Game Preview - Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets - Game 66 - 7:30PM CST March 11, 2009


The Match-ups:

Point Guard
- Who agrees with me?  His defense against Billups was actually pretty solid.
Fisher - He is basically Rafer Alston with a slightly better shot these days.  Derek Fisher of 3-5 years ago was not that player, but he is now. 
Edge: Even

Shooting Guard
- Clearly hurting.  He's measuring every shot and pushing it.  I've seen 10 year olds with a smoother shooting motion than he's had as of late.  His foot has to be killing him.  He's still staying with guys and shutting them down, just ask JR Smith.
Bryant - Still better than Lebron, sorry, just true.  Next year I don't think he will be and he knows it.  So this is his year to shine and I think he is doing his best to coast whenever he can during the regular season.  His stats are down across the board from the last 4 years, I think that spells bad news for everyone else in the playoffs when he turns it on.
Edge: Lakers - Come on, no one is that big of a homer

Small Forward
- It's been really interesting, every game since the All Star break he has a couple of posessions where he is a total ball stopper, then he seems to realize he doesn't have to do that.  I'm hoping those posessions stop completely and he moves on to completely trusting the team.  I think he's on his way and that is a very good thing.
Walton - Is he a no stats all star too?  Because he is getting a ton of minutes and is averaging 4.8 PPG 2.6 RPG and 1.2 steals. 
Edge: Rockets

Power Forward
- Really tough offensive game on the back end of the back to back.  I expect him to bounce back strongly on the offensive end.
Gasol - Good player, clearly benefiting from playing with Kobe taking the pressure off of him.  He's a really good shooter and an even better flopper/whiner.
Edge: Rockets - Just watch, Scola will win this matchup

- I expect him to come back after such a silly mistake and dominate.  He's just that kind of guy. 
Mbenga - I'm assuming he's playing here and that Lamar Odom rightfully gets suspended for being an idiot.  How exactly can you defend what Ariza did?  Is it obvious that I have nothing to say about DJ Mbenga?  He's basically a taller Joey Dorsey
Edge: Rockets - It can literally be any player on the Lakers, they can't match Yao

Houston Rockets
- None
Los Angeles Lakers
- Lamar Odom on suspension.  Ariza should be out too, but the league doesn't do anything it doesn't have to do to the Lakers

My Prediction: The Rockets get it done.  I even think they'll have a healthy lead midway through the 4th. 

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