Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder laid waste to the Los Angeles Lakers winning 119-90. The one thing we are learning about the Thunder is that when Russell Westbrook is on his game, this team is nearly unstoppable. Westbrook put together his most complete game of the season scoring 27 on only 15 shots with 7 boards 9 assists, and only one turnover. For a team that has averaged close to 16 turnovers a game, only turning the ball over 4 times was huge.
The other thing that was evident last night is that speed kills. The Lakers are coming off a 7 game series war with Denver and came in with weak legs and the Thunder had over 10 days off so when you put fresh YOUNGER legs against a older tired team this is what you get, you get a blowout. Look, I’m not trying to make excuses for the Lakers they are clearly the inferior team in this series and with two games being a Back to back in Staples center I can only see them winning maybe one game in this series. The sun is setting on the Lakers and I expect some major personnel changes in the off season but this is the Thunders time. They are younger, hungrier, and ready to win now.
If the Lakers do want to make this a series they will have to do their best to slow the tempo down and make it more of a half court game. Allow Gasol and Bynum to work in the post and hope that when the defense collapses kicking it out and hoping the Lakers shooters can hit some threes. Defensively the big question is do you put Kobe on Westbrook? This isn’t as simple as it seems because Westbrook runs around and has a never ending motor. Do the Lakers really want Kobe chasing around a 23 year old all over the court? From watching the tape Kobe had to work and work hard for his shots in game 1 and I would think you would want Kobe to save his energy for the offensive side of the ball.
All in all this is a bad match up for the Lakers, we will see Wednesday night if they have some fight in them or if their simply going to hand this series over to OKC.