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Westsider Rider

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Can the Lakers turn it around?

That is the question heading into tonight's Game 2 in Phoenix. The Lakers will now try to do exactly what they did last year which was lose Game 1 only to come back and win Game 2. Considering I was expecting a blowout on Sunday I may have overreacted a bit to the Lakers failure to closeout Game 1 but at the same time there will not be that many opportunities for the Lakers to do so and that is what hurts. The Suns shooting was horrendous on Sunday and they still ended up winning, that is a terrible sign.

On the bright side the Lakers did show that they can play with the Suns for about 3 quarters and they just need to extend that effort to a full 48 minutes. I heard on the radio this morning that the Suns are something like 1-10 in their last 11 series in Game 2's so that does bode well for the Lakers. As always someone else other than Kobe will need to hit shots for the Lakers to have a chance. The other big key is our big men to stop playing so soft. Kwame and Bynum have to take the ball to the rack strong otherwise they will not score. With Amare Stoudamire back in the middle for the Suns there is the strong defensive presence in the post that was not seen in last seasons playoff matchup. A number of times on Sunday the Lakers tried to lay it up inside and Amare would either alter or straight up block the shot. If the posts start taking the ball to the hole stronger and someone else is able to hit some shots, if Kobe actually gives them the opportunity to, there should be no reason the Lakers should not be able to steal Game 2 in Phoenix. The defense was there for most of the game as they held the Suns to only 95 points. Keeping Phoenix under 100 is the only way the Lakers will have a chance because there is no way this team will win a shootout with Phoenix, unless Kobe decides to drop 81 again. So heading into tonight I am cautiously optimistic about our chances. I wish I could be more confident but I'm not, hope the team proves me wrong.

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