Pregame: Hornets @ Lakers – Game 1

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The Lakers went through many ups and downs in the regular season, yet they finished the regular season at (57-25), good enough for the two seed in the Western Conference. The Hornets battled injuries, but still finished (46-35) on the year, to capture the 7th seed.

The Lakers ability to score the ball will be one of the big concerns for the Hornets. The Lakers finished the season 7th in the NBA in offense, while the Hornets finished 19th in the NBA.

The Hornets are limited on what they can do down low. They lost their 2nd best player on the team, David West, with a torn ACL injury, and have had to rely on Carl Landry to fill his role. However, Landry has always played well against the Lakers whether it was being a part of taking the Lakers to 7 games in the playoffs with Houston, or his time in Sacramento.

In the Hornets last 10 games; Landry is the teams leading scorer, with 14.9 points per game, while shooting 52% from the field.

The one match up the Hornets have an advantage at is the point guard position. Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the league, and the Lakers do not defend point guards really well. With Steve Blake doubtful for this game, the Lakers may use a combination of Kobe Bryant and Shannon Brown to slow down CP3.

There are two questions the Lakers need to answer in Game 1. How effective will Andrew Bynum be, and will they finally kick it in to high gear, and be motivated to play the best basketball they can. The Lakers have said that they have been looking forward to the “second season” for quite some time.

Game 1 will be their chance to show everybody how the defending champions can play, when the games really count for something. As long as there is ball movement on offense, and the Lakers play team defense, the Hornets simply don’t have the talent nor the fire power to compete with the Lakers. In four regular season meetings the Lakers won all four.

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: 12:30 PM PST

Television -
• ABC – Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy

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) Probable
• Matt Barnes (Sore Right Knee) Questionable
• Steve Blake (Chickenpox) Doubtful
• Devin Ebanks (Stree Fracture, Left Tibia ) Out

Hornets:
• David West (Torn ACL, Left Knee) Out

  • rondo

    No comment!

  • Laker4Life

    All I can think of is one word gasoft. He was as soft as a sponge. What the hell was he doing guarding Chris Paul who scored every time he was guarding him. Lakers did not have a freakin answer for Paul. Lakers better get their act together in Game 2 or else there will be no 3-peat.
    Before today’s game I said Lakers in 4, well now that they lost they will win in 6 or 7 games.

  • tripleocho

    Pau Gasol *SIGH*
    Unbelievable

  • Anonymous

    Just like in 09 against the rockets down 0-1 after a game 1 home game. SIMPLY PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought we traded kwame for gasol cuz i swear that was kwame out there today. I wise man in a TV commercial once said “Its called Defense its in the dictionary under D-E-F-E-N-S-E”. Lakers need to look up that definition and then PLAY SOME DEFENSE!!!!!!!! In lighter news at least that games over and i dont have to watch that any more. Hopefully they clean that up I predicted Lakers in 4-5 obviously im changing it to 5-6. They need game 2 or i might flip the panic switch.

  • John

    Like I said, they’ll be done in the second round. Thank you Philip for the great memories! Enjoy retirement.

  • larry

    i love the lakers… they will get by and win this series but guys come on lakers are not motivated there tired they have no energy out there… this turn it on when they need too thing is just pathetic.. this lost can show to things 1. that the lakers are just plain not all there.. or a wake up call showing them the west is tough this year!

  • max

    the difference;the Lakers came to play,the Hornets came to win,enough said.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    The only ones I remember playing today was Kobe, Ron, Brown and Johnson. Everyone else were freakin zombies walking or semi-jogging on defense. Gasol was just on the floor to bleed and use band aids. We played directly into the hornets nest. I mean our main strength which is our post was traded for outside shots which we did very poorly on. I mean the rookie coach figured this out before our legend coach did? We expect for the lakers to blow them out next game. Nothing short of 15 points will be tolerated!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EBSP2NHQGTSVYUHYANRNCEYDUM 123KID

    we just flat out didnt come out to play. i think they thought that this series would be a cake walk. I expect them to come out harder on wednesday, including pau. Bottom line, if you can limit cp3 from workin in the paint, then we will be fine. Also, if we stop guys like bellineli, ariza, and landry, then we are good.