Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: Hornets-Lakers Game 6

Posted on: April 28, 2011 9:40 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 9:45 am
The Los Angeles Lakers can advance to the second round with a Game 6 win over the New Orleans Hornets. Posted by Ben Golliver.

One Big Thing: After a lackadaisical and lost Game 1 effort that allowed 109 New Orleans points, the Los Angeles Lakers have locked in on defense, holding the Hornets to an average of 85.5 points in Games 2 through 5. Playoff basketball always starts on the defensive end, and the Lakers have proven that in this series, doing their best to win the battle on the glass and contain a plucky, overachieving and fearless Hornets team to take a 3-2 series lead. In Game 5, the Lakers were able to force 19 Hornets turnovers, a number that isn't sustainable for New Orleans if it hopes to stave off elimination at home in Thursday night's Game 6. 

The X-Factor: In a series with such a disparity in talent, length and bulk in the frontcourt, it's been a bit surprising to see how closely tied L.A.'s success has been to Kobe Bryant's performance. In Game 5, Bryant changed the complexion of the game with two monstrous dunks. His teammates obviously fed off of the spark, playing more loosely and with that Laker swag/confidence that has been absent for much of this series. All five Lakers starters scored in double figures and shot 50% or better, reaching a level of balance that is simply overwhelming for New Orleans, who can match Bryant with Chis Paul but have no answer for the Lakers 2-8. The overlooked aspect of Game 5? Bryant scored just 19 points and played only 29 minutes. He's got plenty left in the tank for Game 6, despite the tweaked ankle.

The Adjustment: It's been an ongoing process, but the Lakers have begun to lean more heavily on their interior tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum offensively. Their combined point totals in Games 1 through 5: 21, 23, 31, 27, 34. Game 5 was really the model they'll look to reproduce in Game 6, as the 34 combined points came on just 23 attempts and included 12 combined trips to the foul line. Getting to the stripe on the road is generally a difficult proposition, but the Lakers were able to bully their way to 24 free throw attempts in Game 3 and 30 in Game 4. They shot 30 free throws again in Game 5 and will look to continue the parade in Game 6. New Orleans has three possible hopes here: L.A. reverts to ignoring its bigs in the halfcourt offense, Gasol shrinks back to his Invisible Man form from game 1, or Bynum gets in early foul trouble himself.

The Sticking Point: The Lakers' intensity level has been up and down this series, and they'll be walking into a cauldron in Game 6. Hornets fans, uncertain of their team's future, have been out in full force throughout the series, and Paul has ranged from amazing to spectacular through the first five games. One of the league's great competitors, Paul has already delivered the "this is all or nothing" quote in advance of Thursday night's game and has made his appeal to the home fans. The Hornets haven't looked afraid of the defending champions once during this series and Paul and company won't go down without a fight. 

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: April 28, 2011 6:55 pm

Playoff Fix: Hornets-Lakers Game 6

The Laker’s must and have to do what got them to the last two championship rings. Play interior “DEFENSE”  they have the size and range that would prevent others from coming down the lane and force the other team to throw up long range jumpers.

That mean that Pau and Bynum can not be out at the top of the key playing defense.

Also throwing up jumpers keep them off the free throw line unless someone make a foul that is not exactly in the genius range.

The other thing is everyone has to be involved in the offense. With balance scoring  working the ball inside out eventually there will be a mismatch some place, thus a better than average shot.

If the Lakers get away from playing defense and everyone handling the ball or at least touching it once that might be a problem

If the Lakers play defense as they know how to tonite this series is over. The team will be headed back to Los Angeles alone and getting a little rest before the next series begin. We need a little more rest than most of the other teams especially with Kobe and D-Fish.



Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: April 28, 2011 6:33 pm

Playoff Fix: Hornets-Lakers Game 6

Actually, OU, the Hornets match up with the Lakers QUITE well at point guard, or hadn't you noticed?  Oh, that's right, OU is all about football, isn't it???   Stick to what you know something about.

Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: April 28, 2011 6:00 pm

Playoff Fix: Hornets-Lakers Game 6

OOPS, not OPPS..Thunder are the only team in the West I think can take down the Lakers, but c'mon, Lakers are the 2-time defending
champs, and they did beat the Thunder last playoffs..Thunder are good, but not good enough to beat the Black Mamba 4 times in a 7
game series!

Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: April 28, 2011 4:33 pm

Playoff Fix: Hornets-Lakers Game 6

The Thunder just had their breakfast..... next will be lunch ......then comes the Lakers...opps....I meant their supper.

Since: May 14, 2010
Posted on: April 28, 2011 4:17 pm

What phil said is legit


Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: April 28, 2011 12:43 pm

Playoff Fix: Hornets-Lakers Game 6

This series really boils down to the Lakers simply paying attention to what they're are supposed to.  The Hornets frankly don't match up with the Lakers at any positon.  The exception to this is the plucky and very talented Chris Paul.  But, there is no way, at least on paper, that this is even close to enough to outman the most talented and deep Lakers.  Simply no way, whether at home or not.  But, it will be very interesting to see if the Lakers maintain their focus on the road in game 6.  If they do, the series is over.  I'm watching this much more closely as the key to this next game than the performance Paul turns in for New Orleans.  I think the Lakers are up to it, particularly with an even fresher Kobe Bryant.  It's clearly time for the Lakers to close the door on this series and get a little extra rest before the next round of these playoffs.  I can easily see the Lakers getting the win on the road.

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