What the New Orleans Hornets have to do to prepare for this series match up:
First of all, they lack the confidence that they can win, and for good reason. They haven't beaten the Lakers once this year, with or without West. That MUST change.
It all starts with the coaches preparation in the film room. They should carefully splice together Lakers games from the season, making sure to edit out the four losses and any of the Lakers' 18 games following the All-Star break. Remember, it's encouragement they need, not discouragement.
I would suggest using the Lakers loss to Cleveland, and maybe the Utah one as well for study. That might give them some hope, and a few laughs to lighten up the locker room atmosphere. Then, maybe throw in some old Smush and Kwame tape. Oh, and add in some 'Lakers Girls' shots, a few courtside movie star pictures, so at least they have something to look forward to when coming to Los Angeles.
Next, remind the Hornets what they are playing for. A chance to be part of NBA trivia history. 'Who lost to the Lakers in the first round of the 2011 Playoffs?' Surely something that they can share with the grandkids one day. "Yeah children, we did our part in losing to that great Lakers team during their dynasty."
The coaches also have the problem of the Hornets players looking past this series and onto their next opponent. Playing 'flying disc' with their kids on the beach in the Bahamas. Banning 'Vacation Resort Brochures' in the locker room will be mandatory! Pre and post game locker room calls to travel agents will not be permitted!
I could go on with the x's and o's of the playbook on what the Hornets need to do, but I'm sure you would find that as much a waste of your time as the Hornet players would. So let's not go there. Instead, let's key in on the most important reason the Hornets players need to consider.
Its all about gaining pride and respect. The Hornet coaches will need to instill this confidence that, yes, we are capable! Yes, we can do it! And yes, we can at least show up and collect our playoff bonus check!