2012 Western Conference Playoffs: 5 Changes the Lakers Must Make

Knowing their opponents were older, wearier, and had a more exhausting first-round series than they did, the young and fresh Oklahoma City Thunder opened up Game 1 of their conference semifinal series in a big way.

Russell Westbrook had 27 points with nine dimes, while Kevin Durant added 25 points of his own. More impressive is that neither of them needed to be on the hardwood for more than 30 minutes. 

To be frank, the Los Angeles Lakers got absolutely blown out of the gym in Game 1. Many of their weaknesses were exposed, such as their continually bad transition and pick-and-roll defense. The Thunder attack came in flurries of runs, and even with Metta World Peace, the Lakers defense was unprepared.

The Los Angeles Lakers need to remember that this is a seven-game series, and that good teams generally win their series home openers.

However, if they get down, they will be out, and if the rest of the series is anything like Game 1, this second-round exit will be even worse than the embarrassment they suffered at the hands of the Mavericks in 2011.

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