Game 2 Review: Lakers vs. Hornets

Posted by By at 22 April, at 04 : 00 AM Print

The Lakers came back fighting game 2 as the series is now tied at 1-1. With West out on an ACL injury, Landry had to fulfill the team’s needs in his absence. And he did—leading his team in rebounds  and stopping Gasol from establishing shots from the inside. But Jackson switched it up a bit in game 2; he put Kobe on CP3 instead of Fisher, resulting in a 180 degree switch for Lakers’ defense–which there were no signs of in game 1.

In game 2, the Lakers’ bench stepped up to the plate: Odom had 16 points and 7 rebounds, proving why he is the sixth man of the year. This is a huge contrast from game 1, when the Hornets’ bench outscored the Lakers’ bench 39-21. In game 2, the entire Hornets’ bench only put up 13. Barnes and Blake also stepped up, adding 8  points and 5 assists respectively.

Okafor was still trouble for the Lakers, but he got in foul trouble early, and virtually shut down by Bynum. In fact, Bynum was the go-to guy in game 2, putting up 17 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks.  The most fundamental concept to understand about basketball (or any sport) is that defense wins games, and the Lakers stepped up their defense Wednesday night. When the Lakers show up defensively, it becomes impossible for a team like the Hornets to stop them. Game 1, New Orleans were shooting 59% in the first half; Wednesday, that dropped to 39%.  Kobe Bryant, who was only 13-26 Sunday, was still silent offensively Wednesday at 11 points—but he did step up his D, forcing CP3 to take difficult long shots. Nevertheless, though, CP3 overcame being triple teamed by the Lakers and scored several buzzer beating big 3 pointers, earning him 20 points and 9 assists.

So what next for game 3? If you’re a Hornets fan, you’ve got to hope they find their rhythm on their home turf. Coach Monty says his team has to match the Lakers, which is hard to do. Face it, the Hornets are an undersized team; their starters are typically under 7 ft. If they want to continue to dance with the Lakers, they need to stop Gasol from scoring on the inside; once Gasol drives up to the basket, he will most likely make it. The good news for Hornets fans is that to date, Landry has done an excellent job stopping Gasol. And in game 3, New Orleans has to keep this up. They also have to work on their pick-n-roll and attack the middle.  In addition, turnovers hurt the Hornets Wednesday. The Hornets only had 3 turnovers in game 1;   2nd quarter Wednesday, they turned the ball over 7 times. Furthermore, the bench has also got to step up the way they did game 1. They put a lot of points up Sunday and barely over a dozen Wednesday.

If you’re a Lakers fan, you’ve got to hope they continue to take advantage of their size. You’ve also got to hope Gasol checks his email and gets the memo that he is in the Playoffs and going for a 3peat. Pau Gasol has got to tower over Landry and force those inside shots he knows he can make. He’s got to get physical and he’s certainly got to put up more than the  8 points he scored in game 2, landing only 4-19.

The Lakers may be the favored of this series, but this is still a series. Of course, Laker fans have to hope they take one  on the road, putting the series back in their favor. But the Hornets’ stunning performance  this series should remind us that no matter the series score…until somebody gets 4, the series is never over.

Be sure to catch the Hornets hosting the Lakers Friday night, April 22, 2011 at 9:30 PM (Eastern) on ESPN.

Be sure to also catch my live tweets at @NicholasV1980.


Related Posts

Post Your Comment