Edbballin504’s take on how the Hornets can beat LA…

Published: April 15, 2011

If anyone can take down a giant, it’s New Orleans. From bouncing back from Katrina, to winning a Superbowl with the Saints, to cleaning up the huge oil spill that could have devastated our local economy, we have survived. New Orleans is the definition of perseverance and beating the odds. Yet here we are again, facing a task no one says we can overcome. While the task is daunting, it isn’t impossible and here’s why…

1.       We have something to prove. No one took us serious all season, and no one is now. Multiple winning streaks wasn’t enough, all the media reflected on was the losing streaks. We only had 1 or 2 nationally televised games all year, a slap in the face to arguably the NBA’s best point guard. That all changes here. Hornets welcome to prime time television; the stage is set and we finally get our opportunity to perform on it in front of the world. If there’s anyone that will show up its Chris Paul. This is his opportunity to show the world he is still great. What better way of showing that than now against the defending champs?

2.       Speaking of CP3, who will stop him? Fisher has always had trouble guarding fast younger point guards, and we have one of the best. What makes matters worst is that LAL has no backup PG with Blake out. CP3 will make Fisher really work on D, and as a result he will be too fatigued to be any type of factor on offense. This allows us to zone up, neutralizing the size advantage LAL has over us. CP3 also has the option of attacking and forcing Fisher to foul him. Again, with no PG behind Fisher, once Fisher sits, LAL might be out of sync and we will take advantage.

3.       Lakers are beatable. Anybody watch the Lakers over the last few weeks? Dropping 5 in a row recently, which included losses to GSW and UTA. Then to cap it off, they almost lost to a SAS team without 4 of their 5 starters. And finally, they had a chance to end the season with a “must-win game” to wrap up the #2 seed, but barely passed that test. Needing a Kobe 3 at the end of the 4th to force OT in a game they led by 20 just 12 minutes earlier is pathetic. I can’t tell you what happened to this team but down the stretch they have lost that invincibility and we can take advantage of that, especially early in the series.

4.       I haven’t seen the numbers to back it up, but according to MM and the Lakers guys on the recent podcast, Jack and Landry play well against LAL. We already know CP3 does as well. If these players can give us a boost we need, we can put up a fight. We will need huge nights out of different players, and its good to know a few already have a history of doing that against this team.

5.       Health might be a major concern for the Lakers. Bynum says he’s okay, but is he? Blake is already out, Barnes is banged up, and there’s a chance a chicken pox virus has been exposed to the team. Kobe, Bynum, and Artest never had chicken pox so there’s always a chance it can pop up in this series. How much of a game changer would it be if the Lakers didn’t have those guys for a few games? Just something to think about…

The key to winning is going in the series with the right mentality and approach. Monty has to make this team believe starting now. The Lakers have been extremely rusty lately and as good as they are on paper, no team can simply turn on a switch to become elite. It will take a few games for them to get on that track again so if we hit them early we can knock them down. I think the key is winning game 1. Bynum may not play, but the Lakers will have the mentality that they can win by just showing up. We need to give them a wake up call, but have a game or 2 in our win column before they wake up. Being ahead early in Game 1 is not good enough though, we have to put our foot on their throat for 48 minutes and get the W. Stealing game 1 gives us a huge chance at the upset IMO.

Monty has to use all he learned in SAS and POR to prepare the perfect gameplan. I suggest utilizing the CP3, Jack backcourt often and playing zone on D. LAL doesn’t have many reliable shooters on this team, so we should double the bigs and let them beat us with the jump shot. When we have our starters in the game, man up but there’s no need to double Kobe, just let Ariza play him straight up. I would bet Kobe takes no double personal and he tries to be a high volume shooter, thus taking his team out the game.  History has shown that the Kobe with 35 points is beatable, but the Kobe with 10+ assists is nearly impossible to beat. By being a high volume shooter he helps us at the same time, because Kobe hasn’t been as efficient this year as he was in the past. Perhaps those miles on his legs are finally catching up with him.

On offense we have to attack relentlessly, starting with CP3.  Put pressure on the guards and attack the bigs, either to draw fouls or dish to the open Okafor or Landry as the bigs help. With the 2 PG lineup (CP3 and Jack) we will have two attacking options, which should put a lot of pressure on LAL. Ariza and Green also have to attack, no headfakes and hesitating…ATTACK! As the D sags down, that should open up Belinelli for the 3 balls. Again, the key is to attack the bigs, not let them be a deferent. We win game 1 and come back to the Hive tied 1-1, we have to use our home court to our advantage and win those 2 on Easter weekend. Getting a 4th game will be tough to get, but New Orleans has shown it can do the unthinkable…and that starts Sunday night in LA. GEAUX HORNETS!




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