In a season filled with discontinuity everywhere they turn, the Lakers hardly entered the playoffs with a clean slate. The problems followed them. The Lakers' 91-79 Game 1 loss Sunday to the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center provided a visual reminder how their revolving injury list and conflicting offensive principles have made their chemistry messier than the pollution here at the Riverwalk. Steve Nash returned for the first time since missing the previous eight because of soreness in his right hamstring. But in a game in which he scored 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting, Nash's presence only brought more confusion on offense. The Lakers' starting lineup featuring Nash, Steve Blake, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard marked the first time they played together as a unit. That's fitting for a team that featured countless starting lineups because of injuries. And the Lakers didn't just miss Kobe Bryant's prolific scoring touch bailing them out of an otherwise game. Bryant's season-ending torn left Achilles tendon leaves Gasol without a crucial ally that will ensure the Lakers feature him in the post. Gasol's 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting and 15 rebounds featured the Lakers forward missing eight of those shots on outside jumpers. Gasol also only took three shots in the paint. All those attempts went in the basket, but Gasol didn't have enough of such attempts to make a difference.
Los Angeles loses NBA playoff opener 91-79 at San Antonio Spurs
L.A. Daily News | Apr 21