- Shaq, Malone, and Fox
- Olowokandi, Szczerbiak, and Hudson
Both of the teams are without big parts of their team, our injured guys are a play a bigger part of our team though. I doubt we will won this game, unless everyone on the Lakers play the best basketball of their life. I do expect to see some good defense on our part, since Phil spent extra time on it in practice.
Former teammates going head to head. I think Payton will win this matchup, because he will know what makes Cassell tick and how to stop him, since he played with him. Also Cassell is going to get tired, because he has to play almost this entire game, because they have no one to back him up, they can put Hoiberg or Hassell in for him for a little amount of time, but that wouldn't be too effective against Payton. So, Payton has to run so he can get Cassell tired fairly early on. Payton has to look to score more tonight, but not by forcing the shot, he need to take it to the hoop as often as possible and not shoot as many jumpers. He needs to play good defense too, because Cassell is their second leading scorer, and if he can be stopped, then we will have a lot better chance of winning this game. Look for Payton to get a lot of easy buckets when Cassell goes out.
their third option going against our first option. For us to win, Kobe has to have another big game, preferablly 40+ points. Kobe can not relax on the defensive end, because if Spree gets going, then it is hard to stop him. This should be a fun matchup to watch, both will be looking to score whenever they get the chance. We need an aggressive Kobe for the entire game, if Kobe can prevent Spree from scoring and getting to the basket a lot and Payton stops Cassell, then their only option is KG and he can't score all their points.
George/Hoiberg & Hassell:
Hopefully we will have George for more than a few minutes tonight, so he can actually provide us with some kind of help (anything is better than 0-7 against the Clipps). George actually gets some easy defensive matchups for once, (Hoiberg & Hassell only average a total of 12 points combined). So, he should be able to be a big factor for us in this game. He is much bigger and stronger than both of these guys, which will allow him to get easy rebounds on them, back them down, shoot over them, and alter their shot due to his height and size advantage on D. We need a big game from George, something he should be able to give us tonight.
this is where we are going to get killed. Slava is no contest for KG, none of our big men are. Slava won't be able to give us any offense or defense against KG. KG will outrebound him, will block any shots Slava puts up, definitely out score him, and all around out play him. It won't be Slava's finest hour. Expect a huge game from KG, perhaps one of the best games of his career.
Grant/Johnson, Miller, & Madsen:
this matchup is pretty equal and might even favor us. Johnson is just as old as Horace, Miller is slow and fat, and Madsen is just a whole lot of energy. None of the T-Wolves are scoring threats, so that makes it easier for us on defense, and none of them are very good defenders either. So if Grant could have a decent shooting night, then that would also be a big help for us.