Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets: Matchup and Breakdown

Bare KnucksAnalyst IMay 4, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against Shane Battier #31 and Chuck Hayes #44 of the Houston Rockets during the game at Staples Center on October 30, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Everyone seems to be jumping the gun by putting LA in the Finals. Despite beating a dangerous Jazz team in five games, I wasn’t too impressed with LA. Contrary to what most accept as true, the road to the Finals for the Lakeshow is going to be awfully difficult. Hear me out.

LA squares off against the Houston Rockets tonight, and they will struggle for a couple of reasons. Houston causes some matchup problems. First off, Andrew Bynum is a scrub. Did the gray-haired 21-year-old even play in the Utah series?

He was nonexistent as far as I’m concerned…putting up an imposing 5 points to go along with a whopping 3 boards. Nice numbers for a ‘star’ center. Yao Ming has averaged roughly 16 and 11 in the playoffs while shooting 56 percent from the field.

Yao will be too much to handle for Bynum, or any big on LA for that matter. Luis Scola is a great player as well, averaging around 16 and 7 in the postseason. The Yao/Scola vs. Bynum/Gasol/Odom matchup will be incredibly interesting to watch.

Houston plays great defense, and Artest will give Kobe Bryant problems. Kobe’s a tough matchup for anyone, but Ron Artest is one of the better defenders in the league. Nonetheless, I’m a little worried Kobe might go off after Artest’s statement about Portland’s Brandon Roy being the best player he has ever guarded. Shane Battier at the SF position plays lockdown D and will get after LA’s small forwards. [Read more...]