We’re finally here…
Game one of the Lakers’ title defense is upon us. This is what we’ve all been waiting for since October and we finally get to see how this team will play in the games that truly do matter (not to say that the regular season doesn’t matter, but you get my point). We’ve already gone over the major keys to this series when the Thunder are on offense and did the same for the Lakers, so at this point there’s little else to say about this match up. It’s now time for the games to be played and for questions to be answered based off what these teams do on the court.
Speaking of being on the court, the Lakers have a couple of players that won’t be on it tomorrow. We already know that Sasha is out indefinitely with his severely sprained ankle. But, the Lakers will also be without the services of DJ Mbenga. In Saturday’s practice, Mbenga got poked in the eye and had to have emergency laser surgery to repair the damage. With the return of Bynum, DJ missing time has less of an impact on the team but this is still an issue that can affect the Lakers. In the event that there are any issues with Pau and/or Bynum (foul trouble, fatigue, ineffectiveness), the Lakers will not have another Center to turn to and will need to play either Powell or Odom in the pivot. That’s not exactly an ideal situation against a team that is very good on the offensive glass. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and both Pau and Bynum can trade off minutes at center and effectively make this a non issue.
But, again, that is something to look for when the game is played. At this point, the contingencies are in place and all that is left to do is watch and see what happens. Personally, I’m excited for what’s ahead; I love the playoffs – with the raised intensity and the extra meaning that is assigned each possession and game. Saturday gave us some interesting contests that ultimately saw all four home teams win and wrap up a victory in that critical game one. Hopefully, the Lakers can do the same today.
On a final note, I hope you all enjoy this as much as I will. There are sure to be ups and downs, but every journey has them and while a championship destination is always the goal, the path to get there is what makes it special. So, have fun and enjoy the ride. The Lakers are defending their title, there couldn’t be a better time to be a fan.
Where you can watch: 12:00 noon start in the west on ABC. Also on ESPN Radio 710am.