The Lakers (2-2)
The Timberwolves (0-3)
2. Stop the Three
3. Protect the Ball
If there is one thing Minnesota can do quite well, it is rebound. Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff are two solid offensive rebounders who stand head and shoulders above the rest of the Wolves, but every starter outside of Telfair can also rebound. LA is going to be without Kwame Brown in all likelihood and cannot count on Odom for sure so Bynum and Turiaf are going to have to be active on the glass.
Stop the Three
After giving up ten treys to Peja Stojakovic, the Lakers face a team nearly as deadly. At 7-17 per game, the Wolves have hit 40+% of their threes. Five players average at least one three per game and three average at least two per game. That means that the full onus doesn't fall upon Luke Walton and Vlad Radmanovic, which is good, because they were wretched. What it does mean is that LA must get up on their assignments out by the three point line. That means there will be room to operate for the Minnesota bigs. That in turn means that Turiaf and Bynum have to be ready to play hard.
Protect the Ball
While it's still early, I think LA absolutely outclasses Minnesota across the boards. Unfortunately, one of LA's biggest nemeses has been LA. They have turned the ball over more than 16 times per game, including Vlade's remarkable 2.7 TO per 22 minutes in a non ball-handling role. Peculiar how terrible he has been. Protect the ball and waste no possessions and LA should cruise.