Bob on 05 4, 2009
Everyone seems to be jumping the gun by putting LA in the Finals. Despite beating a dangerous Jazz team in 5 games, I wasn’t too impressed with LA. Contrary to what most accept as true, the road to the Finals for the Lakeshow is going to be awfully difficult. Hear me out.
LA squares off against the Houston Rockets tonight, and they will struggle for a couple of reasons. Houston causes some matchup problems. First off, Andrew Bynum is a scrub. Did the gray-haired 21 year old even play in the Utah series? He was nonexistent as far as I’m concerned…putting up an imposing 5 points to go along with a whopping 3 boards. Nice numbers for a ‘star’ center. Yao Ming has averaged roughly 16 and 11 in the playoffs while shooting 56 percent from the field. Yao will be too much to handle for Bynum, or any big on LA for that matter. Luis Scola is a great player as well, averaging around 16 and 7 in the postseason. The Yao/Scola VS Bynum/Gasol/Odom matchup will be incredibly interesting to watch.
Houston plays great defense, and Artest will give Kobe Bryant problems. Kobe’s a tough matchup for anyone, but Ron Artest is one of the better defenders in the league. Nonetheless, I’m a little worried Kobe might go off after Artest’s statement about Portland’s Brandon Roy being the best player he has ever guarded. Shane Battier at the SF position plays lockdown D and will get after LA’s small forwards.
Derek Fisher is getting older, and doesn’t have the mobility he used to. PG Aaron Brooks has been a pleasant surprise for the Rockets when he stepped in to the starting role after H-town dealt Rafer Alston to the Magic. Brooks has quickness and the ability to knock down shots, which could pose a problem for LA. Both teams have been getting solid bench contributions, but I think Houston’s bench has been a bit overlooked. Carl Landry is a solid player, Von Wafer has had a great postseason and Kyle Lowry has been a nice PG substitute. On the other hand, Shannon Brown, who wasn’t expected to really do anything except ride pine, has been playing great for the Lakers. As a result, he has cut into Jordan Farmar’s playing time. Brown has good size and athleticism for a PG, and has been more than impressive.
I’m guessing this series will go 7, and it will be incredibly entertaining. Assuming LA can get past Houston, they would have to face a dangerous Denver/Dallas team, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They’ve got a very good Houston team to deal with first.