You can count on this game being a high scoring one. Thunder lit it up with 127 points beating the Wizards this past Friday. Kevin Durant is currently ranked 4th in the league in points with 360 just behind Kobe's 362. Durant is also the team rebound leader averaging 7 rebs. The key match-up tonight will be with Durant and Artest. Now that Gasol is healthy and in the starting lineup, Lakers seem to be in their designed roles and playing great. Artest plays better at the 3 spot position behind Gasol and Lamar Odom is more effective coming off the bench. Our bench needed Odom since Luke is on the IL for 6-8 weeks with a pinched nerve in his back.
Another Thunder player to look out for is Russell Westbrook averaging 17 pts with 7 assists a game. He's currently ranked 7th in the league in assists above CP3 at the 8th spot.
It's clear now that we have Pau Gasol back, the very big Lakers will most likely dominate their opponents inside the paint. This will stand tall especially against the the Thunder. Jeff Green is there inside go to guy (averaging 15 pts & 6 rebs) but unfortunately for Oklahoma City Jeff doesn't pose a desperately needed inside threat against the champs. Look for Bynum and Gasol to patrol around the key and wait for the all too familiar alley-oop. This play is drawn so much, both Bynum and Gasol are often calling for the same alley-oop ball just like you'd see baseball outfielders with pop-ups.
Look for the Lakers to close this game out late in the 3rd quarter to rest their starters for the 4th.
Click on the link for the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports: Lakers vs Thunder 11/22/2009