NBA Playoff Quick Tips: Lakers-Rockets, Magic-Celtics

Brandon Ribak@reebokforthreeSenior Writer IMay 10, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers moves the ball against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 6, 2009 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 Harry How/Getty Images)

There are two things an NBA fan should be doing today.

One is spending quality time with their mother.

The other is watching the exciting double-header between the Lakers vs Rockets and the Magic vs Celtics.

Lakers vs. Rockets

By now, most of you have heard that Yao Ming will miss the remainder of the postseason due to a broken left foot.

This is terrible news for Houston, as they will fight to avoid a three to one deficit on the series today.

I am assuming Carl Landry will be placed into the starting lineup alongside of Luis Scola.

The Lakers will have a huge height advantage on the low post in Pau Gasol (7'0"), Lamar Odom (6'10"), and Andrew Bynum (7'0").

Bynum has only averaged a mere 12 MPG during the three games in this series thus far, but could see a boost in minute production this afternoon due to the major height difference.

Regardless of the scenario, the winner of this game will ultimately be the Los Angeles Lakers. Once this game is won and the series is stretched to a three to one lead, the Lakers will definitely end the semi-finals series in Game five back in LA.

Magic vs. Celtics

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With Alston back on the court, the Magic will look to capture their third victory of the series.

J.J. Reddick has gotten the starting nod and has played phenomenal defense on Ray Allen thus far, holding him to a horrific shooting of just 30 percent.

Courtney Lee will most likely be coming off of the bench, but will play an important role in this game today. He has the ability to attack the hoop, hit the open jumper and trey ball, and play outstanding defense.

Orlando will need to get Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu going early on in the game, as they are two of the most important keys to the Magic's success.

Howard has played stellar offense and defense against the Celtics so far and it would be no shock if he posts 20 plus points, 20 plus boards, and three plus blocks tonight.

Head coach Doc Rivers is hoping for his team to recover from Game three and come out firing in tonight's game. Boston has looked extremely fatigued throughout the entire series and this has clearly taken a toll on their overall production.

The Celtics will need major contributions from their Big Three, (Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo) if they want any chance at winning Game four tonight in Orlando.

To be quite honest, I do not see the Celtics winning this game highly due to the fact that the Magic are finally finding their groove in the playoffs.

I guess we will just have to wait and see if my prediction is correct.

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