Los Angeles Lakers 102, Pomona-Pitzer 93: The Spurs’ second unit wins cookies and milk
The Spurs started George Hill, Gary Neal, Richard Jefferson, Tiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair. The Lakers ran with 0.4, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The Spurs’ starters logged a total 130 Â minutes; the Lakers starters tallied 157 minutes. Â The Spurs lost by 9.
Those are your facts.
Andrew Bynum also hurt his knee, and that’s the tempest in the teapot that will emerge from this game. It already has. MRI this morning. Media frenzy to follow.
The immediate impact of last night’s game had more to do with the Spurs bench getting a good workout against a great team. Players like James Anderson, who figures to play next year, got a foretaste of what it’s like trying to slow Kobe Bryant. Tiago Splitter was reminded that Pau Gasol is very good. Â These things pay themselves back in time.
The immediate impact of last night’s game might morph into a weightier consequence, but only if this loss cost the Spurs home court advantage in the Finals. Otherwise, the game was an altogether forgettable affair. It was a nationally televised scrimmage.
Gregg Popovich decided to rest his starters. Phil Jackson didn’t. Gregg Popovich’s starters are healthy and rested. We can’t say the same thing about Phil Jackson’s team until later today. Who was right?
I can see the argument both ways.
Elsewhere, Lionel Hollins, head coach of the Grizzlies, pulled a Popovich by resting Tony Allen and Zach Randolph. In addition to resting their best players, both coaches presumably helped themselves by putting off the Lakers for as long as possible. Had the Spurs won, there was a stronger chance they’d see the Lakers in the second round. Had the Grizzlies won, there was a stronger chance they’d see the Lakers in the first round.
Put differently, the jury is still out on Popovich’s Pomona-PitzerÂ maneuvers. Â I’m withholding judgement until May.