TLN’s Playoff Preview: Lakers @ Rockets [Game 3]

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

Television -

  • Los Angeles: ESPN
  • Houston: ESPN

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Houston: KILT Sportsradio 610 (Craig Ackerman)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • None to report.

Rockets:

  • Tracy McGrady (Knee)
Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.
  • xfellerx

    2-1 lakers.

  • lakers2000

    No more Bynum MIA!!! Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!

  • http://myspace.com/xclusiv85 LAKER_girl

    lets make them over dose with thier own medicine.

    they want tough and now its time to continue with the same urgency and show them whos boss.

    GO LAKERS!!!

  • Mr. WoodCock

    I hate that everyone, besides Lakers fans, are calling KB and company dirty players. In case you missed it, here are clear frame-by-frame footage of what happened in game 2.

    http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2009/5/7/867885/ron-artest-kobe-bryant-and-wayward

    Ron was the clear instigator. KB was just reacting to the physical play. You didn’t see KB complain when Ron hit him in the neck. Ron is just a cryin biaaatch!!!

    This is playoff basketball people! It’s going to get physical. Although I think there will be more whistles in this game. If Houston is not allowed to play their physical brand of BB, it will favor the Lakers cuz they have better shooters.

    When the Celtdicks play dirty, it’s called “good defense”. When the Lakers play physical defense, it’s called dirty play? This is the best series to watch. The Calvs have the easiest schedule.

    The only thing that worries me about this game is that Lakers are 1.5 point favorites in Houston and 61% of the public is picking them to win. This same thing happened on Monday, where everyone was picking the Lakers (-8.5), and they lost.

    I hope Ron goes into another mental breakdown and gets tossed again…

  • http://myspace.com/badlatinmutha JohnJOhn

    Bynum 20 good minutes that all I ask for.

  • Michael Perez

    Can’t wait for this game… this is more like Round 3! lol
    I’m sure that the game will tightly called by the refs, but i believe that tempers will still flare between these guys.
    Let’s see if Ron=Ron lights a fire under Kobe again…
    Go Lakers

  • Michael Perez

    By the way, why not put in Mbenga in there and have him crane kick Artest or some other Pocket Rocket??

  • kobe8

    I hope Ron Artest starts talkin’ trash to Kobe from the tip off. I wanna watch see if the Lakers play physical again tonight.

  • gugy

    We have to keep the momentum.
    We must win tonight to regain HCA and see what happens on game 4.
    Go LAkers!

  • Touch ME

    You all are fools, the Rockets are playing at home. Fisher is suspended. The Rockets play for 48 minutes while the Lakers play half a game. You all will respect the Rockets when they out muscle LA. and win the game.. No one can guard Yao, if Yao wasn’t in foul trouble the series would be 2-0 right now. If they can’t beat Celtics type D, what makes you guys think they can beat Rocket type D

  • Jetliner

    Funny..Last year we are soft, now this year we are dirty. Make up your mind stupid Laker Haters!

    I can’t stand going into work nowadays. All the Laker haters come out and laugh at you when you lose a game. Now one San Fran dude claims his favorite team is Houston..WTF? Some people are confused just to hate on the Lake Show!

  • Bynum from the playboy mansion

    I am going to make Yau love me long time… 2 dolla sucky sucky Yau told me…

  • K.B. G.O.A.T

    He does have a point…the rockets may not be better then the lakers but they do play harder ….and that to me is the lakers biggest problem…if they played hard then they cant be beat…i think the lakers will win the next 3 games
    tho bcuz they should be more focused…..think about it LA has lost to sum bad teams and doesnt play hard evry nite but they have won every big game they played this year

  • gugy

    I think Lakers are very focused after the loss on the first game.
    Yes we still have issues, but at least I saw way more heart and will to win last game.
    Tonight is a huge test fro us. Since this is the first game at their home, the crowd will go berserk and try to intimidate our team.
    I look o Kobe to be extremely aggressive and we do need to have at least another two guys to step up big time. (Lamar and Pau?).
    Bynum needs to grow up fast and show why he is making so much money. I am tired of the mental crap thing. He need to at least be consistent on D.
    Farmar, this is your chance to shine. Prove us wrong!

    Artest, watch out that dude, he is a psycho.

    Finally, FU-CK Houston!

  • Loyalty

    funny how ppl are changing there mind about the lakers and are picking the cavs now….but its all good Lakers and the real Fans will get the last laugh

  • girlloveslakers

    IF I were a Rockets fan, I would be talking about how Fisher deserved to be ejected. Which he was. I would talk about how Kobe deserved a foul, which he eventually received. I would say “Hey, They’re playing in Houston now, it’s gonna be different,” which didn’t matter much the first 4 times we beat them up there this year. And at the end of the day, I would know that would NEVER be enough to stop Kobe and the rest. I would see that thirst that has been building up for a year, and know that they won’t be satisfied even after they beat us.
    So enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. :) While you mutha effin can.

  • alex

    lakers-nobody injured?

    hello????? sun yue????