antonio will have a playoff type atmosphere, with the Spurs looking to keep pace with the Oklahoma City Thunder for first place in the West.
Tonight is just the first game, so fans, enjoy the game and get ready for the playoffs just around the corner.
Follow Paul Troupe on Twitter @gamin4HIM