The injury riddled Los Angeles Lakers will be without the services of Metta World Peace for Game 4 of their 2013 NBA Playoffs series against the San Antonio Spurs. That might not have been much of an issue if four other players weren’t also sidelined for the Playoffs.
Joining World Peace in street clothes on the Lakers bench will be Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Nash’s backup Steve Blake, and Jodie Meeks to watch what is expected to be the nail in the Lakers coffin this afternoon. Coach Mike D’Antoni will be leaning on the inside game of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol more than ever to keep the game close.
What’s worse for the Lakers is several players are continuing the suit up who would otherwise not be playing if the stakes weren’t as high and other more serious injuries weren’t prevalent. Gasol, Howard, Antawn Jamison and Jordan Hill are all suffering from a variety of ailments but have no choice but to play through the pain.
Even with the twin towers in the lineup, the Lakers were demolished at home in Game 3 by an embarrassing margin of 120-89, a home playoff record for Los Angeles. The last time the Lakers were swept from the NBA Playoffs is when Steve Nash was commanding a dominant Phoenix Suns team back in 2007.
San Antonio comes into tonight with their own injury woes, though nowhere near as extensive as the almost historic issues the Lakers are suffering from. Starting center Tiago Splitter has been ruled out for tonight, and Boris Diaw will remain on the bench. The absence of Splitter could open the door for the Lakers to exploit the interior of the Spurs defense if Duncan gets into foul trouble.
Tonight’s NBA 2013 Round 1 Playoff Game 4 between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs has a start time of 7/6c in high definition on TNT. Cable subscribers can watch a free online live streaming version of the game at TNT Overtime here. The live stream allows you to watch the game via a laptop, mobile phone, or tablet device. It’s impossible to bet against the Spurs with the Lakers so beat up and on the ropes. Anything less than a double-digit Spurs victory and Lakers elimination would be a shocking surprise.