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Sunday, April 17, 2011
The Lakers Switch Locked Out
2011 NBA Playoffs - Round 1 Game 1
Los Angeles (2) vs New Orleans Hornets (7)
Final Score: Hornets 109, Lakers 100
Dang you Stuart Scott! You jinxed it. Don't get me wrong I normally like favoring statistics found deeper than trapped miners but today during the ESPN/ABC pregame show Stuart Scott had to mention one stat that sounded great before tip-off but turned out to be a very annoying voice in my head throughout the game. Also playing in my head was the anticipation of the turning of the Lakers postseason switch. Was the switch ever turned on? Maybe the team was confused because I sometimes have issues with my porch light switch. When I think I've turned it on I actually turned it off. It's weird. Maybe that's what happened today.
Stuart Scott had to mention that when the Lakers win game 1 of their 1st round playoff matchups they move on to win the series. Apparently they're like 48-0 or something. Thanks Stuart for that awesome stat. Hey maybe you can have your ESPN research team find statistics that reward the Lakers for losing game 1.
Sunday is turning out to be a day of several upsets. San Antonio (w/o Ginobili) also lost their first game against the 8th seeded Grizzlies. New York almost pulled the upset over Boston but the Knicks were downed by a game winning Ray Allen three. Ouch. Okay, the Spurs I see shrugging their shoulders without Manu but L.A. losing to the Hornets?
I can give you countless reasons why the Lakers lost today but any fan who watched the game knows what happened. Lack of effort, defense, execution, blah, blah, blah, we know. I'm going to point out the winning factors to the Hornets W.
N.O. said NO to every L.A. attempt at gaining the lead throughout the entire game. I think the Lakers were contained at best to just a 1 point lead. The champs kept digging but the Hornets kept swarming around with bugging results. Lets just call a spade a spade here, Chris Paul owned the Lakers. He had one of his best playoff games of his career reminiscing of Iverson's shutdown in game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals where he alone beat us with 48pts. That performance deserves a second look.
CP3 ended the game with 33pts. and 14 assists. He had help though. Jarrett Jack off the bench added 15pts. to the box score, Landry had 17pts. but more importantly held Gasol to just 8 measly points. Aaron Gray (who?) had a crowd silencing and momentum stopping 12pts. His role was very important and as bitter as I currently sound CP3 is a cool dude who humbly told the post game media that Aaron Gray was the player of the game.
Scary moments of the game (besides the game as a whole for L.A.). As you'll see below in the game recap, Kobe hit his head on a chair when he fell down after a made baseline jay right before Artest's half court bomb. He's fine. Also, Aaron Gray towards the end of the game sprained his right ankle pretty badly. He was helped off the court to the locker room. Results pending.
It's time for PJ to regroup and reevaluate his squad for game 2 on Wednesday. Something to be aware of, Okafor had early foul trouble and wasn't much of a factor in today's game. Look for him to redeem himself and come out strong next time around.
My glass is half full as this loss should serve a much bigger purpose for the reigning back-to-back champs. Now that the Lakers know what they're dealing with they should have a deeper plan and show no mercy. Let's close out the series only looking back to today's loss and not allow for yet another tiring round 1 experience like we had with OKC last year. Here is the game recap.