Laker ‘D’ Against Howard: Single Coverage

by Marcel Mutoni

It’s the biggest question heading into the NBA Finals, and one that involves Orlando’s opponent more or less picking its poison: Get abused down low by Dwight Howard, or see how many threes the Magic shooters can make.

According to Phil Jackson, the Lakers are going to take their chances with a single-covered Dwight Howard. And may God have mercy on Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and company.

The Press-Enterprise reports:

Howard averaged 21.5 points and 16 rebounds against the Lakers in the regular season because they chose not to double him, yet Coach Phil Jackson said he plans to maintain the same approach.

“It’s to your advantage not to double on this team,” he said. “They have four three-point shooters arrayed around the court, they really stretch you out and their spacing is good. It puts a priority on being able to defend the post.”

Conversely, Phil and the Lakers are counting on their bigs – plus the penetrating wing players – to get Dwight in foul trouble.

Bynum, in particular, was hoping for this matchup. We’ll see if he can make it past halftime before fouling out in any of the games. Let’s just say that I’m not holding my breath.