rockspre

The Lakers host the Rockets tonight to start the second round. The Lakers won the season series against the Rockets but realize that you have to elevate your game in the playoffs. The Lakers also know that you can’t be over-confident or complacent against any opponent.

The Houston Rockets advanced to the second round for the 1st time in 12 years. The ironic thing about that is the team did it playing without Tracy McGrady; I wonder how he feels about that.

The Lakers won the 1st round series in five games but really should have swept the Utah Jazz. Being out-rebounded, poor shooting, especially from the free throw line, and not maintaining a lead again were the reasons the Jazz weren’t swept. The Jazz were beaten.

These are areas that the Lakers need to clean up. The Lakers have played very well at times (see the 1st quarter of game 2) but have yet to put together a complete game. The Lakers are an excellent team that can score on anyone but also needs to continue to develop their killer instinct to put teams away.

When the Lakers build a lead the team has to continue to do what got them the lead in the first place and sustain it. The Rockets are a solid defensive team but the Lakers match up very well with them. Houston will use both Shane Battier and Ron Artest to guard Kobe.

The problem with that game plan is that both will have to exert a lot of energy in their attempts to slow Kobe, the end result will be that both will be unsuccessful. The game plan will also negatively affect the offense of both players. The Rockets need Battier to knock down 3-pt shots.

Kobe will play the role of the facilitator early and the closer late. He has taken over and dominated the 4th quarter in every game of the season series and that won’t change. Lamar and Trevor need to stay active. The Lakers need to knockdown shots.

The Lakers have an advantage with their long front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.

Slowing Yao Ming will not be easy, but the Lakers have done it all season and this series will be no different. Andrew Bynum might start due to size but has to focus on his defensive principles, being the last line of defense and protecting the rim to stay on the floor and let the offense come to him.

The task to slow the guards, limit the drive and kick opportunities will be a team effort. The Lakers need to throw the ball into the low post and allow Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol to go to work. The Lakers have four wins and happen to have 12 to go.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: TNT
  • Houston: TNT

Radio -

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

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Luke Walton (Foot) Out

Rockets:

  • Tracy McGrady (Knee) Out
  • Von Wafer (Back Spasms) will play.
  • James K.

    we’re gonna win!

  • mvpsug

    “The problem with that game plan is that both will have to exert a lot of energy in their attempts to slow Kobe, the end result will be that both will be unsuccessful”

    hahahaha yes!!! lets go lakers!!!

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Exactly….the lakers have to stick to what they were doing that got them the lead. The problem is that Phil will move the lineup and things get wacked. I see the swing of momentum when he takes out Fisher and puts in Brown. Things start to happen for the lakers, the pace picks up and we are off both offensively and defensively. No nock on fisher but when things are working for you, lets not try to fix it. This is what he does, phil will try to fix it and then things get broken.

  • WifelovesLuke

    Ron Artest is gonna get a Kobe muzzle tonight!

  • http://steveodesignedge.wordpress.com/ dEDGE

    Too much offensive firepower. Too much interior size. Too much playoff experience. And a scorned Kobe Bryant in the MVP voting. Tonight’s game will be a Lakers blowout.

  • kobe8

    cannot wait. i have a feeling that we are going to see something special from the Lakers tonight

  • imfasterthanur

    [Comment ID #69812 Will Be Quoted Here]

    LOL! I noticed that too!

  • WifelovesLuke

    TNT loves Ron Artest. The guy gives them so much material to use to create the Drama.

  • David

    ESPN reporter Chris Schnieder Has the Rockets upsetting the Lakes in 7…. YEAH RIGHT! this guy must be crazy…

  • http://sexy.com KING

    LETS GO LAKERS!!! i hope we maintain that lead today. we need to close out teams better. maybe phil should leave kobe on the floor with the bench, might keep them in rhythm. i dont know but were getting a W. for sure today… LETS GO LAKERS!!!

  • http://getgarnett.com golakers75

    it is time to prove that Andrew is worth that contract that he got at the start of the season.. if he plays the way everyone knows he can the lakers will sweep the rockets out.. but he is bound to get in foul trouble early in a couple of games.. having said that the rockets have a major problem. ron artest talking s h it about kb24 is not as good a roy? lol. artest can buy a front row seat after game 5 cause the lakers will be on there way to the WCF… YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH BOYYYYY

  • WifelovesLuke

    Put the brooms away guys. Houston will win game 3. Lakers in 5, just like Utah series.

  • http://www.otrbasketball.com/forums/ Nissan

    Lakers in 4-6 games.

    Let’s go Lakers!

  • Lakezilla

    Lakers won 2 games without Bynum and one without Lamar Odom. Sweep in the regular season, 4-1 at the most in the playoffs. ESPN might want to drug test that Chris guy for his ridiculous prediction. This series isn’t even worth talking about that much. It’s just another team we beat to get to the ultimate goal so I’m not even worried.

    On a side note, Lebron won the MVP and what did he give his teammates…..flip cameras LMAO! Are u kidding me. Kobe gave his teammates Rolexes. C’mon Lebron come out the wallet homie. 90 million Nike Contract, other endorsements plus your NBA salary……your better than that.

  • bg

  • let there be light

    I LOVE FISHER BUT HE IS OLD. SECOND WHY IS PHIL PLAYING BYNUM AND NOT ODOM. KOBE FELL INTo Artest’s trap. GASOL I IS WEAK. NO PASSION. PHIL IS ON CRACK. STOP EXPERIMENTING WITH LINE-UPS. I KNOW WE WERE GONNA LOSE TODAY. DAMN. I DONT LIKE FARMAR THAT MUCH BUT I THINK HE IS THE X FACTOR. FISHER IS A SHOOTER NOT A POINT GUARD. WE ARE FACING THE HARDEST POITN GUARDS IN THE LEAGUE. D.WILL, A.BROOKS(UNDERATED), C.BILLUPS OR J.KIDD IF WE GET THAT FAR. THIS IS A WAKE-UP CALL. KOBE’S D IS NOT THE SAME, THUS MAKING IT HARD FOR A FISHER KOBE LINE-UP. BACK IN THE DAY KOBE GUARDED THE BEST POINT GUARD. IT CANT HAPPEN ANYMORE. KOBE DOES EVERYTHING I CANT BLAME HIM. BUT HIS TEAM AND THE COACH NEED TO FIGURE IT OUT. KOBE WILL BE KOBE. WE TAKIN IT 4-2. I JUST HATE THE RESULT OF TONIGHTS GAME.