With the Utah Jazz safely dispatched in 5 quick games, it’s time to look ahead to a probable matchup against Houston in the Western Conference semi-finals. While the Rockets are a better team than Utah and more of a challenge, I can’t imagine the series going more than 5….
Sure, Yao Ming is a huge challenge, especially with Andrew Bynum struggling. They also are one of the few teams with a player capable of guarding Kobe Bryant….
And not only can Ron Artest give Kobe problems defensively, he’s also a very good offensive player who makes you work both ends of the floor…
Still, the Lakers are better in almost every department and shouldn’t have much trouble dispatching them….
As for last night’s game, it was a close out win for the Lakers; but the series should have been a sweep and a chance for Phil Jackson to give his players some much needed rest….
But the reason they lost Game 3 popped up again last night; they do not defend well and blow big leads because of it. On Monday night, a 22-point 4th quarter lead was quickly trimmed to 6; mainly due to silly turnovers and horrendous defense….
The Lakers managed to regain control and win, 107-96, but their nonchalant attitude when holding big leads figures to bite them at some point; maybe in the Finals….
It’s easy to pick out reasons the Lakers will not win the championship, but with everyone healthy they have the best team in the NBA….
Sure, they don’t defend the three-point line, aren’t great defensively and have a disturbing tendency to blow big leads; but top-to-bottom they have better players than the Cleveland Cavaliers, their most likely opponent in the Finals….
But that doesn’t mean the Lakers would win the series, because the Cavs play harder defensively….
And that could be the difference in a seven game series….