The Lakers are in Houston for Game 3 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Rockets. The Lakers were able to bounce back and tie the series in Game 2. The game could be considered a welcome to the Playoffs for the Lakers, so to speak.
It is known fact that playoff basketball is played at a different level than the regular season. It was good to see the Lakers raise their intensity level. Los Angeles will be without Derek Fisher for this game which means that the combination of Jordan Farmar & Shannon Brown need to step up and provide solid contributions.
The Lakers came out aggressive, active and played with a sense of urgency from the start and that is where the intensity level needs to be for every game.
The series has now gotten physical, tempers flared in the last game, which is expected in playoff basketball. There is too much at stake and the Lakers will not back down. The tactics and approach that the Rockets are taking isn’t anything new to the Lakers.
Being physical with the Lakers isn’t going to stop them from accomplishing their goals besides the last time I checked basketball is a skill game and the rough-house tactics are only going to take you so far.
The Lakers played well enough to get the win in Game 2, but only played about 35 minutes of good basketball. The Lakers have yet to play a complete game but you can see the Lakers building momentum towards doing just that.
The Rockets are at home and the Lakers need to match their intensity and play with more energy.
The Lakers used their speed game effectively to play the game at their pace. In game 3 the Lakers need to control the tempo, the glass, stop dribble penetration and rotate out to three point shooters and limit the Rockets to one shot per possession this will take the crowd out of the game.
Kobe will come out aggressive and put pressure on the defense but needs contributions for everyone. The Lakers also need to knock down shots, in the first two games the Lakers missed too many clean wide open shots. The Lakers have to shoot better from the free throw line and protect the basketball.
I also feel that the Lakers are shooting way too many three point shots. The Lakers have to be patient within the offense, use excellent player movement and excellent ball movement to find the open man and get a high percentage shot on every possession.
Establish Pau in the post and allow him to set the table for everyone else. The Lakers need to concentrate on attacking the basket and not settling for jump shots. The Lakers made a statement in Game 2 and I feel it is time to confirm that statement with another solid road win tonight.
Tipoff: 6:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: ESPN
- Houston: ESPN
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Houston: KILT Sportsradio 610 (Craig Ackerman)
- None to report.
- Tracy McGrady (Knee)