On Sunday afternoon the Los Angeles Lakers dropped the opener of their first round series against the New Orleans Hornets 109-100. The fact that the Lakers were at home and played like absolute crap should be comforting to no one. But the solution for the Lakers is fairly simple: Get Pau Gasol involved early and often.
The 7-foot Spaniard was almost invisible on Sunday, finishing the game with eight points, six rebounds and six assists, and shot just 2-of-9 from the field. Against a New Orleans front line that features the smaller Emeka Okafor and Carl Landry, Gasol should be able to have his way up front.
On the flip side, Gasol’s defense at the rim (in tandem with Andrew Bynum) should be able to keep Hornets point guard Chris Paul from scoring at will in the paint.
It’s a good bet Gasol will bounce back Wednesday night in Game Two. You might want to get ahead of the curve and bet on NBA Props at BetUS while you still have time before Wednesday night’s action.
The Lakers won’t be down for long and after three days to stew over their loss on Sunday, expect Gasol and co. to right the ship.