The Lakers have been ravaged by injuries through the season, and into the playoffs. Los Angeles' starting lineup featured Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, and Earl Clark with Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. The Spurs are without Tiago Splitter.
The Lakers made only one three-point field goal, have turned the ball over 15 times and are down 18 points to San Antonio. To put it into perspective, the Lakers have as many turnovers as they do field goals.
Can the Lakers overcome losing their entire perimeter rotation?
Without Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Metta World Peace, and Jodie Meeks, the Lakers are down to the bottom of their depth chart. Morris and Goudelock, the Lakers' starting backcourt, combined for only six points. Clark, starting in place of World Peace, scored only four points with three rebounds. With the Lakers down big at halftime, the Lakers do not look like a team that can overcome losing thee out of their five starters, along with two key bench players.
The Spurs probably have enough to win this series, but what about beyond?
The Spurs are one winning-half of basketball away from ending their first round in the playoffs in four games. Health will remain the top priority for San Antonio. Manu Ginobili's hamstring and Tony Parker's legs are both primary concerns, but Ginobili looked like he was doing just fine when he drove to the rim for this dunk. Howard crashed into Parker in the first quarter, but he remained in the game and has put in a game-high 15 points. Looking ahead, sweeping the Lakers and maximizing their time to recuperate is the best case scenario for the Spurs, and they are en route to do so.
Can Pau Gasol get going?
The Lakers were not able to establish Gasol through the first half as the Spurs fronted Gasol and the Lakers struggled with basic entry passes. While Gasol scored ten points, his impact has not been felt. After notching a triple-double in Game 3, Gasol has only four rebounds and one assist through the first two quarters of Game 4.