The San Antonio Spurs finished off their sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night with a 103-82 win. The Spurs now advance while the Lakers, uncharacteristically, are now out of the NBA Playoffs. It’s hard to gauge this series, though, and it will probably continue to be that way. The Spurs dominated, but this wasn’t the normal Lakers.
Tony Parker in his post-game interview on Sunday described the series with the Lakers perfectly. When asked about his thoughts on the series, the only word that came to his mind was “weird.” That’s a simple and strange description for a postseason series, but it’s also extremely accurate.
The Spurs weren’t playing the Lakers that everyone is accustomed to seeing. These Lakers didn’t have Kobe Bryant on the floor. These Lakers had Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock as their starting guards for games three and four. These Lakers focused their offense on a prima donna center that got ejected for complaining to the refs in game four. This was a team ransacked by injuries that, at their current state, wasn’t a playoff-team.
However, as San Antonio looks to their second round series, they will undoubtedly be facing a team worth of being in the playoffs in either the Denver Nuggets or the Golden State Warriors. Both teams are similar to the Lakers in that they have key players that are injured, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Both the Warriors and Nuggets are teams that like to push the tempo and have numerous guys that can cause problems for the Spurs defensively. The Spurs definitely weren’t prepared for that by their first round series as they only had to really focus on the frontcourt of Los Angeles. Now they’ll have to come into the second round with a full game-plan.
The Spurs and head coach Gregg Popovich are more than capable of developing a solid game-plan for the Nuggets or Warriors and are experienced enough to not overlook either team. However, they need to make sure that they remember that their first round series was indeed, as Parker called it, weird, and that they have to prepare for something completely different in round two.