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Lakers Drop Game 1, But No Need to Panic

Patrick CorbetContributor IMay 5, 2009

The Houston Rockets came into Los Angeles, and seized home court advantage from the Lakers on Monday night. However, there is no need to panic for the Lakers.

Will Kobe Bryant need 31 shots to put up 32 points in the rest of the series? Unlikely.

Will Pau Gasol struggle mightily and need a couple of easy buckets at the end to put up a meager 14 points in the rest of the series? Doubtful.

Will the Lakers shoot 11 percent from behind the arc as a team in the rest of the series? Laughable.

Despite Houston playing a magnificent game and the Lakers playing a pitiful one, the outcome was still in doubt during the waning minutes of the game. If the Lakers even approach their 36 percent clip from behind the arc, the game will be a different story.

There is much to be excited about on the Rockets' side.

Yao Ming played like a superstar, even bouncing back after banging knees with Kobe to close the game. Ron Artest played an efficient game on offense, and teamed up with Shane Battier to contain Kobe without sending him to the line. Aaron Brooks absolutely torched Derek Fisher, which may be a recurring theme throughout the series.

Yet it took a wonderful game from Houston and a horrible game from the Lakers for Houston to escape with the victory.

The Lakers were not going to beat the Rockets eight times this year without dropping a single game. The Rockets are not going to roll over now that they have finally advanced past the first round.

While Lakers fans may panic, there is no need. Game 1 just set the stage for a little drama, which always makes things more interesting in Los Angeles.

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