This game is going to suck. Not from a who's-gonna-win-who's-gonna-lose perspective, but from the NBA's terrible track record at officiating following a game like game 2. There's going to be a million fouls, Bynum will probably foul out in about 6 minutes, and Yao Ming will have 5 halfway through the fourth.
With Fisher suspended for a game, as expected, I think we'll see Farmar get the start over Brown, just because I maintain Farmar is better at running the point. But who knows, maybe Jackson goes nuts and decides to play Vujacic at the point. At this stage in my fan career, I really wouldn't be surprised by anything he decides to do.
The Lakers will win this game if these things happen:
- They find someone (Ariza? Sasha? Brown? Odom?) capable of hitting an open three. If the Lakers are hitting from beyond the arc, they win.
- Jackson makes rational rotation decisions. For example, the second unit doesn't play to start the second half.
- Kobe Bryant has more than ten assists.
- Bynum is told to focus on getting, not sending, to the foul line.
- Odom manages to finish at the rim and hits his foul shots.
- They play effective perimeter defense.
By the way, Rockets fans whine. Our point guard knocked your power forward onto his ass. Not only does Scola now look like a bitch, but so does the fan base. Seriously. If you have a problem with Fisher's hip check, then maybe you should consider that your favorite new player once beat up a fan in the stands. And probably will again, if I ever get to a game where he's playing.
Angels vs. Royals, 7:05 Pacific
Gil Meche goes up against Matt Palmer in the first LA/KC matchup of the season. The Royals tend to decimate the Angels, but typically only in Kansas City, unless I've just been repressing memories. This is a big start for Palmer. Another quality start+ will do lots to prove he belongs in the rotation over the Moseley's of the world once Lackey and Santana return in the coming week.
I like the Angels against Meche. A win tonight puts them at .500 for the first time since the second game of the season. Seattle, as expected, has begun to fizzle. Texas is currently in first place, but the staff tRA is catastrophic. The good starting pitching they've had is pure luck. Expect massive regression.
Not surprised. The 2004 Red Sox can borrow this from the 2002 Angels (and pretty much every late-90's early 00's World Series winner): *