Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Hornets stole a game on the Lakers’ home court in Game 1, and on Friday, the Lakers took their home court advantage back by getting down to basics. They got the ball inside and let Andrew Bynum get to work, they played team defense to keep the ball out of Chris Paul’s hands as much as possible, Lamar Odom showed just how vulnerable opposing defenses are against him, Kobe Bryant was…well, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol finally broke into double figures for the first time in this series.

The Hornets will, by no means, fold over and just allow the Lakers another win to head home up 3-1 in the series. They know Chris Paul’s the main target of the Lakers defense and they will undoubtedly find their way around it, or find alternative ways to defeat the visitors without being so dependent on their point guard. The Lakers’ job in this game is to do what they did in the last – keep it simple.

Simple means taking advantage of Bynum in the post. Emeka Okafor is no match for him and Bynum knows this well. Simple also means getting Pau Gasol going earlier. His “breakthrough” performance on Friday is something he did countless times in the season, and hopefully, whatever shook his confidence in Games 1 and 2 is something he deals with better tonight. Simple means getting their bench to perform on par, if not exceed the Hornets’ reserve play. Game 1 would have been a considerably different game for New Orleans had their bench not stepped up their game. The Laker reserves need to do the same. Simple, lastly, means not getting perimeter-happy. The Lakers haven’t gotten too out of control from behind the arc in this series, and they would be mistaken to try now. New Orleans is dangerous on the run and more missed shots on the Lakers’ end only means an abundance of fastbreak points on the Hornets’ side.

If the Lakers can take their Game 3 performance and raise it another notch or two, tonight’s game is theirs.

Starters
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom, P. Gasol
Hornets: C.Paul, M.Belinelli, T.Ariza, C.Landry, E.Okafor

Tip-off: 6:30 PM PST

Television -
• KCAL – Joel Meyers, Stu Lantz, John Ireland

Radio -
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
• New Orleans: 106.7 FM KMEZ (Sean Kelley & Gerry Vaillancourt)

Injuries -
Lakers:
• Kobe Bryant (Sprained Left Ankle) Will Play
• Andrew Bynum (Bone Bruse, Right Knee) Will Play
• Matt Barnes (Sore Right Knee) Will Play
• Steve Blake (Chickenpox) Will Play
• Devin Ebanks (Stree Fracture, Left Tibia ) Out
Hornets:
• David West (Torn ACL, Left Knee) Out

  • http://twitter.com/davem1234 David Murphy

    Terrific preview, am counting down to gametime! Earlier, spent laborious time with a laptop that was slower than a snail through salt. Still, for anyone who’s interested: http://tinyurl.com/3w8vqnf

  • Touch Me

    What did I tell you Lakerland Nostra WHAT DID I TELL YOU, I am here win or lose i already commented in the previous post. I kept telling everyone how good this NOH team is and now look 2-2. If they win on tues. they can close us out in NOH. You arrogant fans kept calling 4 the sweep and lal in 5. And no thought that NOH just might win this series except me of course. Im calling on you to STAND DOWN Nostra and watch as a regular fan rather than anointing the Lakers champions

    • FuckThat

      GTFOH Boston troll