We all know that the Lakers are more than capable of taking an inferior opponent too lightly. They routinely play down to their competition. Much like an insecure cat playing that plays its prey when it should strike with the instincts of a predator.
I wish I could say this attitude is limited only to the regular season but a certain series against a depleted Houston Rockets team just a couple years ago speaks differently to that theory.
All that being said, there is really no reason why the New Orleans Hornets should pose much of a challenge in the first round. The Lakers swept them in the regular season and should do the same in the postseason.
Yes, the Lakers are clearly playing some highly uninspired hoops lately. And this is the playoffs meaning every team competing has proven themselves night in and night out over the course of the 82-game grind.
Still, this is a match up that favors the Lakers at every position but one.
Chris Paul might be deteriorating faster than Lindasy Lohan’s liver but he’s still a nightmare for the Lakers. The thing is Paul alone cannot carry a team to victory in a seven game series.
Trevor Ariza will no doubt be motivated to face his former squad. The Westchester alum is certainly eager to prove Mitch Kupchak wrong. As Trevor has learned, playing alongside Kobe Bryant makes life a little easier on offense. But never mind that, he’s got to find a way to get his shot off against Ron Artest. Advantage Lakers.
During the regular season the Lakers owned the Hornets. All that size on the low block is just too much for an NO roster who’s best big, Emeka Okafor, just doesn’t measure up to the bigs the Lakers rotate in and out.
Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and even a hobbled Andrew Bynum have an advantage just by stepping on the court. Never mind the talent they possess. This is a matter of physics.
Most important of all is for the Lakers to make like a ninja assassin and get in and out inflicting as much damage as possible in as little time necessary.
In other words, busting out the brooms is a must.
This is a veteran team with designs on playing deep into June. If that is going to be the case then these guys are going to need rest and plenty of it.
Bynum’s knee needs all the rest it can get as does every part of Bryant’s banged up body.
No disrespect to New Orleans. As stated previously, you can’t afford to take teams lightly this time of year. Still, this is the exact series the Lake Show needs in the first round. The only question is which team will we see Sunday? Will it be the team with the focus of champions or will it be the team with the boredom of a crowd at seminar with Bill Belichick as the keynote speaker?