2013 NBA Playoffs: Spurs vs. Lakers Game 3 Predictions

Abe Luciano By Abe Luciano, 26th Apr 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/40e_8tyx/
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Can the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers climb back into this series by defeating the surging San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Playoffs?

2013 NBA Playoffs: Spurs vs. Lakers Game 3 Predictions

When this series began, many NBA observers gave the Los Angeles Lakers a fighting chance against the San Antonio Spurs. Two games later, the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers aren't sure if they'll play past the weekend.

The Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles will be the site for tonight's Game 3 between the (7) Lakers and the (2) Spurs. Opening tipoff is slated for10:30 p.m. EST and it'll be broadcast live on ESPN.

It comes as no surprise that NBA oddsmakers give the Lakers (+6) zero chance to finish on top tonight, listing them as six-point underdogs against the surging Spurs (-6). In addition, the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 188 points.

The Spurs seem to have hit their stride in Game 2, especially Tony Parker who broke out of a recent funk. The three-time NBA champ scored a game-high 28 points and dished out 7 assists in a 102-91 victory.

But Parker wasn't alone, as he received plenty of support from Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 32 points. Meanwhile, Manu Ginobili continued his improved play by coming off the bench to score 13, 7 rebounds and 5 dimes.

"The energy is going to be in their building," Duncan said. "They're going to continue to attack. They believe they're due a win, they're due more calls, they're due all kinds of different things, and they're going to come out even harder than they played before. We're going to be ready for that, and we've got to start building a personality on the road."

For the Lakers, injuries were the theme for the regular season and unfortunately for Laker Nation, that trend has carried over into the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

The fact that Steve Nash was forced to take three pain injections during the team's off-day, coupled with the fact that he has a better chance of playing than Steve Blake or Jodie Meeks tonight, tells you everything you need to know about this ballclub's woes.

"We have total confidence that we can come back and win this series," said a very optimistic Dwight Howard said after Thursday's practice. "We believe in each other. We worked too hard to get to the playoffs. We had to fight to get in. We're not just going to give up because we're down and we have a lot of guys that are injured."

Can the short-handed Lakers climb back into this series by defeating the surging Spurs in Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Playoffs?

This thing can be looked at one of two ways: Lakers can either say, "The Spurs did exactly what they were supposed to do by protecting home-court advantage and it's now our turn to return the favor," or they can simply pack it up, throw in the towel and begin preparations for next season.

The first half of tonight's game is going to be a good barometer as to where this team is mentally, as well as their chances of making a long series out of this.

One has to believe that the Lakers will come out and play more inspired, efficient ball than in Games 1 and 2, especially in front of a sold-out Staples Center. Then again, this team has been an enigma all season long.

Let's face it, with Kobe Bryant out, it's going to come down to whether the Lakers' "bigs" are able to carry the heavy water.

This team is going to need 30 and 15 from Howard and at least 20 and 10 from Pau Gasol to have a legitimate shot at stunning San Antonio this evening.

One of the keys for this game is Mike D'Antoni's ability to get Howard to stop committing ill-advised fouls in critical stretches of the game.

Ultimately, if I had to make a prediction based on the aforementioned point spreads, I would be inclined to believe that the Lakers will either win tonight's game, or at worst, lose by less than the projected 6 points.

Tags

Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Nba, Nba Playoffs, Nba Playoffs 2013, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker

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author avatar Abe Luciano
Abe is a CJ Admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and webmaster/editor.

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