Staying big looms large for Lakers

Even though the Miami Heat had more pressing matters closer to home to attend to, you kept waiting for the Tweet anyway. “Karma is a [bleep]” it would read, and it would be yet another contribution from @KingJames, spinning off his blast at former Cleveland Cavaliers pals from their 112-57 loss to the Lakers in January.

This time, it seemed that the San Antonio Spurs were in order for a little trash-Tweeting. Less than 48 hours after the Spurs had pummeled LeBron James’ Heat squad 36-12 in the first quarter of their game Friday in San Antonio, they themselves were the pummelees, 34-13, at the hands of the Lakers Sunday. Both times, blowouts ensued.

Yet such an ill-advised collection of 140 characters never came. Instead, what had been considered the Western Conference’s best team got dissed by the league’s two-time defending champions. And then tweaked — if not Tweeted — by L.A. big man Andrew Bynum. We’ll let our man T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times take it from here:

In a town noted for having no quit, Andrew Bynum added yet more embarrassing commentary on San Antonio’s collapse.

He said the Spurs’ “starters definitely quit.”

They were certainly no match for the Lakers’ size. Bynum and those in attendance (Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Magic Johnson and George Lopez) were probably too much for these quitters.

The Spurs’ starters combined to score 29 points, and although Bynum scored only four — a dunk to start the first half and another to start the second half — he took only two shots.

It was his energy, his 17 rebounds for a second consecutive game and three blocked shots that seemed to take the zip right out of the Spurs, who had won 22 straight at home.

The Spurs could counter only with Tim Duncan — who appears ready to make the transition to church league basketball — and a short, fat guy in DeJuan Blair, whose head stands as tall as Bynum’s belly button.

If that wasn’t karmic, coming on the heels of Duncan’s sideline gloat of “Game over” Friday, nothing was. Still, it was the harm inflicted by Bynum on the court Sunday — those 17 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end, and a defensive presence that often made life insider miserable for the Spurs — that mattered more.

Forget the immediate sting, even. This was a reminder of what might have not been, as columnist Buck Harvey wrote in the San Antonio Express-News. If certain Lakers fans – and the Spurs – had gotten their way, Bynum would have been with Denver Sunday, replaced in trade by Carmelo Anthony in a deal rather pivotal for something that never happened. Harvey wrote:

Why not swap a gimpy center for a scorer who could someday replace Bryant as the franchise centerpiece? Over 75 percent of fans voted in favor of the trade in a poll on ESPN.com’s Los Angeles site, and an LATimes.com poll had similar results.

The Spurs would have voted for the trade, too. They always saw Anthony as beatable, as well as someone who would take the ball out of Bryant’s hands. Besides, the Heat game suggests the Spurs can handle multiple wing scorers.

But 7-footers? Just seconds into their first loss at home since November, the Spurs saw the impact. Then, Fisher missed, and Bynum grabbed the rebound and dunked.

Bynum went on to get 17 rebounds in only 27 minutes…

The 7-footer, who missed the first 24 games recovering from knee surgery, scored just four points Sunday – but that didn’t matter. As he did against Atlanta (five points, 15 rebounds) two weeks ago and as he did against Charlotte (nine points, 17 boards) Friday, Bynum focused on one end of the floor. And that was enough.

“He bothered a lot of people in the lane,” Duncan said, “and just his size was definitely the difference.”

On a day when the Heat came up small and the Boston Celtics still are learning how to fold Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic into a frontline that formerly featured Kendrick Perkins, the Lakers’ decision to stay tall looks smarter than ever.

33 Comments

  1. LakerFanatic says:

    YOU ARE ALL STUPID!!!

    Its obvious to the body language of Tim Duncan and Ginobili that it is game over..
    without those young guns and tony parker.. I wonder what would be the final score.. LOL

    here it goes again , IDIOTS!
    even if you don’t really say it out loud to you Give-Up, its obvious the way you(HE) moves… BODY LANGUAGE!! MORONS!!

  2. John says:

    Two seven-footers, deep bench, greatest player in the world, greatest coach in the world, two defensive specialist, three Finals appearances, two back-to-back Championships. Would you really bet against them?

    I really hate the Lakers. It always seems like they have an unfair advantage cuz they can attract any player, not to mention they are $30 million over the salary cap (highest in NBA). But I’m jealous cuz I want my team to win and I can’t stand to see another Lakers vs Celtics Finals. Seen that episode before, what else is on tv?

    Lakers vs Celtics. Lakers in 6.

  3. Mike G says:

    Shame on you Aschburner, you’re supposed to write legit stuff not some crappy personal commentary, which had been proven wrong by the way. Spurs is a decent organization which had been highly appreciated by the fans, and making up this petty story doesn’t make you cross the board amongst NBA’s elite writers. Spurs and Lakers is to be anticipated for the West Finals, although LA plays excellent b-ball i’m still rooting for my Spurs for an upset.

  4. Joshua Remo says:

    San Antonio’s offense is too dependent on the three pointer. They’ve been shooting good but when they go cold all they have to rely on Parker and Ginobli. Seeing how the lakers defense contained them, San Antonio will have a tough time against the lakers come playoffs. Lakers are going head to head with Boston when the finals come.

    • Jason says:

      I bet you saying that Spurs will not play against the Lakers. It’s not bcoz they’re not going to the Finals but bcoz Dallas will massacre the Lakers before they face the Spurs..Hahahahahah!!

      It’s Spurs Vs. Celtics (Celtics will win in 6 games)

  5. Lakerdiehard says:

    For all of you Spurs fans, I do believe since Phil Jackson has been with the Los Angeles Lakers, your beloved Spurs haven’t beaten the Lakers in a seven game series but one time. The Lakers with Kobe Bryant owns Tim Duncan and your Spurs. We’ve kicked your butts in 2001, 2002, 2004, & 2008. The only year that you guys beat us was in 2003.That was the year Shaq decided to have toe surgery late into the season I look at this year’s Spurs like the 2001 team. You guys don’t have the same defensive presence you’ve had when you had Robert Horry and Bruce Bowen. The Lakers are priming themselves for the playoff run. It’s their time and if they stay healthy, they will 3peat!!!

  6. Rogelio says:

    The “Game Over” comment from Ducan on friday was re: a team discussion of who the better 3 Point shooter is: Gary Neal or Matt Bonner. Duncan was saying Game Over as in…. Bonner is the better one… Do some homework when you write this stuff.

  7. joker says:

    a champ is always a champ. that spirit woke the lakers up.

  8. [...] to a 30-point blowout over the No. 3 team in the East. Then, on Sunday, there was the No. …Staying big looms large for LakersNBA.com (blog)Fan reaction: A weekend of bests and worsts for San Antonio SpursYahoo! SportsSeesaw [...]

  9. Diego says:

    Biased reporting. This sucks. Your just an asshole aschburner.

  10. 3peat says:

    Lakers have a really good chance at making the finals again if they keep up this style of play.
    I was watching the game live and I loved Bynum’s play. Hopefully they can keep this streak going past the next couple of games ( against playoff teams and contenders ). They need to get that 2nd seed back over Dalles.

    1….2…..3…… RING

  11. YesSur says:

    Response to The One yes the spurs are 2-1 against the lakers but lets not forget that the lakers could be up 2-1 on the spurs also..lakers had that game at home and lost it on a tip in..silly mistake that will not happen again.

  12. Kent Greenlee says:

    I am a 100% San Antonio Spurs Die Hard Fan and have been so for 33 years … ever since the Great George Gervin played in the old arena. … That great Spurs team could not get by the Lakers in those years, either … Magic, Kareem, etc. just proved to tough … but over the past 12 years, San Antonio has come into it’s own with two of the greatest players to EVER play the game of basketball …. David Robinson and Tim Duncan. San Antonio has proven itself this season by beating L.A. Lakers two out of three times … L.A. may have the “LENGTH” inside with Bynum and Gasol, but San Antonio is still a better outside shooting team (see present record – BEST in the NBA) … and I feel that if these two great teams have an opportunity to meet each other in a Western Conference show-down, San Antonio will beat them in a 7 game series. This may be Tim’s “last hurrah” and the best opportunity to squeeze one more championship out of this great franchise. Because when Tim’s done, I think “POP” is done, as well. ??? I “RESPECT” the L.A. Lakers, what a dominating franchise it’s been over the years, but in a SMALL market like San Antonio, it’s great to watch the UNDERDOG’s WIN!!! …….. San Antonio Fan Forever.

    • Mr B says:

      You may have been watching the game almost as long as I have, but you still don’t know you’re basketball. You are ” wishing and hoping ” in other words, you live in La La Land. ” Here is some info for you. The season team record against one team don’t mean a thing. Only to sport writers, commentators and people like you. That is a proven fact. Now this is important, so pay attention since your beloved coach said the same thing. It is extremely hard for a team to be motivated the whole year after they have been to the finals three straight years, won it twice, may have won it 3X it Bynum was healthy. If you really think that S A has the better team across the board, then you can stand in that small line of Spurs fans along the river. That huge line you see, that is stretch across the nation are all the other basketball fans in the line for the Lakers. I like your Spurs, always have, but I know my basketball and unlike this writer Steve Assburger, a real Kobe hater and poor writer, I am also the best in knowing the game. Beat Vegas odds every single time. Good luck to the Spurs but they will lose a seven game series against the Lakers.

    • Kent Greenlee says:

      Not “Hoping or Wishing” … The Spurs got blown out ONE game … by their nemesis no-less, but apparently you didn’t see the blow-out the Spurs gave the Lakers earlier this season?? … I don’t expect the Spurs to win EVERY game, and I was disappointed with their errort on Sunday … but they WILL get back on track and win the West and have home-court advantage thru-out the play-offs … and at this rate, have one of the best Win-Loss records in the history of the NBA. If the Lakers are “fortunate” enough to get past our other Western Rivals (i.e.: Dallas Mavericks) then they’ll get to meet the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals … but I wouldn’t BET anymore of your hard earned money in Vegas on it!!

  13. The truth says:

    Come on let’s get real “the one”, the spuds have only 4 championships. Don’t you need at least 5 to be considered a dynasty or a real contender?!

    The Lakers have 17 BTW Phil has not been the reason for most of those either.

    Duncan donuts is looking at the door also so SA has somethings to consider

    • Heat to the top says:

      First off its 16 for the Lakers, second so what if the spurs lost. The Lakers lost to them as well so the spurs is an outstanding team which I believe will do great when the playoffs strike and the Lakers wont be ready for what they will bring. Celtics will have a most likely a easy chance against the Heat and Bulls inless the Heat can end the third quarter with a lead which will motivate them to win even more and if the Bulls can just do what they do best and thats giving the ball to D-Rose and let him lead the team. It will a good run in the playoffs in both divisions but there is only one championship. WHO WANTS IT MORE???

  14. j says:

    Its about defense, speed and controlling the game. When the Lakers play defense, they get stops which wins 4 out 7 nearly every time. Teams who get stops can be beat in transition BB only if they turn the ball over and have terrible shot selection. Teams get hot but they don’t stay hot for 7 games. Except for injury, the Lakers -Celtics will be in the finals! Maybe Dallas or an outside chance Chicago, but the rest have some fairly glaring weaknesses in the best game.

    San Antonio is weak in the middle. Orlando shoot too many 3’s. Howard is great but without a strong back-up. Chicago has got the horses, but lacks playoff experience, and so on. This is not prediction. Anything can happen. That is why they play the games.

  15. FazzoneCat says:

    I would be willing to bet my paycheck that Tim Duncan DID NOT say “Game Over” during the first quarter of the Miami Heat game. Not sure who is the professional lip reader, but I highly doubt Tim said that! What a bunch of crap!! You NEVER see the Spurs gloat over a win. PERIOD!

  16. The One says:

    The Fakers slop one out away against the Spurs (1-2 against the number one team — but everyone seems to leave that out) and everybody is back on the purple and gold bandwagon. All those “diehard” fans better hope they make a push in the playoffs and for that three-peat because after the Zen master is gone, there won’t be any more purple and gold reaching the Western Conference Finals.

  17. steve says:

    Known it is ,that the lakers are better than the spurs.It’s just like Miami they have a bunch of wins cause there is alot of bad teams in the league.Spurs are playing good but not good enough to beat the Lakers for times.
    Small market teams have proven that they can do it with what they have but it’s just people like to use it as an excuse.In every single sport there is franchises that have more money and are willing to spend more and take risks.Cause spending more doesn’t mean you’ll get a championship.It’s knowing how to put a team together.
    LAKERS we’re better that’s all and yes I don’t understand how media makes it more that what it is in some cases.
    You just need to know the team your a fan of and trust your organization that they know what they’re doing.

  18. Blueprint says:

    Exactly why I dislike the NBA having a soft salary cap. I know it’s business and all, but the big teams just dominate through their payroll. Look at the Lakers and Magic. Their payrolls are more than double what the Kings’ payroll is. It’s ridiculous how unbalanced the teams are. I’d prefer watching a league full of balanced teams that make every game close rather than a couple of big city teams trucking over smaller market franchises.

    • Adam says:

      my momma once told me life isnt fair

    • NBAFan says:

      Well, few years down the line, if OKC continues to be successful and wants to retain its core, it will end up paying all the all-starts top money as well. You get what you pay for. And trust me, a team can’t keep paying all this lux tax if they aren’t getting results either. More recently, Boston also over extended themselves when they got an awesome team. Pretty soon, the bulls will have to make a decision too.

  19. kobe24 says:

    wow bynum is monster!!!!..haha,,i wish he continue his rebounding machine all through the season…
    GO LAKERS!! :))

  20. karibkween says:

    Tim Duncan wasn’t gloating over the Miami win; how I hate it when you ‘reporters’ do your defecating out in the open. Did the Lakers quit back in December whan they were handed their hats by those same Spurs? Except for one point the final score was the same, and that was after PJ put his starters back in late to run up the score. The Lakers are not that much better than the Spurs, maybe the Spurs overlooked the Lakers need to prove you guys wrong; or they had no legs after a late Saturday night, but Matt Bonner will not go 1-3 in their next meeting and Blair will remember to take out Bynum’s legs the next time they meet, by letting Bynum feel his full weight (a la Barkley) and Tony, TD and Manu will actually play some defence next time. Will Fisher figure out how to guard Tony?

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Excuses excuses

    • Kyp says:

      You’re absolutely right. Matt Bonner will go 0-3 next time.

      • Mark R says:

        The Lakers are playing well again as Kobe is sharing the ball and Bynum and Artest are more checked in, than checked out after being the subject of trade rumours. That said, the only really decent team they’ve beaten in their 7-0 run since the All-Star break is San Antonio, as OKC were without half their roster after the Perkins trade – this week’s matchups against Atlanta, Dallas and the ‘we cant close out a good team’ Miami Heat, will test them to see if they really could be back to ‘WINNING’ it all again

        http://hoopnholla.com/winning-starring-the-la-lakers/

    • Jake says:

      Bro the spurs are a good team I hear you Karibkween. But in the playoffs it’s ALL about matchups, and the spurs DO NOT matchup well at all with the lakers. Hardly any team does

      • Ben says:

        Myself and Kenny Smith would agree with you there sir.

        How are you going to stop 3 7fts?

        And throw Artest, Barnes defence.

        And Clutch players like Kobe and Fish.

        AND LUKE WALTON! He will explode for 5 points one of these days.

      • BUNBURY says:

        Basketball (most notably in the playoffs) it’s all about matchups. in my opinion, excellent defensive teams can give the Lakers the biggest of problems, especially if they have someone like Mr. Shane battier. I believe Wade is another player that does an excellent job defending kobe. But the same goes with Gasol. his numbers go down dramatically against the garnett’s and kenyon martin’s.

    • Beast says:

      The lakers are way to big 4 the Spurs. Don’t use excuses just realize that the lakers turn it on when its time. Look at last year the lakers lost their last 9 games before going into the playoffs(we all know the result). A-Bomb(Andrew Bynum) will be one of the leagues best as he gets older and can stay healthy. A 24 year old seven footer is amazing, another seven footer who can shoot, a deep bench, oh and the greatest player in the game(soon to be ever after the 6th ring) in Kobe Bryant, with those weapons and “PJ” the lakers are still the best in the NBA