Game Three: A Must-Win for the San Antonio Spurs

Game Three of the Spurs – Lakers playoff series will be in San Antonio. Having dropped the first two games in Los Angeles, Game Three becomes a must win situation for the Spurs. If the Spurs drop Game Three to the Lakers, the task then becomes monumental. If Game Three is a win for the Lakers, then the Spurs would need to win four consecutive games in order to advance. Two of those four games would be in Los Angeles.

There are some basic issues that the Spurs must address in Game Three:

  • The Spurs need to be scoring more points. – With Manu Ginobili obviously injured and limited in what he can do, the Spurs need more scoring. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have been consistent in producing points but the Spurs need more offense from their other starters and bench.
  • The defense needs to contain Lamar Odom. – Kobe Bryant will score his points. The defense on Kobe Bryant may be an attempt to limit the damage. However, Lamar Odom is scoring near the basket. The Spurs defense has to stop Lamar Odom’s scoring so deep in the paint. Even if it means allowing Lamar Odom to shoot distant jump shots, it would be preferable to his drives to the basket.
  • The Spurs’ three point shooting has to improve. In Game Two, the three point efficiency was just slightly above twenty six per cent ( 6 – 23 ). This allows the Lakers too much focus on Tim Duncan.
  • The Spurs need to exploit the defensive liabilities of Vladimir Radmanovic on the Lakers’ starting five. Vladimir Radmanovic is notorious for defensive lapses and it may be a means for the Spurs to build an immediately lead. That would engage the home crowd fans.

After Game Two, the Spurs have been called “old” and “tired” by the some of the press. Nevertheless, they are the reigning NBA champions. The Spurs have shown that they are resilient. This team beat a young and athletic Hornets team and did so from a two game deficit. As a former NBA coach, Rudy Tomjanovich, said, “Never underestimate the heart of a champion”. The Spurs know that their season rests on Game Three.

Catherine Forsythe
Director of Operations