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Lakers-Spurs Western Conference Finals Preview

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Here we are. The Lakers and the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

For the Lakers to make it to the NBA Finals, they will need to defeat the reigning NBA Champions. If the Lakers make it to the final round, doesn’t it make it that much more satisfying?

The Lakers will need to improve on their rebounding if they want any kind of success. While could get away with it against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz, the Spurs will make a team pay if given a second chance. Ask the New Orleans Hornets.

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The Lakers also have to remember to run their offense in order to prevent Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker to run circles around them in transition. That means get the ball in the paint, let the defenders collapse in and weigh the options. Too often when the Lakers are slumping they are lifting shots from the perimeter without going into the teeth of the defense. And against the Spurs with one of the best perimeter defenders in Bruce Bowen, that will not get it done.

If they take care of the ball on their offensive end, they take away the most dangerous part of the Spurs scoring attack in transition. They need to force the Spurs to run their offense and remember to keep Tony Parker out of the paint. With two big bodies in Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol, they should be able to force Parker to make jump shots which is not his forte.

And whoever is guarding Manu Ginobli must remember to force him to go right. Every move Ginobli made towards the basket he made going to his left. Force Ginobli to make uncomfortable shots and the job is done.

I really like the Laker’s chances in this series. It will be a tough one, but the Lakers are young, disciplined and the best passing team in the playoffs. That will have the Spurs scratching their heads.

The Lakers will win in six games.

AP Photo by Kevork Djansezian