Los Angeles Lakers (4-4, 1-3 road) vs. OKC Thunder (5-0, 3-0 home)
Thunder lead series 1-0
View from the enemy: Forum Blue and Gold
Put Game 1 completely out of your mind. When I say “Game 1” you should say, “What happened Game 1?” Because it’s over. It’s done with. It was a wonderful 48 minutes of basketball and fun vengeance against Metta World Peace, but dwelling on it and thinking it’s a given for Game 2 is dangerous.
However, nothing dramatic changed form Monday until now. The Lakers didn’t trade for a new point guard. They didn’t import much needed bench depth. The Thunder still have KD, Russ and Harden. The Thunder are still better. Oklahoma City at its best is probably 10 points better than the Lakers at their best. That doesn’t guarantee anything, which is why the anxiety levels will still be riding high until the final buzzer sounds.
The Lakers though, preached adjustments. What could they have changed in a day of work though other than having Josh McRoberts pull a Tonya Harding on Russell Westbrook’s knees? They are who they are. Yes, they can alter their pick-and-roll coverage some, hedge harder on Westbrook, take away his midrange game and hope the Thunder don’t shoot the lights out again. Which is a smart plan. That’s the blueprint to beating OKC. If it fails, it fails miserably, but it can work.
And then there’s the Kendrick Perkins thing again. He’s obviously not going to be 100 percent, and the Thunder had some issues defending Andrew Bynum in Game 1 as well as rebounding against LA’s size. If Perk isn’t ready to go, that could certainly affect things.
Which means to say, Game 2 is not given. The Thunder will turn it over more than four times tonight, will have to execute, will have to rebound and will have to defend. Kobe Bryant can go off at a moment’s notice and there may be a storm to weather. All you can go by is that if the Thunder do their thing, they should be just fine.
Tip at 8:30 CT. Go Red Glasses.