Andy Kamenetzky wants the Spurs at full force
Keeping with our tradition, I’ve exchanged notes with one half of the two-headed monster that is the Kamenetzky brothers.
One brother is Ivan, the other is Dmitri. You figure it out. Ron Artest isÂ definitelyÂ Alyosha. And the dead monk? The Lakers’ recent play. Maybe they’re not saintsÂ after all. I’ll let you assign the rest of the characters to their best Laker analogue. Â Why? Because that’s what we do at 48MoH, right?
Check out ESPN’s Land O’Lakers blog for my part of the exchange. On this end I asked Andy if the Spurs should lose tonight to avoid playing the Lakers in the second round? I know. I shouldn’t think that way. But the Lakers are tall. They scare me. Â Kamenetzky:
Wow. Tough question to answer. In part because reading tea leaves in a tight race for the #2 seed with many moving parts is tough. And in part because if the Lakers maintain their current level of play, the second round feels like an ambitious landing spot.
I kid, of course. The Lakers are definitely advancing to the second round. I’m actually still confident about my preseason Three-peat prediction. But they definitely have not played well of late, and unlike some previous skids, the issue hasn’t been entirely about complacency.Â Partially at times, since they played like zombies on Nyquil against Portland. But notÂ entirely. The Lakers have often put forth legitimate effort during these five losses, but effort isn’t always enough to offset wretched execution. The offense in particular has gone inexplicably haywire. 10+ seconds are often frittered away just getting into their sets, which predictably leads to low percentage shots. And moving the ball without risking a turnover has become a decided chore for arguably the NBA’s best passing squad.
With all that said, they’ve been down this road before andÂ I agree with Kobe’s take about issues being largely correctable. Which means if the Spurs maintain their regular season success moving forward, a meeting with the Lakers may be unavoidable. Thus, Tuesday’s game should be played above board. If Pop is more concerned with health than staying ahead of the Bulls for best overall record, playing his core vets limited minutes and living with whatever results is perfectly reasonable. But tanking to avoid a specific opponent is pretty bush and reflects a lack of inner-confidence. Unless, of course, the goal is situating yourself to play the 2006 Nuggets. Even David Stern deep down knew the Clippers were doing the right thing in that case.