Brooks - 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.
Battier - 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
Artest - 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.
Scola - 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
Yao - 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
OUT - None
Los Angeles Lakers
OUT - 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.