Hidden Keys for LA Lakers to Win 1st-Round Series

After a disappointing loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the clear and present key for the Los Angeles Lakers to succeed is to rethink. It's time for the Lakers to rethink their strategy; regroup and figure out what exactly needs to be done to ensure first-round success. 

The Spurs are the perennial playoff team, and no one knows that better than the Lakers, a team with such a storied rivalry in postseason play. This time around, it's going to take a little more thinking and planning in order to send the Spurs home early. 

Offense: play smarter, not harder

One of the factors for the Lakers' loss on Sunday was due to the team's lack of offensive prowess without Kobe Bryant. Players like Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard were taking shots in the dark and were not taking the time to choose their shots wisely. 

While Gasol and Howard are not known for their offense, they most certainly know how to use their veteran knowledge to command plays during games. The Lakers will definitely need all the help they can get in the key with regard to scoring, and these two have got to be the clear-cut option to rock the boards. 

While no one can begin to replace the innovative mind of Bryant, Gasol and D12 can most certainly provide a fair alternative and supply that true authority on the court. 

Keep up with the Spurs' youth

It's been said before: the Spurs are the "Dino-Spurs" no more. While San Antonio does continue to rely on its veteran talent, its young guns are the driving force for the team's success. 

Stars like Danny Green, Thiago Splitter and many others steal the show for the Spurs, while veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are the rock that keeps the team as cohesive as it is. 

What the Lakers lack in youth, they easily make up for in skill. H...

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