The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a very busy stretch of the NBA season. Kobe Bryant is set to miss the rest of the season after breaking his leg last month. The Lakers also have a lot of other key injuries as well. The Phoenix Suns are the only team that has beaten the Los Angeles Lakers this season, so it would appear to be an even match up for the rest of the NBA playoff games. Let’s take a look at how this matchup is shaping up.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns have both been extremely tough lately, both in terms of wins and losses. In their last two games, the Los Angeles Lakers took out the Houston Rockets and the Phoenix Suns, respectively. They both made it to the second round of the playoffs, where they will face the eventual winner of the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference finals. The teams met in the first quarter of this very competitive playoff series, and the Lakers fell behind early, before taking control in the second quarter.
Obviously, the Phoenix Suns is the stronger team in this series. The team is loaded with young talent, especially within the starting unit. T.J. Ford and Michael Redd are leading the team in scoring, but rookie Brandon Roy might be the best player on the team, as he’s been playing some of his best basketball lately. Roy put up big numbers against the Houston Rockets last year, and he looks to have even more success this year. Here are a few keys to win the first round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers:
The Los Angeles Lakers is the perfect defensive team, which makes it difficult for any team that wants to win the first round of the playoffs. They are also one of the top three teams in the NBA by every account, so there’s no reason why they can’t make it to the championship. Their bench has been extremely efficient all year, so they should be able to keep the game against any team tight without turning the ball over too often. The defense was the key against the Phoenix Suns in their first round series, so it will be critical to rely on that to limit the scorers on a nightly basis.
If the Los Angeles Lakers advance to the second round of the playoffs, there is a good chance that they will meet up with the Utah Jazz in the first week of the postseason. This will be a huge game for the Lakers, who are not favored to win. The Jazz are a talented team, though, so it will be interesting to see how they match up with the experienced Lakers in what will be a must-win situation for the Lakers. Saturday’s elimination game will be a good opportunity to see how Laker’s young stars can contribute to this success, but this will be the first opportunity for the franchise to face adversity.
Utah Jazz: The Jazz will be coming off of a disappointing first round series against the Dallas Mavericks, who is now the only team with a real shot at the title. Utah’s biggest key to success has been the defensive effort, as they have allowed just 45 points in two games, both of them come against high-level competition from an NBA playoff team. If the Lakers can continue to put up big numbers on the defensive end, there is a very good chance that they will take home their first NBA Championship in many years.
Wednesday night will feature another important game for the Los Angeles Lakers: The San Antonio Spurs. This game will provide a lot of hope for the Lakers, who have looked vulnerable in the past against some of the best teams in the NBA. Tuesday’s series was the first time that the Lakers were even held under fifty points during a game, and they came out of it very disappointed. Tuesday’s game will provide them with yet another chance to prove that they can win when they are not the one battling for first place in the Western Conference. If they can win this one, it will help build momentum for a possible finals series against the defending champion Miami Heat.
The first round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder was a close one, as it was the result of a controversial game involving the two players, Lebron James and Bosh. After a chaotic game, the officials called a foul on Lebron James after he stepped on an ice towel and broke the play. This ignited a trade war that has affected the rest of the year for the two players, as they clash repeatedly in the media. Wednesday night will bring the first match of the year between these two superstars, and it will be a great chance for the Lakers to see how close the two can get to one another.