Western Conference Quarter-Finals Game 2 Preview: Oklahoma City at Los Angeles Lakers

BAH! GO AWAY JACK NICHOLSON! (Actually, you can stay, but purely because I want to see your face when we win.) (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.

Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (50-32) vs. The Los Angeles Lakers (57-25)

Time: 9:30 PM Central Standard Time

Place: The Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

TV: Turner Network Television (TNT)

Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1)

Enemy Blog(s): Silver Screen and Roll, With Malice, Forum Blue and Gold

Previous Meeting(s): Game 1

For a full series preview, click here.

Game 2 is upon us, and not much has changed. The Lakers are still without D.J. Mbenga, but that hasn't affected them in the slightest, as Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum have been more than enough down low.

The Thunder's objective offensively should be to make sure that Russell Westbrook continues to drive to the basket and that Kevin Durant doesn't launch too many ill-advised threes. I also wouldn't be surprised to see an increased focus on interior defense, which probably means that Krstic won't get much alone time at center. I'd also hope that James Harden isn't completely shut out on offense. I'd rather see him just drive to the hole or shoot an open 3, rather than get trapped and commit a turnover or run down the shot clock.

In the overall perspective of the series, if we're ever going to pick ourselves up and win the series, it's got to be now. Even if we don't win, if we made this a close game, it would send a message to the Lakers, much more so than mailing it in halfway through the 3rd and waiting until Oklahoma City. I'm predicting a win here because I don't put too much stock in home court advantage, and I think that the Thunder kept it close enough in Game 1 to devise a successful strategy for winning in Game 2.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 100, Los Angeles Lakers 99

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