Let Round #2 Heroics by Lakers Begin! Off to OKC we Go!

.NBA Scoreboard | Playoff Matchups After Regular Season | Playoffs Positions Now

The Lakers Pulled Off a Round #1, Tenaciously-Played, Game #7 Win: 96-87

< May 14, 2012 >

Did The Real Andrew Bynum Show Up?

The Lakers Did What They Needed To Do:

They finally Played to Their Strengths, and Played More Intelligently

Pau Gasol Led The Lakers in Shooting and Scoring in the last game, not Kobe!

Tonight, the exuberance of a Lakers win Saturday should still be fresh in their minds. Kobe Bryant should be at full-strength, over his stomach ailment. Pau Gasol seems to be tracking very well: Will Ibaka slow him down? Gasol seems to think if he averages 4 blocks that such an effort by him may be a difference maker: I hope that’s “in addition to” all the rest of what he does to make our team successful! Bynum should be able to perform under the basket well vs. Kendrick Perkins, whom OKC doesn’t seem to utilize well at all. The questions are: speed, defense – Can Russell Westbrook and James Harden be slowed down by Ramon Sessions & Steve Blake? If Metta World Peace guards Kevin Durant (my pick for NBA MVP, but awarded to LBJ), will Kobe Bryant choose to guard Westbrook? Does that leave Sessions on Sefalosha? Some challenges certainly await both head coaches. The moves & counter-moves will be exciting to watch play out.

Will The Lakers continue to play as a “team”?

Steve Blake came off the bench to hit 5-5 from 3-pt range before missing one at the end of the game, when the outcome was already decided. Big-time Blake with what Dave McMenamin tweeted @mcten as a “Bookend Blake” performance in Round #1 with best games being Game 1 and Game 7. Who knew? Just bench him for Goudelock Games 2-6 and Lakers will be fine, right? It’s not such a bad idea, is it? Sorry, Steve.

Round #2 will require a more consistent effort from the bench than we got away with in Round #1. I’m lookingforward to seeing Jordan Hill go up against OKC’s frontline, whom he manhandled in the regular season – and that vaulted him into a bench rotation slot ahead of Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts. Will Blake, Barnes and Hill be enough, or will Coach Brown have to dig deeper, utilizing Ebanks, McRoberts, Murphy or Goudelock? I’m looking forward to this game, big time! Let the drama unfold!

MWP inserted back into the starting lineup certainly gave us a better defensive pressure on the ball that was sorely missing. His outside shooting ability also kept the Denver defense honest, and should help to un-clog the middle for Gasol & Bynum in this series as well. The division of responsibilities, the pace, the spacing, the tempo, the defense, the rebounding, the effort, will have to continue to be a high priority of every Laker that gets out on the court tonight!


The Lakers deserve to win tonight, if they play as great, and as tenacious, as they did to closeout Round #1 vs. the Denver Nuggets! Will the Oklahoma City Thunder be rusty from the long layoff after a 4-0 sweep of The Dallas Mavericks, the defending champions? I doubt it. They’re young, they’re physical, they’re determined – they have some great players of their own: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka,… should I include Derek Fisher?

Alternate Preview

The playoffs are all about discovering how well teams play under pressure, and which coach is more capable of countering with effective personnel changes: Who knows their team’s strengths & weaknesses best and which coach can take advantage of matchups “in the moment” as game conditions change throughout a game? Scott Brooks has been with his team for a few years now, Mike Brown is a 1st year coach of a very talented team: This Round #2 matchup can go either way, based on talent alone. What the tipping point is remains to be discovered. Will it be coaching? Respect? Tenacity? Fundamentals? Individual talent?

Let’s go, Lakers! Let’s go!

NBA Scoreboard | Playoff Matchups After Regular Season | Playoffs Positions Now

Round 1 Preview Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7
Denver Score W:103-88 W:104-100 L:84-99 W:92-88 L:99-102 L:96-113 W:96-87
Nuggets Recap @ LAL @ LAL @DEN @DEN @ LAL @ DEN @ LAL
. More AdvStats

I still say I believe The Lakers have as good a chance as anybody to win the championship!

How about you? Agree? Disagree? Comment

Life is good; God is great!
Make it a great day,
Ron (atc)”Ski” Runsvold

You can always meet me HERE

Or, if you “tweet,” find me on Twitter

Additional Links



ESPN Radio

2012 Regular Season Record: Lakers 41-25

Archive: 03/21/1204/26/1204/29/1205/03/1205/04/1205/05/1205/08/1205/10/1205/12/12

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