We knew the Lakers would be hard-pressed to win without Kobe Bryant in a seven game series with the San Antonio Spurs, but Friday night’s loss was just outright humiliating.
The 31-point deficit in the Lakers 121-89 loss now represents the worst playoff loss at home in franchise history.
A loss which clearly reflected the absence of former MVP’s Steve Nash and Bryant, as well as backups Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks. Who’s injuries left the team with a starting duo of D-League MVP Andrew Goudelock and second-year point guard Darius Morris. Yikes.
The two guards combined for 44 points on 32 attempts. And while those numbers might appear enticing at first sight, their inability to connect from beyond the arc or contain the perimeter really detracted from any positives they contributed.
Their backcourt depth, which consists solely of Chris Duhon at this point, contributed no points, two steals and a turnover in 25 minutes.
Dwight Howard continues to be outplayed by Tim Duncan in the series, picking up fouls like it was going out of style and prolonging his season-long trend of taking less than 20 attempts from the field.
Howard aided Pau Gasol in giving Duncan a belated birthday gift, allowing the center to drop game-high 26 points on 12-16 shooting. Duncan celebrated his 37th birthday on April 25th and is well on his way to celebrating a first-round sweep.
Stats of the game…
61.2: The percentage the Lakers allowed the Spurs to shoot on the night. A far cry from L.A.’s 43.2 percent.
11, 13, 10: 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists recorded by Pau Gasol for his first postseason triple-double.
14: Rebounding differential, favoring San Antonio.
37: Bench points differential, favoring San Antonio. Spurs with 46 bench points, L.A. with 9.
1: The number of wins needed for San Antonio to sweep L.A.
Questions moving forward…
With the Lakers clearly out of contention, is there any way Dwight Howard can still convince L.A. that he’s capable of being a number one option?
How will the Lakers atrocious postseason performance affect the job security of Mike D’Antoni, or passed off as injuries? If so, was D’Antoni’s system a catalyst in L.A.’s injury-ridden roster?
If the Spurs and Lakers had met in a seven game series at full strength and with no injuries, what could have happened?