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Lakers-Rockets Pre-Game 3: Points to Ponder

Posted By Josh Hoffman On May 8 2009 @ 9:05 pm In Los Angeles Lakers | No Comments

· Successful Starts: The Lakers have strived on hitting the ground running and thus scoring a relatively large amount of points in the first quarter; in Game 1’s loss they dropped 18 in the opening frame; in Game 2’s win: 39

· Transition Offense: The Rockets haven’t been able to keep up with the Lakers in the open court; the Lakers upped their fast-break point differential from 6 in Game 1 (10-4) to 15 in Game 2 (20-5)

· Similar Stats, Different Results: The Rockets avoided a Game 1 road loss despite committing more turnovers (18) than assists (16); in Game 2, despite similar statistics (19 turnovers, 16 assists), Houston wasn’t nearly as successful

· Kobe Being Kobe: Kobe Bryant scored 30+ points in each of the first two games; in Game 1 he attempted more field goals for fewer points (31 for 32 – 1.02 points per shot) and in Game 2 he attempted fewer field goals for more points (27 for 40 – 1.48 points per shot); when Bryant takes at least 30 shots per playoff game, the Lakers are 2-7 all-time

· Road Warriors: As the series now shifts to Houston for Game 3 and 4, the Lakers look to improve upon their 2-0 regular season record at the Toyota Center; sure, comparing the regular season to the playoffs is like comparing apples to oranges, but you don’t think Los Angeles’ confidence is up knowing that it hasn’t lost in Houston this year, let alone that it boasted the number one road mark (29-12) in the Association during the regular season?

· Relying on Your Starters: In Game 1, Houston’s starters outscored those of Los Angeles (84-74) but, in Game 2, the Lakers’ starters did a number on those of the Rockets (89-68)

· Bench ‘Em: While a team’s success in a seven-game series is typically indicative of the play of its reserves, each squad lost when its bench outscored the other; Game 1: Los Angeles – 18, Houston – 16; Game 2: Los Angeles – 22, Houston – 30

· Out of Fish: The Lakers will be without starting point guard Derek Fisher after his Game 2 flagrant foul and subsequent ejection warranted a one-game suspension; now in his 13th season, Fisher has logged 161 career playoff games

· Blessing in Disguise: Phil Jackson will likely fill Fisher’s spot with Jordan Farmar, a youngster whose confidence – let alone minutes – has seemingly hit rock-bottom since the acquisition of Shannon Brown; perhaps Farmar will regain his confidence with a start tonight

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