16 Comments

  1. Scott

    the lakers are up 4-2, not 4-1. san antonio swept them in 1999 on their way to title number one. shaq and kobe were on that laker team, although phil jackson was not.

  2. Matt

    In the strike shortened season of 1999, the nba tried to make up for lost revenue by cramming as many regular season games as they could in what remained of the year. Coaches that stuck with with convention of playing 7 or 8 players
    found their teams exhausted by the playoffs. Coach Popovich, instead, went deep into his bench, splitting the work load across the entire team. He was
    less concerned with winning every game, and more concerned about resting players and getting each player enough experience to be valuable in the
    post-season. The result: the Spurs win the nba championship.

    Fast-forward 10 years. Injuries have hit a veteran Spurs team. Ian Mahinimi, the 6’10″/230 lb power forward who was to be the front court youth/strength the
    spurs needed has not played one game this season. Manu Ginobili has missed 25 games and should miss at least 5 more. And there have been assorted injuries to other team members (Duncan missing 4 games, Parker missing at least 5).

    Rather than throw in the towel, Popovich has shrewdly given his younger players
    more playing time. He has distributed game time across the bench, less concerned about the overall record and more concerned about getting his injured/older players rest and his younger/newer players experience. He has
    acquired Drew Gooden, a power forward that should provide double digit points
    and rebounds if he can bounce back from a nagging injury.

    So what does this mean? If all goes well, by the end of the regular season in
    4 weeks, the Spurs can have all their players back from injury. They will have
    a collection of players that are new to the team with enough experience to be
    big playmakers in the playoffs. And they will have their veteran players well
    rested.

    The Spurs team of today, which has done very well, will not be the same Spurs
    team in 4 weeks. The Spurs will be a team that will be even better and will
    use the playoffs to gain more experience, confidence and cohesion. Should they
    meet the Lakers in the Western Conference championship around mid-May,
    which seems like a very strong possibility, I believe the Lakers are in for a shock.

  3. Danalyst

    Admitedly the Lakers are clearly currently the superior team. No one is suggesting otherwise. I find it ammusing however how the author conveniently pictured it as one size rivalry this past decade. Instead of mentioning that both teams were involved in the 9 of the last 10 championships. he limited it to the last 9 championships and conveniently left out the Spurs 1999 title. Nice one . Yes the playoff record from year 2000 beyond is probably 4-1. What was conveniently left out is the Spurs playoffs wins in 98 and 99. And come to think of it the reason the Spurs and lakers never met from 2004 to 2007. was because the lakers never made it past the 1st round. You can check the regular season winning percentages and how far each team got in the playoffs in the last decade and clearly see the Spurs are obviously the more successfull team. That is the more accurate picture of how both teams have faired this past decade.
    As of today the Spurs are more than happy to have the clear underdogs tags which they clearly are. Yeah let’s all talk of how great the Lakers are, that’s just how the Spurs like it. It’s funny were labelling the Lakers as “great” when this current team hasn’t won anything yet !

  4. Vic Angelo

    Interesting that you would cite the recent playoff series that the Spurs/Lakers have played and yet leave out the 99 series in which the Spurs won 4-0 over a young Kobe and Shaq. And Duncan had an off night? He was up against the twin towers all night – the Lakers jammed the lanes – and he still came up with 16 and 11, both of which are either near or over his average. If you haven’t notice, Duncan has had a great year and Parker’s play has been outstanding lately. What the Spurs lack against the Lakers is another big man – and even a healthy Ginobili can’t make up for that. So yes the Lakers are better – but not by as much as you attempt to make it. And, yes, the Lakers will win the West again – but you never know if an injury may cause them to stumble along the way. Oh, btw, most think the Spurs would have beat the Lakers in 04 if it wasn’t for the .03 shot that is impossible to make with that little time – gee, you forgot to mention that too, huh?

  5. Majico

    Thats funny, by my count ( since 1999) , the rivalry is 4 to 2 in favor of the lakers ( not 4 to 1, as you have erroneously put it)

    Yes, this would include the 1999 BEAT-DOWN of 4 games to 0 in favor of san antonio………along with the 30 point bludgeoning INSIDE of staples center at the hands of San Antonio, in game six of the 2003 playoffs ( The memorys of Derek Fisher and Kobe bryant crying like punished schoolgirls holds a dear place in my heart =0) )

    With one robert horry three from being 5 to 1 in the series, eh?

    More like one Derek fisher, never been done, will never again be repeated completely BS .4 prayer………away from being 3 to 3 in the rivalry.( May i kindly remind you after that series , LA went on to be Slaughtered in the “five game sweep” at the hands of detroit, the SAME EXACT detroit team San Antonio beat in the finals ONE YEAR LATER)

  6. othnin

    Is that analysis? If you look at the record since ’99 the Spurs are 2-4 in the series against the Lakers not 1-4. What about some commentary on the merits of Ginobili versus Bynum since you think they are equal. Or the recent acquisition of Gooden by the Spurs? I would like to see both teams at full strength if they meet in the playoffs and in the immortal words of Sheed: “Ball don’t lie”

  7. Bob

    I can tell you are really hoping this is all true. The first quarter of that game was one sided, but if you watched the rest of it you know the Spurs clawed back and gave the Lakers a huge scare. No one seriously believes that game proved anything because the Spurs weren’t even playing with their catalyst, Manu. I’ll take the heart and experience of the Spurs in a 7 game series against all the young-bucks on the Lakers.

  8. ben

    you forgot to mention the 1999 western semis where the spurs swept the mighty lakers and if you want to talk about one shot effecting a playoff outcome, don’t forget to mention the 2004 western semis where mr. fisher hit that 0.4. Also you cannot say that the impact of Ginobili and Bynum injuries are the same to their teams. Ginobili is a 3-time champion who is a major part of the spurs offense, as last year was the first time Bynum made it out of the first round and in recent years when the lakers have played the spurs, bynum has either been injured or has gotten in foul trouble against duncan not really making an huge impact against the spurs. But good luck sir, hopefully when the lakers make the finals with relative ease as you say they will, and they’ll put up a better fight and not get embarressed as they were last year.

  9. Danalyst

    How convenient a statement. let me rephase this statement from an un laker perspective but from a whole leaque persepective of where the Championship is all that matters in terms of accomplishment

    The Spurs and Lakers are the two dominant teams of this decade, winning a combined “seven” championships and one or the other has been involved in nine of the past Ten NBA Finals. As much as the Lakers would like to think that they are on equal footing with the Spurs, the so-called rivalry has been one-sided in favor of the guys wearing Black and Silver. In their Nine finals apperances in the last 10 years, the Spurs have a clean sweep 4 out 4, while the Lakers have a 3 win and 2 loss record ! Now that’s telling the record straight from a none LA bias perspective

  10. Rob

    Have you actually watched the spurs over the years? If you have you would know that the regualar season really doesnt matter. To say that it wont even been close you are crazy lets take a look at last year yeah you guys beat us 4-1 with us having manu out and a no call for barry. This is what I hate about people that write or are fans of LA you make it seem like no one can compare and yeah you have beat us in the playoffs thoes years but somthing to remember is that in 2005,2006 and 2007 the lakers wernt good enough to make it to face the spurs. But its all good LA fan always thinks that they are the best and they hate that the spurs have been the best team in the last ten years but its alright our fans our media our players will always show respect for the lakers but you guys never will it really makes me ashamed to be from souther california how full of yourself all of you are

  11. I just want to point out that I wrote “of this decade,” meaning since 2000. So, since 2000, the Lakers ARE 4-1 against the Spurs. Last time I checked, 1999 is not part of THIS decade. Besides, ’99 was a strike-shortened season so you can’t compare that title with the others.

  12. EddieI

    Well, 2000 to 2009 is done and the LA Lakers are officially the team of the decade. Yes, the Lakers owned the Spurs 4 – 1 but they are also the reason the Spurs can never be legitimately called a “Dynasty” like the Three-Peat Lakers of this decade were, or the upcoming dynasty. Most years the Spurs were trying to defend their title the Lakers kicked their rear ends. And forget luck – Kobe kills the Spurs, and Fisher and Horry are legends for their clutch shooting. Please.

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