To preview tonight’s matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers, I talked to Jonathan Mathis of Project Spurs Network sister site SoCal Chronicle.
The Lakers are eliminated from the playoffs so what do you expect to see in late games from them like the one tonight?
I expect to see a strong finish from a Lakers team that has improved mightily this season. You’ve seen tremendous talent, growth from a young core with so much promise in what appears to be a fruitful future for a franchise suddenly climbing out of a pit of mediocrity.
LaMarcus Aldridge has been having a standout year. The marquee matchup tonight probably puts him against Randle. Who do you have getting the better of that matchup?
Not being biased here, but I have to give Randle the slight edge. That’s only because and, hear me out, Randle has shown immense improvement inside the interior. He’s a transformational forward, quickly emerging into a star for the Lakers, showing flashes of athleticism and versatility.
Kyle Kuzma has had a fantastic rookie season. Do you see him causing problems for a Kawhi-less Spurs defense?
Kuzma has been fantastic and been impressive. The Lakers, as a whole, have been an incredible story and that’s partly because of Kuzma. He has swept over LA and, with him, the Lakers offense is potent. Against the Spurs, he can pile up points in the absence of Kawhi Leonard. Certainly.
Both teams are playing in back-to-backs and both teams have players out, but LA has found a way to win against San Antonio this year and the road has not been kind to the Spurs. What’s your prediction for tonight?
For the Spurs, being where they are, desperate times call for desperate measures. I see them treating this as if it’s a Game 7, especially while hoping to avenge their losses against the LA. The Lakers, on the other, hand have absolutely nothing to lose.