Caught in the Web: Looking at the Lakers-Oklahoma City matchup
Local Lakers-Thunder links
--The Times' Bill Plaschke explains that Phil Jackson's comments about the officiating regarding Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant is nothing new, and he argues it looks like the method might work.
--The Times' Mark Heisler highlights how different everything becomes in the NBA once the playoffs begin.
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan provides an update on Sasha Vujacic's injury and looks ahead to the Lakers-Oklahoma City first-round matchup.
--The Times' Jerry Crowe expects the Lakers to advance past the first-round, but he's not sure how the team will fare after that.
--The Times' Diane Pucin reports that Charles Barkley believes the Lakers will make the NBA Finals.
--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford has details on Jackson's $35,000 fine for criticizing officials.
--The Daily News' Tom Hoffrath has more on how Jackson coaches during the playoffs.
--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr shares her first-round playoff picks.
--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding reports Kobe Bryant may play in the postseason without wearing a splint on his fractured right index finger.
--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell has an insight Q&A with General Manager Mitch Kupchak about the season and the upcoming NBA Draft.
--Trudell also talked with assistant coach Jim Cleamons in the video below about how the Lakers match up with the Thunder. Trudell also provides a position-by-position breakdown of the series.
--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen explains why Jackson was disappointed with how the Lakers performed in the regular season.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky focuses on how Lakers reserve Shannon Brown has managed to play and dunk, despite nursing an injured right thumb.
--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin believes the Lakers are perfectly capable of flipping the switch in the postseason.
--Forum Blue and Gold ticks off what the Lakers need to do in the postseason.
--Silver Screen and Roll breaks down some numbers heading into the playoffs.
--It's a shame for Vujacic that he injured his left ankle just before the postseason starts. It also makes this funny video Lakers-fan.com's Garrett Lynn produced before the injury somewhat bitter sweet for Lakers fans.
--The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel explains how Thunder Coach Scott Brooks turned around the team.
--The Oklahoman's columnist Jenni Carlson argues Jackson's comments about the officiating on Durant is both hypocritical and misguided.
National Lakers-Thunder links (after the jump)
--Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard explains in great detail what the Thunder need to do to limit Bryant.
--Sports Illustrated's Britt Robson breaks down the Western Conference.
--FoxSports.com's Mark Kriegal examines the physical limitations Bryant must fight through in the postseason.
--Ball Don't Lie's Trey Kerby lists one of Brown's dunks on a list highlighting the Top 10 dunks of the season.
--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer examines whether a Lakers-Magic Finals repeat is possible.
Tweet of the Day: "PJ fined 35K for Durant comments, trying to work refs/get inside the kid's head. Tax Day Q: Is this a legit business expense?" -- ESPNLandOLakers (ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky).
Photo Caption Comment of the Day: ""Why oh why does everyone keep saying I'm a dirty player? I just don't get it!!" -- Jason F.
Reader Comment of the Day:"His comments that Kevin Durant gets favorable treatment from the refs were pure genius and classic Phil Jackson. Just as Kevin Durant’s angered response showcased that Jackson had already gotten under his skin. The Lakers championship experience will suffocate the talented, young, and inexperienced Thunder." -- LakerTom
Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Will Lakers Coach Phil Jackson's comments about Kevin Durant push the star forward off his game? Credit: Andrew Gombert/EPA.