Injuries continue to mount for the Lakers, who will deploy their third different starting lineup in four games on Sunday.
Can the Lakers overcome losing their entire perimeter rotation?
Entering the playoffs without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers also lost Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks to injuries in their first-round series. Now, Metta World Peace is reportedly out for Game 4. The Lakers will start Andrew Goudelock, Darius Morris and Earl Clark with familiar faces Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. After losing each game of the series by double-figures, can the Lakers' reserves rise to the occasion and make Game 4 competitive? Goudelock had 20 points in Game 3 and Morris is averaging 11 points per game in the playoffs while shooting 56 percent and 43 percent from three-point range. The Lakers will need big games from both to have any chance Sunday.
The Spurs probably have enough to win this series, but what about beyond?
The Lakers' catastrophic injury situation has overshadowed the fact that the Spurs are not healthy either. Already without Boris Diaw, the Spurs will play without Tiago Splitter in Game 4, meaning their frontcourt rotation besides Tim Duncan is down to DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili also dealt with injuries late in the season. If the Spurs advance, can they get healthy enough to make it beyond the second round?
Can Pau Gasol get going?
Even before all of the injuries, the Lakers came into this series needing Gasol at his best to stand a chance against the Spurs. He hasn't been. Gasol is averaging just 13.3 points per game and shooting 43 percent for the series. He has passed well, averaging nearly seven assists per game, but if the Lakers are going to extend this series, he and Howard have to have big games against San Antonio's depleted frontcourt.
Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET
National TV: ABC
Odds: The Spurs are 8.5-point favorites, according to Oddsshark.com.