Lakers Rumors & News Recap: Can The Lakers Make the Series 2-1?

The Lakers play at home tonight at 7:30 in the third game of this playoff series. I anticipate a win tonight, not by much, maybe two or three baskets, but a win nonetheless. Being at home is a huge advantage, especially with the fans L.A. has, who are going to rock Staples Center tonight.

The next two home games are crucial. Not only does L.A. have to win at least one of them to remain in the playoffs, but winning both would completely turn this series around. Being up two games give OKC a buffer. If the Lakers tie the series, they will tie the series. Therefore, it’s important to take advantage of being at home these next two games, so as to not possibly lose on the road.

Tonight, the Lakers need to focus on the basics. Good defense, no turnovers, and dominating inside the paint. Players and teams can get lost in the moment and forget what really, we all learned in “Little Dribblers” basketball. That defense is a key component, not just scoring the points. It is what helped us get slaughtered on Monday and helped us hold on to most of the game on Wednesday. No open shots. No unmarked men. Play good, solid defense. And with that should come the turnovers on the other team, the mistakes that win games. OKC was a bit unsettled on Wednesday, but will surely come back tonight more in sync. This is where making sure to cover the paint, in terms of rebounding and driving, is key. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will have to command the floor.

Game 3, Semi-Finals, Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers
7:30 PM PST, May 18, 2012
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: ESPN
Radio: 710 AM (English), 1330 AM (Spanish)

Series Recap: Thunder lead 2-0
Game 1: Los Angeles 90 at Oklahoma City 119
Game 2: Los Angeles 75 at Oklahoma City 77
Game 3: Tonight
Game 4: Saturday, vs Oklahoma City – 7:30 p.m. – TNT
*Game 5: May 21, at Oklahoma City – TBD – TNT
*Game 6: May 23, vs Oklahoma City – TBD – ESPN
*Game 7: May 27, at Oklahoma City – TBD – TNT
*If necessary

Thunder Projected Starting Line-Up:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Thabo Sefolosha
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Serge Ibaka
C: Kendrick Perkins

Key Reserves: G James Harden, G Derek Fisher, F Nick Collison

Lakers Nation News

Lakers vs Thunder Pregame Report: Game 3

Win Tickets to the NBA Finals

Bynum: “We Know Exactly How to Defend Them”

Video: Lakers Must Win, MWP Not an Idiot, Scariest Shirt Off Contest Ever

Steve Blake, Wife Receive Death Threats on Twitter

Pau Gasol Wins NBA J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

Lakers News

World Peace and Harden Remain Physical [LA Times]

Optimistic for Game 3 Despite History [Silver Screen and Roll]

Game 3 Preview and Chat [Forum Blue and Gold]

Pau Gasol Citizen of the Year [OC Register]

Steve Blake and The Twitter Hate [LA Times]

Lakers, Thunder Game 2 Match [Eye On Basketball]

Beast or Burden: Falling Fortunes [Silver Screen and Roll]

Is Kobe Losing His Touch? Difficulty Closing Out Games [NY Times]

Lakers Hope Calm Attitude Helps Them in the Latest Struggle [LA Times]

Lakers Confident Despite History of 0-2 Teams [OC Register]

NBA News

Staples Center and the “Perfect Storm” [NBA.com]

Rivers Earns Coaching Award [CBS Sports]

Magic Johnson and Dream Team Featured on Sunkist Cans [LA Times]

When D Wade Lost His Cool [SB Nation]

LeBron and Wade Don’t Criticize the Lakers Strategy [ESPN]

Spurs Up 2-0 on Clippers [Yahoo Sports]

Coming Up Green: Celtics [Eye on Basketball]

NBA Finals: Will We Get LeBron vs Durant [SB Nation]

Pacers Pound Heat in Game 3 [Yahoo Sports]

Playoff MVPs [ESPN Insider]

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