Well actually not at all. Though facing the San Antonio Spurs over the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder comes off as a more favorable matchup for the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro doesn’t think the Lake Show has a chance to advance from the first round.
Before the Clippers game, Coach Vinny Del Negro was asked by @latimestjsimers if the Lakers have a chance of beating SA. “No,” he said.
— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) April 21, 2013
And most agree with Del Negro’s prediction.
If the Lakers had Kobe Bryant there would probably be a boat load of analysts, writers and bloggers selecting the Lakers to defeat the Spurs. Of course he’s gone for the season, Steve Nash, who’s playing in Game 1, is playing his first game since March 30th, and compared to San Antonio, this team’s bench is non-existent.
On the other side of the prediction, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are beginning to look like their former selves and a an upset a la Memphis Grizzlies-2011 seems to be brewing. And seeing the Spurs recent playoff performances foreshadow a harrowing upset, so if it happens I don’t think anyone will be surprised.
It’ll be highly interesting in the City of Angels if Del Negro’s Clippers don’t advance and the Lakers do though.