April 9, 2007

Playoffs 2007: Are the Lakers avoiding the Spurs?

With the Lakers' 115-107 loss to the Phoenix Suns, the team has moved down in the playoff seedings. From #6 the Lakers have slid down to #7, setting up a potential match-up against the Suns.

While this may not be "race" the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers had last season (both teams were alleged to tank games in order to get a lower seeding to face the lowly-regarded Denver Nuggets.), I'm inclined to think the Lakers are trying to position a better match-up in the first round.

The Lakers undoubtedly had the Suns number last playoffs and may want to face them again. Lamar Odom made minced meat out of "The Matrix" Shawn Marion in their first round series and plans to the same anew. Kobe will always be Kobe, plus the improvement of Luke Walton, Smush Parker and Andrew Bynum will be key.

The Spurs have dominated the Lakers in recent history and the duo of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have given LA the fits in almost every game they played.

What the Lakers have against for them is Amare Stoudamire, which presents a huge match-up problem. Add to that the lessons the Suns learned from their series. But defense-wise, I think the Lakers would be suited to run with Suns than grind it out with the Spurs.

So, is the #7 seed better than #6? It seems so.
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