2011 NBA Playoffs: Why the L.A. Lakers-New Orleans Hornets Series Is over

Justin Welton@JustinWeltonAnalyst IIApril 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the second half while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2011 at Staples Center 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)
Harry How/Getty Images

That's right, the Lakers-Hornets series is over. The Lakers tied the series at one apiece last night with an 87-79 victory at the Staples Center.

The Lakers are head and shoulders better than the Hornets could ever dream of. Chris Paul is the only reason why they would ever have a shot. He is the best true point guard in the National Basketball Association.

There is a reason why Paul wants out of New Orleans—he has little to no help. He can’t do it all by himself.

Aaron Gray scored 12 points in Game 1—he will never do that again in the playoffs. He had the game of his life.

The Hornets have the least playoff experience out of all the teams in the playoffs while the Lakers have the most. The Hornets are missing former All-Star David West with a torn ligament in his knee. This series would be a different story if he was around.

Los Angeles has All-Star-caliber players up and down their roster. They have the Sixth Man of the Year in Lamar Odom, one of the best forward/centers in the game in Pau Gasol and the best player in the league in Kobe Bryant.

Bryant only scored 11 points last night. Gasol has only scored 16 points through the first two games of the series. Gasol and Bryant combined to score 19 points in Game 2 and the Lakers still won by nine.

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Andrew Bynum played well last night, scoring 17 points with 11 rebounds. This is a great sign for Lakers fans.

The bench is what needs to come alive for the Lakers and they did that last night. Matt Barnes scored zero in Game 1, but was 4-for-4 with eight points in Game 2. More importantly, he showed passion and tenacity from the moment he stepped onto the court.

Game 1 was simply a wake-up call for the Lakers. The intensity that they showed in Game 2 will carry over into New Orleans.