Normally, this kind of game — the two seed Spurs vs. the three seed Lakers — is the kind of contest where we try to gain clues about what would happen if they met in the second round of the playoffs.
But this time, the game may be hard to read. For one, Kobe Bryant is likely to miss another game, tweets Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Kobe Bryant did some light shooting today but isn’t expected to play tomorrow vs. San Antonio. It would be his 6th game missed (sore shin).
On the other bench, the Spurs will be in the middle of a back-to-back-to-back, which is often when Gregg Popovich will rest one or more of his big three. If you think he cares that they are playing the Lakers on national television, or that they are one game back of Oklahoma city for the best record in the West, you have not been watching him for the last decade.
Kobe or not the game will matter to the Lakers, who are trying to stay ahead of the Clippers and with the Pacific Division (and be the three seed). Memphis will likely be the five seed in the west and both Los Angeles teams would ideally like to avoid them in the first round.