My assessment of last night's contest between YOUR...Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Hornets? Exactly what should have happened in game 1 and what will happen in the next two games - exploit the inside and overwhelm the New Orleans front line with size. Carl Landry, Emeka and Aaron Gray can play us tough for a little while, but after a couple of quarters, there is something extremely demoralizing about seeing two 7 footers play keep-away with the basketball above your heads for 48 straight minutes. Add in the fact that Lamar has the same length, you have 3 guys that are bringing you back to your formative childhood years - your older brother takes the basketball and hold it over your head, too high for you to get it. Pretty sure Emeka's therapy bills are going to be through the roof next week.
I noticed that New Orleans absolutely packed the paint for the first quarter and a half, making it hard for Pau and Andrew to gain inside position on them. However, midway through the second, that dissapated a bit - because they were doing this in hopes that it would dare us to shoot. Kobe was more than happy to oblige. He dropped 30 last night. That might have helped.
Also, saw a little bit of Playoff-Time Derek Fisher last night. He miraculously finished lay-ups and made his jumpers last night. I'll be more than happy to stomach 82 games of 37% field goal shooting if he plays like that for the next two months.
Defensively, we did exactly what we needed to do - we let Chris Paul take his outside shots, played the defensive lanes as well as we could and provided pretty good defensive rotations to force turnovers - essentially, we allowed CP3 to try to beat us on his own, which has to be the game plan considering NOLA's next best player is Trevor Ariza (who had a great first quarter, but nothing else to speak of).
Lakers in 5.