Hornets Projected Starting Line-up:
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Marco Belinelli
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Carl Landry
C: Omeka Okafor
Key Reserves: G Willie Green, C Aaron Gray, G Jarrett Jack
Injuries: David West
The Lakers should’ve swept this series – it’s clear that they are just too big and talented for the Hornets to handle. Perhaps the loss of game one prompted the Lakers to get into full-flung playoff mode. If the Lakers win tonight they can close out the series at home next week.
Keys to Lakers Victory:
Killers Bees: The Bees swarmed the court in game three and were instrumental in helping the Lakers win game three. They held the Hornet’s bench to just 9 points. A vast improvement from game one (39 points) and game 2 (13 points). The Killer Bees should be able to completely take the Hornet’s bench out of the equation. I’ll wager that if the Killer Bees hold the Hornet’s second unit under 15 points then the Lakers will easily win game 4.
Limit Chris Paul: CP3 is nursing a sore thumb, but he has proven to be the type of player that teams should never take lightly. Phil Jackson threw anyone and everyone at CP3 in game three and it proved to take him out of his rhythm a bit – the Lakers turned CP3 over 5 times. The Lakers strategy allows CP3 to get his shots, but tries to prevent him from getting his teammates involved.
The Black Swan and the Mamba: We got a glimpse of how good Pau Gasol can be in the 4th quarter of game 3. He asserted himself in the paint and even managed to knock down a trey. I expect Pau to play even better tonight and help lead the Lakers to a victory. Kobe went out there and did what he does best – score. His killer instinct never slows down in the playoffs and it’s an absolute treat for us Laker fans to enjoy a star in the prime of his game. The one two punch of Kobe and Gasol should be more than enough to seize a commanding lead in this series.
Lakers’ Injuries: Devin Ebanks