Remember when the Hornets were rivaling the Lakers for supremacy in the West? Back when Byron Scott was looking more and more likely to eventually replace Phil Jackson. Chris Paul was pushing Kobe Bryant for MVP honors. Yep…that seems like it was decades ago after Sunday night.
With or without David West it doesn’t really matter. The Lakers own the Hornets this season.
If this is a potential playoff preview then I have only one thing to say: Bring on the Hornets.
Not to overlook an opponent but it would be nice to get a first round match up more manageable than say the Oklahoma City Thunder. With the exception of point guard, the Lakers have the advantage at every position.
Last night just furthered the Lake Show dominance over the NO.
Trevor Ariza vs. Ron Artest: Remember when there was actually an argument over which one you’d rather have? Now don’t get me wrong, I do miss Ariza but also realize the true value in what Ron Ron brings that Trevor never could. Last night was another first round KO for Artest.
Carl Landry vs. Pau Gasol: To his credit Landry has never backed down from the Lake Show. He played up as member of the Rockets and he’s doing the same as a Hornet. Too bad his 24 and 10 still weren’t enough to out do Pau and his 23 and 16. Landry is a worker, for sure, but he’s still not capable of going step for step with Pau.
Emeka Okafor vs. Andrew Bynum: Much like Landry vs. Gasol this is another one where you’ve got one guy that is a quality player with a high work rate but in the end is outsized and outmatched. Okafor is a beast on the boards but he doesn’t come close to measuring up to the Altered Beast that is Bynum. Statistically Okafor had the better night but Bynum is the one that has the much bigger impact. Advantage: Drew.
Marco Belinelli vs. Kobe Bryant: C’mon son…the analysis for this one ends after typing the “t” in Bryant.
Chris Paul vs. Derek Fisher: See above for similar analysis.
When it comes to the benches L.A. again is on tops thanks in large part to LO. But this is looking much too far down the line.
If the season were to end today it would be a Lakers/Hornets clash in round one. But there is still much to be decided. Between Portland, Memphis and New Orleans there are three teams that could be a potential first round opponent.
But let’s not get caught looking back. If you look straight ahead you’ll notice the Spurs are becoming a suddenly realistic target. Another loss and another Lake Show win makes it a four back with 9 to play. This is a big week and thankfully the Lakers got off on the right foot.
Topics: Andrew Bynum, Byron Scott, Car Landry, Chris Paul, David West, Derek Fisher, Emeka Okafor, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Marco Belinelli, New Orleans Hornets, Phil Jackson, Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza