Lakers-Warriors: What to watch for

Lakers-Warriors: What to watch for
March 27, 2012, 3:58 pm
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The Los Angeles Lakers come to Oracle Arena on Tuesdaynight, and theyll be accompanied by some drama. In the Lakers 102-96 loss tothe Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, coach Mike Brown had Kobe Bryant on the benchfrom the 5:45 mark of the fourth quarter until the 1:51 mark.Bryant acknowledged after the game that he was upset aboutthe late benching but stopped short of criticizing the decision.The Lakers have been inconsistent much of the season.Theyre dealing with Brown, in his first season with the Lakers, the falloutfrom the Lamar Odom trade and, most recently, acquiring Ramon Sessions andtrading Derek Fisher in separate deals.Here are some things to watch for during WednesdaysLakers-Warriors game:Defending the interior: Its no secretthat with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, the Lakers have one of the biggest andmost talented frontcourts in the league.Its also no secret that without Andrew Bogut, the Warriorsare severely undermanned on the interior.In the Warriors last game against the Portland TrailBlazers, point guard Raymond Felton had a season-high 27 points, doing much ofhis damage from the perimeter. One of the reasons the Warriors yielded a biggame to Felton was because they had to double-team power forward LaMarcusAldridge for a chunk of the game, allowing Felton open looks.Since trading Ekpe Udoh as part of the MontaEllis-to-Milwaukee trade, the Warriors no longer have an interior defender whodoesnt need help with a double-team. That puts the Warriors at a disadvantagedefensively.Lees offense: Without Ellis, theWarriors need all the points they can manage, and power forward David Lee isone guy they need points from. But Lee sometimes struggles against frontlineswith length, and that would certainly describe the Lakers.If the Warriors hope to hang in on Tuesday, Lee is going tohave to find a way to score. The one place Lee would seem to have an advantagewhen being defended by Gasol, say, would be to take Gasol out onto theperimeter. Lee often has an advantage against bigger defenders because hes oneof the better perimeter shooters at the four position.Make 3-pointers: The 3-point shot hasbecome the most important part of the Warriors offense, and theyre going toneed to make their share of 3-pointers against L.A.Whether its Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush, Dorell Wright oreven Nate Robinson, the Warriors have to have a good shooting night from beyondthe arc.If not, they could be in for a long night.

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