Advertisement

Preview: Lakers at San Antonio Spurs

Preview: Lakers at San Antonio Spurs
Lakers forward Ryan Kelly stands his ground as Spurs power forward Tim Duncan looks to shoot. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers' worst season (26-55) in Los Angeles finally comes to an end Wednesday night when they visit the San Antonio Spurs (62-19).

The Spurs finished with the best record in the NBA and are hoping to make another run to the NBA Finals.

Advertisement

The Lakers, meanwhile, are set to hold exit meetings on Thursday and Friday.

Out again Wednesday will be Pau Gasol (vertigo), Chris Kaman (calf), Kobe Bryant (knee), Xavier Henry (knee, wrist), Steve Nash (back) and Kent Bazemore (foot).

Advertisement

The Spurs have been known to rest starters late in the season, so the Lakers may not see San Antonio's best lineup -- but even then the Spurs can be a hard team to beat.

Should the Boston Celtics (25-56) defeat the Washington Wizards (43-3) on Wednesday, with the Lakers losing to the Spurs -- the Lakers and Celtics will finish in a fifth-place tie in the NBA draft lottery.

In that case, the league would hold a drawing soon after the regular season to determine the order, should neither franchise win a top-three pick in the lottery.

Key matchup

Advertisement

If the Spurs start Tony Parker, the Lakers will have to deal with one of the best point guards in the league, arguably underrated despite All-Star berths and an NBA Finals MVP award in 2007.

Parker leads the Spurs in points (16.7) and assists (5.7) a game.

If Parker sits, the Lakers would likely draw Patty Mills, who has quietly had a strong season off the bench for the Spurs.

Through 80 appearances, Mills has averaged 10.2 points and 1.9 assists a night in just 18.9 minutes.

The Lakers rely on Kendall Marshall and Jordan Farmar at the point. Marshall has averaged 7.8 points and 8.8 assists through 53 appearances. Farmar is at 10.2 and 4.8, playing 40 games.

Jodie Meeks has often stepped into a defensive role against starting point guards, covering for the slower-footed Marshall.

X-factor

Kawhi Leonard is a vital part of the Spurs' attack, both offensively and defensively.

Advertisement

Through 65 appearances, Leonard has averaged 12.8 points and 6.3 rebounds a night.

Nick Young is the Lakers' most explosive scorer. He's coming off his biggest game of the season, dropping 41 on the Utah Jazz in a rare Lakers victory.

On the year, Young has led the Lakers at 17.9 points a night.

Outlook

Mercifully for all, the Lakers season is finally coming to an end.

ALSO:

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

Advertisement
Advertisement