The Lakers are hanging against the Spurs. San Antonio is out-executing the Lakers with ball movement and on the defensive end. But the Lakers do have some things going for them, including the incredible passing between Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, who seem to be as much on the same page as at any point this season.
Two things stand out on this one.
1. Tiago Splitter is still a concern. Not only does Splitter try to draw contact against Howard, which is not advisable, but his flop attempt and subsequent jog back opens up Howard down low. The Spurs cannot afford that kind of play from Splitter in this series and especially not going forward.
2. Gasol's working different angles. He lobbed that one from the corner, and watch this one from the wing.
I love that Pau is mad at himself after throwing that lob behind Howard, even though it connected for the dunk. Howard can't have to stretch like that with his back and the pass needs to be more on target, and Gasol knows it. But identifying the angle and being able to make it is still great playmaking.
Still, the best big in the game has been Tim Duncan and the Lakers are going to need more of these types of plays and fewer jumpers to have a chance at winning Game 1.