Bynum and Gasol have the edge offensively in the post over Perkins and Ibaka, but their defense should be able to neautralize the Lakers size some. The Thunder have a huge advantage over the Lakers at the 1 and 3 with Westbrook and Durant over Sessions and World Peace. The Lakers will most definitely try to pound the ball inside while the Thunder will run and gun all game. Thunder have the bench edge with 6th man of the year James Harden. What are some other keys to look for? Thunder in 6...
healthy Perkins. They Thunder's chances are slim without a healthy Perkins.
Perkins has had so much time to rest, I'm pretty sure he's fine by now.
A week? That isn't always enough to recover from a hip strain.. But I just read that he started practicing but is uncertain for game 1
For the Lakers, I just hope MWP doesn't go crazy again. Better take some pills before playing.
For the Thunder, Westbrook should understand his role. To be a 2nd option player not the 1st option.
Coaching / teamwork
The Thunder are a well oiled machine. They play well as a team, everybody knows and accepts their roles plus they have a good coach. I think this will be their advantage....
For Brent, I think that in this matchup, more than any other, Westbrook should probably take over during most games. I know Durant's probably the best scorer in the league and very capable of dropping 30 in every game against Metta, but Westbrook can probably get it done more easily on someone like Sessions, who he has a strength and speed advantage against.
So while MWP is busy guarding Durant and Kobe is keeping check on James Harden, Westbrook can go crazy on Ramon Sessions or Steve Blake.
The Lakers can't cover Westbrook at all and really struggle with Harden. I don't expect this to be a long series.
I think is Durants has to score 30 on Metta for them to win, if the series goes more than 5 games Lakers will win. Artest is in shape and can put the clamps on almost anyone. This is the time for either Westbrook or Sessions to show their worth.
All the Thunder need to do is push the ball every chance they get and play together and they can beat anybody.
The biggest challenge for the Lakers is going to be fatigue. Oklahoma City has been chillin' for 10 days while the Lakers have been chasing Ty Lawson around. It's not just the transition game; it's the maximum energy required to execute down the stretch; not rounding off v-cuts on the offensive end, fighting for box-out position, jamming cutters defensively, sliding over and rotating defensively, etc. I think the Lakers are just going to struggle in these areas. We're going to see some lethargy.
You can look at that the other way too though. Rust may be an issue for the Thunder.
Fatigue may be an issue for the Lakers, but they should come into this series ready to play. It wouldn't shock me if they stole game one. The Nuggets are faster than the Thunder, so I think the Lakers should be prepared for the Thunder's transition game.
This is going to be a long series in my opinion. The Lakers should be ready for the Thunder. Unlike the Nuggets, the ball doesn't move as much. The Thunder turn it over, rely on a heavy isolation game and aren't all that great defensively either. As long as the Lakers get back in transition, I think they can handle the Thunder in the half-court.
Lakers got alot of big shots from Blake, Sessions, and even Metta in game 7. Won't win this series without those performances. OKC won't be able to survive if KD and Westbrook play as bad as they did the first 2 games vs. Dallas.