After 82 games of NBA Basketball, the 1 vs. 8 Matchup in the West is finally set. With the Mavericks victory over the Hornets Wednesday night, the Lakers will host the Denver Nuggets this Sunday as the NBA Playoffs take center stage.

Rather than bore you with the statistics on how superior the Lakers are to the Nuggets, in sweeping the season series, I’m going to look past that and go to my well-known TLN post-game format. Instead of the top three Laker performers of the game, I’m going to let you know which three Lakers need to step up against Denver so we can take care of them quickly…

1) Lamar Odom needs to continue to play like he has since Gasol arrived. It’s not a coincidence that the Lakers are 22-5 with Gasol in the lineup. Since the trade, Lamar has done incredible, and he will be the key for the Lakers in this series. Kenyon Martin is as healthy as he has been since they got beat by the Clippers in 2006. Lamar’s versatility should help slow down K-Mart (and possibly Carmelo at times). Look for Lamar to average 15 and 12.

2) We have all seen Derek Fisher play in the playoffs before, so I’m not too worried about him. But Farmar is still young and we need him to carry our bench. Not only does he need to make those open threes, but he will also have to help slow down A.I. Farmar has been pretty streaky this year, and when he is at his best, the Lakers look unstoppable. Hopefully, Farmar brings his “A” game.

3) Either Vlad Rad or Luke must show up in this series. We need production from the SF position. Vlad Rad has been streaky this year with his shot. Luke has looked like garbage for most of the season. If they aren’t hitting their shots, they MUST be doing their part on defense to slow down Melo.

STD: Hopefully, the STD of the series is Ira Newble. The reason I say this is because if he plays, most likely the Lakers are up by 30 points. :-)

What to Look For in the Series: Look for a ton of scoring from the Lakers. Both teams average over 108 PPG and love to run.

My Prediction: Lakers in 5 games.

Fans Attending the Games: BE LOUD! Be early! Show that Purple & Gold. Represent L.A. with your car flags and TLN with those Kobe/Gasol ’08 bumper stickers! Go Lakers!

Fans Not Attending the Games: Represent L.A. with your car flags and TLN with those Kobe/Gasol ’08 bumper stickers OR buy some upper level seats off me, e-mail me at LakersDynasty999@GMail.com.

  • west213

    lakers:4
    denver:1

  • Skim.

    Lakers: 4
    Denver: 0

  • .

    Eff the 4-1. Do it the old-fashioned way. Sweep!!

  • Lakers 24 7

    Lakers can take in 5 or 6 games, but for the playoffs they need to forget about scoring and play defense, they can score anytime they want but DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, if they play good D they can sweep the Nuggs

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    are you sure its on saturday??

  • domz

    Steve,

    I added you in my yahoo messenger..i added the email you posted in this article..If you received my invitation or not just notify me here..

    GOOD LUCK LAKERS!!!
    BEAT DENVER!!!

  • Sako

    I don’t want to make predictions by saying-oh, this is easy, we’re gonna kill em, we’re sweepin em-i don’t want to underestimate them like how me & many Laker fans did to the Pistons in the 2004 Finals. IMO, the only thing that making predictions do is jinx the team.

  • True Lakers Fan

    gooo Lakers!

  • http://myspace.com/sonicussj Paul

    If Lakers play defense like they did against the San Antonio Spurs, then they can sweep the Nuggets.

    I HAVE A QUESTION!

    When they say that we’ll get home court advantage if we’re in the 1st seed in the conference.. does that mean all 7 games? Or like 71% of the games? (2 games) Or whatever?

  • kobeftw

    4-2 at the most

  • ryc3

    I GIVE IT NO MORE THAN 5 GAMES…..KOBE WILL BE HIMSELF….[[THIS IS WEN U WILL C Y WE WANTD FISHER BACC]]….LAMAR IZ THA KEY TO HOW FAR WE GO…AND LETS C HOUSTON N THE NEXT ROUND

  • ab17

    [Comment ID #33028 Will Be Quoted Here]

    good question.
    i thought they played sunday??

  • Kobe Forever

    Lakers I think are going to sweep em just like they did in the regular season. Look for the Lakers to score 100+ points in all four games because the nuggs don’t play defense. Let’s GO Lakers!

  • LakEr-nIck

    go lakers….. my prediction 4-1…

  • WeAreTheLakers

    [Comment ID #33032 Will Be Quoted Here]
    Home court throughout the playoffs means that the Lakers will have home court for each series they play. This means the Lakers would have 4 games at home while the opponent will have only 3 out of a 7 game series.

  • Sopi

    lakers in 4 by average 12 pt wins

  • kb24

    The Season just ended , I dont believe the playoff schedule has been released yet Who is the source for the Sat. start

  • kb24

    Oh Yeah Lakers SWEEP 4-0

  • banuelos_714

    ur wrong….game is sunday at noon….announced on kcal

  • BringDFishBack

    2) This is where PJ’s decision last year benefits us. Farmar has experience against a great PG in the playoffs. I don’t think he’ll have much of a problem, I think he’ll step up.
    3) Luke will step up in the playoffs. By the end I doubt anyone on here is still complaining about him and very few if any will still complain about his contract. He’s been hurt all year, and now is the time he will suck it up the most and produce. Watch out, he’ll be huge.

    Sasha vs. JR Smith. this is going to get ugly. Both shooters who play no D. Also look for Ronny to be key. The Nuggets’ bench is not that good and is inconsistent. They have basically JR and Klezia scoring wise, and they are both very inconsistent. I hope PJ doesn’t cut the minutes of the bench unless they are playing terrible. Not only will they keep/gain confidence for later on in the playoffs, should the Lakers advance, but it won’t disrupt the chemistry the team currently has. IMO the best thing that can happen to the team is nothing. They need to keep the rotations and all the same it has been.

  • xxlakerxboixx

    Sasha plays D…he gets in front of peoples face

  • pr0mega

    Sasha plays pesky defense, I don’t know what you’ve been watching.

  • chinese guy

    Lakers 1st round schedule:

    Game 1 at LAKERS
    Sunday, April 20
    12:00pm
    ABC

    Game 2 at LAKERS
    Wednesday, April 23
    7:30pm
    FSN West/TNT

    Game 3 at NUGGETS
    Saturday, April 26
    2:30pm
    FSN West/TNT

    Game 4 at NUGGETS
    Monday, April 28
    7:30pm
    KCAL 9/TNT

    Game 5 at LAKERS*
    Wednesday, April 30
    TBD
    FSN West/TBD

    Game 6 at NUGGETS*
    Friday, May 2
    TBD
    KCAL 9/TBD

    Game 7 at LAKERS*
    Sunday, May 4
    TBD
    TBD

    MORE PLAYOFF CENTRAL COMING SOON

  • west213

    good job chinese guy of posting the dates and times.

    from now on ill respect asians……

    just jk

  • sean

    when is the next injury update for bynum or ariza? because the 3 times the lakers beat them was because bynum crushed them. that means gasol needs to step it up on the defense side!

  • Anonymous

    This series should be easy for the lakers.

    If it turns out any other way than a 4-1 series, it would mean that the Lakers are playing bad. That’s all there is to it.

  • http://www.hard-wood.org/?cat=34 Billy Kupchak

    Rather than bore you with the statistics on how superior the Lakers are to the Nuggets, in sweeping the season series, I’m going to look past that and go to my well-known TLN post-game format. Instead of the top three Laker performers of the game, I’m going to let you know which three Lakers need to step up against Denver so we can take care of them quickly…

    ^great idea! :D

  • andrew

    game is on sunday abc.

  • David

    In response to Sean, the Bynum did nnot crush the Nuggets in the regular season. Bynum only played in 2 out of the 3 games against Denver and in the game in Denver Bynum had only 2 points nad was coming back from a stomach virus, he missed the game against Minnesota the night before. The last home game against Denver we crushed them without Bynum and Gasol. We had Kwame at center still. Denver plays very little defense and I do not see them getting hot for an entire series, they will get maybe 2 games probably 1. Go SHOW!!!!!!

  • hibachi

    nuggets steals game 1 and the season bwahahah… kobe out of the first round again…=D just like dirk while being the mvp..

  • sepehr

    Lakers should win and the only guy that will be challenging is iverson, who I doubt fisher or farmar can guard. We might see Kobe guard him as the lakers have troubles with fast PG.

  • e

    i have never been this excited before…neither has my family…i feel happy knowing that i converted my dad from a celtics fan to a lakers fan this season =)…lakers are gonna take it all!!

  • Flush Odumb

    Coaches, please tell Lamar NO OUTSIDE SHOTS!!! It is FORBIDDEN!!!

    On offense, keep the ball away from Luke as much as possible. Limit his touches. The guy has been a train wreck out there for most of the season. Don’t drive and kick to Luke because for the most part those end up as empty posessions.

    Vlad has to show up – not the space cadet that appears from time to time.

  • Kristian

    [Comment ID #33058 Will Be Quoted Here]

    converted from a celtics fan to a lakers fan? your dad must not watch basketball very much. you can’t be a fan of 2 different NBA teams in 1 lifetime.

    yeah obviously defense is key. the offense should roll without too much resistance, but the lakers still shouldn’t try to go into a scoring race with denver, because that’s the only way denver has a shot of beating LA. look for kobe to only hit the 30 point plateau once in the only tight game of the series and for his assists to be around 8 or 9 in the other games. so 4-1 or 4-0 depending on if kobe does carry us to a win in that probable one game where nothing seems to be clicking.

  • king.manu

    lakers 4-nuggets 0

    kobe in the playoffs. lamar in the playoffs like last year. fish in the playoffs + gasol come on they got no chance!!!

  • Keep Odom

    A sweep would be nice but just the fact that Kobe will carry this team past the 1st round will be a great way to get the monkey off his back. We have not experienced the second round since Shaq left so that would be a great success. Also, the X factor for both teams are going to be the Lamar Odom & Kenyon Martin matchup. Besides, has anyone seen the lower bracket of the Western Conference matchups? Wow! I am glad that the Spurs, Suns, Dallas and Hornets will have to eliminate each other. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lakers will get to the Finals. Go Lakers!…..

  • Pau Gasol

    Sweep.

  • e

    [Comment ID #33063 Will Be Quoted Here]

    when you have a team like the lakers do, its not too hard to convert =)

  • kPoAbUe

    All of you guys say 4-1 When are the nuggets going to win one. Carmelo has been arrested and i know he will play they play no d and last time remember we were at their house A.I drooped 52 on us and we still beat them. It will be a SWEEP SWEEP it doesn’t matter how much A.I scored 60 it doesn’t matter SWEEP.

    AND WE WILL SEE JAZZ IN THE SECOND ROUND AND PROBABLY 4-1.

  • DCLAKER

    I wonder if Kobe sent that bottle of MOET to Melo’s house yet? 4-1,Lakers!

  • http://thelakersation.com/blog PauKobeBynumDynasty

    [Comment ID #33028 Will Be Quoted Here]

    its on sunday at 3 ET (12 Pacific Time)

  • http://lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    game 1 lakers win by 20
    game 2 lakers win by 30
    game 3 lakers win by 15
    game 4 lakers start their bench, farmar, sasha, ira, mihm, mbenga, try to get their starters as mucch rest as possible and lakers win

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #33058 Will Be Quoted Here]

    how did that exorcism go? I heard in order to do that exorcism you have to use the NBA Logo which is a silohuette of Jerry West.