The Lakers did what they should, beat the Rockets in game two and avoid going back to Housoton down 2-0. They accomplished the win by cheap, dirty, and scrappy basketball. Derek Fisher's forearm check to Luis Scola on a back pick, Kobe Bryant's no-look elbow to Ron Artest's throat, and the swiping claws of defenders mauling any Rocket driving the lane.
Are the Lakers a dirty team? Absolutely. Go back to Trevor Ariza's foul on Portland's Rudy Fernandez (Portland TrailBlazers Schedule) , maliciously upending the Spaniard in mid flight resulting in hospitalisation. The Lakers are the bad guy in the boxing movie that puts metal weights in their gloves. They talk smack and do what they can to disrupt the emotions of the opponent. Unless you are hitched to the Lakers bandwagon, this is a despicable group of players that feel entitled to win.
The Lakers are only using the formula that beat them last year by the Celtics. That's physical play bordering dirty, causing the opponent let emotions get in the way of execution. The Rockets lost due to turnovers. The Lakers turned up the defensive pressure, swarming Yao and preying on the sensitive and volatile emotions of Artest. The Lakers have figured out that activity and points off turnovers will win against the Rockets. If the Rockets will win, Yao must stay out of foul trouble and the pace of the game must slow to a scoring in the mid eighties to low nineties.
Note: Things have been extremely slow on the Warriors front. There has been rumors surfacing around the net that has them interested in Utah Jazz (Utah Jazz Schedule) Forward Andrei Kirilenko. However, their current GM, Chris Mullin, is no longer the person pulling the stings in Warrior land. Mullin, who's contract isn't expected to be retained by the Warriors, is no longer involved in the Warriors planning as he prepares himself to move into New York's (New York Knicks Schedule) front office. That should be the next piece of news coming out of Golden State..