Updated playoff series matchups

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: April 27, 2010 at 12:06 am •  Published: April 27, 2010
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Nenad Krstic vs. Andrew Bynum

Bynum has averaged 11.3 points and 9.8 rebounds but hasn’t been a dominating force. Krstic hit some mid-range jumpers in the third quarter to spark a rally in Game 2 but basically has been a non-factor. Can the Thunder fronting the Lakers’ post players, forcing them to settle for perimeter shots, continue? Or will the Lakers adjust, turn it into a half-court game and finally dominate the paint?

Edge: Lakers


Bench

This is one area the Thunder figured to own an edge, but the Lakers reserves outscored the Thunder in Games 1 and 2. James Harden went scoreless in the two Staples Center games but averaged 16.5 points in OKC’s two wins in the Ford Center. Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka have played well off the bench, helping minimize the Lakers’ inside size advantage. Eric Maynor has improved as the series progressed. Lakers super sub Lamar Odom has been a no-show, shooting 40.6 percent and averaging 7.8 points.

Edge: Thunder

Coach

Scott Brooks vs. Phil Jackson

Jackson has coached 300 more playoff games than Brooks, but the 2010 Coach of the Year has proven this isn’t the mismatch some expected. Brooks’ strategy on the Lakers’ big men has been a key factor. OKC also has taken advantage of its speed and athleticism, owning a 72-17 edge in fast-break points. The Zen Master, because he has 10 rings, always gets the edge, but Brooks and his staff arguably have outcoached the Lakers through four games.

Edge: Lakers

Home court

Ford Center vs. Staples Center

The two teams posted identical road records, but the Lakers won seven more home games during the regular season. But the Thunder has a better chance to win a game in the Staples Center than the Lakers have of winning Game 6 Friday night in the Ford Center. Neither team has won on the road. If the Lakers protect home court, they win the series. Raucous Ford Center crowds have gained attention nationally. But can the Thunder win on the road?

Edge: Thunder

Experience

Kobe has four rings. This essentially is the same Lakers team that won the championship last season. The Thunder started slow in Game 1 and was tight early in front of a raucous home crowd in Game 3. But in the other 14 quarters, the Thunder’s lack of playoff experience has been a non-factor. The Lakers have experience in extended series, which could be big if it goes the full seven games, but the Thunder has gained confidence every game.

Edge: Lakers



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