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Gibberman: Tough call for the Zen Master

The Orlando Magic were a matchup nightmare for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavs coach Mike Brown could not figure out how to contain Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic’s deadly three point shooting. Stan Van Gundy surrounds Superman with four players who can all hit from long range. Rashard Lewis, who plays the power forward position for the Magic, makes it very difficult to play a conventional lineup against his team.

The Los Angeles Lakers have the personnel to defend Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis, but it leaves Lakers Coach Phil Jackson with a tough decision. Phil would prefer to play straight up man to man so Los Angeles would not have to worry about rotating out to the Magic’s three point shooters. Pau Gasol, LA’s best low post threat, is not strong enough to handle Dwight Howard and not quick enough to D up Rashard Lewis. Lamar Odom is the perfect matchup for Rashard Lewis and Andrew Bynum is physically big enough to guard Dwight Howard, but Jackson cannot lose Gasol’s skills on offense. My gut tells me that the Zen Master will use Gasol on Howard – giving him help – and he will play Lamar Odom a lot of minutes to try and contain Lewis. Gasol is also the best chance for the Lakers to get Dwight into foul trouble. Sometimes a team’s best defense against a player can be their offense.