This article is only based on the Lakers being the 8th seed, and the Spurs being at the 1st.
Earlier this season, the Lakers were terrible. That’s right, folks, I’m going to flat out say that the Lakers had no idea what they were doing. When Steve Nash and Dwight Howard came to town, all the Laker fans expected Kobe Bryant to lead his team to a sixth title. Unfortunately for them, the Lakers are barely making the playoffs, but the important part is that they’ve got their foot in the door. Now that they’re trying to find a way to get into that 8th seed, they are looking tougher and tougher by the day.
Reasons the Lakers can Beat the Spurs:
Now that the Lakers have pulled to a playoff position, they’re in a good spot, and just making the playoffs will guarantee them some noise. That’s a weird way to put it, but when the Warriors beat the Mavericks in the 2007 Playoffs, that was because of determination. This, however, will be because the Lakers now have that team they’ve been looking for all year. They finally have an MVP point guard, a top 5 center, and the best shooting guard in the league.
The Spurs being at the first position would probably rather play the Thunder in the playoffs. Although the Lakers are a mere 4 games above .500, they’re deadly and can turn on the pressure whenever they want. Just because they’re the 8th seed, doesn’t mean they’re going to lose in the first round.
2. Fan Base:
Wherever you go, there’s Laker fans. At any team’s home court, there are Laker fans. It’s inevitable for you to go to, for example, a Celtics game and not see Laker fans. Maybe the Heat bandwagon are starting to pop up a bit, but the Lakers, by far, have the biggest fan base in the NBA. If the Spurs play the Lakers in the first round, they won’t be seeing many supporters in LA. In San Antonio, however, they’ll be seeing a lot. You can’t win without a fan base, and the Lakers will have a decently big one wherever they go.
Now that Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are healthy, they’re working together on all levels. Nash is a good scorer and passer, and works well with Kobe Bryant in the backcourt. Although injured, Bryant is likely to return to action on Friday. Dwight Howard still doesn’t have the determination, but he did make it all the way to a game 5 in the finals. He has what it takes, and is the best center in the NBA.
The hype that surrounds this team is almost as big as their potential. A slow start may have doomed their season, but playing the Spurs, who have veterans on the downfall, would be a blessing considering how this season was in the early going.
4. Spurs’ History:
I know what you’re thinking: “The Spurs have won the championship multiple times in the Tim Duncan era!” That’s true, but when’s the last time the Spurs made it to the finals, after being deadly in the regular season? That’s right: they always falter in the playoffs, whether it’s losing to the Grizzlies, the Thunder, or even the Clippers this year. They may be a great team overall, but Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are too old to carry the whole team by themselves.
The Spurs will eventually get worn down, and stopped, just like the past couple of years. They need one more stud to add to the roster before that final chance at a championship run.
5. Kobe is Kobe:
If you think Kobe Bryant is going to let his team lose to a worn down Spurs team, which isn’t hard to stop, think again. Personally, I believe Kobe is one of the best basketball players of all time, and no matter how old he gets, on some nights, he can see the basket 14 feet wide. The Spurs have a good defense and an excellent coach, but there’s no defending the Kobe system. When he gets it going, he’s literally unstoppable.